I Was Not Created to Suffer

I had at some point early on in my life created and held a belief system around self-punishment that led to forms of self-abuse and ultimately attracting in abusive relationships.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

This awareness came to light as a long-battled eating disorder reared its’ ugly head again after lying dormant for years. With the knowledge I had gained, I was, however, better able to recognize it for what it was this time around and see clearly the destructive thoughts and behaviors I was engaging in with myself. As I examined layers of self-punishing thoughts and behaviors, I uncovered a painful truth: I had attracted, possibly even unconsciously sought out, relationships that were varying levels of abusive because it actually gave me a break from having to do that to myself. It was incredibly humbling to recognize that I could now even identify feelings of relief I’d experienced when I had someone or something in my life that could take over my need to punish myself. I came to an awareness of one of the reasons the eating disorder had resurfaced: I had no outside circumstances currently causing abuse in my life, and my need to punish myself had not been fully resolved, so I started to go back into the self-punishing behaviors that are so commonly linked to eating disorders. Jaw on the floor. Holy cow, is this really a thing?

How is this a thing? It seems crazy. Why on earth would we want to punish ourselves and engage in self-abusive behaviors? It turns out, there are a few reasons that we do. These reasons have been identified and validated through research. Dr. Juliana Breines in her article, “No Pain, No Gain: Why We Punish Ourselves,” identified three common beliefs we hold that have been validated through research explaining why we engage in self-punishing behaviors:

  1. I deserve to suffer.
  2. Suffering will make me a better person.
  3. I’m supposed to suffer.

When we first look at these beliefs, it is easy to dismiss them and deny that we would hold them as beliefs because they are so apparently damaging there is no way we would buy into them. Not so fast. Sit with it. It is mind-blowing how many of us hold at least one, if not all, of these beliefs somewhere inside of us. Our belief systems are created in one of three ways: (1) through our experiences; (2) we are taught them or have them projected on to us by others; or (3) they are thoughts tied to intense emotions that are repeated so many times they are automatized and become beliefs. Regardless of how we come to adopt a belief, they usually have a benefit or pay-off, at least temporarily, which is why we will continue to hold onto them even when they are not in our best interest. Each of the three identified beliefs has associated behaviors and benefits that continue to reinforce them and make them difficult to change. The only way to change them is to become aware of them, make a decision to change them, and do the work of practicing bringing in new healthier thoughts and beliefs to replace them (Brooke Castillo identifies these ways to change beliefs in the podcast, “The Life Coach School” and is a fantastic resource).

First, let’s look briefly at each of the beliefs and their associated benefits.

1. “I deserve to suffer.”  As humans, we will actually work to maintain or even increase bad feelings if we have low self-esteem and/or negative self-perception (found in research conducted by Joanne Wood and colleagues). This supports what is known as self-verification theory, which basically says that we are comfortable with treatment that is familiar and consistent with our self-views. It was found that if people have negative self-views they “were less motivated to feel good because feeling good was inconsistent with their negative self-views, and because they didn’t feel they deserved to feel good” (Breines, 2010). The benefit of this belief is that having our experiences line up with our feelings about ourselves is less painful than challenging those, even when our views are distorted and damaging.

2. “Suffering will make me a better person.” This belief holds deep significance in numerous cultural and religious traditions as a way to purify or cleanse any undesirable or “bad” aspects of the self. There is the conception that if we suffer, we can receive absolution. There was a study conducted by Brock Batian and colleagues in which participants were asked to hold their hands in ice water for as long as they could while thinking either a neutral thought or while thinking of a perceived past moral transgression. Those that were thinking of the moral transgression held their hands in the ice water for longer periods of time and even reported a decrease in the feelings of guilt. When this belief is held, self-punishment can seemingly reduce feelings of guilt, but self-punishment has not been shown to create actual behavior change and can in fact take a serious toll on mental health and lead to mental illnesses such as depression and eating disorders (Breines, 2012).

So while there appears to be a benefit for this belief, it is short-lived and has serious adverse effects. In fact, research has proven that self-compassion is far more effective for behavior change. Braun, Park, and Gorin (2016) review this research and site the famous “Donut Study” that provided evidence for self-compassion being far more effective to create behavior change. They also site Neff (2003), who is a leading researcher in this field and identified the components of healthy self-compassion:

(a) Self-kindness, being kind and understanding of oneself, rather than engaging in self-judgment and criticism, (b) mindfulness, holding aversive thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over-identifying with them, and (c) common humanity, viewing one’s experiences as a natural extension of those experienced by all individuals rather than as isolating and separate (Braun, Park, & Gorin, 2016, p. 118).

Many worry that self-compassion will lead to self-indulgence. This has not been shown to be the case. They are different constructs, and when self-compassion contains the dimensions listed above, it allows us to give ourselves what we really need—not necessarily what we want—and does not lead to laziness nor narcissistic views of ourselves. Experiencing consequences and feelings a guilt when our behavior really is harmful and out of alignment with our highest good and purpose is helpful to create change, but punishment and prolonged feelings of guilt leading to shame do not create positive behavior change and are incredibly damaging.

3. “I’m supposed to suffer.” This belief stems from a view that we either deserve to suffer or that we are being tested to show our ability to endure it. There was a study sighted to support this belief as well. Our brains are wired to do three things: be efficient, seek pleasure, and avoid pain. When pain introduces itself in our lives, we must create a story to justify it (we are wired to do this as a way to process the pain). The stories we narrate either use pain to demonstrate our strength and support the easier handled belief that things happen for a reason, or we begin to narrate our story in a way that makes us out to be the victim, which usually has these core beliefs of deserving to suffer at the base. Breines (2012) clarified that “believing that things happen for a reason can be comforting, but at times this belief may impede efforts to reduce controllable forms of suffering.” Let that sink in for a minute. Our beliefs may actually cause us unnecessary suffering.

