The Way You Think About Yourself

Screen shot 2011-03-19 at 11_39_28 AM“You can’t hate your way into loving yourself” is a line I came across recently. It stopped me in my tracks because I tried that.. a lot. Boy, did I! My self-loathing was long, pervasive and strong. Too much about me I found fault with for far, far too long.

That habit (and it is a habit) is not completely gone, but greatly diminished today. It took gritting my teeth and fighting my own BS over and over and over. But in time I got better. More acceptance of me just the way I am arrived slowly but surely.

For so long I looked outside me to fix what was in. My #1 way of trying to cure myself was through relationships… many of them. I saw their faults and amplified mine, while diminishing my own. Finding fault repeatedly, even unnecessarily, within a love relationship will eventually either drive the person away or at the least injure the love that is shared.

I had to learn:
1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.
2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad.
3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.
4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.
5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.
6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.
7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.
8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.
9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.
10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness. Shannon L. Alder

In the book “There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate” Cheri Huber wrote “If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…” Why it took so long to see that I will never know.

Today I am grateful to have healthy self-esteem. I don’t get on my own case like I used to. Oh, yes the judge and jury in my head is still there, I just keep them out for recess most of the time. I am very grateful for that learned ability.

The way you think about yourself
determines your reality.
You are not being hurt by the way
people think about you.
Many of those people are
a reflection of how
you think about yourself.
Shannon L. Alder

Posted in Embracing life, Lessons learned the hard way, Self Awareness | Tagged , ,

You Have to….

life Hero-Image-LifeSciences-General

Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken,
or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Edrich “The Painted Drum”

Posted in Lessons learned the hard way, Life, Life as it really is | Tagged , ,

Principles

principles

Obey the principles
without being bound by them.
Bruce Lee

Posted in Seeing 'what is', What really matters, Wisdom | Tagged , ,

The Fault Lies Within Yourself

something to be thankful for

If you look at your life and compare it to most others, you would find it hard to even begin to complain. I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no. I think that a lot of people give themselves way too many things to worry about when half of those worries really shouldn’t matter at all. Sometimes, the answer will be yes, and this helps you to understand that whatever it is you’re upset about is clearly important and deserves to be well thought through. Yes, we get upset, but taking a step back and looking at a problem on a bigger scale can help you realize that there are only a few things that really do matter. From an article by Shelby Doherty http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shelby-doherty/life-lessons_b_3758774.html

When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh

Posted in Perspective, Thankfulness, What really matters | Tagged , ,

Over and Over

darkness_to_light_1600x1200

lessons

Posted in Spirituality, What really matters, Wisdom | Tagged , ,

Truer than True

dr-seuss

I’m just ME!
I’m not perfect, I’m me.
I’ve made bad decisions and wrong choices, but I’m me.
I’ve said the wrong things; I’ve said the right things, because I’m me.
I don’t like everything I’ve done, but I did it because I’m me.
I’ve loved the wrong people
and trusted the wrong people and I’m still me.
If I had a chance to start again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Why? Because I’m me.
There are a lot of good things about me;
you just need to look past the imperfections to see what’s right.
If you can’t do that then it’s your loss.
I’m the best I can be. I am ME!
unknown

And finally… finally… Being just me is enough. I am so glad and grateful!

I am lovable and each day
it becomes easier for me to love myself.
Vikrant Parsai

Posted in Seeing 'what is', Self Awareness, What really matters | Tagged , ,

In Harmony

faith

Love can’t be seen, only felt.
Trust can’t be proven, only shown.
Hope can’t be located, only permitted.
Happiness can’t be found, only consented to.
Joy can’t be owned, only allowed.
Contentment can’t be captured, only grown.
Gladness,
gratitude,
cheerfulness,
bliss,
enjoyment,
harmony,
delight
and even ecstasy
come only to a person
open enough
to receive the gifts.

Like raindrops, these things arrive only when I stand ready, exposed and open.

