December 2017 blog post–On Self-Love and Self-Confidence

There’s so much going through my mind right now that I almost literally cannot move and function, which for me, means it is time to “download.” Time to write it all out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about personal growth, (it’s a thing with me), and so I love sharing my journey so that maybe even just one person will connect with something and maybe find it helpful.

Of course, no-one is ever under any obligation to read these things I post, whether I post a link to my site where I have all the blogs or if I decide to share it all on my personal Facebook page, PLEASE feel free to keep scrolling.

So, here’s where my thoughts are today, December 7th, 2017.

I had the thought that it may be a great personal litmus test to see just how comfortable you are with yourself, if you can go out and eat by yourself. This is not a judgement, just a little test you can take to see where you are with loving and enjoying who you are. CAN you spend time alone with YOU willingly, and totally enjoy it? I know personality types definitely play a part, but in my journey, I have noticed a pattern, that those who absolutely cannot be alone, OFTEN do not know or love themselves well. It’s a part of feeling constantly judged, and being trapped in the mindset of, “what are others thinking about me right now?” If you can’t get past that question, your personal growth will be stuck in one place for years, maybe forever. And I can speak to that because that used to be me. Some aren’t tracking because you’ve conquered this already in your life; scroll on. Some of you are totally tracking with me.

I began making it a practice to go out and eat alone many years ago, and I will admit that, at first, it was hard. I was convinced that others were judging me. They thought I had been stood up, or I was “on the prowl,” looking for a date, or I was sad in some way. And here’s the key. It just doesn’t f-ing matter.

I have found myself so stuck in the jail of other’s opinions and judgements that I was stuck for a very long time. I am free of that now and it is the biggest change and sense of freedom I think I’ve ever felt in my life. And it is a huge step towards loving YOU and realizing that YOU are fun to be around. You’re a marvelous person, deep, intricate. You have layers. Others don’t get it. Who cares?

So, my point today, is If you say to yourself, “I could never do that!” then I challenge you today to do it. Plan it, schedule it. Go to one of your favorite places. Maybe bring a book or a Kindle. And while you’re there make it a point to breathe deep and smile a lot. Relax yourself and just notice your surroundings. Watch people. Observe. Listen.

Go inside. Think about the best parts of yourself. Sometimes I get into these deep conversations with myself or my creator even, in my head, and sometimes I laugh out loud. Yes, people stare. I don’t care. I crack myself up. Deal with it. Yes, people see me as weird, arrogant, blah, blah, blah, but my personal growth WILL NOT rest on what others think about me. And it shouldn’t for you, either.

You may find that you enjoy the practice so much that you begin to schedule alone dates. Dates with yourself. I love it. Do it. I found out a long time ago that I actually really like me. Doesn’t make me less than humble. Doesn’t make me an arrogant ass. I’m just self-aware enough to realize that sometimes I am the only one I want to be with.

All that said, it’s hard to like and love yourself if you carry around a lot of guilt or shame or unforgiveness inside of you. We are all so very different and have had very different experiences, but pain is common to us all. We’ve all been through it. One way or another. My story may not match yours, but we all have stories. The best advice I can give you, is spend time on you and you alone, forgive yourself first, then work on forgiving others around you. You are worthy of love, worthy of acceptance and nurturing, but guess what? That begins ONLY with you. A little one-on-one with yourself. Learn to be your own best friend and you will eventually find other like-minded people to connect with, but it won’t be because of a deep-seeded need to have others love and accept you; it’ll be because you have loved and accepted yourself. And that’s attractive. You will draw the right people to you.

And here’s the downside, (there’s always a downside). You may lose friends, too. Any time we change there will be people who don’t get it, who judge you, who don’t think they like what you’re trying to do. A lot of that is because they want and need you to be messed up and needy. They have their own twisted need for that. Maybe they feel they need you, just as you are. Truth is, they are on their own journey and sometimes we have to leave others behind. Relationships should always be built on mutual respect, love, and understanding. If others don’t respect you doing things that better YOU, then it may be time you hang with a new crowd.

Change and growth is so hard. Self-respect, self-confidence, is hard-fought-for. Do it anyway. You will never truly regret it.

Whatever has happened to you up to this point helped make you who you are. You hold the key to changes for the better; to living YOUR life, not a life others want, need, or expect you to live.

Go out and take on the day and the world today. You’re worth it. You’re loved.

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness and Choice

It seems to me, (and I’ve only myself and my own experiences  to go by), that any time I feel down or blue or depressed, its roots, (when I find the energy to dig them up), are in something that someone else did or said and the way I reacted to that event or conversation.  The roots are in how I was made to feel.

So when I pick at that thread, I must realize that I have given away my power in some way, to another. After all, I am not responsible for what others do or say, but I am responsible for how I react to it. So, if I give over my power by allowing others to control how I feel, then I’ve brought about my own depression, in a sense.

In the depressed moment, I am (consciously or subconsciously) choosing to focus on something negative that has taken place and the feelings I’ve attached to it.

So how do I stop this? The first step is realizing what is happening. There is some word or event that is stuck inside me, and I’m focusing on it.

I’m not sure I have yet discovered the answer in total, but I am feeling some relief by simply replacing negative thoughts (or memories) with positive ones. I’m making it a point to replay positive things others have said to me, positive truths I know about myself, over and over, to sort of replace the negative thoughts and feelings.

I know in my head that I am not a sum total of what others think of me or even of my experiences; at least, I don’t have to be. If messages are going to replay themselves inside my head/mind, then I should be the one to get to choose what messages those are.

So today I am practicing mindful choice; the choice to hear (on repeat) those things I choose to hear.

I’m sure I’m not nearly the first person to have such a realization, but coming to understand things myself, (rather than reading it elsewhere), seems to be key to my personal growth and understanding.

Today I am choosing to hear that I am loved, cherished, befriended, wanted. I am replacing the old with the new, the bad with the good.

And I feel good about it.

 

Journey Well!

I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery, a deep, personal, spiritual journey, for, well, many, many years, but on a different level–for over seven years now. Here are some conclusions I’ve drawn:

Nobody will every be their best until they take the time to do the work; unpack their baggage, face their demons. You can coast along, same stuff different day, until the day you die, but growth takes courage, time and the willingness to change.

People, by and large, believe that anything with the word “self” in it, means you’re being selfish. Self-discovery, self-esteem, self-confidence; but the exact opposite is true. All of these things are essential to be who you were meant to be, so that you can ultimately be a positive influence on those around you and accomplish all the things you’re called to do. Do the work. There are no short-cuts.  People may call you selfish, but one of these life lessons, is knowing who and what to listen to; don’t fall for it. People say a lot of things. That’s their limited perspective, not your reality.

I do believe there can come a time when it’s time to put away the self-analyzing behavior. You can get stuck in there, so be careful not to. Unpack your bags, figure yourself out, love yourself, then, after all is put away in its proper place, turn and face the world again, with newfound strength and abilities. There does come a time when you’re healed enough to be outward-focused without doing damage to those around you.

You never truly “arrive” because life is, after all, a continuing journey. There is no final destination; face each morning as it comes, prepared to conquer one day.

Journey well, my friends!