It became very clear to me how holding these beliefs had played out in my life. I have engaged in self-punishment in a variety of ways, the most easily identified being behaviors tied to my eating disorder. It really did feel better to punish myself for any misstep or perceived wrong-doing in my life. I found relief there. I must deserve it. Or at the very least, I was expected to endure it. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Yes, I’m screaming this from the top of my lungs. This is so wrong! Is it possible that holding these beliefs could actually bring to us people that abuse and punish so we can support our beliefs? Is it possible that there is another way? Is it possible that we can change and grow in the way we had hoped through self-awareness and self-compassion? Absolutely.

So this is where it begins, as it always does, with ourselves. When we can bravely look at our belief systems and how they may be either negatively or positively affecting us, we can make a different choice. We can slowly change those beliefs to healthier beliefs that will really create positive behavior change and allow more compassion, grace, and love abide. In the simple and profound words of my mother:

With frequently and a little bit,

The candle of change is lit.

Replacing any negative thoughts;

Decide, commit, then do it.

                        –Marilyn Beecher Thaxton

There is a better way. We can decide and begin anew. When I fully recognized and owned my part in my experiences because of my belief systems, I was able to create real change. It is one of the most powerful things I’ve experienced and is without question one of the key aspects of moving me out of victim mentality.

You do not deserve to suffer. You will not be a better person if you suffer. And you are not supposed to suffer.

Just breathe that in for a minute.

It may take time for those to resonate as truths to you as deeply as the prior beliefs, and in the meantime feel really uncomfortable. Let it be uncomfortable. That is normal when we introduce conflicting beliefs to those we currently hold—it is called cognitive dissonance. But if we decide and commit to changing these negative beliefs and are diligent in replacing those, it will eventually happen. When that happens, these new beliefs will begin to feel correct and become as much a part of us as the old beliefs. Can you just imagine what life might be like if you really believe that you do not deserve to suffer? It’s profound. It is worth every effort.

We were not created to suffer. We were created to soar.

 

 

 

Sources:

Braun, T.D., Park, C.L., and Gorin, A. Self-compassion, body image,and disordered eating: A review of the literature. Body Image (17), pp. 117-131.

Breines, J. (2012, April 23). No Pain, No Gain: Why We Punish Ourselves. Retrieved from            https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-love-and-war/201204/no-pain-no-gain-why  we-punish-ourselves

Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85–101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ 15298860309032     Neff, K. D. (2003b).

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The Power of Okay

I have come to find great power in the ability to know and speak the words, “I’m okay.” It is more than a feeling or a seemingly less than ideal response to the question of, “How are you?”  It is a state of being. The full power of it is accessed when we become aware of the grounding truths contained within being okay.

There are three powerful truths found in the idea of being okay:

1.  First, feeling negative emotions or experiencing difficulties in life does not mean we are not okay.

Life is about change. Period. Our circumstances, experiences, thoughts, and emotions change constantly; yet, we worry so much about needing to be happy or looking like we are doing amazing all of the time. That isn’t reality. We will have days that our response to the question, “How are you?” might be something akin to awful, sad, frustrated, etc. Although we’d rarely admit those, because somehow we have come to believe that if we aren’t doing awesome, then something must be wrong–wrong with us. We have such fear of negative emotions that we do anything to avoid them–medicate them, ignore them, deny them, or project them. We tend to do this because there is often shame attached as a result of our belief that if we are experiencing these negative emotions, something must be wrong with us. It is okay to have these feelings. They are just feelings; they are not who we are. There is, however, important information contained in every emotion, which we can get to if we sit with them rather than run from them. I have learned that by resisting or running from those feelings, I just power them up and amplify them. And the greatest lesson I have learned is this: Even when I’m feeling the most painful of emotions, I’m still okay. This awareness is freeing. I am less afraid of difficult emotions or days when I just feel off, because in those moments I check in and ask myself, “Am I okay?” and nine times out of ten, the answer is a calming, yes.

2. Second, being okay is within our control.

This was not an easy one for me to grasp. I have often felt that things were happening to me and that I had little to no control in certain situations or just in life in general.  When I get in that space of victim energy, the fear and panic rise. I quickly start to feel, not okay. It is true that we cannot always control the situation and we can never control others; however, we can control our perspective, our response, and our action. That is so incredibly powerful. When I really claim this, I can feel the shift immediately–from panic to power. Our thoughts and beliefs shape our reality, which is so empowering when we are aware and begin to consciously act on this truth. We have the ability to go from not okay to okay; but to do that, we first have to accept that it is okay to be not okay. Accepting it without judgment is the first step to shifting it. The second step is to remember our ability to control our perspective and our response. And third, is an understanding that even when we do not feel okay, we are in truth really okay.  

3. Third, we really are okay.

This is a truth I have experienced over and over. We are carried. We are supported more than we can imagine and every moment is orchestrated for our benefit. Life really is happening for us. Even the awful experiences, the difficulties, the moments we wonder what in the hell is happening and who’s in charge…even those are for us. I am still not at the depths of this, but I am learning. This third point is found in faith with the potential to be knowing.  I believe we are loved beyond what we can imagine. I believe grace is woven into the threads of our lives and wrapped around us in the moments we don’t feel okay, reminding us that we are indeed okay.

I’m okay. No matter what has happened or what is in front of me, I’m okay. Yes, there are times I feel fantastic and times I feel awful, but in all those times I can also say, I am okay. The ability to say that and really know it in my soul is a victory that was hard fought and one that has changed my life.

When I get asked how I am, I no longer respond weakly that I’m just okay, but instead I respond with the full power of awareness of the strength and the beauty of what that really means.

I am okay.

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There is Magic in Me

Belief is incredibly powerful. It can work to our benefit if we are aware or to our detriment if we are not aware of how it actually works. Understanding how beliefs are born and how they manifest in our lives is vital for us to harness that power.

The power of thoughts was not new to me. I have studied Cognitive Behavior Therapy extensively, and honestly I have read anything I could get my hands on to understand how our brain processes information and experiences. My mother had a great understanding of this, and I had also watched and learned from her early on.  What I had not tapped into yet, is how those thoughts turn into beliefs, and how those beliefs become the foundations that we create our reality on.

