Tag: taking responsiblity for your life

Healing Starts With Ownership

BuddhaPath

As Buddha says, “Enlightenment comes from awareness.” Our healing starts with ownership. In order for us to grow, we must first become aware. If we don’t own our disempowered behaviors and patterns, we cannot grow and experience a better future.

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. I noticed 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 shame and unworthiness hidden inside of me had 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.  Give yourself permission to review and remember 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 give yourself a heart felt apology for putting your through that. Or even better, write yourself one.

Read My Apology Letter to Self here.

 

Be Open to the Truthtellers in Your Life

We’ve all encountered those moments when someone attempts to tell us about ourselves and we just don’t want to hear it. Somewhere deep inside a mechanism kicks in telling us their words are not relevant to what we are going through and we kick the idea to the curb shortly after word three.

If this sounds familiar, this article is for you.

First, I’d like to state up front, this article is not designed to shame or attack you. It’s designed to get you started on your healing path so you can release your self-sabotaging behaviors for good.

All throughout our lives we encounter others’ opinions – some resonate and some not so much. However, there are those “special” times when we hear what someone is saying and immediately disclaim their insight because, truth be told, they are touching a place inside us we have worked diligently to ignore – our shadow side.

The problem with this mechanism is unless we are willing to hear the truth, we will forever wash, rinse, repeat the same situations over and over again. We then return to the same friends with the same problems and hear the same thing! At this point we begin to convince ourselves that our friends have no idea what they are talking about. They just don’t get it! Instead, we go find someone who we can fool and get the validation we are craving. However, if your friends or “truth tellers” have walked in your shoes and healed those same places, they mostly likely DO know exactly what you are talking about and are trying to help you. To continue to push away their wisdom is to perpetuate your story of pain and suffering.

After having experienced an awakening some years back, I learned this valuable truth:

We cannot do it alone and the truth will indeed set us free!

We need others to shine light on our darkness when we are blind – to love us enough to tell us the truth. And believe me when I say, it’s not any easier to be the truth teller! Truth tellers often get yelled at, shunned and even ignored after sharing the truth. They become the “bad guy” when in fact, they are the good guy!

Let’s face it, some people are not so easy to talk to (and this could be you). However, ironically, the truth tellers are the people in our lives that have the courage to at least try. They often know that they are risking the friendship and/or connection by doing so, yet they desperately want peace for their friend so they keep trying. It’s difficult to go up against the ego in a blind person. The ego don’t take kindly to truth! However, by altering your perception of your truth teller from “mean and hurtful” to “loving and caring”, you will hear them differently than you have before and shift can begin.

Healing one’s wounds and disempowered places begins with truth. Just like in Alcoholics Anonymous where the alcoholic stands up and declares, “Hello, I’m John. I’m an alcoholic”, the wounded needs to own their behaviors and begin to take responsibility. Ownership is Step One.

Hello, I’m Kristen and I’m a recovering doormat.

We cannot move forward towards a solution until we are ready to recognize the problem.

I remember the precise moment I took responsibility for my self-defeating behaviors. I was standing in my bedroom some time midday and I decided to try to locate the places I did not act from my highest self and the places where I was wanting another to fill my void. Of course, my ego told me there would only be a few… Wrong! To be completely honest, out came a torrent of all my needy and disempowered places! Picture a family of hungry monkeys clamoring for the zookeeper holding a bunch of bananas. It was mayhem! It was gross, appalling and embarrassing! Even though no one was around, I squirmed and cringed as each memory came to the forefront.

And then the miracle happened…

The torrent stopped as quickly as it started. Silence. I looked around quizzically and wondered, “Is that it? Am I done?”

After noticing lightning didn’t strike me dead nor did I didn’t shrivel up into a warted troll, I felt the weight of the world lift off of me. Whoaaaa… What? I felt free… Finally free! I didn’t know what to do with all this, so I layed down on my bed to let it sink in. I observed there was no shame. There was no regret. There really wasn’t anything, but peace. My truth had set me free. Nothing more, nothing less. My shadow had finally been heard and it was now at rest.

THAT was the day my life changed forever. From that point forward, I set course to work on my self-worth and self-esteem. I finally realized I had created this whole frenetic scene and I could equally and successfully un-create it.

I occasionally wondered why no one ever brought my behavior to my attention. I considered myself an open book and knowing there is a lot of wisdom in the world, I was perplexed as to why no one had ever shed light on my darkness. Then the answer came. I had kept the really shameful parts to myself. I only shared parts of my story that would gain the oooohs and ahhhhhs from my cohorts. I never told the entire truth about the things I did because my ego convinced me those parts didn’t matter. My lower-self wanted so badly to be right; it subconsciously undermined my truth in the just perfect way to keep me stuck. Instead, I received all the appropriate statements like, What an a**hole! and You deserve so much better! My ego was validated, but my soul was not. Sound familiar?

When we are truly suffering and truly wanting for change, we must be willing to take radical responsibility for our behavior and if possible share it with a trusted friend. It’s important we share the uncut, unedited and raw version in lieu of some manipulated version that will only gain you the validation your ego so desperately wants.

I promise you, your ownership will not magically turn you into a warted troll, nor will lightning strike you down. Only healing and grace comes from radical self-honesty.

And one more thing… Always remember, there is nothing exclusively wrong with you! You are spirit having a human experience like the rest of us on this planet. You are fallible, forgivable and healable!

Show us what you got!