Tag: personal growth

Taking Radical Responsibility for Our Lives

BuddhaPath

If we don’t own our stuff, we will never see our disempowered pattern nor will we grow and experience a better future.  As Buddha says, “Enlightenment comes from awareness.” In order for us to grow, we must first become aware.

I remember clearly the day I took radical personal responsibility for my life. It was about 7 years ago. I stopped dead in my tracks at the foot of my bed and looked back over my entire life. I steeled myself for what I was sure was going to be an onslaught of shame and regret. I remember cringing inside afraid of what I might see, but I went for it anyway.

I faced every disempowered behavior I could remember: bending and stretching to fit others’ ideas of who I should be, doing things I hated to please another, failing to hold much needed boundaries and playing small to be liked.

I kept going: one night stands, drinking alcohol or smoking weed to fit in, staying with partners who hit me, drove intoxicated or emotionally abused me and allowing disrespect from friends, family and partners. The list went on and on.

When I was finished, I just stood there unsure what was next. What I did know was the world did not end, I did not lose a limb, my children were still alive and…

I felt… free?

Holy Mother Earth, I felt FREE! I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Everything that I had kept hidden, all the secrets, all the shame, was out in the open. I was free!

Yes, I did that. All of it. It was me. I am the one who is responsible for my choices and my life.

I understood for the first time how the unworthiness hidden inside of me manifested dangerous, reckless and unkind behaviors to myself.

I gave myself a big hug and said, “I am so sorry I did this to you. You deserve so much better! I will do better by you in the future. I promise.”

And I forgave myself.

Something radically shifted that day for me. I was reborn. My path to worthiness and empowerment had begun. I now always seek to recognize when I am acting out of shame or unworthiness instead of love. I catch myself sooner and I make choices that will lift my heart and life rather than perpetuate a defeating cycle.

And you can do the same.

Ownership Practice:

Pick a date and time to be alone with yourself where you will have no interruptions. Open your mind and heart. Allow yourself to remember and replay all the times you did not love yourself or protect your well-being. Recognize each one with neutrality and non-judgment. Allow the memories to come forward one at a time. No judgment, no condemnation. Just recognition. Own it all.

When you are finished, wrap your arms around yourself and say out loud: These were my behaviors driven by low self-worth. I recognize my old pattern. I did the best I could at the time. I’m sorry for putting you through that. I will do my best to love and protect you in the future.

And so it is. Amen.

Recognizing Your Doormat Tendencies

It can be a very difficult thing to admit where we have been a doormat in our lives.  I hear the excuses repeatedly in others’ words as I, too, historically had heard the excuses repeatedly in my own.  The thing we have to realize, is the mechanics of “why” we have such a hard time admitting the truth of our behaviors.  Most often it is not because we don’t want see it, but because our ego does not want us to see it.  It is fighting against our growth.   Our ego is very cunning and very sly.  It can fill our heads with bounties of shame and belittlement, in a sense forcing us to ignore the truth before us.  Since, we already have a poor self-worth (shame), to admit yet another “fault” can feel like too much to bear so we subconsciously keep it hidden in hopes to hold onto some semblance of worth – even if it is false worth.

When we begin to recognize our doormat behaviors, the doors begin to swing wide open for healing and advancement and over time, this would mean death to the ego (our lower self).  I have to admit I have heard some pretty darn creative excuses in my time!  Each and every time, I come to know even more deeply how much power we give over to our to our egos and how little we have honored our authentic selves.

The road to empowerment is all about radical honesty with self.  It’s about standing up and saying:

Yes, I handed my power over to him/her right there!  This is precisely the place I go wrong every time.

Oftentimes, I believe we are deeply afraid to admit our doormat areas because that will mean we have to do something different right now, this minute, and we simply are not yet healed or prepared enough to do so.

Rest assured, admittance is only the first step to healing.  No one can make you do anything that you are not truly ready for.  Know and understand that recognition of your disempowered ways is merely the gateway to building up your strength, faith and courage to be able to act from a higher place whenever you are ready to do so.

Recovering from doormat hood is just that… a recovery.  It takes time, commitment and tenacity to start to living empowerment in all areas of your life.  To whole-heartedly admit your doormat tendencies, is to say YES to a better way of living… A life of brimming with respect, honor and fulfilled dreams.