When we put the intention out there of what it is we are seeking and wanting to understand, it never ceases to amaze me how supported we are and how that information will find its way to us. I had set the intention and was seeking awareness and understanding as I worked on healing a core issue for me surrounding thoughts and beliefs, but had become frustrated because I felt like I did not have the time to read and research and do the work I knew needed to happen. With school added to my already full plate of work and kids, I have very little time left over to work on healing in the way I have in the past, and I was worried this issue would have to be shelved. Then the magic happened. As I was working on a project for school, I found my answers. The project involved creating a unit lesson plan for a literary book review for students based on a core text. I chose The Secret Garden as my text. Ironically, I had never read it before.  As I read and studied this book, I was overwhelmed with its’ beauty and message. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I gained clarity and understanding on what I was seeking.

The truth I was brought to is this: Thoughts that are repeated and attached to emotions will become beliefs. When we think a thought over and over, and strong emotions are attached, the thoughts become ingrained deep within us, and then they become automatized, which moves them from our rational brain to our instinctive, automatic brain.  We are often functioning under beliefs we are not even consciously aware of. For example, let’s say when you were young you were told over and over that you were “naughty” or “bad” when you did something the adult(s) felt was disobedient or not “good.” Maybe you were spanked or attention was withdrawn, so you had strong emotions of sadness and shame. You began to believe these words, and when you did something wrong you would think, “I’m a bad person.” Every time you had these thoughts, you would also feel the emotions that were first attached, and the pattern would repeat until the thoughts became automatized and you began to believe that you were just a bad person. Now this is a simplified and somewhat extreme example, but it shows how the process works. And this is not about blaming anyone else for our beliefs. It is important that we identify where they started so that we can change them, but blame does nothing for growth and change.

The message in The Secret Garden is entirely about our thoughts, how those become beliefs, and how ultimately they create our reality. The young main character, Mary Lennox, was the first to experience this awareness of what love and the power of thoughts can do to shift our reality. She was sent to live with her Uncle in England after her parents died, and it was in his home that she discovered her cousin, Colin. Colin’s mother died shortly after he was born, and his father could not be around him because Colin reminded him of his late wife. Colin was somewhat sickly, likely due to the emotional pain manifesting physically, and everyone taking care of him feared he would become hunchback and die before he reached adulthood. Colin believed in the fears of others and took what had been told to him as truth. Mary was the first person to not believe in what others were saying and spark the hope within Colin that something else might be true. As he finds healing with the help of Mary and Duncan, he begins to believe in the power of thoughts and everything shifts for him. At the pinnacle moment in the garden, Colin stepped into this truth completely and stated:

“The Magic in this garden has made me stand up and know I am going to live to be a man. I am going to make the scientific experiment of trying to get some and put it in myself and make it push and draw me and make me strong. I don’t know how to do it but I think if you keep thinking about it and calling it perhaps it will come….Every morning and evening and as often in the daytime as I can remember I am going to say, ‘Magic is in me! Magic is making me well!  You learn things by saying them over and over and thinking about them until they stay in your mind forever and I think it will be the same with Magic. If you keep calling it to come to you and help you, it will get to be part of you and it will stay and do things” (Burnett, 1962, p. 251).

Belief is the magic. “Magic is in everything, only we have not sense enough to get ahold of it and make it do things for us—like electricity and horses and steam” (Burnett, 1962, p. 250).

It is absolute truth. Belief is more powerful than we can imagine. Belief is magic. What we believe in is what becomes our reality. I followed Colin’s example and I tried the experiment. I started saying, “Magic is in me!” I recognized the power of my thoughts as the catalyst for my beliefs. I became more aware and I harnessed that power. We so often think our moods change because of circumstances and events outside of us, but we miss this truth: “…it is only your thoughts and beliefs which have the power to elevate your spirits. Another person’s approval has no ability to affect your mood unless you believe what he or she says is valid. But if you believe the compliment is earned, it is your belief which makes you feel good. You must validate external approval before you experience mood elevation” (Burns, 1980, p. 256).  It is not anything outside of us that creates our feelings, thoughts, or reality, but our belief in those feelings, thoughts/words, or what appears to be real that does.

With an awareness of the power of our thoughts and beliefs, it is important that we look at those and even challenge them. We can ask: (1) Is it to my advantage to maintain this particular belief? (2) Is this belief really true and valid? (3) What specific steps can I take that will allow me to rid myself of attitudes that are self-defeating and unrealistic, and substitute others that are more objective and more self-enhancing? (You can find more on challenging our distorted thoughts in a previous post.)

We have magic in us. The magic can be positive or negative depending on our thoughts and beliefs. Fear and disbelief are all founded in victim energy. When we recognize our power to shift our reality through our thoughts and beliefs, we move into victor energy. We can harness this power to manifest wonder in our lives. I believe this with every fiber of my being.

 

Resources:

Burnett, F. H. (1962).  The secret garden. New York, New York: J.B. Lippincott Company.

Burns, D.D. (1980) Feeling good. New York, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

 

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Three Keys to Unlocking the Power of Positive Thinking

When you’re struggling and feeling really low and someone–with the best intentions–tells you it’s all in your head and to just think positively, it’s a normal reaction to want to punch them in the face. I get it. And let me explain why that’s a reaction. First of all, there is truth to what they are saying, but there’s an important piece missing that I’ve come to understand.

Everything, including thoughts and emotions, is energy, and energy functions at different vibrational frequencies. Positive thoughts vibrate at a higher frequency than negative ones. Sadness is a lower vibration than joy. So here’s the key truth: Thoughts are only anchored when they are tied to an emotion, usually of similar frequencies. Which is why it can feel like just thinking positive thoughts doesn’t actually work. If you are trying to think positive thoughts, but your current emotional state or environment is at a very low vibration, they are so far off from each other that the thoughts don’t stick–they don’t take because they feel untrue in your current state. We are wired for truth. Our body is our truth meter and it can tell when something is untrue or off and it tries to reject it.

There is absolute truth in the power of our thoughts. There is nothing more powerful when we are conscious about our thoughts and challenge our distorted thinking. Positive thinking does work and can shift us in amazing ways if we anchor them in higher vibrational states of emotions and environment. (My next posts will address how to process thoughts and emotions.)

