About uncertainty and striving for perfection.

How wonderful it is when we can finally find ourselves in a calm place! How often do this happen? Not as often as we wish. We are usually at war with ourselves, drowning our calm with meaningless comparisons, drowning our own feelings, and striving to keep reality as a (false) positive one by force.

Today I wanted to share some wise and true are words coming from my dear teacher and friend, Melinda Jacobs (see video). She talks about the ‘striving for perfection paradox’. It’s so important to know that things, just as they are in our lives (and the way we are right now too) are perfect. Calm can be found in uncertainty.

 

You can find Melinda at quantum-therapeutics.com

Choose to be kind and grateful.

Image by Richard Larssen

Challenge accepted!

As I’m writing this, my oldest daughter is saying goodbyes to her high school friends in our backyard. She is leaving for college next week.

Joy, grief, change, and time have all conspired to dramatically alter the inner landscape of my being.  What once was familiar and solid seemed foreign and out of balance for a while. It’s been quite a journey.

I dare describe change (for me) as something inevitable, desired and feared, refreshing, and uncomfortable at the same time: A challenge. In this case, there was only one thing left for me to say: “Challenge accepted!”

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When we spend our years taking care of everyone else, suddenly stopping and being there for ourselves may get really uncomfortable. You see, when we are busy enough and distracted enough, covering up emotions and feelings turns out to be a much easier task.

After being forced to deal with health issues, I have aimed for a slower/quieter life these past couple of years. Consequently, I have made time to mourn myself as I was and as I am no longer. Also, I have made time to mourn for what will never be again: My family’s dynamics have changed dramatically for good. In solitude, I chose to feel and confront, to desire and fear. Mourning is complicated and cannot be rushed, but it’s the only way forward.

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What threatened to be diminishment has, in the end, turned out to be growth: evolution. I chose this and worked hard on it (I’m still working hard on it). I’m grateful for the chance to live through this whole process, I had a chance to stop, look within and relearn that it is ok. In a way, it’s been a relief to let everything fall away; to let go of my usual beliefs, opinions and expectations in order to let the new, refreshing surprises unfold.

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It’s only the beginning and it’s been amazing, profound and (even though painful) it’s been thoroughly enjoyable. After all, it’s a fact that every life event prepares you for the next one, so I am now ready. Bring it on!

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the web

 

About evolving and facing lack of support or sabotage along the way.

Change is not easy. Whether it comes as something we want or it is thrown at us by life, it is not easy. Of course, change (any change) is easier when there is widespread agreement (in the family or group of friends) about the need to change. Sadly, more often than not, we are faced with the fact that people would rather see you shrinking than growing (it may be unconscious sometimes). Sabotage will be in order so they won’t have to feel insecure around you, or they won’t have to face the fact that they are in need of change too.

There is always one or several who can create the most resistance, first because their own actions and beliefs are challenged, and then because they realize that by you changing things, they will be in need of evolution themselves.

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I cannot emphasize enough the need for support in your planning for new goals. Nevertheless, it is possible to evolve without support if that happens to be the case. There is a strong possibility that some people in your life will no longer be able remain in it, at least not as much, if they devalue you. Therefore, the need to create new social bonding with people who support you and have more in common with you will eventually arise.

One potential challenge when people stop liking the way things are in their lives and start thinking in rebuilding a new one is to kindly educate family and friends about your choices, and at the same time try to grow and develop your new interests. Asking for help from others who have traveled the same path or from a professional will always be of tremendous help.

 

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Make a note: Listening to advice from loved ones is a blessing. In my personal experience I’m often humbled by it and always very grateful for receiving it (even if I didn’t like it at first). However, do not mistake loving advice with allowing people (even loved ones) to sabotage your efforts because they don’t want you to succeed (even if it’s subconsciously done).

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Consider joining a support group or therapy, if needed, to heal and motivate yourself during the process. Also, consider working in ways to protect yourself and to create healthy limits towards those around you. Sometimes this may be extremely hard in some families and social circles.

We may also be self-sabotaging out of fear or negative self-talk. In this case, remember that avoiding people or situations that trigger old behaviors is only a temporary solution. You may need to work hard on facing such negative feelings and beliefs, or the perceived lack of safety so familiar to those who are experiencing life changes.

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It is possible to heal, change, recover, evolve, live, and feel better. With courage, patience, the help of experienced professionals, and caring family or friends, you can rediscover the strength needed to take the first steps towards evolving and living a satisfying and meaningful life, the life you dream of.

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the internet

 

 

 

 

Recognizing the difference between guilt, humiliation, and shame in order to live and not only survive in life.

Is it natural to feel ashamed or humiliated? Yes, of course it is natural, it is human. What can we do about it? Well, first it is important to recognize it and acknowledge that everybody experiences these emotions- yes, everybody.  But they are not one and the same, there is some difference between them, giving shame the opportunity to be the worst among them.

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Here is a very oversimplified way to differentiate these very complex emotions by our own thoughts or beliefs:

“I am bad” (shame)

“I did something bad” (guilt)

“I deserve this” (shame)

“I don’t deserve this” (humiliation)

All of the above may result from one same situation lived by different people and vary according to each person’s previous experiences. The same event may cause humiliation for someone and also cause deep damaging shame for another. This is important because humiliation fades away but shame remains.

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“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging” (Brené Brown).

I wanted to write about this topic so badly but it was so hard to comprise it in only a few words. Thanks to Brené Brown’s work, we all have a world of information about shame through her books.

Please be sure not to be bullying yourself into shame, because we only live once and shame stops you from living.

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the internet

The time to change is now.

That thing you would like to experience someday, why not do it now?

The person you want to be someday, why not start working on being that person now?

The way of life you are putting on hold for when you are older, richer, healthier, less busy, prettier, thinner, why not start living it now?

It is a mistake of gigantic proportions when we think that putting life on hold, shielding ourselves from evolving via fear and excuses, is in any way justified. It is a terrible waste of life and life’s opportunities to grow.

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Sometimes we need to acknowledge our circumstances. Life is complicated, and therefore caring for a child, an elderly person, or a sick one may prevent us from doing or being where we would like. Nevertheless, these circumstances have the amazing potential to become selfless acts of love which, even if we resist, may bring evolution, change and growth if we let them. No, these circumstances are not the same as shielding or staying within a fence unable to explore beyond.

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It is an interesting process to self-discover and analyze the way we may cast ourselves down, the effects of toxic self-talk and negative thinking. I particularly worry about the number of women (for example), that would not wear a swimsuit, that think they cannot be in a relationship or deserved to be loved because they don’t look as they “should” or are somehow overweight. So many persons think themselves too old to start anew or to study new things, to learn a new sport, profession, or skill. Others will think that they need only have a certain job or status in order to thrive and live a happy life.

Maybe some will read what I’m writing now and will be glad not to be in such a situation as described here, but experience tells me they are a minority. In the end, we only have one life, so the time to start healing and living is today. The time to change is now.

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the web