Have you ever wondered what it takes to totally and completely accept yourself? Or, have you ever found yourself thinking again about your faults and then, either silently or out loud yelled, “ENOUGH!”
You became sick of yourself, in a way. But, it’s not your real self–it’s your EGO. The ego is the lower or false self. Your higher self is all about the love. It only has positive feedback for you.
As a human, you come with an ego and a higher self. The ego is just there to try to keep you safe. But, at times, it’s good to tell it to eff off. I actually did that for many years, but later, I found that just being neutral towards the ego was the most helpful to me. Now, I tend to say to it, “Oh, you again? Thank you for sharing, but I’m going to do what makes my heart sing.”
The ego can hold you back, that’s for sure. One of its favorite strategies is to make you feel lesser or lowly. The ego is not just about feeling you’re better than others. The ego likes you to compare yourself to others or to even who you were in the past. It likes to convince you that you suck or are not good enough. Don’t buy into it!
For years, I have worked on loving myself more to quiet the ego and to let go of the old programming that doesn’t serve me. Affirming, “I love me” was such a stretch for me. It was hard to believe it at first. I found myself starting with “I accept myself.” I had to start there because loving myself felt so far away. I gradually moved on to the following: “I love and accept myself.” Next, I found the affirmation shape-shifting into: “I love and accept myself right now.” I added some other words to give it some zest and zing such as “completely” and “totally.” Soon, I found myself believing it more and more. It took some time and I’ll admit that I’m still a work in progress with it.
Hard-core self-acceptancemeans that you don’t rely on others to validate you or to make you feel whole. You don’t feel the need to add anything to yourself to improve your body, mind, or spirit. You accept that you have 10 pounds to lose, but you don’t beat yourself up for carrying it. You don’t intend that you’ll really love yourself more once you lose the weight. You don’t put conditions on how well you treat yourself. Most importantly, you don’t put others’ needs before your own.
You might find yourself asking, “But, what about the really ugly things about me?” I answer, “Well, accept and love those too!” Chances are, you are being really hard on yourself. And, truly, what could you have done that is so…bad?
I mean, I’m not advocating complacency or apathy. You’re here on the planet to learn and grow after all. The thing is that you can sometimes overdo the self-healing and development. It’s good to rest and let things integrate for a while. You don’t need to constantly be working on yourself.
Lately, I’m finding some inner peace about being a success. I realized I was chasing success, instead of being fully present. Instead of drinking tons of coffee and scrambling to get as much work done as possible, I’m relaxing more. In those moments of relaxing, I’ve discovered my own inner truth. I’m tired of pushing so hard. I’m tired of working so hard.
It’s time to go for the joy.
My joys are writing and music. Although I’ll always be a healer and a psychic, I’m shifting my priorities, after putting my dreams on the back burner for so long. It’s taking me a while to shift my schedule and daily life to reflect my priorities. Creating new behaviors is a process, I’ve always found. It can’t always be rushed or forced. So, I’m just doing my best.
My best is good enough. It’s more than enough. I’m enough–more than enough.
I read somewhere that fatigue results from a mindset that one must overwork. Yikes! I felt that one when I read it. I’m a rather private person, but I will tell you in general that I’ve been working on recovery and rest. It has been a challenge for me as a go-getter. But, I know it’s necessary.
Yesterday, I was researching some stuff on-line about music and I came across this quote (I posted it on my Fan Page on Facebook): “Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” –Bob Marley Wow! What an a-ha moment! I always tell clients to enjoy their lives and to have fun. I also try to live that, but in a moment of self-honesty in response to this quote, I thought about what makes me the happiest. I had some profound insights by going within.
So, I invite you to think about the same. Are you satisfied with the life that you’re living? In what ways can you move towards self-acceptance? How is self-honesty related to self-acceptance? How does your own ego try to trick you into believing that you are not enough or not worthy? What can you do differently each day to start living the life you desire?