Here are three steps to anchoring positive thoughts in a way that will make the practice more effective:

1. First, look at your physical environment. If you are in a room that is dark or chaotic, and you feel isolated or distracted in that setting, stating positive thoughts in that space will not be effective. Go to a room that is light, a room or space that brings you joy, or go outside so you can feel the sun on your face and the grass on your feet. (Nature vibrates at a high frequency, which is why so many people find it healing and find joy there.) Make sure your physical space supports where you are wanting to shift your thoughts to.

2. Release negative emotions. I will post more about ways to do this, but to start, simply become aware that the main purpose of emotions is to provide us with information. This allows us to look at them without fear or without powering them up. Getting in tune with what your emotions are trying to tell you and what they need will help them move. The book, The Emotion Code, provides some great tools on emotional release that I’ve found effective. You can also visualize them moving out of you, or you could use oils, tapping, or any other way that resonates with you. (Note: Those with diagnosed depression and/or other chemical imbalances may need medicine to help move out of debilitating emotional states.)

3. Consciously choose a higher frequency of emotion. Our greatest power lies in our choice; however, many of us are not accessing it fully because so much of how we think, feel, and act comes from habits and beliefs that are unconscious. So state out loud that you choose to move into gratitude, love, or joy. Gratitude shifts us faster than anything. Think of just one thing you can be grateful for and focus on it. You will start to shift the more you are in that space. Listening to upbeat music, dancing, exercising, or laughing will all shift your emotional frequency higher.

 

vibrational emotional scale

Notice on the chart that a state of quiet is a higher vibrational frequency than the negative emotions. This is why stating positive thoughts during meditation is so effective. You don’t have to be in joy or love before positive thoughts start to work, but you do need to be calm and conscious. You will get to the higher frequencies the more your thoughts and emotions align.

This is an empowering journey. It takes some work, but it is worth every effort. We do not need to be victims to negative thoughts or emotions. We can be victorious.

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The Truth About the Tree that Fell in the Forest

“Silence is golden.”

Well, not always.

I had a recent experience that brought me to my knees, begging for a response—for an explanation, for validation, for understanding—and I got silence.  It caused such intense pain with uncontrollable sobbing that I knew it was bigger than just that particular moment. At this point of awareness, images came across my field of vision like a movie screen showing other times in my life in which I’d been in this same position with the same result. As I was pleading to anything and everything, my mind became clear and a thought was brought forward. The thought was of the philosophical experiment regarding observation and knowledge of reality: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The truth was clear. Just because someone else does not validate our experience, it does not mean it isn’t real. Just because another doesn’t hear us, it doesn’t mean we aren’t speaking truth. Just because another doesn’t honor our feelings, it does not mean they are not valid. In that moment I called my higher-self forward, my “I am” presence, and she listened and validated. Essentially, I validated my own hurt and experience. In this moment of realizing that I do not need another to hear me, validate me or my experience, or believe my  truth—that it comes from me—something dramatically shifted for me.

As I processed this experience more deeply over the days following, I learned more about why silence can be so painful, and why that experience felt bigger than just that moment. I had learned when previously studying about boundaries that not only can there be boundary violations of intrusion, but also boundary violations of distance. This was the catalyst that led to my finding information on a form of abuse called “withholding.” This was a form of abuse I had experienced for years, but at the time I had no idea what was happening. I thought maybe I just needed too much, or had expectations I shouldn’t, or that something was wrong with me. None of that was truth.

Silence, particularly in the form of withholding, can be one of the most toxic and painful forms of abuse. It is a favorite of narcissists and those with anti-social characteristics.  Andrea Schneider (2014), a licensed therapist, stated that withholding “is designed to (1) place the abuser in a position of control; (2) silence the target’s attempts at assertion; (3) avoid conflict resolution/personal responsibility/compromise; or (4) punish the target for a perceived ego slight.”  The intent behind this type of silence is control and avoidance. It allows the person who is withholding to avoid responsibility. It is a cowardice way to control.

When control and/or avoidance is the intent behind any type of withholding—affection, words, attention—it is intensely damaging to the target. Even anger or words of attack feel less painful, because at least there is acknowledgement. Silence cuts to the very core of our sense of worth and existence. We feel invisible. And when we buy into it, we begin to disappear.  We are unable to resolve anything and we are forced into silence ourselves and spin in feelings of fear and abandonment. Boundaries of honor in relationships are violated. What is being taken away is acceptance and approval—core human needs—which is why it is so damaging. It is a withdrawal of approval and can generate real fear. The target often finds themselves groveling and doing whatever to get that approval—to get the silence/withholding to stop. I recognized I had done this in the past, and in this profound moment of awareness, I vowed to never do so again.

When we heal the need behind seeking approval or validation from others, it takes the power away from them to use that as a manipulative form of control. We get our power back.

Yes, sometimes silence can be helpful or even necessary to process and take time to re-center. Again, it is about the intent behind the action. There is always a positive and negative form of every action. We become empowered when we become aware and recognize the difference. When we can see the action for what it is, we can move out of fear and move into truth. We do not need to seek validation from others—especially those who are so unaware and unhealed themselves. Really when we think about it, it is silly that we do.

Internal validation comes from really knowing our worth. We must own that we are enough. If you do not believe it yet, believe in the possibility that you can get there. Begin with positive, empowering statements until they become beliefs (this topic will be explored in another post). State: “I am enough.” “I know my worth.” “I do not need other’s approval or validation to be okay.”

This is truth about the tree that fell in the forest—just because no one was there to see/hear it happen, it does not change the reality that it did fall. Your reality and truth is yours, even if NO ONE validates it. You validate it. You honor you. Take your power back.

 

Resources:

Schneider, A. (2014, June 2). Silent treatment: preferred weapon of people with narcissism. Retrieved from http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/silent-treatment-a-narcissistic-persons-preferred-weapon-0602145.

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Be Here

I believe in seeking truth wherever it may be found. I choose to be open in a way that allows that to come into my life in whatever shape or form. That decision has opened a portal that has brought truth into my life in the most amazing and unexpected ways—seemingly small moments that change everything.

