Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fighting Food and Trusting Compliments

Yesterday I started the exercises in Gabrielle Bernstein’s book May Cause Miracles. It’s a little frustrating, because I want so badly to just read the whole book, but you have to do it day by day, and even read a section in the morning and a section in the evening. It’s a 6-week workbook with exercises for every single day. I won’t go into all the exercises (I don’t want to prevent her from getting business), but I will talk about the realizations I make.

These days I feel like light bulbs are going off in my head all over the place! Yesterday I think I discovered another big one. I’ve always wondered why I eat so fast, and suddenly everything connected. In middle school I had a period of time where I had all these stomach issues. I threw up in the mornings, and then I wasn’t hungry the rest of the day until after school. None of that was on purpose, I just felt sick to my stomach and couldn’t think about food most of the day. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong – they even had the nerve to suggest I might be pregnant! At 13 years old! What the…. Anyways, so after my stomach problems calmed down (a year or two later), I still had some sort of issue with eating in public. I felt self-conscious because I thought people were looking at me like, “Wow, she does NOT need all that food.” I thought the sight of me eating would make people judge me and amplify the idea that I was fat. I think all of that negative self-talk made its way into my habits. Now I don’t eat much and I eat really fast. The less time I spend eating, the less time for people to judge me? Is that what my fears and ego are saying? And of course by eating less, I am somehow proving that I am healthy, right? Definitely not. Instead I think my body stores more fat because it thinks it is starving.

So that was an interesting realization.

But wait, there’s more!

I also analyzed a different perspective of my relationship with my ex. He was the perfect catalyst for all this change because he was perfect except for some very specific things that dealt with very specific fears of mine. He allowed me to isolate some of my fears. He was a band-aid and perfectly pacified my fears in all other ways. He loved, adored and admired me. He adored things I hate about myself, and he admired all the things I love about myself. You know what, though? That’s how I need to love MYSELF. Now I’m so scared no one else will love me as much as he did. But that is ALL backwards. I have to love MYSELF that much. And you know what else? I used to get all skeptical about him being sweet. I learned that sweet-talking is fake and bad, and was conflicted because he seemed to be pretty genuine about it, but I spent so much time trying to determine if he REALLY meant what he was saying 100%. But what does it matter? What does it matter if he means it 65%, 90% or 100%? I put way too much weight on HOW MUCH he meant what he was saying, because it would only be a sufficient band-aid for my own lack of love for myself if HE meant it with all of his heart and soul. That’s the wrong way to look at it. If he means it at all, great. Wonderful. The only person who needs to believe all of it 100% is me. His believing it doesn’t fill that void. It doesn’t fix that hole in my heart. I have to believe it myself. He can tell me how smart, beautiful and amazing I am all day long, but if I don’t believe it, it won’t ever mean a damn thing. Some people would crave those words like a drug addict. At least I wasn’t at that level. I just tried to determine if he meant it or if he was manipulating me. I eventually figured out that he just genuinely really cared about me and wanted me to be happy and feel good. Go figure! How paranoid do I have to be to doubt someone like that? How fearful do I have to be to perceive things in that way? It’s pretty sad. I mean, it is true a lot of the time, but my intuition knew better. It isn’t hard to pick out when people have motives behind things like that. I just didn’t want to trust. I was scared to trust. Instead I just wasted time and got worried over nothing.

I’m also still trying really hard to take my own insecurities out of the equation when talking to my parents. I’m pretty sure the most deeply rooted, covered, disguised, pent up issues always reside in your relationship with your parents. Eradicating those issues is HARD! I made such a breakthrough yesterday looking at absolutely everything through [my best crack at] their eyes. Their fears; their lessons; their intentions; their love. I actually got emotional at one point because I think I really hit something big. If you just start by reminding yourself that their intent is to love and care for you, and then add in their own pasts, and then add in how they react to whatever behavior patterns you all have together, it becomes pretty powerful and clear. And then you know what you have to do. You know what you need to do to help the situation. Now it’s just up to me to stop my own issues from getting in the way, or at least to handle them as gracefully as possible when they pop up.

