We all identify ourselves in different ways because we are all uniquely fashioned. One way we often identify ourselves is through the lens of others, or by what we do, instead of who we are. Many of us do not even consider who we truly are. There is a stamp of authenticity upon you and chances are you have NO idea what that means!
Have you ever sought out your true self? Have you ever presented your authentic self to the rest of the world and considered what that means for your life? Many have not. Yet, we have an authentic self hidden inside of us and buried under a lot of junk we have accumulated along the way.
Here are two videos and some photos I am attaching to this post. In the videos I discuss authenticity and some of my story about when I lost it ALL to discover EVERYTHING! What will you discover?
The photos go with the story in the videos. I hope you enjoy the message!
When we ponder relationships, we don’t often consider the relationship we have with ourselves. We do, in fact, have a self-relationship. We all get an image of our personal relationship with ourselves daily. Acknowledging our self-relationship can bring a lot of insight and healing when we choose to be honest with ourselves. Please don’t underestimate the importance of taking a little moral inventory to see where self-image can be improved, adjusted a little bit, or maybe a lot! Your “self” is calling and talking out loud! You, and only you, can make changes in yourself and make a difference in the quality of your life and your self-relationship.
Examples of ways we have a relationship with ourselves:
We see our personal relationship with ourselves through our temperament.
If you are a spouting geyser every time something rubs you the wrong way, your “self” is telling you it’s time to cool your heels. Remember, what you put out there in life is what will eventually come back, if not already. People view you, make assumptions and judgments about you according to your temperament. Even closer, your feelings about yourself are revealed through what you spew out. Don’t try to kid yourself here. You might try to fool others, but you can never kid yourself. You know who you are. The question is, “Why do you let the pressure valve out on everyone, and where does that anger come from?”
Maybe some emotional healing work is needed to cool down the emotional relationship you have with yourself. Believe me; eventually, your body will remind you to quit being such a hot head by breaking down in ways you don’t expect it to. Make it “be kind to your body time” and take steps to cool the hot embers in your heart.
Our personal relationship with ourselves is revealed through our self-image.
If you find you are continually comparing yourself to others, feel slighted by what others have, or wish you had attributes others have, then your self-image is screaming at you! It is easy to state how unique you are, how special God made you, or remind you of your gift to this world. The more challenging part is to learn how to believe how valuable you are, just the way you are.
If there are simple ways to improve upon your outer image, then do those things. Exercise, diet changes, and a little external enhancement can go a long way. For something you can not change, learn acceptance by loving yourself daily. We are all bombarded by images of others that are photoshopped, have attributes others admire, and tempt us toward self-loathing. Self-image is not only about the outside but the inside as well. Many of our programmed loathing comes from what we have been exposed to. The subconscious mind will hold these things for you! Gee, thank you very much, right? Try some self-image-enhancing hypnotherapy or meditation. There are many videos out there. If you find it hard to stick to routines, you might need a hypnotherapist. Invest in the money to get at least six sessions for a Hypno-change! Your self-relationship will thank you!
Our personal relationship with ourselves is revealed through the act of procrastination.
If there are things in life, you would like to do but never seem to get around to it. Or, if there are things that need to be taken care of but you never do, you are being held captive by the procrastination monster! When you procrastinate about doing something you know you should, you could either be suffering from a form of depression or your mind is too fixed on overthinking other things. You are lacking motivation and need a revving up of your self-motivator.
I know this might sound redundant but get organized! A scattered schedule lends toward too much time on your hands. Sooner or later, you end up putting off for another day what could have been done right now. Take the bull by the horns and get the more pressing things done first. Then go to the things you want to do to enhance your life. If you feel you need help for depression, see a counselor and help find the root of your distress. If you are overthinking, get your thoughts down on paper in a journal or talk to someone who can simply listen. Clear your mind, your heart, and your life from clutter. You will find more room to get those “need to do”or“want to do” things accomplished! If you are having trouble sticking to a routine or getting organized, once again, find a hypnotherapist! I can not say enough about the ability hypnosis has to help change unwanted habits to those desired!
