I decide to open up to a fellow holistic therapist about how I’m feeling. I tell her that nothing necessarily bad is happening to cause this feeling but that I sense its heaviness.
I’m choosing to carry it around and I’m not letting it go. I admit that I’m afraid, which makes me want to close down and not care in order to protect myself.
My friend instructs me to close my eyes and really get into the feeling of being scared. She tells me to allow it to grow and expand and fill my body.
I feel an energy in my chest and my stomach. It feels like fear then anger and then I relax. I open my eyes and relay this to her.
She asks if there’s any bad feeling left. I tell her there is. Sadness and grief. So I’m told to repeat the process of feeling and allowing the sadness.
I see the little girl inside of me. I feel what she’s feeling. But there’s a resistance within me. I don’t particularly want to go there now. Been there, done that.
Despite my current resistance, this year I’ve been loving myself more. When I feel bad, I remember not to reject myself. Because of this major personal breakthrough, I know that I’ll be okay.
My friend tells me that I’m repeating an old pattern. There really is nothing to be afraid of. I need to face my fear so that I can see that it’s just an illusion.
I already feel much better. This makes so much sense. I usually resist these bad feelings, fearing that they will control my life and affect how I behave, react and relate to others.
My friend reminds me that this is where my resistance lies. I don’t want these feelings. I’m trying to avoid certain behaviours. And I’m fearing the worst possible outcome.
“Stop resisting,” my friend insists.
“Allow the feeling to take you over. That will create a shift. A letting go. Which will open you up in wonderful ways.
Open your heart. Allow yourself to be hurt. And the funny thing is, you won’t be hurt. Because the real you can never be destroyed.”
She predicts that letting go of resistance and allowing the feelings to take me over will change everything. I won’t have to worry about what might happen, how I may react or the many ways I could self-destruct.
She also warns that just because I’ve now stopped pushing against the swing of resistance doesn’t mean that it will immediately cease moving.
“Once you stop pushing the swing, it will continue to move back and forth for a while. But it will be less forceful and it will gradually swing less and less,” she smiles.
I leave my friend’s house with an unfamiliar feeling in my chest. Is it pain? Discomfort?
I allow the feeling to grow and expand until I realise what it is. My heart is open. And that’s okay.
Posted in Love, Personal development, Spirituality
Tagged abandonment, acceptance, anger, behaviour, body, chakras, change, control, discomfort, emotion, expansion, fear, feelings, force, grief, growth, healing, health, heartbreak, holistic therapist, hurt, illusion, inner child, letting go, life, living, love, mind, mindfulness, open heart, openness, pain, past, patterns, personal development, personal growth, power, presence, present, reaction, rejection, relationships, relaxation, relief, resistance, romance, sadness, self-destruction, self-love, sharing, shift, soul, spirit, thoughts, worry
I enter my friend’s bedroom in search of a particular book. I know what the book looks like and it isn’t here. My friend comes in and finds it instantly.
It has been lying, face down, on her bedside locker. I had been looking for the green front cover that was so familiar to me so I hadn’t recognised its white back cover.
We muse over this. When I’m searching for something, I presume to know how it should look. So I’m not open to seeing it when it appears in a different form.
A while later, I want to read up on something else. My friend informs me that the book I need should be in the bookcase in the hall. I methodically scan the books on the shelves. My internal dialogue revs up.
The book is probably right here but you can’t even see it. You’re so unobservant. In your line of work, you should be more astute. And you’re a writer. Come on, Sharon. Find the book!
I give up. My friend suggests that the book could be on her bedside locker. I open the door, turn to the left and bend towards the locker. I am so focused on my task that I don’t notice what’s right in front of me. An entire human being!
My friend’s 18-year-old son stands facing me, with a small towel wrapped around his waist. I straighten immediately, tell him how sorry I am, and flee the room. My friend and I collapse with laughter when I describe what’s just happened.
I have been berating myself for not seeing what’s right in front of me. So it takes something big (a scantily clad human being) to show me the humour in it all. I can enjoy the moment and laugh at myself.
Last week, I started a course. On the first night, I was surprised at how quickly everybody opened up to one another. My fellow classmates were great speakers and excellent storytellers. I remained silent and listened with interest.
We broke for tea. Everyone continued chatting. I still hadn’t spoken. I noticed people looking at me curiously.
And I was okay with that. I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me. I understood that sometimes it takes me a little longer to feel comfortable around strangers.
Towards the end of the evening, I spoke up. I hadn’t rushed myself. This was the right time for me.
It may have taken me thirty-four years but I now accept myself for all of my strengths, struggles and idiosyncrasies. I accept my introverted tendencies. I accept the ditzy part of myself. I accept my inner critic.
And I accept that sometimes I’m so lost in thought that I don’t notice what’s right in front of me. Even if it is a half-naked man.