Happiness is when what you think,
what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.
Mahatma Gandhi

Posted in Attitude, Embracing life, Good Advice | Tagged , ,

A Letter To My Son on Father’s Day

ORIGINALLY Posted on June 19, 2011

nick

Dear Nick,

Vivid in memory are the emotions I experienced just after you were born. The day after you arrived I wrote in a journal about the joy I felt, the gratefulness within for you being ‘normal” with the proper number of fingers and toes, the awe that filled me for life and the hopes I had for you. I described your birth as “the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed” and also wrote “No child could be more wanted or more loved.” Those thoughts have aged sweeter as time has clicked by.

Frequent have been musings of how I could have been a better Father. Had I not chased with such vigor the emptiness of dysfunctional illusion, success and money I could have been there for you more. There were too many of your games I missed,weekend outings that never were and small events at school that were big happenings for you when my presence was missing. I never did build the treehouse I promised you.

Your Mother and I went our separate ways when you were sixteen which took you hundreds of miles away. One of my deepest regrets is your high school years when seeing you only every couple of months I became a sideline spectator of your life. Yet, as I mature and learn I have come to know regrets past making sure you’re aware of them, have no good purpose.

There are so many wonderful memories I have of your growing up. No child has ever been more curious about the world than you. You never crawled and began to recklessly walk at 7 months old. Such determination you have always had!

In school you did well and had the respect of most of your teachers. You made good friends and some of those relationships are healthy and thriving today. The only time you ever really got in trouble at school was through protecting a friend from a bully. How the game of hockey worked when you started to play at seven was unknown to me, but no father was ever prouder than I was to watch you. The lessons that came at you in college were hard ones, but you learned from your mistakes. I can not begin to express my admiration for your determination and stick-to-it-ness to get the education you wanted.

On this father’s day I hope these borrowed words express clearly to you the feelings of my heart and the wishes of my soul.

Until you have a son of your own… You will never know the joy beyond joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son. You will never know the sense of honor that makes a man want to be more than he is and to pass on something good and useful into the hands of his son. And you will never know the heartbreak of the fathers who are haunted by the personal demons that keep them from being the men they want their sons to see.

We live in a time when it is hard to speak from the heart. Our lives are smothered by a thousand trivialities, and the poetry of our spirits is silenced by the thoughts and cares of daily affairs.

And so, I want to speak to you honestly. I do not have answers. But I do understand the questions. I see you struggling and discovering and striving upward, and I see myself reflected in your eyes and in your days. In some deep and fundamental way, I have been there and I want to share.

I, too, have learned to walk, to run, to fall. I have had a first love. I have known fear and anger and sadness. My heart has been broken and I have known moments when the hand of God seemed to be on my shoulder. I have wept tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

There have been times of darkness when I thought I would never see light again, and there have been times when I wanted to dance and sing and hug every person I met.

I have felt myself emptied into the mystery of the universe, and I have had moments when the smallest slight threw me into rage.

I have carried others when I barely had the strength to walk myself, and I have left others standing by the road with their hands out stretched for help.

Sometimes I feel I have done more than anyone can ask; other times I feel I am a charlatan and a failure. I carry within me the spark of greatness and the darkness of heartless crimes.

In short, I am a man, as are you.

Although you will walk your own earth and move through your own time, the same sun will rise on you that rose on me, and the same reasons will course across your life as moved across mine. We will always be different, but we will always be the same.

This is my attempt to give you the lesson of my life, so that you can use them in yours. They are not meant to make you into me. It is my greatest joy to watch you turn into yourself.

To be your father is the greatest honor I have ever received. It allowed me to touch mystery and to see my love made flesh. If I could but have one wish, it would be for you to pass that love along.

I love you,

Pops

You are my son-shine.
Author Unknown

Posted in Family, Insight, Love | Tagged , ,

Forward…

move forward

Let others lead small lives, but not you.
Let others argue over small things, but not you.
Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.
Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
Jim Rohn

Posted in Future, Good Advice, Insight | Tagged , ,

Simple Wisdom

7-rules-of-life

Sometimes the easiest to understand grains of wisdom are the best. I am glad and grateful to read this as I start my new week!

May you live
every day
of your life.
Jonathan Swift

Posted in Lessons learned the hard way, Self Awareness, Wisdom | Tagged , ,