I hope you see what I am getting at here. Your relationship with yourself will determine your ability to have one with others. Do some digging and excavating. If there are things you know that need changing then change them! It is never too late to have a great self-relationship and enhance your relationship with others around you! You might even find yourself attracting new friendships, new people, and new opportunities into your life. Don’t take yourself for granted. You guide your own ship. Do it with honesty and with self-revelation!
For a very long time, I was a seeker of peace. After all, peace is what I was taught to pursue. To me, having peace meant happiness. Even more profound, having peace meant going beyond happiness and into joy. I have come to realize that joy is peace expressed. When inner peace overtakes the soul, we have joy and joy-filled responses to the world around us.
It’s a lot like genuinely being in love; the world can be falling around us, and we don’t care that much. True peace is the same. When we have it, we know it because the world can be in utter crisis, and we still have the expression of peace: joy.
From what I have gathered just by observing my own life, and maybe some others, true peace comes from living in the moment. The moment can be filled with torrential seas and churning emotions. Our answer is to be still during that churning moment. Jesus taught us when the boat begins to rock in the storm, our response is “Peace be still.” Being still in the torrential moment is the answer to peace. I determine to do nothing except breathe for that moment. Each moment passes as they always do. Not one moment can be captured and held.
So, we let that torrential moment pass and allow peace to flood into us and eventually out of us. We will enable the breath of the moment to fill us with tranquil thoughts and, ultimately, peace during our bodies’ surge of uncertainty. Pursuing this type of peace takes practice because we have to override our instincts to react and act. In truth, our actions can wait for the torrential moment to pass on by; and it will.
“Trust and allow” are words that always have echoed into my spirit after a torrential moment has surged up to haunt me, overtake me, or wreck me. The reality is, the world can wait, people can wait, and life’s issues can wait for one sacred moment when peace will expand inside. Let’s make a pact with ourselves to survive the next torrential moment with a breath, with peace, and with dignity. The peace gate might take a few moments or more to open. So our solution is to sit, not to keep our eyes on the storm surge, but to focus on peace entering into us with breath and with life.
This is the body’s medicine for the soul. Breathing in peace and getting into the habit of continually doing this will save a great deal of heartache and allow healing to begin within the wounds that are begging to be exposed and healed. Let’s heal ourselves while there is time on earth. We can do this! It’s not hard. All it takes is the dedication to wanting to live a more peaceful, serene, and joy-filled life!
Remember, you influence the rest of the world around you. Being in peace and having joy-filled responses will heal you and heal those you influence.
I’ve often discussed we are like transmitters that send out information over the spiritual airwaves. In the same respect, we are also like mirrors who show others a good look at themselves when they look at us. We can shine back at someone and show their light or respond when they lash out and show them their wounds. We come together for this purpose. Couples mirror one another often. When one does or says something mean to the other, their injury is imposing on the other.
Most of the time, the unhealed are tempted to take someone’s lashing out personally. It can be, but honestly, it is not. People always spill out their wounds onto others. Or they will help us process our own when we choose to react instead of search our hearts to find where we need to heal. An individual can always know when they heal internal wounds when nothing seems to affect them much anymore. Don’t mistake this for the hardness of heart. It is more like a coming of age from the inside out. It is a transformation that reveals we have grown, healed, and are happy within ourselves.
When growth is being tempted during these moments, remember we have the roots of unholy messes all bottled up inside of us. Many of us don’t even realize it because we are too busy blaming someone else. Life begs us to take a good look at ourselves. It is our responsibility to heal from the inside out and is for our own sake.
Realize we all have “stuff.” There are no exceptions. If you spend less time trying to judge others, feeling hurt by others, and getting angry, you will have time to settle into yourself and discover where you need to heal. Bringing out those issues can come either willingly, or God will send a messenger that you attract to help do that for you! You can choose either one way or the other.
