Why To Know Thyself?

July 9, 2012 by  
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People keep going on and on about know thyself.  So, why the heck is it so important to do that after all?

For starters if we don’t, we’ll just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.   It’s like going to an ice-cream store on a Monday and getting a chocolate ice-cream cone.  Then on Tuesday a strawberry.  And then on Wednesday a Vanilla.  You know what I mean; they are all ice-cream cones just with different flavors.

When we don’t take time for self-reflection, that’s what we do; we repeat the same behavior. If you are thinking that is not you because you can’t identify your current situation with anything else from the past, think again.  Is it really different behavior or does it only look different?  Now, take your time to reflect on the question before answering.  You may surprise yourself with the answer that comes up.

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Meet Your Best Friend- YOU

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Interesting post below discussing self-abandonment.  It basically states – and I agree – that no adult can really abandoned by someone else except by their own selves.  That’s because as an adult we physically no longer need someone to feed and shelter us.  We must do that for ourselves. We won’t be discussing physical abandonment but psychological and emotional.

I know a lot about self-abandonment.  I have loving parents who for many reasons didn’t do a lot of parenting.  When things at home turned to being impossible for me to grow and thrive, I left.  But what followed were decades of self-deprecation as a way of me “paying” for having been “bad” and having left my family.  The results were devastating: abusive relationships and financial turmoil.

It wasn’t until a real disaster happened in my life – the loss of my husband – that I stopped to think why I had let depression and anxiety be my constant companions.  I took a long trip inward, got to know myself, and realized it had been I who had abandoned my life.

If you are in touch with your real feelings and desires than you must have compassion for yourself because you know how you have struggled and overcame all the difficulties in your life. You know where you have been, who you were and who you are.

Compassion is a door to love.  You open that door and love comes out.

If you love yourself than you know no matter what happens and who walks in or out of your life, you will always be there for you.

People always say we come into this world alone and we leave alone.  That’s mostly true but what is missing is pointing out that in having our own companionship we keep depression, anxiety and a sense of loss at bay.

No one is truly alone when they have themselves.

Please read on.

Self-Abandonment

By Margaret Paul Ph.D.

If you feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, hurt, angry, jealous, sad, fearful, guilty or shamed, you are abandoning yourself. In this article, discover the ways you might be abandoning yourself.

The Encarta® World English Dictionary defines “abandon” as: “to leave somebody or something behind for others to look after, especially somebody or something meant to be a personal responsibility.”  Continued…

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When Feeling Blue

April 26, 2010 by  
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When your heart hurts, run and give yourself a hand.  You can do it.

In those moments when you feel alone remember you have yourself.  Who could possibly better soothe your pain away than you, who has known yourself your entire life time?

Of course partners, family, friends, lovers are great help to show us a door when we feel we are cornered.  But the truth is unless we do the rescuing ourselves, outside hands are just band aids.

In my life there are those moments that I actually have to lean against the wall to feel something strong pushing against me.  And when I do it, I let it all out; no holding back.  I feel the loss of my husband, the loss of a cherished life, my fears, and disappointments.

Once I’m done, I take myself away from the wall – with the love I would with a child with snot all over her face from crying – and I do something nice to distract myself.  Music, a film, a book, my dogs, wine, food, a friend; whatever it is that I think I need at that moment.  And then I move on.  Because that is what we do; we keep living and we keep moving forward.

So next time you feel blue, don’t run away from it.  Embrace the feelings, understand where they are coming from and then offer yourself a way to move on.   It is only when we are able to embrace our pain that we can truly find happiness.

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Working Hard At Being My Own Best Friend

January 16, 2010 by  
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Why and what are the most thought of words in my brain these days.  Why do we struggle?  Why all the effort? What is it all for?  And just plainly why and what.

To try to come up with any kind of possible answer I have been spending more time than usual hanging with myself.  Checking in and finding out more about this person I live with.  It’s a bit of an odd concept, get to know oneself, as if we are two separate individuals; one that just is and the other who works at getting to know the first one.

But how many of us really know ourselves?  And how many of us spend enough time with ourselves?  I’m not talking about time in front of our computers or TV.  I’m talking about time to listen to our thoughts, frustrations, hurts and pleasures.

We drive, we work, we eat, we are on our iPods, cell phones, chat-rooms but do we ever sit quietly and ask ourselves: how are we?  What’s bugging us?  What’s making us happy?

As philosophy is the cousin of existentialism and self reflection, I went digging through the Greek philosophers and found an interesting answer Antisthenes gave when asked what philosophy meant to him; he said the ability to hold converse with myself.

Now philosophy’s cousin – meditation – aims at giving ourselves time to be quiet and reflect.  It also works at making us present.  We are so often thinking of the past and of the future, that the present is almost never truly experienced.

Living requires us being in touch with ours senses and not just locked up in our heads.  Try washing your hands in water but truly being present in the moment.  Try making love and really feeling all the sensations.  Try eating an apple and getting lost in its crunches. Being present makes life be a completely different experience.

Being my own best friend also requires that I do something fulfilling for myself on a daily basis.  For me it means; a nice meal, a glass of outstanding wine, playing with my dogs or just sitting outside in the yard.

The bottom line is: in this world where we are bombarded with information and are asked to run and make decisions every minute of our lives, so it becomes easy to lose our sense of self.  And the only way of having any balance is by checking in.  So I for one want to be my friend.  No, I actually want to be my best friend.  Because I am the only one that knows every place and every person I ever met.  And I am the only one who no matter what will always be with me.  So I better be my own best friend.