I can’t believe how many breakthroughs I’m having. I’m so excited to be having so much success in this journey. A year ago I was judging the crap out of everyone, and here I am really making an effort to be more loving and accepting, and seeing the love in each day and each interaction I have. I’m also loving myself more. I’m letting go of my judgments of myself. I’m going to be completely unrecognizable soon! The way I talk and experience life will be so dramatically different.

Happiness, here I come!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Love Your Unexpected Problems

Yesterday was pretty interesting. It put my new thought processes to the test. Yesterday I had a nail in one of my tires. I got in the car that morning and the low tire pressure light was on. I found the bad tire and got the pressure back up. After careful inspection, I noticed a nail. So my whole day got sidetracked.

The old me probably would have been stressed out and angry all day. Nervous. Anxious. Worried.

The new me held it together pretty well and even thought it was a particularly good day!

Instead of getting upset and viewing the situation through fear, I just tried to think about what steps I needed to take to deal with it. The only real slip-up I had was when I was talking to my mom about it – old habits, old fears and old triggers got the best of me a little bit there, but I was able to stop, think about how everything was knocking on one of my walls, how the situation was okay and I was just interpreting things in a way I didn’t need to, and then I handled it better.

Not only did I not perceive the situation through fear, but I actually perceived it through love! I was more than happy to sit and wait for my car to be worked on while reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles. On the way back from the shop, I opened all the windows and felt the unusually warm afternoon breeze all around me. I actually felt really happy.

The tire situation could have been so much worse. I could have gotten a flat in the middle of rush hour traffic. I didn’t even get a flat tire at all! I was able to drive all the way to the shop to get it fixed, and under warranty! Honestly, I really just think about how lucky I was, to have the situation play out the way it did, and I even got to enjoy some of the nice weather!

Isn’t that what this is all about? How you perceive events in your life? Bad things are going to happen; it’s all about how you process them and the meaning you give to those events. I could have been miserable and interpreted everything as out to get me. Instead I noticed the beauty, because I wasn’t so caught up in a world of fear. I saw the bright side! Without even forcing myself to!

I’m pretty excited about what this means. That’s obviously just a small test, but I passed. This is some serious progress. I’m aware of my thoughts and emotions, I consciously guide them to a place of love if they get off-track, and I’m not getting worked up over bad things that happen during my day. Awesome. If things are this good now, I can’t even imagine a month or more from now when I’m even farther along in my journey.

Remember to relax when unexpected problems occur! It may be a lesson! Maybe you need to learn about the situation itself, or maybe you just need to practice processing problems. Let go of the fear, and you will be much more clear-headed to deal with the task before you. Fear is set-up for “fight-or-flight”, but that doesn’t really work in our world today. What would I have done today, just run away from the car? Or fight the car? What would that have accomplished? Absolutely nothing! Fear has no useful purpose there. It is just an event. Just a situation. Do whatever you have to do. Along the way, that’s where you get to spread love. I made a joke with the mechanic. I felt the warm breeze on my drive back from the shop. There’s no reason to be frantic. Deal with every situation as it comes, and don’t worry and stress about what comes next. When it comes, you’ll deal with it in the same way.

Take a deep breath and remember that everything is happening for you to grow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We're Already Living a Lie

So I was reflecting and meditating on some of my walls and fears. A huge game-stopper for me is being lied to. Obviously no one wants to be lied to. Maybe some people are more okay with it than me in certain circumstances, but in general, no one wants to be lied to. Depending on what the lie is determines the severity of the pain it causes. So it really isn’t even the lie itself. The thing that was lied about is just amplified by the lie.

I’ve been trying to practice the concept of allowing thoughts that I reject into my head and heart so I can analyze them fully. I am terrified of someone keeping stuff from me, and living a lie, because I want complete honesty, no matter what. I suggested to myself the concept of “is it really that bad?” and I immediately and violently rejected even the suggestion of the thought. Having read and realized what I have, however, I saw that this was yet another wall that I needed to sort through. Just as I’ve done before with other topics, I decided to tell myself, “Okay. This is how you feel about it. That isn’t going to change. Now, let’s pretend for a minute that it isn’t horrible, and just explore that for a second.”

It’s painful to even write like this because I disagree with and hate lying so much, but okay, let’s do it.