If you want good relationships, start one with yourself. Learn to love yourself enough to heal. Learn to accept you have flaws like everyone else and work on your wounds. You will know you have completed the work to heal when people don’t seem to rub you the wrong way any longer. When your injuries no longer affect you, your responses will no longer bring you anxiety or anger. You will finally have come to yourself and stepped into your power!
If you have ever known me, or have been connected to me, you know how much I love my work. There is nothing more amazing to me than to be trusted enough to be allowed into another person’s heart and life. I count it an honor to be held in confidence. At times it has been to such a level, I have been told things that my clients have never revealed to another single soul.
There is nothing quite as satisfying to me than to know I have left a conversation and my client has had an “aha” moment, or has felt a great load being lifted from their shoulders. Yet, there have been those from time to time who have either come right out and told me I had not helped them at all. Or there have been those who have just quietly distanced themselves from me. In those cases I would get off the phone or go home feeling tied up in knots wondering what I could have done better. I took it hard and usually put all of the load on myself.
Comforting myself, I would reason that I am not perfect, and don’t know all of the answers. While this is true, there had been one piece of the puzzle I had not considered, “I can not assist anyone who does not love themselves enough to realize they need to make their own changes”. I can facilitate, but I can’t change anyone. Change comes from the inside out. One element that has to always be there is self love.
The amazing thing, is the most difficult clients revealed to me my own lack of self confidence and self love. Everyone is a mirror to us no matter what the role we play in one another’s lives. Literally, my rejecting clients expected me to fix them and I strained within myself thinking that it was my job.
Learning the lesson about fixing my own self, loving myself, and being confident within myself, has been a hard one. I’ve had to weed through all of the junk that led me to “people please” and allow others to judge me, or compromise my sense of self worth. Bottom line, we are all a work in progress. With my progression, I discovered it has been alright to walk away from those who dishonored me, because I could honor myself. It’s easier said than done.
This is the reality; no one changes without having to do the work and without finding self love first. Without self love we only live in the reflection of those who want us to conform to their image. I take a deep breath and relax when I remember that the only image I need to conform to is God’s. Even then, it is not God outside of me but God who is a part of my being. The power of love is in our own DNA. I had to get a grasp of this completely, or I would always feel like I would fall short.
It’s work, but when done right everything shifts in the right direction. People leave because they become insulted, irritated, or offended. I’ve learned to let them go. The payoff is others will appear. It’s like a miracle of life. Those that appear are the ones who are ready for what I have to offer and always give me the gift of appreciation in return.
This is the pleasure of life. Walking in the Light of love is always the greatest feeling in the world. Sometimes I forget, like I suddenly have some sort of amnesia. Spirit always draws me back to where I need to be. Sometimes this happens with a struggle but when I turn to the greatest love ever, I always remember.
So, with all of this said; the greatest work I have ever achieved was to love myself the way God does. When this happens everything falls into place. Resistance never allows miracles to happen. Self doubt and struggle will never bring balance or miracles. Yes, my clients have taught me the road to least resistance. The responsibility has always been their own. Mine is to be there, to listen, to interject wisdom when wisdom comes, and to smile at the end of the day.
A job well done always comes with a life well loved.
I entitled this blog post the way it is because I was thinking about choices this morning. My meditative practice was harder than usual because I had so many things swirling around in my brain. As it settled, some interesting thoughts came to me. Even though I don’t believe anyone should live in the past, I do believe the past has lessons we can still learn and sometimes those lessons even define who we eventually are.
A long time ago I worked for a commercial bank called Bay Bank of Commerce in San Leandro, CA. I think the years were somewhere around 1982. I was a single mother with one small son at the time. I loved that bank. I loved the way I was treated by those who founded it and those who appreciated me as a young professional. I have to thank the CEO and founder @DickKahler for the opportunity I was given. I was only there maybe close to 2 years, and worked in the commercial real estate loan processing department. Unfortunately, one person who worked above me gave me a very difficult time during a pregnancy that was pretty delicate. After some careful consideration I had to quit my job there.