One of these moments of awareness and truth came in a yoga class—a statement uttered by my favorite yoga instructor. She is a wise, awake soul. She often speaks little bits of truth that seem to hit me with the force equivalent to an ocean wave crashing on the shore—leaving everything new and different, more real, bright, and in truth than before.  We were moving through the poses and she said, “Be here.” She expanded a little by drawing our attention to becoming completely present, and the importance of the grounding effect that has in each pose. But this truth went far beyond being present in the poses. It was profound.

During a deep search for light during a particularly dark time in my life, I came across this idea of being in the ‘now’ through the insights of Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now.  My life at that time, tied into to my unawareness, resulted in me primarily existing in flight or fight. My life was overrun with stress and fear and uncertainty. My adrenals were shot. Something had to change. I had taken bits of the wisdom from my mother and her learning of the power of “I am” and began to explore and expand upon that. From this space, a door opened to an awareness that shifted my life in remarkable ways; ways I had somehow almost forgotten until that moment in yoga that brought my awareness back to this truth.

Tolle (1999) shed a light on the stress I was experiencing (and had experienced so much of in my life) in a way that illuminated the truth so that I was able to see it clearly. “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there,’ or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It’s a split that tears you apart inside. To create and live with such an inner split is insane” (p. 84).

When we are in fear and anxiety, we are existing in the future. And how often do we spend precious time ruminating in memories of yesterday? Sad or happy memories, it doesn’t matter. The point is if we are not present in the moment, in the now, we are missing it. We are missing life. When we live that way we are disconnected from what is, from ourselves, and from all that is divine because He exists in the now. In an instant, those words from the scriptures found in Matthew stood out to me and I understood the power of the real truth held within them:  “Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself….Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” (Matthew 6:34, 28).   There is unspeakable peace and power in living in the moment and trusting it with every fiber of our being; it is the pinnacle of faith—the essence of what it truly means.

I have worked on this, becoming aware and present.  It is easy to do when our life is good and the present moment in-and-of-itself is wonderful—like when you are at the beach sticking your toes in the sand. Yes, those moments are easy to be present in. But what about the ones where you are on your knees? When the moment you are in seems unbearable? What then? The truth, my friends, to move through that moment is in fact found by becoming completely present in that moment; the power is found in accepting and surrendering to what is. It is insanity to resist what is. It already is. Surrendering is not weakness. “There is great power in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. Through surrender, you will be free internally of the situation. You may then find that the situation changes without any effort on your part. In any case, you are free” (Tolle, 1999, p. 83).  Freedom comes when we are unattached—when we have no need or fear tied to the present situation. When we are in total faith of all that is; faith in our own divinity and connection to the Divine—this is when we are in our power. This is the power of being present.

One caution, our acceptance of a situation does not mean we are saying that a bad situation is okay, or that we will allow it to continue. We have the ability to choose to change it, but it can only be truly changed by first acknowledging and accepting what it is. Speak up. Create a boundary. Make a change. This is key—otherwise we are a victim to what is and are existing in it while resisting it, which is madness and will literally tear us apart from the inside-out.

“The opportunity that is concealed within crisis does not manifest until all the facts of any given situation are acknowledge and fully accepted. As long as you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up, and you remain trapped inside that situation, which will remain the same or deteriorate further” (Tolle, 1999, p. 157).

It is difficult for me to describe the power I have found in this truth. Accepting what is and choosing to be present in the now, changes the next moment, and the next, in magnificent ways. This is where peace resides. This is where real joy is found. When I realize that I am existing in the past or projecting into the future, I can state those words, “Be here,” and I shift immediately.

I promise you will experience a shift if you explore this and experiment with those words. This is how we can really live.

Breathe.

Be here.

 

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Choice in Emotion and Beliefs (Healing Part 3)

Once we begin to identify our emotions, we are able to process them. In connection with processing the emotions, we need to be aware of a few of points:

  • Identifying emotional triggers can help shift and even avoid negative emotions.
  • Recognizing how emotions feed off of each other is key to not powering them up.
  • Powerful emotions connected with patterns of thought can become beliefs and we need to challenge those in pursuit of the truth.

So first, we can look at our emotional triggers, which are events in the outside world and thoughts within us that cause emotions to well up. An example of a trigger is a song that makes us sad, or a certain person that makes us mad. Something about that person or situation triggers us. The truth is they do not make us feel anything. Again it goes back to our filter and how we perceive what is happening. Other people and situations are simply mirrors to reflect back to us what we need to heal within ourselves. If we are truly healed, circumstances and people outside of us will no longer be a trigger. We will simply become observers gaining insight and giving love and light.

The positive aspect of triggers is that there are some situations outside of us that can help shift us when needed. A happy song or the smile of a friend can help us move to positive emotions. That is a wonderful help, but not a permanent fix. Ideally happiness will come from within, independent of anything or anyone outside of us.

This begins by realizing we are in control. We can choose our thoughts, our emotions and our reactions to them. When negative emotions come up, we can process them, choose the positive emotion and consciously choose our reaction.

When we feel emotions, we also feel a reaction in our body that is ready to respond to those feelings. At this point, there is a choice. When we feel angry, we do not have to yell. When we feel sad, we still have a choice of how to deal with that emotion. Often those actions can intensify our emotions or create new emotions. In Dialectical Behavior Therapy, they like to say, “Emotions love themselves” (2003). Once an emotion is activated it organizes the person’s mind and body in such a way as to continue the emotion. So when an emotion is fired-up, that same emotion tends to re-fire again and again. By becoming aware of our emotions and the situations that trigger them and then choosing our response to that will give us our power back. Our emotions do not need to control us.

We must also be aware that powerful emotions experienced with thoughts can become beliefs. If we feel unloved, we can begin to believe that we are unlovable. This is an untruth. When we become aware of thoughts and emotions turning into beliefs, we can challenge those and look for the truth while dispelling the untruth.

We know that everything has its opposite. This is true in the healing process: For every negative emotion there is a positive emotion; for every harmful action there is a healthy action; and for every unhealthy belief there is a transforming belief. We can choose what is in our highest good. When we identify a negative emotion, a harmful reaction or an unhealthy belief, we can state with power, “I do not choose ______________ anymore. I choose__________________.” The power of choice is profound.

