Healing takes a lot of hard work; moving to self-love

Written by Amie on May 13, 2013 – 1:45 am -

buried who they truly are, what they truly desire, how they truly feel, and possibly negative or traumatic experiences that carry guilt and/or shame.

Changing your pattern to self-love will take work. But coming to a place of self-love will be the best reward you can ever imagine! Trust me when I say I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and stuck. And please trust me when I say, we are meant to love ourselves. I believe this with every ounce of my being. Does that mean our lives should be without heartache or difficulties or grief? Absolutely not. We will have all of these experiences because we are human and because we desire love and connection with other humans. But if we are in an emotionally healthy place, these experiences may be difficult, but we will be able to see them in a much different light than we do if we are in a place of self-hate. When a person is in a deep place of self hate, they may act out in all sorts of unhealthy ways. For example, one might lie about a situation in order to protect themselves emotionally rather than choose to be vulnerable and admit how they hurt someone they love. One may choose to overeat, or drink too much alcohol, etc., in order to try to block out feelings of self-hatred/guilt/shame.  Sometimes it is difficult to “see” this in a person who appears to have it all together. Most people have learned to have two (or more) personalities. One is the personality they display when they do not wish to be authentic, honest, etc. (in protection mode, or denial) The other is their “true” self, which mostly gets lost or buried until a person is able to love themselves, or desire a more authentic way of being. Depression comes when a person is completely hiding their true self, in an attempt to protect themselves emotionally.  They have buried who they truly are, what they truly desire, how they truly feel, and possibly negative or traumatic experiences that carry guilt and/or shame.

people who can be unkind to a loved one but then turn around two seconds later and be kind

I want to write about how to begin the journey to self-love and self-compassion. Have you met people who can be unkind to a loved one but then turn around two seconds later and be kind to a complete stranger? I have. And I am sure I have been guilty of this myself somewhere along the way. This is the example I will use to help you begin your journey to self love and self compassion. Even though the actions of being kind to that stranger aren’t authentic, I want to ask you, don’t you at least deserve the effort you gave them? I witnessed a mother (I assume she was the girl’s mother) in a store the other day who was with her  approximately 8 year old daughter. The young girl was looking at cards and would come to her mother to ask, “is this a good one”? It was very clear from watching, that the young girl wanted to pick the “perfect” card for whomever it was she was buying the card. It was obviously very important to her to pick a special card. The mother’s response was, “Just pick a fuc*ing” card”. I was shocked, and sad, and I wanted to go to the girl and tell her “I see you trying to pick the perfect card, I see it is so important for you to choose the most special one.” But I didn’t.  The woman passed me after being so unkind to her daughter, and she very politely said, “excuse me”, and even smiled at me! I don’t want to pass judgement here, because maybe this woman had a terrible day and this isn’t how she usually speaks to her sweet daughter. I truly hope this is the case.  If this isn’t the case, then I hope this woman will eventually come to a place of loving herself so she and her daughter can have an emotionally healthy relationship. So, how does this relate to what I am talking about?

Little Girl Holding Kitten

 in the moment

Well, my guess is that this woman’s outburst to her child is also her own inner voice. The one she uses to beat herself up with. It is difficult for a person who dislikes themselves to see a young  beautifully innocent young girl who is in the moment, happily picking out a special card (or whatever the situation may be). It “triggers” something inside them that if they don’t take the time to figure out why it triggers them, they will continue beating themselves up. The other important thing to notice is if this young girl starts taking in this negativity; the unresolved emotions, the  negative talk from her mother, she too, may begin the process of self hate. This is not always the case. There are some people who seem to be able to hear this negativity and separate it from themselves. They somehow realize even from a young age that these negative interactions are not personal. Unfortunately, many people take on this negativity as if they deserve to be treated unkindly. When frequent situations such as this happen, a person may develop a very harsh inner voice. I just wanted to mention this, because it helped me begin to understand how my own harsh inner voice began. I could *feel* the person’s emotions (energy) if it was negative, even if they were saying something to me that they wanted to sound “positive”. I *felt* them rather than *heard* their words. Hope that makes sense. It is like someone telling you your beloved pet cat is going to be okay, when in fact, you feel they are lying to you so that they don’t have to tell you the truth. By the way, this behavior is crazy making! It took me years to figure this out. A person claiming to care about me saying one thing to me, but I would feel the complete opposite coming from them.