Feel free to comment and leave feedback here. I’d love to hear what you think.
After reading the title of this post, you might be wondering, “Okay, Lisa, is this really possible?” My response is, “Hey, why not?”
I like to be my own lab rat. After recently returning from a vacation, I decided to experiment. I was so happy at sea, in the warm, sunny climates of the various ports of call. It was so nice to be disconnected from technology and to feel the cool, tropical breeze.
One day, I was sitting at a bar in the Bahamas, sipping on a pina colada, listening to a band play island music. (I rarely ever drink, especially at bars, and well, especially not drinks that cost more than $2!) I was smiling ear-to-ear, talking to nice people around me, intoxicated by the nice energies, not my beverage. I was getting ready to go back into the clear, blue waters with the soft, white sand under my feet for some swimming as a thought occurred to me.
“Why don’t I just choose to be this happy all of the time?”
Wow, that one came crashing down on me like a rogue ocean wave. My human ego responded with, “Well, duh…” My spirit giggled like a little kid on too much sugar. I felt invigorated by this idea of being happy all of the time. I saw it as a call from my spirit. Of course, being a bit hardcore with this sort of spiritual stuff, I responded internally with, “Okay, Universe, bring it on! Bring me my joy!”
Then, I heard, “Why not just BE joy, instead of asking it to be brought to you?”
Okay, I get it!
I thought about this some more as I swam in the crystal, blue sea. I decided to take one of the last tenders (boats that take you back to the main ship), so that I would have time to bask in these revelations. (Yeah, the Bahamas made it a bit easier for me to experience these moments of clarity, after leaving behind the cold weather and gloomy skies of Detroit.)
Next, I had an epiphany! The decision to be happy all of the time is very punk rock. The rest of the world is all gloom and doom–at least according to the news and popular media. I observe people in public who are all rushed, distracted, and working to acquiring more material goods. It doesn’t seem like people are truly happy often.
Of course, this decision to be happy includes other people. I have decided to shift into a place where I silently affirm happiness and love for others, even though the illusion is that they are in pain or suffering. I can’t be responsible for their happiness, but I can give them hope. Being unhappy in my own life doesn’t help anyone. I have a mission to be a spiritual teacher, so people need my light (another term for happiness). No one really wants to be around those who are grumpy, moody, unpleasant, naysaying, negative, and what I call the Downer Debbie types (remember that skit from “Saturday Night Live”?).
My silent rebellion is positive. Although I’m only one person, I still have a positive, loving effect on the world. I can’t change the world really, but I can change myself. A group of individuals being happy (and peaceful) is a force to be reckoned with, and it has even been scientifically proven via the Maharishi Effect studies (see the following link, if you want the proof: http://www.mum.edu/m_effect/)
Here’s some guidance that I received about how to live this stuff, rather than just talking about as some fluffy idea:
1. Live with the intention to be happy. Energy follows intention. If you wake up with the notion that your day will suck, it probably will. Everything starts with intention. You might need to practice this before you get there 100%. It might take a few weeks to really feel a difference, but heck, don’t you think it’s worth it? Your old programming took 20, 30, 40, 50, or more years to get into you. Making a new habit only takes 21 or 28 days, depending on the research you read. It’s such a small investment. Expect miracles each day.
2. Refuse to allow anything to affect your peace of mind. I used to have a difficult time with maintaining my happiness when others around me were angry, unhappy, or otherwise negative. It took me years to realize how ridiculous I was behaving around these people. I’d freeze up, walk on eggshells, or try to make myself disappear energetically. This was a cause for much of my own suffering for most of my life. When you’re strong and confident in your happiness, negative people will affect you less and less. Your energy will become much like the air freshener spray that killed the Shit Demon in the movie, “Dogma.” It repels them. You won’t need to shield yourself hardly either. Just choose to be happy instead of buying into their egos’ drama. You can just listen with objectivity as the Observer, allowing others to rant, while you don’t allow it to drag you down.