Choices

Listed below are the opposites of the emotions, actions and beliefs so that we can consciously choose through awareness. This is so worth the effort. Negative emotions and harmful actions and unhealthy beliefs affect our health, our relationships, and our overall happiness. Our divine blueprint was wired for the higher vibrational emotions and actions and beliefs; when we choose those we are more in line with our higher-self. (Note: Sometimes we can feel like we are trying to choose higher emotions, but keep getting stuck in the lower ones. we can then beat ourselves up because we feel like we are failing. Failing is a trick of the ego to keep us in shame–we are not failing. Remember that if an emotion is getting stuck, it may be because we have not learned what we needed to, or we are getting some payoff from being in that energy that we are unconscious of. As we raise our awareness and look in truth, we can help ourselves heal and let go of that negative emotion, where we will find the freedom to choose higher.)

 

Emotions/Thoughts/Beliefs

Love:

The negative emotions: unforgiveness, a feeling of insignificance and resentment.

The positive emotions: forgiveness, significance, compassion and empathy.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: I am unlovable. I am insignificant. I am flawed.

The transforming beliefs are: I am significant. I am whole.

 

The harmful action is: selfishness.

The healthy actions are: Loving myself and others, and being committed to truth.

 

Joy:

The negative emotions are: sadness, depression, feeling inferior, worthless, and flawed.

The positive emotions are: happiness, excitement, exhilaration, confidence, strength, wholeness and self-worth.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: I am hopeless. I am worthless. Life is hopeless.

The transforming beliefs are: I am a person of worth regardless of any circumstances. I have unbounded hope for the future.

 

The harmful action is: self-abuse

The healthy actions are: Self-care. Believing in my power to start each day anew and heal. Trusting in my ability to feel joy.

 

Peace:

The negative emotions are: anxiety, worry, and fear.

The positive emotions are: a sense of peace and restfulness; that indescribable feeling that everything is okay, just the way it should be.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: Something bad is going to happen. The future will be like the past. I am not okay.

The transforming beliefs are: Wonderful things are in store for me. My future is not tied to the past. I am free. I am always okay.

 

Patience:

The negative emotions are: impatience, anger, frustration, insecurity, desire for immediate love substitutes.

The positive emotions are: contentment, satisfaction, security.

 

 

The unhealthy belief is: Something has to change right now for me to be okay.

The transforming belief is: Even though I’m always growing and learning and getting better, I am satisfied and content right now.

 

Kindness:

The negative emotions are: rejection, hurt, fear (fear comes from hurt and rejection).

The positive emotions are: total and unconditional acceptance of myself and others.

The unhealthy beliefs are: People will take advantage of me (if you have been rejected). People are too sensitive (if you are the one who rejects others).

The transforming beliefs are: I love everyone. Everyone is different but we all have worth and value. I choose to honor the divinity in others.

 

Goodness:

The negative emotions are: fear and shame.

The positive emotions are: thankfulness and gratitude.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: I am bad. I am not good enough. I am unforgivable.

The transforming beliefs are: I am good. I am enough. I am forgiven. I am.

 

Trust:

The negative emotions are: distrust and being judgmental.

The positive emotions are: faith in the past, trust in the present and hope in the future.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: People are out to get me. I must be in control. Life is not fair.

The transforming beliefs are: I will receive all good things by surrendering to love and truth. I can lay down control.

 

The harmful actions: Attempts to pull others down.

The healthy actions: Believing in truth and love without judgment.

 

Humility:

The negative emotions are: guilt, shame, wrongful pride.

The positive emotions are: Belief in the true identity of myself and others.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: People must think well of me for me to be okay. I am either better than or less than others.

The transforming beliefs are: I do not have to try to be someone I am not. I stand in my truth, the truth of who I am (my higher-self). We are all of worth and equal.

 

Self-Control:

The negative emotions are: laziness, entitlement, and helplessness.

The positive emotions are: confidence in my true self and my abilities.

 

The unhealthy beliefs are: I can’t do it. I am not capable and others should do it for me.

The transforming beliefs are: I am capable. I can do it. I don’t have to get others to do it for me. I have a say over my life.

 

Action:

When you recognize a belief ask yourself: (1) Is it to my advantage to maintain this particular belief? (2) Is this belief really true and valid? (3) What specific steps can I take that will allow me to rid myself of attitudes that are self-defeating and unrealistic, and substitute others that are more objective and more self-enhancing?

Key 1: “It is only your thoughts and beliefs which have the power to elevate your spirits. Another person’s approval has no ability to affect your mood unless you believe what he or she says is valid. But if you believe the compliment is earned, it is your belief which makes you feel good. You must validate external approval before you experience mood elevation. This validation represents your personal self-approval” (Burns, 1980).

Key 2: Worth is an abstraction. Our worth just is. It is not determined based on what we do or do not do. Rather than grasping for worth we can aim for satisfaction, learning, growth and peace.

Key 3: “Perfection is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe. It’s really the world’s greatest con game; it promises riches and delivers misery. The harder you strive for perfection, the worse your disappointment will become because it’s only an abstraction, a concept that doesn’t fit reality. Everything can be improved if you look at it closely and critically enough—every person, every idea, every work of art, every experience, everything” (Burns, 1980). Accepting what is, in gratitude, with an intent to move forward and progress a little at a time is a healthier place to function from.

 

References:

Burns, D. (1980). Feeling Good. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Loyd, A. (2011). The Healing Code. Grand Central Life and Style.

Spradlin, S. (2003). Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life. How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control. California: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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Processing Our Feelings (Healing Part 2)

Just as our thoughts affect our feelings, so do our feelings often create and affect our thoughts. We often associate our feelings with who we are and with what is truth. Burns stated it this way:

You take your emotions as evidence for truth. Your logic: “I feel like a dud, therefore I am a dud.” This kind of reasoning is misleading because your feelings reflect your thoughts and beliefs. If they are distorted—as is quite often the case—your emotions will have no validity” (Burns, 1980).