Is it really that horrible if someone lies to you? What does it change, exactly? It only changes your mental framework of the reality you live in. Maybe it changes your opinion of someone. In general, so what? Actually, we are already living a lie – someone’s lie has a hand in everything around us. Anyone we interact with is propping themselves up with their words. Everyone. As we know, everyone’s personality was created to protect their ego from pain, so every word they say is somewhat tainted. Companies can “lie” about their products being better than they are. Advertisements lie about how much fun someone is having – it is all scripted. Television lies, pretending it is reality. People bragging are really just grasping for reasons to love and feel good about themselves. Everything is already a lie. These lies have shaped our whole lives and our whole idea of reality. Lies are people’s means of self-preservation, because they can’t accept themselves for who they are. They are scared. They don’t want to deal with the consequences of telling the truth.

That’s not okay, but we are already surrounded by lies daily, and that doesn’t seem to faze us. We’ve gotten used to some lies. That’s kind of scary and eye-opening, if you ask me.

So knowing that, let’s look at lying again. If you’re expecting 100% honesty, you’ve come to the wrong planet. I think what you have to do is expect people to tell you what they are comfortable with sharing. If they’re lying, they’re scared of rejection and pain. If they are lying, they must know they have done something wrong. I’m not condoning lying – the people doing it have their own issues they really need to work through. In the worst cases, they are lying to themselves and cheating themselves out of a real life and meaningful relationships. So really it is just sad. I guess we have to accept that almost everything is already a lie, and understand why that is.

As far as using this in daily life – that’s the tricky part, as always. If you found out someone lied, first stop to think about why they did it. Put yourself in their shoes. What pain and rejection were they scared of? Depending on the lie, that may be good enough for you. You can have a good talk about how they don’t need to be afraid. If it was bigger, or it is a reoccurring lie, that’s another story. You’ll have to delve deeper into the fears and pain behind that.

Just remember that everyone is broken, running around trying to prove themselves and feel good about themselves. Not all the ways people do this is honorable. In fact, technically, NO way people do this is honorable.

I don’t know. I’m still terrified of lies. I understand all of what I’ve written here. I get it. Still – I don’t want to be lied to. I don’t want to have some sense of reality, and then have it shattered. The biggest example of that is having a spouse that cheats on you. Or even a boyfriend that cheats on you. That’s just the ultimate betrayal, and then to have them come back to you and act like nothing has happened – I can’t even imagine, and I don’t want to ever have to imagine. I don’t want that to ever happen. No one does.

I feel like if that happened to me, I would literally never trust anyone ever again. That would break me. That happens every day, though. Especially now, the way society has gone. People cheat all the time. I hate it. What’s wrong with these people? Oh, I know. They are boosting their egos. Being desired and getting attention from other people makes them feel good. Not to mention the added high of sex. They are really broken. That doesn’t make it okay. I hope they realize that no amount of cheating is going to fix that. If you’re having self-worth issues, you’re having self-worth issues. Betraying someone is only going to make those issues worse in the long-run…

Seems like I reject my previous statements, huh? Not completely I guess. The point isn’t to condone, it is to not let it break me. People living out their lies isn’t okay. They have problems. But it’s going to happen, and you just have to understand why, take whatever actions are necessary, and then let it go and move on.

Hopefully if I ever have to go through someone lying to me (again), I’ll remember what I’ve said here, and I can save myself by applying it. In the meantime, maybe I can work on not being so paranoid about people lying. Chances are, if you show them you are a safe-zone where you will accept them no matter what, they won’t feel the need to lie to you.

This whole acceptance thing is hard!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Continuing to Herd My Thoughts

This whole herding my thoughts thing is a full-time job! My mind constantly tries to break out from the edges of the herd, and I have to come around and push it back into formation. Isn’t that the balance, though? You can’t deny that you have thoughts that are not aligned with Love (it happens – we are all human), but you can acknowledge it and try to adjust when it happens. So isn’t that exactly how it should be working? That’s pretty encouraging!