 If you are able to be nice to a stranger, you *know* people deserve kindness!

To begin the process of being kind, loving, and compassionate to yourself, you must begin to be aware of your thoughts. And then when you notice a negative one, start a dialog with yourself. Be that lady who was polite to me. Even though I felt negative energy from her, she was still able to talk kindly to me. No, it may not feel authentic, but it is a start. And, consider this: you deserve to be treated kindly and with respect and compassion! If you are able to be nice to a stranger, you *know* people deserve kindness! Guess what, you are one of those people who deserve kindness! Most importantly, you deserve kindness from yourself. Try doing this even when it doesn’t feel authentic to you. It most likely won’t feel authentic for awhile. That’s okay. That is to be expected since your inner voice has been so critical for so long! And, your inner critic ISN’T YOU!! That inner voice is an accumulation of those negative voices, thoughts and beliefs stemming from negative experiences (like the little girl I mentioned about) and negative people all throughout the course of your life.

“I am so lazy, why can’t I just clean my room?”

I am a very emotionally sensitive person, so if you are too, it is very likely you have picked up many of these negative experiences. And remember, dysfunctional people pass their dysfunction on to others unless they are working on healing these experiences. So, if you have had unhealthy people in your life at any time (which, let’s face it, who hasn’t?), chances are good that you may have picked up unhealthy thoughts and beliefs about yourself. You can begin right now to change this. If you have a negative thought about yourself, it is absolutely not true. There is a difference between saying to yourself something like, “My room is messy, I would like it cleaned up”, vs. something like, “I am so lazy, why can’t I just clean my room?” BIG difference! The first statement is simply a desire, the second is a harsh self-judgment meant to make a person feel shame. Begin simply by noticing and observing these thoughts going through your mind. Then question them; is this self-judgment, is this a kind voice, whose voice is this? Ask yourself how you would respond to a young child who you happen to over hear speaking to himself with this voice. I’m guessing you would respond with love and kindness and compassion? GIVE the same thing to yourself!

Nurture yourself!

I am going to add more to this post soon, but until then….please think of small ways to begin nurturing yourself. Buy yourself a new pen, go to the library and get a book you have been wanting to read, take a long hot bubble bath, get outside and go for a hike with the soothing trees and birds and crickets, play with your cat or dog, allow yourself to take a nap, play a fun game with a child, light a candle and sit down for 10 minutes and just observe your breath moving in and out of your nose, get a massage, paint, draw, color, work with clay, write in your journal, sing, dance, jump on the bed, do something that makes you feel loved. This is the beginning of loving yourself. Give yourself a big hug and talk to yourself as if you are a small child who still trusts love. You deserve love! You are love! You ARE NOT those negative thoughts you have been living with and believing all these years.

 

 

 

 

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The journey of looking within and learning to accept the capabilities of others

Written by Amie on May 1, 2012 – 10:33 pm -

Healing from the inside out; severe depression and unhappiness

I often wonder why some people decide to begin the journey of looking within themselves and others do not. I know in my case, my motivation was severe depression and pure unhappiness. Resentment, loneliness, and sadness were mixed in there as well. For me, it was a matter of survival. I knew if I didn’t find a way to change the way I was feeling, I may not make it. That’s the truth. The journey of looking within oneself is not easy. Questioning everything you ever thought to be true can be very scary. It can feel as though your whole life is changing and the world as you know it is no longer there. Both of these statements are true. Your world will change, sometimes drastically, and the world as you knew it will no longer be. I suppose this is the reason so many people never even step foot on the road to looking within. What these people will never know then, is that this journey is incredible! Healing from the inside out is the most rewarding experience and, in my opinion, one of the reasons we are here in these physical bodies. I don’t believe we are here to suffer and to feel miserable and angry. I believe we are here to discover the truth we were born with, and to feel infinite amounts of love. I think I am here and you are here, to discover that we *are* love, pure love, and that we are magnificent beings who are all attached to each other by a thread that connects us all.

