I know since I've started this series that I have discovered things about myself that have been buried for a long time. I’ve been taking a long, hard look at myself, and struggle at times to remember to be fully present in the moment as I am peeling back the layers. This does takes courage because sometimes we have to break down the walls of defense and rationalizations we have padded ourselves with - i.e., the excess weight.
As we peel back these layers of sadness, disappointment, anger, despair, embarrassment, frustration, and low self worth, we are then able to become more in touch with our true feelings and who we wish to be. It is then and only then, that we can begin to replace them with what we know to be true, and this is not always easy; it's hardest to be honest and objective with ourselves.
There’s a saying, “If you’re going through hell, you might as well keep on going”. It is in this “going through”- this learning to live from love – the love of yourself - of freeing yourself from whatever is holding you back, and moving toward the freedom of authenticity, delving deeper into the truth of well-being, and contentment that is waiting to escape from the depths of your very being. Let these newly discovered feelings that have been under wraps for so long to come forth into the light, and become more vibrant within you. Honor yourself and your right to these feelings. It’s time to take PAWSE.
Here are five ways to get yourself started and to live what you already know:
Do you constantly live to please others? Are you always focused on what you have to do for those around you? Do you think it’s selfish to do something for yourself? This is not selfish. Most of us were taught indirectly while growing up that self love was selfish and conceited. We were taught that self deprecation was “good”. How can you expect to meet the needs of others when you don’t do that for yourself? What do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy? Are you content? Are you always thinking things could be better? This is another time where your awareness in the present moment will help you. You have the power to enjoy life. It’s a simple choice in the moment.When you know you are not enjoying yourself, stop to see if you can find another choice in the moment, no matter how small it may be.
“In life one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day - or to celebrate each special day.” ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru
We touched on this in the last blog with noticing how to re-focus our thinking, and writing down the good things that happened in our day. You know when you are grateful. Every time you say “Thank you” to another, or to God, don’t just let the words fall out of you mouth without the thought behind it. Feel it as you say it – consciously experience the gratitude for what you have just received. You need to acknowledge it more. If you like the feeling, and you know you will, allow yourself to stay there and feel good. This will provide the added bonus of opening the universe up to let more positive things come toward you.
“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Life is coming at each one of us fast and furious; sometimes so fast it is literally in the blink of an eye. We are surrounded by so many people, objects, thoughts, sights, sounds, and experiences. Try to stop judging those experiences and putting them categories – good or bad, right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable, etc. Just simply allow yourself to be present right in the middle of all of it, and relishing what is happening. After all, it is happening for a reason – whether or not you are aware of it in that moment. Try not to be concerned about it; accept it, and take in all the nuances you are feeling. Imagine you are eating the most lusciously, juicy, sweet peach. You bite into it, and the juices trickle down your chin. . . you are overcome by the sweet goodness of what is in your mouth. . .
You’re imagining this right now as you’re reading this aren’t you? Is your mouth watering? Slow down . . . Savor the everyday moments in your life the same way. Focus on what is happening, and let the mind chatter go, and just BE.
When we are not loving ourselves, we do not feel whole. We may feel like our body has failed us as it struggles to maintain what it has, or to heal itself. We may feel fractured or shattered as a result of a life experience, or a hurt that we cannot seem to heal. Things are said in the heat of the moment that sting, and slowly fester to become wounds of the mind - wounds that we carry around consciously or subconsciously every day. Do you really believe that you are not OK? Think about that for a moment.
Picking the hard way is not virtuous… it is self punishment. It is these very things we are carrying around that are the cause of our fractured self. PAWSE to learn how you box yourself in. What beliefs do you live by that constrict your growth? What reactions happen in a split second that rob you of your happiness? How do you react?
Think about how it would feel not to have to live with this feeling of rejection, or the hurt you’re holding onto, or not allowing this physical illness or limitation to control you and your life. You once again can choose how to perceive yourself; do you want to remain damaged or fractured, or is it time to choose to see the opportunities that are waiting to support well-being and happiness? It’s time to stop seeing yourself as damaged, and start seeing yourself as healed and whole. Look for what there is to appreciate about yourself right here, right now. What do you really admire about yourself in this very moment - which is the honest truth of where you are?
“I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.” ~ Amy Tan
As you are being present and aware and thoughts come up, and experiences happen for you, you ‘can’ choose to ignore or resist what is actually here in the moment, but if you do you will be swimming against the tide of resistance. Remember that thought creates, and life brings you exactly what you need for your growth. So what is the point of resisting, and becoming frustrated or angry? Stop avoiding dealing with the thoughts, emotions, and experience of it all. It’s more work to battle your emotions. If you stop battling with your own thoughts or experience you will feel more peaceful naturally, and it will be almost effortless. All you have to do is stop beating yourself up.
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” ~ John F. Kennedy
“If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thoughts.” ~ Peter McWilliams
Loving yourself becomes easier when you PAWSE to remember these concepts. They help make it easier for you to let go of everything in the moment thereby offering you the opportunity to merge into flow with whatever is happening in the moment, and to wake up to your deepest truth, and to live what you know.
If we will just open ourselves to receiving these gifts, like flowers opening to the sun, anything and everything becomes possible. You will begin to create your life the way you wish it to be. Before you know it, you will be able to say “I love myself” and really mean it.
Thanks for stopping by!