Other examples:

  • I feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Therefore, my problems must be impossible to solve.
  • I feel guilty. Therefore, I must have done something bad.
  • I feel inadequate. Therefore, I must be a worthless person.

Because things feel a certain way, especially when they feel negative, we take that as reality. It is KEY that we challenge the validity of the perceptions that create our feelings. If we learn to change our feelings (remember energy/matter can be altered), we can change our thoughts and experiences in the present. Our feelings are not who we are, they are simply feelings. We do not need to fear them. If we can embrace that truth and create a relationship with our feelings, we can get to what they need and help alter them and/or help release them.

*Remember: Your feelings do not determine your worth, simply your relative state of comfort or discomfort.

 Just as we started working with our thoughts by first becoming aware of them and simply observing them, it is the same with our feelings.  We want to become aware of our feelings and how we relate to them.  Begin observing and recording your feelings. Use statements like, “I notice I feel…” or “I observe that I’m feeling….” Also record the thought(s) associated with that feeling as it comes up for you.

Next, we look at our relationship with our feelings. How comfortable are we with our feelings?

When we experience feelings that are uncomfortable we tend to do anything to avoid that feeling and the physical sensations associated with it.  Dale Halaway teaches that there are five main options we can choose from when these feelings come up. We may use all the options although we usually have one or two that we prefer (or have become automatic).

The five options are:

  • Stuff them (food, gambling, sex, drugs—anything to get an immediate change to a pleasurable feeling)
  • Project them (blame circumstances or people—make it about the other person and in doing so we go into victim energy)
  • Avoid them (get quiet, withdraw, literally run for the hills)
  • React to them (power them up by giving them more energy—drama)
  • Clear them (Become conscious of them, feel them and process them)

Without question only option 5 is in our highest good and the one that leads to a real change in the feelings and allows us to move to the higher vibration emotions like peace, contentment, joy and love. There is no judgment in doing the other four. We all use them from time to time. However, by becoming aware, we have more of an opportunity to choose differently rather than going with our automatic response in unconsciousness. Working at this a little bit at a time, we can chip away at buried emotions and process new emotions providing the opportunity to change them or release them and change our life experience. It is worth every effort.

For more information and practical exercises on how to process emotions feel free to contact me.

 

References:

Burns, D. (1980). Feeling Good. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Halaway, D. (2014, October). Transform Your Life. Seminars That Inspire. Seminar conducted from Las Vegas, Nevada.  (See www.seminarsthatinspire.com)

Spradlin, S. (2003). Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life. How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control. California: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Our Thoughts (Healing Part 1)

Our thoughts and our feelings seem to work together, one affecting the other. It is sometimes difficult to determine which one comes first…a little like the chicken-or-the-egg. Most often though, our experiences come through our thoughts first, which creates a feeling, and those feelings often create automatic thoughts that can trigger emotions (big shift tied to action) and result in a reaction that can show up in our behavior and beliefs.

It is not that any of these are bad, per say. The issue lies when they are happening automatically without awareness. So to begin the journey of processing and healing, we simply choose to become aware. (State, “I choose to become aware.”)

“Your emotions result entirely from the way you look at things. It is an obvious neurological fact that before you can experience any event, you must process it with your mind and give it meaning. You must understand what is happening to you before you can feel it” (Burns, 1980).

Since our mind (i.e., our thoughts) is what affects how we understand and thus feel, this is where we will start: Becoming aware of our thoughts through mindful observing.

Mindful observing involves focusing our attention and intention. We must choose to become aware of our thoughts. Mindfulness helps us become more aware, intentional and participatory in our own life, and present in each moment. The benefits are profound.

When we begin to become mindful, it is vital that we let go of preconceived notions about self and others and reality. We MUST let go of judgment. Judgment is based on beliefs that have come through our experiences, thoughts, and feelings, and may or may not be coming from truth or from our highest self or source. We simply become an observer—watching without judgment.

When we are able to observe our thoughts without involving ourselves as the thought, then we can see them for what they are, identify them, challenge them, and then change them if needed.

Often times, writing down some of our thoughts helps us look at them more objectively and recognize patterns in our thinking. Keeping a small notebook with you to jot thoughts down as they come up is very helpful.

The next step is to become aware of distorted thinking patterns that have possibly become automatic for us and are affecting our emotions and our actions. Negative thinking can not only keep us stuck, but can also set us on a trajectory that leads us further away from our higher self and our divine purpose.

Here are a few of the distorted thinking patterns that can become automatic and are important to become aware of:

  • Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all the positive aspects of a situation.
  • Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.
  • Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again.
  • Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.
  • Catastrophizing: You expect a disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start “what ifs”: What if a tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?
  • Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.
  • Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
  • Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but other people won’t agree with you.
  • Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other stance and blame yourself for every problem.
  • Shoulds: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
  • Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true automatically: If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring. (We will discuss this more in the next post.)
  • Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.
  • Global labeling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global statement.
  • Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
  • Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off as if someone were keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

The next step after identifying distorted thought patterns is to challenge those thoughts. Challenge your thoughts and distortions and come to your own defense. Offer a rational response that is more in truth to the highest parts of you and are of a positive and higher vibration.

So here are the steps:

  1. Observe (and record) your thoughts without judgment.
  2. Become aware of distorted thinking patterns and which ones you most frequently experience.
  3. Challenge distorted thinking with a rational response based on truth.

(If you would like charts to help with the steps, just email me and I will send them along.)

This process is the beginning of amazing transformation. Here we go!

 

______________________________________________­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________

Burns, D. (1980). Feeling Good. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

 

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The Process of Healing

The word healing creates different thoughts and responses. We often think of healing in the physical sense—such as a cut that slowly heals and returns to what was “normal” before the injury. When the word is used to describe recovery from an emotional injury, there can be mixed responses with images of lots of talk therapy or holistic “voodoo.” It is easier to grasp physical healing because we can see it, touch it—experience it with our senses—and, thus, understand it. Emotions, thoughts, and anything internal that cannot be seen or touched seem a bit dicey. The truth is, though, that thoughts and emotions are experienced and sensed not only from our inner perspective (feeling body) but often from our outer perspective (physical body), as well.

