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I Choose How I Feel

I’ve been such a social butterfly lately – flitting from one outing to the next – that when I finally do get a moment alone, when I do get a chance to sit and be with me, I feel lonely. I feel like I want to pick up the phone and call someone and have them come over even though it’s 10:30 at night. Or I’ll want to immerse myself in reading, watching t.v., browsing the internet. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, or the occasional escapism. What I’m saying though is when it comes to a point where I feel uncomfortable sitting alone in my apartment, that’s a problem.

I don’t feel this way all the time, just sometimes. I love and approve and accept myself but sometimes, when I’m home alone on a Friday night (by my own choice I should add), I feel lonely. The place where I’m coming to is I realize being in the presence of other people won’t solve the problem; it will only mask it for a while. Just like I cannot depend on others to “make” me happy nor do I believe other people can “take away” my loneliness, anymore than they could take away fear or sadness. It’s liberating and also obnoxious to realize I feel what I want to feel. That includes loneliness.

In this moment I feel lonely because I’m choosing to feel lonely. In this moment I’m choosing to lament my single-girl status, my Friday night solitude. In point of fact there are many loved ones in my life. In truth I have plans from now until mid-August. I’m not saying this to brag about how popular I am, but to illustrate how it’s all a matter of perspective. I can choose to continue feeling lonely or I can embrace the times I’m alone. I can choose to feel empty because there’s no one for me to turn to and say, “Sometimes Isla Fisher looks like Alicia Silverstone,” or I can rejoice in this period of rejuvenation. In this blessed time where I get to be with just me, where I get to worry about me alone, where I get to take care of myself without worrying about anyone else. What a gift! What a blessing! I can choose to thank the universe for this period all to myself where I get to be with just me or not.

The truth is I am always connected to the Divine source, even when I feel like I’m not. The truth is God surrounds me at all times and also resides within me. It’s up to me to remember that.

I’m also reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, the founder of the yoga and meditation group I’m a part of:

“Whatever the reason for this vast universe, as long as this universe continues to exist, I am here to love you. The force that guides the stars guides you too: here, into my loving embrace. I am yours.”

When I consider that how can I possibly feel lonely? When I consider the force that created all of existence guides me, loves me, showers me with grace, why would I choose to feel disconnected from it all?

I say right here in this moment I choose to feel gratitude for having this opportunity to nourish myself. I feel grateful I can be alone with me and do the things I wish to do. I choose to recognize loneliness, like the many other emotions I experience, is my choice. That I can choose to feel lonely or not. I say I’d rather feel full and content and complete as I am in this moment. That I’d rather recognize I am surrounded by God’s love at all times. That God’s love pervades me at every moment.

I dream of a world where people recognize they are in charge of their minds. Where they realize it’s ok to feel all their emotions, even the less-than-pleasurable ones. Where they embrace all their feelings and allow themselves to enjoy the full spectrum. Where they recognize even when they’re in solitude they are still steeped in God’s love.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Self-acceptance

I’m coming to realize how important self-acceptance is. I’m written before about accepting God’s timeline, accepting change, etc. but not a lot about accepting myself.

I bring this up because when I love and accept myself the way that I am, my life feels more peaceful, I’m happier and I feel so free. I can concentrate on things other than what’s “wrong” with me.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, there has been a belief within me before I could be loved I had to be perfect. Before I could accept myself I had to do things perfectly, look perfectly, act perfectly, etc. There was a whole lot of negative self-talk going on in my mind. A whole lot of, “Why did you do that?? Why did you say that? What’s wrong with you?!?” And it went even further. I did a lot of physical nit-picking, which unfortunately, is fairly common for women as far as I can tell. There’s a lot of feeling dissatisfied with our body/skin/hair for which we should buy a pill/cream/gel to fix.

Here’s an ad from the magazine lying on my floor: “Take your hair from flat to all-day FABULOUS with TRESemme 24 hour body.” And that’s not even the worse one I could find.

Inherent in TRESemme’s advertising copy is the idea flat hair is bad, undesirable, the opposite of fabulous. “Everyone wants full-bodied hair and now you can have it too with our product!” is the underlying message.

Personally I can say by focusing so much on my “flaws” I’ve been wasting my time and energy. So much of my mind space could be freed up for other things if I didn’t obsess about my physical appearance in a negative way, if I could love and accept myself as I am, right now. What a concept in Western society!

I may have a zit on my chin or frizzy hair but that does not diminish my beauty. I am a divine child of God no matter what. I am beautiful no matter what’s going on externally. My physical ailments are transient, brief flashes in time and space that do not require beauty products from TRESemme.

Last week I wrote about self-worth coming from within and loving myself no matter what happens. This week I can say I love and approve of myself no matter what I look like. I love and approve and accept myself just as I am, right in this moment. And I have that same wish for others.

I dream of a world where we love and approve of ourselves no matter what we’re doing and no matter what we look like. Where we accept our beauty at all times, recognizing our physical ailments are merely expressions of mental patterns that can be changed. (See “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay) Where we recognize the power of our minds to not only affect our lives but our bodies. Where we love ourselves unconditionally as God loves us. Where we accept ourselves for who and what we are, realizing all is inherently right with us. Where we realize our full potential as human beings to manifest the world we wish to see and the people we’d like to become. I dream of a world where the pervading concept is we are beautiful, we are loved, we are perfect just as we are. Where we are bombarded with the message, “There is no one else in the world like you, so cherish yourself as you are, recognizing your good and how wonderful it is you exist.” I dream of a world where we can all walk down the street feeling confident in our skin no matter what we look like, loving ourselves as we deserve to be loved.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Self-worth Comes From Within

Originally I wasn’t going to blog about this but yesterday a friend called me up and we had this very conversation so I figure it might be worth writing about.

