Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘loving yourself’

Remember Yourself in the Process!

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you say ‘yes’ to do something with or for someone and then later think to yourself ‘why in the world did I agree to do it?’ For many of us this scenario has played out throughout our lives and left us frustrated, tired and at times overwhelmed. It’s all those little things that add up over time which can cause resentment and deplete us of energy. We can even predict with a certain degree of accuracy those people who just seem to be able to get us to respond without thinking to their latest need, desire or request.

There is, of course, another group of people who simply refuse to say ‘yes’ to anything and everything that doesn’t personally bring them joy, pleasure or fun. For some of us that last sentence may seem impossible to believe but it’s true. These folks seem to have a built in radar that detects anything that could require their time, energy or money and they quickly decide if it will make them happy. If not….it’s a no go.

Granted these two examples are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But when you look around at people they really do seem to fall into one of these two categories.

The underlying issue – saying ‘yes’ in an effort to please others and make them happy is a never-ending story and one in which you can become the main character for life. This script does not contain moments of appreciation but simply more and more demands – some subtle and some not so subtle.

The funny thing about saying ‘yes’ to make others happy is that it doesn’t really – not in the long haul because their requests overtime become expectations and appreciation slowly fades. They begin to just expect you do to whatever, whenever because you do.

When we find ourselves saying or doing things that our hearts are not really into the energy we give off speaks volumes. It’s not good for either party involved. No one grows as a human being by being a constant taker or for that matter a constant giver. Is it time to change the ‘have to’ in our thinking and move to a mindset of deciding what we ‘want or choose to do?’ People who have mastered this approach to life do not respond with a quick yes to any and all requests but take a little time to think it through and decide if it’s really necessary and if they truly want to comply. Time is our friend in this situation as we begin to train ourselves to analyze the situation before responding.

Maybe the deeper issue is valuing ourselves enough to believe that we really have the right to choose what we want to do and communicate it in a gentle but firm manner. Going along with someone else’s planning or worse yet manipulation for their personal benefit can wear thin. It all comes down to the belief that we deserve to be happy too – and we do!

When someone has a life altering situation and they need us it seems logical to jump in and do all we can in their moment of need. That just seems like the loving, humane thing to do. But not everything in life falls into this category. Let’s try to save up our ‘yes’ for the big items in life and care enough about our own well being and happiness to remember ourselves in the process. As with everything …balance is the key.

Have a great few days!

You’re Doing Your Best!

What if we could live by three tenants: Judge Not, Fear Not, Resist Not. Maybe – just maybe – we could get to the point where any limiting ideas or distorted perspectives of ourselves would simply fade away and allow our minds to refocus on the journey. We would see the joy and blessings of today, this very moment, where anything and everything is possible. By choosing this more positive mindset do you think we might become more tolerant with ourselves and a bit more compassionate with others?

For example, how many times have you played over and over in your head something that you wish you would have said or done differently? Can’t let it go right? That’s because you are playing the blame game and are probably becoming quite good at it! Unfortunately this game has no winners. The sad thing is that it accomplishes nothing and simply causes you to feel even more badly. I’m all for learning from experience but blaming or perseverating on what was – is not learning – it’s more like self flagellation. Color me gone!

Resisting, fearing and judging are all of the same negative ilk. These behaviors keep us locked into our microscopic world where we are judge and jury – but without legal standing. We have no remedy because we have no cause. Time to drop this case and move on!

Having more tolerance and acceptance for yourself begins when you realize that you brought everything you had to the past circumstance and did the very best you could at the moment – because you really did. Self reflection can be a positive thing when you cut yourself a little slack and admit you are human. I’ll bet if you think about a past situation when you feel that you didn’t bring your ‘A’ game to the table, if you really ponder it, you know you didn’t purposely choose to fall short of what you wanted to achieve. You just did. Things happen. Move on. Eliminate the blame and simply change it to a lesson learned by telling yourself, ‘The next time I face this type of situation I intend to …’ and do it. The operative words, of course, are DO IT.

Likewise, when we observe others and think to ourselves ‘why don’t they do this or that’ or ‘they should do it this way.’ Really? Since we can’t walk a mile in their shoes it’s probably better to stop judging and simply remember that they are also doing the very best they can at the moment. They are giving life their best shot – regardless of whether it hits the mark or not – time to give them a break as well.

We are all perfectly imperfect human beings who are trying to navigate life with the knowledge we have at the moment. When we have greater knowledge and experience we may choose to respond differently. But until then … there is no place for judgment, fear or resistance. We are better than that because we know that we are all on the journey of our chosen lifetime and learning day by day along the way.

So today, look in the mirror and smile, pat yourself on the back, and know that you are doing your best – with today’s knowledge – and that’s good enough!

Have a great few days!

Celebrate You!

Can you take just a moment today and truly appreciate the uniqueness of you? Just think about it. Your talents, abilities, attitude and interests combined with the knowledge you have gained from your unique life lessons cannot be replicated by anyone. You are the only living person on earth with this rare combination! You are unique unto yourself- that’s something to recognize and celebrate.

When you smile, it is from the heart … when you laugh your energy is infectious … when you speak it is with the calm honesty of truth. You can create enthusiasm in people merely from your presence. When you listen you absorb and reflect rather than merely respond. You engage your whole self in the process of interacting at this moment in time realizing there will never be another opportunity exactly like this one. Your unique ability to understand and empathize with others makes the world a better place – one person at a time.