These feelings don’t feel good. I still think about things that do me no good and only make me upset. The difference is, now I can stop and say to myself, “Heal your thoughts. Heal your thoughts. Heal your thoughts,” and wrestle them back to a more accepting place, or else remind myself that I’m just creating and playing out scenarios that AREN’T ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

I hate it when I do that. I’ll get all worked up just playing out a scenario in my head, either one that I’ve decided happened to someone else in the past, or one that I think could happen in the future.

There have been times when I’m running late to work that I play out in my head how my co-worker makes a comment about it and I go off on him. So I get all angry and defensive and think of all the wonderful comebacks I can make, and I play the whole scene out, including his responses. I haven’t done that in a long time now, and I always knew it was silly, even though my mind just loved to do it.

Other times I’ll start filling in the blanks with an ex’s past. I’ll set up a scenario and decide what they are thinking, how they maneuver the situation, how they are feeling, etc. I’ll tell myself I’m playing it out exactly as if I were their own eyes and mind as they did it. And then I’ll start to get all upset and mad at them. For what? I have no idea if my version is even remotely correct. I do always jump to negative conclusions, as has been pointed out to me by many. I’ve gotten a lot better about it over the years, but only because after I make the jump, I guide myself back to reason. I’m hoping I can eventually get rid of those “plays” altogether. At the very least, only analyze what you know, and don’t create a whole story to go along with it and pretend like that is fact. Just ask questions, if necessary.

I’m hoping I’ve grown enough now for all of that to stay in the past. At the very least, I’d love to be able to stop it as it is starting, wait, and just handle whatever needs to be handled in the real world instead of prepping myself or reviewing footage from my imaginary spy-cam. So far I seem to be keeping everything pretty well under control.

Is there a theme in the thoughts you seem to leap to? Can you round up those thoughts and keep them under control? Can you at least remind yourself, as you’re thinking it, that these are all fantasy, and have no basis in reality?

Does anyone else even do this or is it just me? Ha!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Taming a Mind Gone Wild

This weekend my mind went crazy. I did well, positive and accepting, but after a while I started getting way too deep into all sorts of things. I looked around and saw the mess all around me that I’ve been trying to clean up. I saw my out-of-shape self in the mirror. I “saw” my hectic schedule for this weekend. Then I saw some remnants from my ex, and I started thinking about all that, too. I thought about whether or not he was right for me; how he felt about me now; whether or not I was just scared no one else would come along. I even found myself re-analyzing nearly every single thing he’d ever said to me, finding new holes and problems and new ways to interpret things.


I started getting upset. Obviously! I knew this was all just me. I knew this was just me being crazy and letting my mind run wild. I don’t understand why it felt the need to do that, though. Maybe my ego just knows it is losing its power, so it is fighting back.

I have a motto that I try to explain to my friends when they are getting carried away with their thoughts: Worrying should only be used when it helps you identify and plan how to tackle potential problems. If your pondering and worrying can’t help you fix a problem, then it is pointless. And my worrying and pondering was completely pointless!

To make a long story short, I listened to some music and “meditated”. I put it in quotes because I don’t know what exactly constitutes meditating. My version is I just sat staring at some artwork listening to music with no lyrics and tried to clear my mind. I started playing more parts of Eat Pray Love in my head. I was envisioning the parts where Liz is on the floor, and that voice says “Go back to bed”. I also thought about when she was in Italy, and I think she heard/remembered David saying, “Get off the floor.”

I didn’t hear any voice any different from all the other thoughts I was thinking, but my voice told me, “Just get your crap together.” It actually chose a different word, but I want to keep this blog clean.

Everything my mind came up with afterwards was pretty comforting. I just have to focus on getting myself together, my responsibilities, my house, etc. and then I can worry about bringing other joys into my life. Work on the foundation, and the rest will come. I don’t need to be pondering and worrying about all this other stuff. One thing at a time. No need to rush and grasp at quick results. This whole thing is a process. You can’t rush, worry and stress about your house and weight and still be a centered, accepting, calm person who loves herself unconditionally. These are all parts of it. These are just more areas where I need to inject love and enthusiasm. I have no deadline. I wish these things were done already, but there is no deadline, so it is insane to be stressing about it.

Sometimes you just have to play the cards you’re dealt until you get a new hand.