No way had that move ever reflected on the wonderful way that commercial bank was built or how business was executed. I knew I had the finest of the best in the business. Yet, I had to stand up for myself due to one person’s treatment. I was a pretty shy and very unassuming person at the time. I have to say, quitting without another job to hang onto was not an easy prospect. It really took a lot of faith. Actually, it built my faith.
I went on to build a family, was married and then divorced. For many years I raised five children on my own with no real help from anyone. After consulting with a superior court family judge, I decided to educate myself. Her advice was straight on for me. Judge Chew, wherever you are, I LOVE YOU! I started at the community college level but that was only the beginning. My education took me to places I never thought I would be.
I was accepted by a pilot program through Stanford University in California. I studied with students from various places on the globe. I did some of my trans-personal/spiritual internship at Mt Madonna, CA. I graduated with a liberal arts degree with emphasis on psychology and human behavior through Southern New Hampshire University. I have three degrees in theological study leading to a Master’s from Grand Canyon University along with 3 years of Clinical Psychology study, and a Doctorate from the University of Sedona. I am excited to have studied in classes conducted by Harvard University. I also have learned from some wonderful spiritual, philosophical teachers from Daytona Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami, Florida. Much of my study led to certifications in Life Coaching, Trans-personal Counseling, Holistic Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Yes, I have a lot of education!
I was surprisingly privileged to conduct a class, a church service, and speak before some of our country’s leaders during one of the dedication moments near Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. I was honored to be the Pastor of two small group churches, speak in local places of worship, and now I meet the most amazing people on earth that I call “my clients.”
My major point here is that one move to step into my own personal power, along with the power of God, created who I am today. I am assertive in ways I never would have been had it not occurred. It might seem simple and small, but it created a domino affect of so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. In fact, it changed my life. Over the course of time I have made good decisions and not so good. Fact remains that one step of empowerment made all of the difference in the world.
Don’t ever underestimate your own power to make decisions that could define the rest of your life. Step into it. Yes, you might step into some thick mud but lotus flowers bloom in thick mud, and so can you!
Truth: Everyone, I mean, EVERYONE has good things about them and not so great things. We all struggle with the SAME condition. It’s called being HUMAN. If this were not true we could all pack up and just go home. Our mission would be done. But, our mission is not done. We are not perfect, and we are not ready for the purity of our spiritual home yet. As much as we would love to always walk in spiritual practice, see with spirit eyes, and love one another the same, it is not complete in us as of yet.
I am stating this truth because I have another point to make here. Since we are all flying on the same worldly aircraft here, we all struggle to get things right in our lives. We make mistakes. We are human beings. The odd thing about how we see people is we see them how we choose to see them. They are actually a reflection of ourselves. So for instance if Suzy is a great cook but horrible at sewing, don’t criticize her for her sewing flaw just because you are great at it. You might be a lousy cook! Do you get my point here?
If you look at someone and ONLY see their flaws it is YOUR flaw that is showing. That is why Jesus advised to take the log out of your own eye before you judge the speck in someone else’s. A person in our lives is a reflection of how or what WE choose to see. The other way around, if there is someone you look at and only see the good things about them, it’s a great thing! You are looking at them with love and positivity. But, be careful with this one too! You can get yourself in one hot mess not being honest about another person’s character.
Here is my advice. Be honest about YOUR character. How are YOU doing? Life in any respect is always a reflection of how you choose to see it and who you are from the inside out. If two people are looking out over a body of water at sunset, one might see the pollution in the water while the other might see the beauty of the sunlight reflecting off the water. One will think its ugly, the other will think its breathtaking! If you only see toxic water and not a glorious sunset with brilliant colors then maybe it’s YOU who needs to adjust your view.
Every human being has the key that unlocks the truth about themselves. Often its hard enough figuring out what those truths are let alone what someone else’s are. Unless we are mind readers, the personal thoughts, feelings, and ponderings of another individual are their own. They are not known unless or until they reveal them.