You can see possibilities in others even when they are blind to them. When you encourage someone to believe in their own inherent ability to handle a situation – sometimes beyond their wildest belief in themselves – you become an agent of the Universe as you help them fully manifest their own strength and capability. Your encouragement is perfectly timed and comes from an intuitive sense of knowing that this person or this place was the place to go for now.

No one on earth can make things happen like you. When you realize something isn’t working you summon from your deep reservoir of strength a knowing – a direction – that is needed for positive change and you work to make it a reality.

You are a one-of-a- kind genuine article. No where can you find the exact same things going on it anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours right now. A million puzzle pieces have combined to make you unique and the mold was used only once…

Like an extremely rare gem you have such inherent value and power that it cannot be codified, qualified or even counted by others. But it can be recognized by yourself as a mighty force that allows you to do or become whatever you can dream. You seem to have a magic genie in your pocket that brings to you whatever is foremost in your thinking.

When you begin to see yourself as the unique being you are, you recognize the importance of learning to love yourself.You now see yourself as so much more than the mere outside shell. You recognize a presence – a loving spirit – inside you that is all powerful. It was a special gift from the Universe – given to you the day you were born. Today you have chosen to unwrap it! When you truly love yourself it becomes the most powerful tool you will ever need in life. It enables you to overcome against all odds and directs you to your own true North.

Tomorrow is a new day with both opportunities and challenges. You will face them with a deeper sense of strength knowing that your unique self is exactly what is needed at this moment in time – 99 and 9/10 percent guaranteed!

Have a great few days!

The Importance of Self Love

Charlie Chaplin who was best known as a mime actor wrote a poem on self love. The whole topic of loving ourselves may, at first, be thought of as hedonistic. Yet, how can we ever truly love another if we have not first learned to love ourself? Often we are so busy on our quest to make others happy that we discount our own needs and desires and agree to do things that in our heart we really, really do not want to do. As a result we end up resenting the situation and over time even the person. Self love teaches us to be authentic and recognize our own feelings, needs and desires first. Basically, we allow ourself to say ‘yes’ AND ‘no’ without guilt. As we begin to practice self love we become happier and more self confident, authentic, and mature. We learn to back off and let others experience their own lessons in life. The help we offer is not to do something for them but to let them know that we have faith in their ability to overcome the issues that come up in their lives. After all, the more we rescue the more dependent others can become – and that hurts both parties.

In the poem Chaplin said, “As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at exactly the right moment. So I could be calm… As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

Is it time to practice self love? It’s worth considering!

Have a great few days!

Different Types of Love

How many times over the past few weeks have you said to someone, “I love you.” What type of love were you referring to when you said it? There are many types of love. In fact the ancient Greeks came up with six different types of love and all offer something for us to consider. When you say to a partner, family member or dear friend, ‘I love you’ how does that affect you? Did you feel it? Actually, love occurs not in the heart but in the brain. Our brains emit chemical signals to help us understand the feelings of love. These feelings vary greatly depending on the type of love we are experiencing. The six categories the ancient Greeks defined are worth considering.

Eros – this is the passionate, intense romantic love that arouses our sexual feelings and focuses more on self than the other person. Interestingly, this type of love may not last unless we develop deeper types of feelings of love that focuses on the other person to which we are attracted rather than just ourselves.

Storage – this is love based on family and friendship. It is also the type of love that we have for our children. It is unconditional – meaning it accepts the uniqueness – the flaws – in others and causes us to forgive them. It is the type of love that is committed and based on sacrifice. Feelings of security and total acceptance is experienced.

Ludus – when you see a playful type of exchange between two people such as flirting or teasing or even dancing in an early stage of a relationship you are seeing this type of love.

Philia – this is the warm, affectionate and platonic love for another which also involves the love of self.

Agape – this love is selfless and unconditional. It sees beyond the surface of another and experiences unconditional acceptance for all people. Unfortunately, this type of love has declined significantly over the past 40 years with the biggest decline being over the past decade – especially in the U.S. When we sort and select according to our existing comfort zones we can eliminate the power of experiencing Universal love which fuels the humanity in all of us.

Pragma – the long term, deep understanding of love between couples who have been together for a decades, possibly even lifetimes. Patience, tolerance and the ability to make compromises causes the relationship in this form of love to weather the storm of change because of our selfless feelings towards the other.

For a relationship to grow deeper with time all these different types of love need to be experienced. Ultimately, the ages and stages of happy, supportive relationships last due, in part, to the ability of each person to experience each of these types of love with their significant other.

Does that mean that each type of love is sufficient unto itself? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that there is an internal drive – a yearning – in each of us to experience the totality of love.

When we fall into the judgment mode in our minds separating others that we do not feel of value and certainly not worthy of our love or respect due to their differences we hurt ourselves. We fall into the trap of generalizations – and negative energy begins to surround us. Any judgmental energy can be felt by others which causes them to respond in kind. You may not like the behavior of others but to remember that each of us are reaching for acceptance and belonging would go a long way in reaching an Eros type of love for mankind. Our world would become a better place.

When we realize that love comes in many forms and each type is good for our soul – our spirit – amazing things happen. We become more at peace with ourselves and grateful for our place in the Universe. It gives us more energy which keeps our emotional motors running. We have a sense of something bigger, more important than ourselves which enlarges our world.

The next time you say to someone, “I love you,” think about the six types of love. It is a subject worth pondering.

Have a great few days!