Posted in Personal development
Tagged acceptance, appearances, awareness, blindness, books, development, form, friendship, giving up, growth, gullible, humour, idiosyncrasies, illusion, inner critic, introvert, laughter, naive, negative thinking, openness, perception, presence, reading, searching, seeing, self-acceptance, self-analysis, self-awareness, self-love, strengths, struggle, teasing, thinking, thoughts, vision, work, writer
Something happened this week that left me feeling extremely vulnerable. Instead of acknowledging my reaction, I ignored it and hoped it would disappear all by itself.
This morning, I set off on a fairly long journey. I switch on the radio to distract myself from how I’m feeling. Just as I turn up the volume, I miss my exit. I want to cry. But that won’t do. I’m wearing mascara.
I know that my upset isn’t really about getting lost on the motorway. It’s about the vulnerability that I’m trying to suppress. Issues around love, rejection and self-worth are simmering beneath the surface.
I want to be strong and independent. But now that I’m well and truly lost in a foreign part of the country, I realise that a lot of that is fake. I’m putting up walls in an attempt to protect myself. Act like you don’t care, Sharon. Then you can’t be hurt.
Where’s the logic in that? Is anybody benefitting from this performance? I think not. And I know it’s not real. So of course I can still feel pain. I’m just hiding it from others. And while I’m feigning nonchalance, I’m disconnecting from the full potential of the present experience.
I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. I allow the tears to roll down my cheeks. I give myself permission to feel the fear, to embrace it, to listen to its voice, and to open up to what is.
As I drive into unfamiliar territory, I spot a lone tree in a large green field. I feel an irrational kind of sadness for this solitary tree.
But who’s to say the tree is on its own? Is the tree separate from its roots and leaves and branches? Is the grass beneath it a part of it too? And the air that caresses its limbs? Where does the tree begin and does it ever end?
In The Infinite Way, Joel S. Goldsmith writes:
“The wave is one with the ocean, indivisible and inseparable from the whole ocean. All that the ocean is, the wave is; and all the power, all the energy, all the strength, the life and all the substance of the ocean are expressed in every wave. The wave has access to all that lies beneath it, for the wave really is the ocean, just as the ocean is the wave, inseparable, indivisible, one. Note here this very important point: There is no place where one wave comes to an end and the next wave begins, so the oneness of the wave with the ocean includes the oneness of every wave with every other wave.”
If there is no separation, there can be no rejection. It is only my thinking about abandonment that causes suffering. In my resistance to what is, I’m floundering.
I let go. It doesn’t matter what happens. And what has already occurred is perfect too. I surrender.
A sense of calm settles around me like a blanket of sunbeams. I feel cleansed. I really am okay. I’m whole and open and connected.
I take a chance on an unknown direction and it brings me to where I’m meant to be.
Posted in Personal development, Spirituality, Uncategorized
Tagged abandonment, acceptance, acting, beliefs, belonging, calm, connection, control, emotion, experience, fear, feelings, future, healing, humanity, hurt, illusion, independence, irrational, joel s goldsmith, journey, letting go, life, living, logic, lost, love, openness, pain, past, peace, perfection, presence, present, pretending, reality, rejection, relationships, resistance, sadness, self-love, self-protection, self-worth, separation, strength, surrender, the infinite way, thinking, thoughts, unfamiliar, unknown, upset, vulnerability
It has just struck me how I’ve been struggling for as long as I can remember to be perfect. I want to look perfect. I have to do everything perfectly. I’d love to be in the perfect relationship. I need to feel perfect.
But what is perfect? Who decides what perfect looks like? What’s perfect to me might not be perfect to you and vice versa.
As Don Miguel Ruiz demonstrates in his brilliant book The Four Agreements, we, as a society, have made certain agreements. Agreements on how things should be. And if any of us stray away from these agreements, if one of us dares to be different, there are consequences.
We fear being ostracised, disapproved of, and rejected. So we attempt to bundle the enormity of our spirit into a perfectly suffocating box.
And the most unbelievable part is that these agreements were probably decided before we were even born or at least before we had the sense and intelligence to realise what we were signing up for.
We were given a name and instructed how to behave, how to look, what to do, and how to be. And if we moved away from any of those specifications, we were shown, directly, or worse, indirectly – through withdrawal of love and affection – that to be unique was not okay.
Well hey, I’ve got some liberating news to share. It is okay to be yourself. It’s more than okay. The world needs free spirits, different thinkers and adventurous trailblazers. Let’s tear up those obsolete agreements and allow our individual lights to shine.
I am no longer going to strive for perfection because it doesn’t exist. Perfection is an illusion that I blindly agreed to pursue. But now that I can see clearly, I am choosing to disagree. Who’s with me?
Posted in Modern Society, Personal development, Spirituality
Tagged agreements, approval, body image, criticism, disapproval, don miguel ruiz, illusion, individuality, insight, judgements, life, light, love, maya, perfection, perfectionism, reality, rejection, relationships, self-esteem, self-hatred, self-love, soul, spirit, the four agreements, thinking, toltec, trailblazing