We understand what it is like to feel anger, sadness, joy, or peace. We understand what it is like to have an idea, a thought, and work toward seeing it manifest. Thoughts and emotions are energy. Everything is energy, including our thoughts and our feelings. They are matter. And according to what physics has taught us, matter cannot be destroyed, but it can be altered. Experiences or events can trigger or create thoughts and feelings. Once we have a thought or a feeling, the energy created is either projected or, often, stays within us. The energy does not just magically go away. When we’ve experienced these thoughts or emotions tied to an event or experience, they are ours to own.

Maybe that seems odd. Once the experience itself is done and gone, then aren’t the emotions or thoughts tied to the experience gone, too? Not necessarily. For example, let’s say someone cuts you off in traffic, but instead of being a little annoyed or not even bothered at all, you become really bothered and intensely angry. The emotional response doesn’t seem to fit the experience. There is a reason for this: If you have angry energy from other experiences that you have not yet processed, it becomes reactivated or triggered by the same emotion. The result is an emotional response that is far bigger than what matches the moment. This can happen with any emotion, but it occurs primarily with the negative emotions. These are the ones that need healing. They need to be processed and must be let go. The positive emotions aid in healing and growth, while the negative thoughts and emotions do not. They keep us stuck. So, how do we heal them? process them?

It is fairly simple. The first step is becoming aware of our feelings and acknowledging them. So often when we feel negative emotions, we do everything in our power not to feel them because they are uncomfortable. We shove them down, project them, or run from them. Again, this doesn’t mean they are gone. They simply need to be observed and acknowledged (this is based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Acknowledged—not judged or feared. This is key in the process. Once they have been acknowledged (and recognized as just a feeling and not who we are), we simply ask ourselves if we can let them go. Most often, we can say yes. When that is not the answer, the emotions are likely there to tell us something. When we do have negative reactions, it is this amazing opportunity to look at something within ourselves that we need to heal.

The next step is to become aware that emotions are usually triggered or reinforced by our thoughts. If we can become aware of distorted patterns of automatic thinking, particularly at the point of negative emotions, we will have gained a powerful tool. There is an entire therapy based on this called Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It has been shown to have remarkable results in numerous cases and situations. Emotions and thoughts tend to work in tandem. Being aware of both and learning tools to change thought patterns and process emotions will change our entire experience.

The third, and profoundly important step, is to become aware that emotions, more often than not, are driven by basic needs. Hale Dwoskin in The Sedona Method (2010) names four core needs: the need for control, the need for security, the need for separateness, and the need for approval/love. Other methods point to many needs that can fall under those four core needs, which may be driving the thoughts and emotions we experience. If we can learn to let go of needing those things, the emotions and thoughts manifested because of those needs change, move, and most often no longer come up. It’s not that having those things is bad; it isn’t. It is the needing them that is the problem. Those negative emotions are a clue telling us a need may be behind them, and, when we release the needy energy, the emotions can shift and can be let go. In truth, all of life is an act of letting go. Living without attachment or need is where real freedom is found.

Processing simply means to allow, acknowledge, experience, and let go. There may be a truth we need to look at in connection to the emotion or thought. Perhaps we feel anger because we have a need for control. This need may have been activated because, at some point, an experience tied to emotion created a belief—an untrue belief—that, unless we are in control, we are not safe. When we acknowledge and become aware of the untruth behind this belief, we can find and state the truth, which shifts everything.

Truth shifts our energy. Gratitude shifts our energy. Love shifts our energy. All of these positive, higher-vibration emotions are healing. But they can’t just cover negative emotions; that does not work, either. Those negative emotions must be processed for there to be real change. Remember: They are energy, and energy cannot be destroyed, just changed. When we acknowledge the negative emotions, look for truth, and give them what they need, they will either change or move out of us. This is healing.

healing photo

Here is what healing is not: Healing is not just talking about our issues; this just brings the energy up and tends to create more issues if we do not have tools to process them and do not change our thoughts and feelings. (It is a helpful first step, however, as it can make us aware.) Healing is not merely hoping they magically go away. And many believe prayer can bring healing. I believe that, as well. We always get divine help when we ask, but there are often lessons we need to learn for our progression that come only in that process of our becoming aware of all of these things and working through them.  As we process and work through our experiences, emotions, and thoughts, we gain knowledge and awareness that empower us in profound ways. This knowledge and awareness actualize freedom and power in our greatest gift—the gift of choice.

My personal beliefs are sacred to me and are something I do not choose to share in detail publicly. I honor and respect the beliefs of others and believe healing can be found from many roads. I do see, however, that those coming from a Christian background often struggle to pursue healing for fear they are not seeking healing at its source, Jesus Christ. In my experience, it is, in fact, the opposite. I first go back to the physical example. We know that if we have a broken leg, we need to get medical help for the healing to begin. It is the same for emotional wounds; we are wise to seek tools and understanding of how to heal the emotional issues, as well. And I point back to the life of Christ: His every act was about healing. Every one. And not just physical healing, but emotional and spiritual healing, as well. Becoming as whole as we can be and connecting to our highest self is the way of progression. If we do our part to heal the emotional issues, then we are able to respond in love and kindness because we function on that level. There is no more anger, fear, or need within us. In the very act of healing, we can become more like Him.

It is a process. It happens in layers. I have sought the best ways to heal and to process emotions and negative thought patterns. Over the next few weeks, I will share the beginning practice of processing and healing. I have put together the best materials from all I have studied and experienced. The more we heal, the more we move into our highest self, the more we can function from love, and the more we will have peace. It is wonderful, amazing, and life-changing. If it resonates with you, great. If not, that’s okay. There are many paths to this end, and I encourage you to find yours. I encourage you to seek healing, whatever that looks like for you, because it will change your life experience in indescribable ways. This is my hope for every being everywhere: to experience a life full of love, peace, and joy.

Love and light.

Resources:

Burns, D. (1980). Feeling Good. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Dwoskin, H. (2010). The Sedona Method. Arizona: Sedona Press.

Spradlin, S. (2003). Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life. How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control. California: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Truman, K.K. (2003). Feelings Buried Alive Never Die…. Utah: Olympus Distributing.

 

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