Yesterday I realized I’d been wrapping up my self-worth into the success or failure of the nonviolent communication seminar I’m organizing. Unconsciously I felt the outcome of the event would be a reflection of me – of my worth as a person or something. I realized I’d been taking to heart how the event turns out because if the event “fails,” if 10 people don’t show up, it means I’m a failure, that I suck as a person or something. And similarly, if the event goes well it shows how awesome I am.

I’m using the NVC event as an example but substitute doing well on a test, putting out a CD, getting the lead role in a play, etc. The things that feel very personal to us, it’s understandable why we take them to heart. If my book (when I publish it) doesn’t sell, it’s understandable why I’d think it was a reflection of me. It’s understandable why I would spiral down into, “My writing sucks, people hate my book, therefore I suck as a person.” It makes sense but it’s also completely ridiculous.

The outcome of this NVC event/publishing my book/baking cookies/whatever is not a reflection on me. No matter what happens I am still a divine child of God. No matter what happens I still love and approve of myself. No matter what happens my worth remains the same.

This whole thing is a reminder to me about surrender, surrendering the consequences of actions, letting things be what they are. It’s a reminder to me to extricate my self-worth from any outside forces. My worth as an individual comes from me, from who I am, who I’m being. I’m reminded of something my friend Deva said to me. “You’re special not because of what you’re doing, what you accomplish or who you know, but rather who you are.” We are unique because we are expressions of an infinite loving consciousness. We are specific incarnations of God. How many CDs we sell, how many people show up to a seminar, is indicative of nothing other than selling CDs and people showing up at a seminar.

I love and approve of myself no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. From that space everything becomes so much easier. Less dramatic. I can detach myself from what I’m doing because outside forces are just that: outside of me.

I dream of a world where everyone loves and approves of themselves. I dream of a world where we express the artistic messages that come to us but we surrender the consequences. I dream of a world where we engage, inspire, transform but we know no matter what happens our worth remains the same. Where our worth comes from the inside, from who we are. I dream of a world where we float on an ocean of love, treasuring ourselves for the incarnations of God that we are.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Destiny and Free Will

This weekend I got to talking about astrology with a friend of mine. He’s really into it so I asked him to pull up my birth chart. (For those of you who don’t know astrology is more than your horoscope. It’s complex and involves your birthday, birth time and location.) Anyway, he pulled it up and told me some things that really irked me, that really got under my skin.

I have to admit here I love astrology. I used to say things like, “Oooh, you’ll get along famously because you’re a Taurus and she’s a Cancer. That’s a really good combination.” I used to be all about the Sun squaring Mercury and Venus conjucting his moon or whatever. After my conversation with my friend though, I realized there has been a contradiction in my beliefs. How can I truly think anything is possible (and probable) if I’m operating under the notion the stars exert influence on me? That my life is destined to go a certain way because of my birth date? (I realize some of you may think astrology is bull hockey but just substitute astrology for “personality trait” or “upbringing” or “background” or whatever fits for you.)

What I’m saying is I think we were all born into this world with something. I’m not in John Locke’s tabula rasa camp. I think we all came into this world with innate tendencies, certain characteristics, karma, if you will, to rise above. But that’s the point: we can rise above anything. It may say in my astrological chart that I burn through money but that’s not the way my life always has to be. It’s something for me to take note of, to watch out for but that I can change. I can change anything. My mind is more powerful than I know and the thoughts I project into this universe come back to me. If I think I will always be poor, I will be. If I think I will be rich, I will be. There is of course action that is also required. If my chart says I’ll be wealthy that doesn’t mean it will happen if I sit on my tush all day and wait for money to fall from the sky. (Although since I’m allowing for all possibilities I have to say this may happen to some people.)

What I’m saying is I think there is an element of destiny in everyone’s life. There are certain things that must happen due to actions we set in motion, either in this life or a previous one. It’s a law of nature that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. It may be my destiny to get in a car accident but that accident may be a fender bender, crunching up the hood, or a crash replete with flips and crushed metal and broken glass. The severity of things can change. And how I react to situations is up to me. I can say, “Dear Lord, thank you for keeping me safe, for softening the blow of this accident, for taking care of me always,” or “Why are you doing this to me?!? I hate you!!! Everything sucks!!!” Life is what you make it.

There are certain things that must happen but there is still an element of free will. My thoughts still have an effect. My actions still mean something. Just because I came into the world with something doesn’t mean it has to stay with me. I guess I’m saying destiny can change, fate can be altered. The future isn’t set in stone. Astrologically I may be suited for a job as an engineer but if in my heart I want to be a ballerina I can be. I can be anything, I can do anything, I can have anything with God’s grace. There are no limitations. No matter what the stars say, no matter what personality traits we may have, no matter what our upbringing, we can do anything, we can change anything. I’m reminded of an affirmation I posted in April because I think it’s pertinent:

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete, and yet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale, for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and this Power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world.” – Louise L. Hay

I can change, you can change, we can change. We are all powerful beyond measure. We were given certain circumstances, certain characteristics in this life to work through, to work on, but life is what we make it. I choose to live life the way I want. And I have that wish for others.

I dream of a world where we rise above our circumstances, where we veer off the roadmap given to us at birth and make our own way. I dream of a world where we decide what we want in life and then go after it, knowing anything is possible. I dream of a world filled with joy and love and grace. A world where we account for free will and the power of choice. A world where we understand things can change, do change, will change. A world where we recognize the power of our minds and the part we play in our life. A world where we know we can manifest anything and we can change ourselves and our relationships. A world where we know the power is within us at all times.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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