Whenever people talk about how they feel about any subject, it always comes down to one thing — OPBS (other people’s bulls**t). I always say that how we deal with our own bullshit determines how we perceive other people’s bullshit. I have written a few blogs about this subject and have given many workshops on ways to deal with both our own emotional baggage and the drama brought to us by others. At the core of my teaching is the understanding that the talk in our heads determines everything in our lives. It determines who we associate with, how we communicate, how well we work with others, how destructive we are, what careers we choose, how we spend our money and a million other things.
I think the most valuable thing you can teach children is to love and respect themselves, but you cannot teach what you do not know, just as you cannot give what you do not have. Most adults simply don’t have the resources or the skills. We all have areas in our lives that run smoothly for the most part, but there is always something that crops up that serves to remind us of where our thinking is broken. Most people go through life without ever trying to mend their broken thinking. They remain unaware or unwilling to change, holding others responsible for their own happiness. Why on earth would you expect someone else to be responsible for how you feel? Your feelings are your own.
There are no broken people. There is just broken thinking.
If someone said something that offended you, they may have been a little too blunt and insensitive, but the only thing that causes anyone to actually be offended is the perception that the other person was ill-intentioned. Now, how do you know what anyone’s intentions are if you cannot read their minds? Sorry, you don’t just know. You cannot know. It is the talk in your head that told you to be insulted. That inner dialogue said you were being chastised, made fun of, bullied, or whatever. When your inner story is a positive one, when you feel really good about who you are, you can do a reality check rather quickly and easily. The truth is, insults are never personal. They are always about perception; both your perception of who you are and the aggressor’s perception about who he/she is. People who feel good about themselves, don’t ever need to attack anyone, and they are never deeply bothered by things other people say or do. It’s really as simple as that.
So, how do we gain more self-love and self-acceptance?
Being uncomfortable is part of our human learning and creative experience. Sometimes our discomfort is emotional, sometimes it is physical.
Understand that discomfort is the hallmark of our humanity. Discomfort serves us as long as we are open to leveraging its power. We, humans, create through our emotions and experiences. Throughout all of time, humans have faced difficulties, leveraged difficulty to create a desire for something different and then came up with a solution. Then that solution gave rise to another problem which launched another desire, etc. That’s how we are wired. For example, one of the earliest difficulties in human history gave rise to the creation of fire for warmth, since then, difficulties have caused us to create a gazillion things to make our lives what they are today. Being uncomfortable is part of our human learning and creative experience. Sometimes our discomfort is emotional, sometimes it is physical. It really doesn’t matter what kind of discomfort we are in. It always serves as a place to jump into some sort of expansion, be it intellectual, physical, spiritual or emotional. We can either choose to grow and expand positively or not. That is our nature, so don’t beat yourself up over being in an uncomfortable place. Use it to gain clarity about what you want and what you need to do to get it.
Learn to appreciate your quirks. Banality isn’t really anyone’s style. It is the by-product of trying to eliminate growth opportunities by maintaining the status quo. It is what happens when people focus on what others will think or say about them as opposed to allowing themselves to be the full creative geniuses they really are. People who are unwilling to challenge themselves are not happy people. I daresay they are unhappy because they are defying their true human nature. The degree to which you fit in is really only an indication of your willingness to be like others. Quirky people who don’t care what others think get called geniuses and change the world. I have to tell you, we are all geniuses, baby! Unfortunately, we don’t all recognize the existence of our inner genius because most people expect us to stifle it.
You can never stop being you. Your spirituality embodies the higher qualities of love, joy and well-being.
Stop defining yourself by external factors. You are not your education, your job, your heritage, your upbringing, your past experiences, your mistakes, your marital status or any of the things that make you want to get up in the morning or jump off a bridge. You are a spiritual being with no beginning and no end. Your physicality had a beginning and will have an end, but your essence is energetic and is eternal. You can never stop being you. Your spirituality embodies the higher qualities of love, joy and well-being. That is the essence of who you are. You are a spiritual being who set out on a journey to create in this physical world and you are part of the natural expansion of the universe. Our world expands every moment and we are all a part of that perfection. Every thought, every idea, every action contributes to the greater expansion. You are an extension of all creation and you are perfect. There’s nothing better than that.
Decide to love all of who you are, anyway. If you do nothing else, do this. Even if you feel that you are not enough in some way, decide to be okay with who you are and focus solely on your positive attributes. It takes time and dedication to change the talk in your head, especially if you’ve endured years of emotional abuse. I know for sure that it is absolutely possible to do, however. I’ve done it for myself and I do it with my clients all the time.
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