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Love Thy Self

September 9, 2009 by  
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Today I read an Oprah.com article on CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/09/07/o.self.esteem.repair.kit/index.html) about self-esteem. 

I don’t know if issues of self-esteem are more prevalent among women but I could certainly identify with the writer. 

I’ve been working on my own issue of self-esteem for a very long time.  People that know me would find this statement strange as I am a very self-assured and loud woman. But I never think I’m enough.  That is how my lack of love for myself or self-esteem issue manifests itself.

I’ve had many accomplishments in life but I don’t get to appreciate and enjoy them because when they are happening I’m already moving on, thinking it was nothing. 

Another way my self-esteem shows its ugly head is, I’ve always thought why would a man want to be in a relationship with me?  I’m not young enough or successful enough. Even when I was twenty I already saw myself as old and having to catch up with “so and so” – people I didn’t even know – because they were my age and in my mind were already ahead of me.I of course can trace some of this to my family life.  At home, I was the one who was dishing out advices to all the members in the family.  They appreciated that but favored my sibling as she needed more attention.  So as a child I felt, here I am being giving, mature and understanding but being pushed aside for my sister’s needs. 

I can also remember at age sixteen telling my dad that I had decided to start ballet to only have him say I was already too old to make a career out of it.

So for many years I walked around considering myself as a factory reject and getting into all kinds of situations with men who couldn’t possibly love me (not because of me but because of themselves) and if I could make one of them love me then maybe I was worthy after all. 

I’m not blaming my family for any of this.  We loved each other and continue to do so and we all try our best.  I’m also mature enough to know my life is my responsibility.  

I believe a life is really about getting to know oneself, changing that which makes us unhappy and becoming our own best friend in the most loving of ways; understanding and accepting.

I believe we can only affect a positive change in our life if we first change something within us that causes unhappiness and/or turmoil.   Easy to know that what I’m saying is true.  Just pick any rich, beautiful, intelligent, young person out there who is completely miserable to know that the problem is within that person.  On the other hand, there are plenty of simple people that are happy or satisfied.  I’m by no means saying that rich people are unhappy and poor people are happy.  I’m just pointing out that the ingredients that all of us consider being the ones to bring satisfaction in life, if not supported by an internal understanding, love and acceptance of our selves, become almost ineffective.

Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

I agree with his statement but I think it’s incomplete.  I really believe that in befriending ourselves we can find the companionship that we so much crave.

So what do I do about my self-esteem issue?  I slow down and try to appreciate something that I really enjoy.  In my case it can be as simple as a beautiful glass of wine or playing with my dog.  Somehow the joy of those simple activities brings me a sense of well being.

I also look around and think where I have been and what I have done and I take a deep breath and try to appreciate my accomplishments. 

And mostly I remind myself that my journey is my own and at the end only my best friend (myself) and I will know the entirety of my life and know I have tried to do everything that I set myself out to do and that I was human and I loved and it was a job well done.

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Will Everything Be Okay?

August 24, 2009 by  
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I have a lot of anger inside of me.  I have some ideas of how and why I’ve ended up with all this anger but that’s for another post.  Notice I’m not saying I’m an angry person but saying I have a lot of anger inside.  The difference is that my anger is not present in my life every day.  It’s like a caged animal just waiting to bounce out and when that happens it’s bloody.  I have been working on managing my anger for a long time and it is much better.  Maybe instead of being a jaguar it is now a snake.  The symbolism might not make sense to you but just believe it has gotten better.

My husband got scared of my anger a few times.  Last Saturday a very close friend of my his asked me to babysit for his one month old baby.  Not a big deal except that I had not really heard from this particular friend from October 08 through August 15th 09, when he came over for the first anniversary of my husband’s passing. 

I said “yes” as I always think if we can help a friend why not?  But then the anger started to come up.  Why would I be giving my Saturday to a man who didn’t bother to ask how I was for almost a year?  A man who said he considered my husband a brother.  But as I had said yes I followed through.  It turns out it was a beautiful time.  I don’t really know why this friend didn’t contact me for all this time but I have a hunch I will find out sooner rather than later.  I also know, while not very friendly of him not to have been there for me, he must have had things happen in his personal and business life and that he loved my husband and cares about me.  The point is he was really nice and spending a couple of hours with the baby was magical.

After feeding, changing the diapers the baby finally fell asleep laying on my chest.  She wanted my warmth to feel safe and connected and I welcomed it as it also made me feel connected.

Sunday night, my dog curled up with me.  That’s very unusual for him as his ritual is: licking me good night and then going to sleep at the bottom of the bed.  But last night he curled up with me.  I could feel his body heat and I’m sure he could feel mine and it was soothing.

When my husband was alive I used to ask him every night if everything was going to be okay.  I actually asked him that all the way to his last day when he was too frail to make everything okay even if he wanted to but he answered “yes” that everything was going to be okay.  When I was seeing a therapist she asked me why I would ask a question that I knew the only true answer would be “I don’t know.”  I couldn’t really answer her then but now that I think about it my answer would be that what I really wanted Chris and I to know was that we were together no matter what.  Of course neither he nor I could guarantee the outcome of anything but we could let each other know that we were there for each other and that made everything okay.

Chris left me with his immense love for me and his love lives within me and it warms me up. With loosing him I have also lost a lot of my anger.  I know it’s a strange thing to say as most people that have not gone through I huge loss would image adding more anger not loosing some.  But the truth is when life presents itself in its rawest form, there is no space for anger and as corny as it may sounds I have to say there is only space for love.

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