3. Yes, happiness is a choice. I can hear you saying, “But, Lisa, I’m unemployed/about to lose my home/about to file for bankruptcy/getting divorced/physically ill/grieving/fat/depressed/afraid…yadda yadda yadda.” Well, I’ve given readings to people with all of these so-called challenges. I’ve given readings to people who lost their house to a fire or who had incarcerated family members. I could go on, but I don’t want to beat the drum of human suffering.
So many times, I heard people who suffered through tremendous adversity say, “I never knew how strong I was until this happened.” Inside, I’d say, “Holy crap! This makes me feel silly for worrying about my stuff.” I once gave a reading to a woman who was fighting cancer, going through a divorce, and about to lose her kids and house. She smiled as she sat down. The thing is that I didn’t even see those things in her energy. I just saw changes and that she was happy. The client waited until the end of our session to tell me what was going on in her life. I almost fell to my knees in humility. I heard my guides and angels say, “See, you can be happy no matter what!”
4. To increase your happiness, help others to be happy. I don’t want to get all Buddhist on you, but it is considered good karma to help others to plant the seeds for your own good. Of course, you don’t do things for others with the intention that your good will come to you. Your happiness will naturally result from the love you feel in your heart from doing good deeds. Practice random acts of kindness. Do one small thing each day to help uplift another. It does matter and make a difference.
I once felt so much anxiety that it was incredibly hard to focus on much of anything. I felt so much stress to the degree of making myself physically ill (an ulcer). I could hardly peel myself off the couch to go to work, but I did. I tried the experiment of doing one nice thing per day for someone else. At first, I didn’t feel anything, but eventually, I started to feel so happy. This happiness I felt, even though I had worries over money and my marriage. Soon, things healed in both my financial and relationship sectors.
Wow, this stuff works.
5. Don’t poison your mind with negativity. I refuse to watch the news on television any longer. I refuse to listen to commercials that talk about dis-ease and horrible side effects that are worse than the actual dis-ease.
I don’t want to pollute my mind since it’s a powerful tool to create my reality.
I also abstain from gossip magazines or shows that exploit celebrity drama. I refuse to look at popular fashion magazines that have anorexic, air-brushed models simultaneously with recipes for chocolate cake in the same issue. I refuse to engage in negative conversations about other people.
Instead, I rebel. Instead, I fill my life with objects of beauty, good books, healthy food, exercise, affirmations, positive people, and a mindset that is happy.
6. Fake it ’til you make it. Try pretending to be happy. Tell your ego you’re doing an experiment. See how long it takes for the pretending to become real. Happiness is a choice. Choices and habits are closely related. So, why not make happiness a healthy habit? Speaking of choices, you’ll notice that you will select much different things when you’re in a happy place. You might order a salad at a restaurant. Or, you decide to go to the bookstore, instead of the bar. You might finally sign up for those guitar lessons that have called to you since you were 10 years old. And, you might find yourself giggling for no reason.
7. Happiness is an internal thing. External things do not make you happy or sad. You make yourself happy or sad. It’s a choice, as I mentioned. I’m sure you could find scores of books in which people went through hell and back, but still managed to be happy, in spite of all of it. Your happiness doesn’t depend on how much money you make or where you live. Your happiness doesn’t have to be earned. Your happiness doesn’t depend on how others feel about you.
The nice thing is that you can create happiness for yourself. What a joyous freedom to be able to do this kind act of self-love.
8. Be okay with the so-called bad times. Yeah, you’re human. You might have a bad day now and then. You will experience heartache, loss, and sadness. You might feel stuck. The key is to not dwell in negativity. Do your best to take care of yourself.
Do your best to see the lessons that your soul is wanting you to learn through the hardships. Don’t take it so personally. You are strong and you can get through anything. Remember the times you’ve been through the ringer and got out alive. Be grateful, even for the hard lessons.
