Meeting Our Personal Challenges

By Catherine O'Brien in Attention, Awareness, Happiness, Life Purpose, Prosperity, Success, attitude on July 11th, 2014 / No Comments

Negative Belief Systems

When we are born, we are born pure and whole. We come into this life with perfect innocence, openness and trust with complete dependence on others for our survival. We are complete in our own uniqueness.  As we grow we learn behaviours and we begin to discover that things we do promote different responses from different people and depending on what our personalities are like we can begin to ‘carry’ baggage from an early age.

One of the first lessons we learn as we develop is rejection. How each of us responds to that determines how we move along in life. Do we begin to try harder next time we want to please someone? Do we hold ourselves back so we avoid rejection altogether? Which way creates the easiest path?

All of us have emotional baggage, we hold onto hurts, injustices, regret, relationship pain, and we take these into every future relationship we encounter. Our parents are our first teachers and what we learned as we grew up embeds in us without us being aware of what the conditioning has done. We move along blind to our emotional dispositions until something emerges that triggers an old memory and this is where the accumulation and magnification of issues begins.

An important aspect to any persons’ healthy development is a feeling of security. What do we need in order to feel safe and capable? To feel secure we need to know that we are loved and appreciated. We need the praise and unconditional love of those around us to create a feeling of belonging . Without an established foundation, which is love, we can end up feeling like we are lacking, that we have to try hard to please others and to gain acceptance and approval. We look outside of ourselves to find missing pieces and can appear to others as being needy, or ‘too much’ and we in effect increase the problem as we aren’t aware of what is happening. We are bewildered by a sense of disconnection from others.  Insecurity snags us in a net of fear making us wary and unable to trust ourselves. To begin to heal the issue of having a feeling of not being safe in life we first begin with gentleness, and placing awareness on what our feelings and responses are to new situations and new people in our lives, we begin by paying attention to our own level of comfort at various times and allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling without judgement. This takes time and patience but with gentleness we see where we are tripping ourselves up or holding back out of fear of overexposure or being truly seen.

Once we have begun to observe where we are not feeling safe in life or when we feel like we are beyond our depth we learn that it’s necessary to focus on self-worth. When we move along in life with a feeling of insecurity our self-worth level plummets and we believe that we are non-deserving, we buy into the thinking that keeps us below our abilities because we don’t want to step out and show ourselves. We go along with a bland feeling due to life being empty of successes or triumphs because we haven’t really pushed ourselves or we have hidden away our talents and abilities. We believe that we don’t deserve to ‘have’. We accept less for ourselves and watch other people move through life making plans, excelling, gaining and moving in a direction and we feel left behind. This can lead to us lying to ourselves and giving reasons such as, that doesn’t interest me, or I’d rather stay home  etc. We miss out on the things that would otherwise feed us and help us to stay interested in activities and interests. To start to build self-worth levels back up we need to feel like we are succeeding at something, we need to feel we are useful, helpful and capable. By taking baby steps we can feed our confidence levels by giving ourselves opportunities to see that we can ‘win’, that we can contribute and that needs to be in whatever way you feel is helpful at a particular juncture of your life. Baby steps are important so that you don’t give yourself too much to think about. Overthinking is a natural side effect of low self-worth. You find yourself checking all the cracks and crevices for places you might fall or fail.  This doesn’t serve you and allow flow into our lives.

Developing a sense of freedom in life is easier once we have addressed our issues of insecurity and low self-worth. Once we are feeling safer and more deserving and we begin to move towards things that help us to feel energized, happy and fulfilled our feeling of freedom begins to develop also. We start to embrace new experiences in life and we allow new people to get closer to us, trusting that we have our own backs if we begin to feel any old emotions surfacing. Our sense of adventure grows again and we let our inner-child explore and play more, we embrace unfamiliar circumstances knowing we can trust ourselves to move through them. The feeling of being trapped no longer owns us as we let ourselves express our thoughts, feelings and authenticity. Freedom feels magical to us as we realize that we have been the ones creating the opposing and restricting belief that we are trapped. The trap is the overthinking and the trying to make sure everything feels safe and comfortable before we make a move, it limits us and binds us to a control of who we fully are. Freedom is the ability to express creativity.

As complex beings we contain not only our minds, our thinking mechanisms, but also consciousness, a soul. We are more than our thoughts, words, deeds, we are connected to something greater and we receive from that larger aspect of who we are through our intuition and our instincts. We are spiritual beings. When we are moving along healing old hurts, old habits and patterns we can develop a fear of our darker aspects and this can drive us to a yearning for the light and a false sense of what it is to be spiritual. As we move along in life we try to fill up the emptiness inside by attaching to a higher ideal. Spirituality is misunderstood by many of us, we can misinterpret the idea of being spiritual as being good, righteous, loving, caring, helpful and we try to fill these new expectations of ourselves. Misunderstanding what it means to be spiritual can snare us in a different net. We move through certain challenges believing that we have overcome them because we are now spiritual, or ‘good’. Here we are in more danger than in any other place we might have found ourselves in, such as feelings of insecurity, low worth, trapped, etc. Sitting into a sense that we are spiritual and have found spirituality in a way that we believe means that we are now loving, caring and helpful people is toxic to who you really are. This can mean you have rejected all your darker aspects and what you most need to actualize and claim. In order to be truly a spiritual person means that you are real, honest about how you feel at any given time and able to maintain your own integrity even in the most challenging of circumstances. Spiritual means you have mastered Self, that you claim and accept every small piece and every perceived wrong about you. Spiritual is whole, and whole means the shadow is loved. Loving the shadow part of you means reclaiming everything you tried to reject through believing that you weren’t good enough, all the pieces you put away because someone else said that part wasn’t nice. Once you have fully embraced all of you and you are unafraid to show yourself in your lighter and in your darker moments then you can believe in yourself and know that you are truly a spiritual person;  you are a person living in the moment and comfortable with whatever that is. Whether it’s a dark mood, angry, jealous, whatever it is, you can sit into it.

Once we feel that we have faced our individual challenges and hurdles in life and we have integrated the parts of us that have been rejected we can give ourselves a clean slate to work off. There will be challenges to come of course and memories good and bad from the past but we don’t feel bound and tied to them, they come and go as we experience new things but the hold on us to the past isn’t there. We have learned to detach from the heavier responses that used to cripple us or send us backward in life. With a new sense of clarity and a healthier feeling of security we can face life without fear of what is coming, without fear of the future. Our understanding gives us wisdom and we see that we have moved through experiences in life and made it to today. We can look at the challenges, perceived mistakes, hurts, relationships and the lessons we learned and we can see that we have the tools we need to take on whatever we are faced with, positive or negative we see that we are just a human being, that we are flawed, imperfect and unique and that we don’t have to get it right all the time. Our understanding shows us that it’s ok to make mistakes, to fall, to say or do the wrong thing and we see that this is what being human is, we see that it’s all of us doing the best we can at any given time. The realization that we have learned a lot and that we have grown and changed and that we will further grow and change helps us to let go and to know that we don’t have to have all the answers or to always know what to do. The future is now. Where we are today was our future not so long ago and we got here. We can ask ourselves if it is how we imagined it to be. So as we take further steps along the way we move toward the future and we let ourselves explore and experience as we go knowing that we are not perfect and that’s ok.

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