it is a spiritual process

I know that at the beginning of my journey, I was unaware of  many possibilities and ideas. I had been repressing my feelings(my truth) for so long, I had no idea I was covering my true self up. I never knew to question who I was. Depression took over my life, and my feelings became unbearable. I knew something was very wrong. The way I felt could not possibly be as good as it gets.  I began looking for help. I signed up for a six week healing group for women. It opened my eyes to so many things about myself. It opened my heart in a way I had never experienced. Being with and learning from other women was a huge leap onto the path I continue on today. From this group I found my therapist, who is incredible. I believe she has been integral in my growth because she did and continues to do her own growth work. I believe a therapist can only take us as far along on our path to healing as they have gone on their own path. I believe this is why I went to several therapists before my current one, and left feeling just as bad as when I started! There is so much more to good therapy than just sitting there talking and listening. So much more. It is a spiritual process.

I made the choice to look at myself and to process the resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness, and most importantly, to learn to *feel* my feelings

I have been on this path for quite a few years now. I can honestly say that my depression has been gone for awhile now. I believe this is because I made the choice to look at myself and to process the resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness, and most importantly, to learn to *feel* my feelings. I processed so many emotions that had been stuck inside me. I acknowledged them, felt them, and then let them leave my body. Sometimes they would resurface, sometimes not. If they resurfaced, it meant I didn’t get it all out the first time, and this is okay! Little by little, my depression began to lift. Sometimes it was three steps forward, two steps back. This is part of the process. The habit of repressing your feelings(your truth), is not always simple to change, especially if you have been doing it most of your life. So, the important thing to remember is to be gentle with yourself throughout the process. Even if the voice inside your head is self-hate, keep telling yourself, “I AM LOVE”. Even if that doesn’t feel true YET, keep saying it.

it is simply impossible for your “world” to be the same as it was before you started your journey

Once I started feeling better, I made the assumption that the relationships in my life would stay the same! I know, right? How could that be possible? Unless everyone in your life is also working on their own inner life, and growing along with you, it is simply impossible for your “world” to be the same as it was before you started your journey. So, this is where I had to learn about the capabilities of others. I couldn’t assume that because I was growing and changing, everyone else in my life would as well. This is very far from the truth. I had to learn to accept the fact that we are all on different growth time lines and paths. Our journeys all look different. Even when we end up in the same place, the journey to get there looks very different. Honestly, acknowledging the truth that some people in my life are not always capable(and I don’t mean this in a bad way, it is just where they are) of accepting where I am on my path was a difficult process for me. It was difficult to accept the fact that they are not capable of being emotionally available in a way I need them to be. For the most part, I have accepted this, and I find other ways to fulfill my needs. There are still times when I wish for things to be different. But things are as they are, and that is the truth in this moment. Accepting this truth has not been easy. If we continue to wish for someone to change, we prolong our own suffering. We are fighting against *what is*. I learned to accept what is true in each moment by allowing myself to feel my feelings about that truth. I had to feel the sadness and the disappointment of the truth that some people in my life are not capable right now to give me what I need. I had to feel the anger and the resentment of the truth that they are not able to see who I really am. I also had to let these people know how I was feeling about this fact. Once I was able to feel my truth, and say my truth I was able to get to the place of accepting what is true in this moment.

This is a short video (1:47)  talking about how we all share the same open secret:

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