It’s how you respond to hardship that matters. Don’t allow it to make you go into panic mode. Take a deep breath and ask the Universe to smooth your way. Be okay with being happy, even when others are not. Most of all, remember, this is temporary. This too shall pass.
9. Honor your full range of emotions. Of course, happiness is not the only state of being. There are other emotions and feelings. I categorize all of them into 2 areas: love or fear. When you start to go into the fear end of the spectrum, just remember that something is off. Your emotions and feelings are simply a guidance system trying to get your attention. See what needs to be adjusted, but don’t allow the fears or negativity to pull you down.
Again, this too shall pass.
Find a way to process and release your emotions. Again, take care of yourself.
You will find your way back to happiness. It never really went anyplace though. It’s always there because your true nature is LOVE.
I was playing on YouTube the other day, listening to some old and new songs. As a musician, I love it when modern groups remake the old songs (if they are good). Although not classified as punk, I loved Avenged Sevenfold’s remake of Pantera’s song, “Walk”:
I used to sometimes be a push-over. I’d let people walk all over me. I grew up with the idea that I should be a “nice girl.” Thankfully, my musical path helped me to break out of this mold. I believe in clinical psychology, they would have labeled me a people pleaser. For a while, I was pretty angry, so I would fuel my anger by finding more examples of annoying people. Later in life, I found the middle ground with things (I’m still working on it too.)
The thing is that people are responsible for their own happiness in life. It’s not your job to make others happy. It’s their job to attain their own fulfillment in life.
From time to time, I’m reminded of this lesson when I encounter someone who tries to make demands from me. In the past, I used to get pissed off at the demanding person. Later, I would become mad at myself for getting pissed off. This is not very fun.
As of late, I have been working to apply the concept of emptiness from Buddhism to these sort of situations. (I’m a do-it-yourself spirituality type of gal, so I borrow from many traditions.) With situations with demanding people, it’s just my perception of them as demanding. They are just people like you or me. Until I assign a meaning to something or in this case, someone, it (or they) are empty. Emptiness is similar to the idea of neutrality.
When I’m able to get into a more neutral perspective, people, even the demanding ones have less charge for me. I seem to attract less and less demanding or otherwise annoying people. I feel very punk rock by choosing not to do the obvious thing (getting angry) when it comes to dealing with annoying people. Lots of people might become reactive in these situations. I don’t desire to be like the average person.
I’ve also found that healthy doses of self-respect go a long way in attracting respectful people into my life. The most respectful thing I’ve ever done is created boundaries for myself. I only allow loving people into my circle. I also do not allow others to take and take from me. I love giving, but it has to be balanced, meaning I still need to take care of myself in ways that feel good to me.
I have my own personal boundaries for sure. I highly recommend doing this with intentions. You can draw a circle on a piece of paper, writing in the things or people you’ll allow into your life. On the outside of the circle, write down those things or people you won’t allow. Look at this drawing every morning before you start your day. Soon, you’ll notice that you don’t attract the negative people as much. This drawing reminds me of the spiritual teachings about power animals. This would be the Armadillo energies. It’s not like you are putting on armor to shut people out. It’s different–you’re keeping your boundaries so that others will respect you and your needs.
(photo credit: Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil, Flickr, Creative Commons License)
I admit that I’m a work in progress with my dealings with people sometimes. I’m still human and prone to my moments of mild anger. I’m not about holding in the anger. I’m just saying that I don’t like to take my anger out on anyone else, projecting my crap onto them. I’m working to be responsible in my life. Also, I really work to honor others’ boundaries too, even the unspoken ones. If you’re in the place of respecting yourself, you will notice the unspoken boundaries of others.
It’s all a process of learning. It does not necessarily happen overnight. Each day, I learn something new–I’m sure you will too. Setting boundaries is not difficult, but sometimes, verbalizing them in a loving way that honors you and the other person can be a challenge. You’ll find what works best for you.