When we assume we know what another is thinking it is not truth about them. Only they hold their own truth. Our thoughts about others come from our own thoughts unless they have expressed them to us personally. For example, we can not determine if we have hurt someone or not. Another person’s feelings belong to them, and only they know what they are and why. Or, we also can not determine what another person’s possible actions are. We won’t know them until they actually act.
We all do this. We assume we know instead of ask. I’m not sure why its so hard to ask but often it is. Maybe we don’t want to know the answer so we create one. Either way, the thoughts we manufacture about another person come from our own personal experience and thoughts. We might have experienced a lot of reasons to mistrust, so we can not trust others easily but often assume they will leave us. Or we might not have a good self image so we believe others think we are unattractive.
No one can live in the reflection of another’s thoughts or actions even when we feel we know them well. Someone often told me, “We never know what others are thinking.” This is absolutely true. Unless they tell us, we don’t know. Sometimes we assume others don’t like us but in reality they might just be too shy or overwhelmed to get to know us. Assuming can bring us a lot of pain but discovering where that pain comes from can help us walk in true reality and not what we think it is.
Let me give you examples of some personal things I have observed that others assume about me.
It is often assumed if I post something on my blog or in social media it reflects what is going on in my personal life or with me as an individual. This is not always true. In fact, it is rarely true. It’s usually about what I have observed in someone else or in the character of people in general.
A great deal of the time it is assumed if I am put together, dressed well, make up on, that I am doing completely alright. This is not true at all. I was raised by example from women in my family that we put ourselves together daily. Its almost a matter of habit for me now. I put myself together with full make up, did my hair etc while I was in labor with all of my children before I went to the hospital! My outer exterior is not always a reflection of how I feel. In order to know, someone has to ask me, or they simply don’t know.
Here is a huge one. Since I was a Pastor in my past, it is often assumed that my relationship with God has slipped because my doctorate is in Transpersonal Psychology, I provide hypnotherapy and alternative healing. Actually, I have been working on these things for many years. In fact I began my first psychology degree in 1996. I went to a community college for 2 years and then a 4 year university after that. Life has been a process for me, but my relationship with God is stronger being who I am meant to be than being in a role that was truly not the right fit for me. It is a position I was placed in after my graduation from seminary. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. In fact it was one of the more precious joys of my life. My personal devotion time is more private than it used to be but it is deeper than it used to be as well.
These are just some things I can personally relay that might bring this point to light. In fact, being a light in the darkness is something I learned from my Father, my Creator, my God. How cool is that? The things I mentioned above regarding myself are reflections of what others think and not what is reality for me. For those who have wondered, now you know!
Expectations from others are hard to keep up with. Everyone has a different opinion of who or what we might be. This is hard for those who are people pleasing types. It can cause our thoughts to go one way, and then the next, creating a great deal of confusion on our life’s journey. What is really happening when people place expectations upon you is, they are wanting you to live or think the way they do. The problem with this is we don’t always agree with each other.
When someone expects something of us or for us to be a certain way, they are looking outside of themselves inside of inside. We get into a mess when trying to control our outer environment, especially people. When we accept their expectation and change then that person has controlled us and who we are. They are also empowered in a way they should not be. No one should determine who or what we are.
The hard thing is most people want to please others or make them happy. So, we end up adjusting to their desires so we can see that happen. This does not serve anyone. What does serve us is to be just exactly who and what we are with all the bumps, scars, and bruises that we have obtained along the way. Our lives might not be perfect, but they are still ours to be in command of.
To keep from adhering to other’s expectations, take an inventory of what you want in your life and who you truly want to be. If any of the things you come up with are different than what others expect, then set your intention to be empowered as to what you desire and not swayed by other’s ideas. We were all made unique and imperfect. We are meant to be that way. Don’t try to live up to someone’s sense of perfection. We can’t do it anyway, so why try?
Be who you are. Right now. Take the step and take that inventory. If you need help discovering and going over what that might be, then book a session with me! I would love to help you escape the habit of adhering to other people’s expectations. We are not clones of each other. Can you believe that you can be anything you want or desire to be? If you can’t answer this question as a yes, then it is time to talk and get straight with yourself on your life plan, who you are, and what you truly want out of life. We need to make it solid, so you won’t be swayed! I can help you do this if you are open to accepting assistance with it! If not me, then choose someone to be accountable to! You will thank yourself in the days and years to come. Riding someone else’s horseless carriage will never get you where you want to go. Only your own vehicle can do that!
Whitney Houston came out with a new song back in the early 80’s called “The Greatest Love of All”. I needed that song so much. There is no lonelier place to be than in a relationship alone. That was what I had. Every day was empty, hurtful, and alone. I am not one to cheat or find attention elsewhere, so I suffered alone.
What Whitney says in her song is true; children are our future. The way they are guided in the beginning is the way they will guide their lives later. I took care of myself every single day of every part of my life. It made no difference who was there or not there. My life depended on God and myself. It was good training for what was ahead. Or, maybe what unfolded ahead was because of how I was trained; to be independent.
Over the years it started to become very easy to walk away from anyone who left me empty, because I learned to fill myself. I always thought it was because I was weak, or that I have been a runner, leaving behind whatever did not nurture me. Now I have realized it has not been the case at all. It takes a lot of strength to need to nurture one’s self because those around us forgot we are someone who should be cared for. Maybe they got too caught up in themselves? I guess that could be the case.
Regardless to the issue or circumstance, the lesson has always been the same. I had to learn to depend on myself, so that is what I do. I always know when the need arises because the emptiness comes and tells my heart like a deep ache that won’t go away. It means it’s time to take care of myself because no one else can do it for me.
One of the reasons I have always performed marriages is because I get to be a part of the happiest day of a couple’s life. They always have so much love and promise in their eyes. It is the witness of two lives becoming one. I always remind them they are individuals first before they are one in marriage. It’s a reminder that has had to sink deeply into my heart. It still is rooted right where it was from the beginning.
The song says, “Everyone is searching for a hero, everyone needs someone to look up to, I never found anyone to fulfill my need. A lonely place to be, so I learned to depend on me.” My hero was always Jesus, the one who I watched in those black and white movies long ago, whose love never would fail anyone. There is more though. I had to learn that depending on myself and loving myself enough is one of the greatest things I could ever do in my life. I pledged to never walk in the shadows of anyone else. It sounds strong, and I guess it is, but more than that it has been necessary.
The greatest love of all that Whitney speaks of is the love inside of herself. I can close my eyes and see, feel, and know that inner temple inside. It exists because over a lifetime I have had to build the “temple”. Now it has become my refuge; a place to go when nothing else in life makes any sense. I go there daily and even more profoundly when things hurt the most and life is the hardest or loneliest.
I not only discovered long ago to not walk in someone’s shadow, but that I have a place to run to that is not always physical. It’s a place where God resides and I can go there any time I want. All of the guidance and comfort is there. It is filled with deep self love, admiration, strength, and healing for the heartache along the way. Today, it’s my refuge and my strength. Even when the deepest tears could fill an ocean, it is the greatest place to find peace in the storm. The greatest love of all is God’s inside of me. No need to look for God “wherever”. God is right here, in the depth of my soul and guides me from that place. Love is there when love is nowhere else. Healing is there when healing seems to not come in any other way.
Bottom line, we are not each others healer. We are our own; tears and all. Living life includes overcoming the hard parts as much as it is celebrating the victories. Sometimes the hard parts water a garden deep inside that will someday lead to new blossoms, new decisions, and new growth. Growth is always hard, and often lonely. It’s often a dark time. I’m thankful that God created a universe with a sun that everything revolves around. In the same respect God built one inside of us with a sonship that everything revolves around as well. It is in that “sonship”, or fellowship, I find my peace. Even when the only peace that can be found are tears from heartache. Eventually a garden will grow out of that watering and all will be new again.