Tag Archives: fear

Teaching is a hard b’ness

Never a dull moment. What is it to have lunch to myself or with a colleague? Every free moment spent with students who have no access to resources many of us take for granted. Internet. A computer. You assume it. They look for the chance to access it. I work with some very poor students. These students need help getting meals. These students have been removed from their families by child services. I sometimes want to check out from the pain they are forced to feel….ALL THE TIME. I am there at lunch, at free periods, after school. I show them there is an adult who gives a shit about their success. I give up my life to make sure they have a future. I had my shot. Whatever I can do, I will. They cry to me. HELP ME! I find a way to help. I am more than a teacher. I am a parent, a counselor, a friend. All the people they never had. I have always fought for the underdog. I continue that fight. ALL my kids will have a voice. I AM FEARLESS. I know what it is to have no one listen. I have ears. I hear you. I will make sure your voice is heard. I am your advocate. I am a soldier. I am hope. You matter. I believe in you. Even when the darkness falls, look to me and you will find a lighted pathway. You are NOT alone.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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All the Things Money Can’t Buy

I was chatting with some friends last night over dinner and catching them up on my life. As these conversations often do, we found ourselves talking about relationships.

What do You Want?
A friend turned to me and said, if you could summarize what you want from a relationship in one sentence what would you say? This was an interesting challenge. After a few minutes I said, “I want to be with a man for all the things that money can’t buy”.

Apparently, this was a profound statement because everyone stopped eating, stared off for a moment and returned with – “Wow. Yeah. Me too. Well said.”

Can’t Buy Me Love
While this is not to say I want to be with someone without 2 nickels to rub together,¬† I also can’t be bought. There is NO replacement for:

  Intimacy
  Empathy
  Consideration
  Bonding
  Respect
  Tenderness
  Authenticity
  Hugs at the right moment
  Compassion
  Good conversation
  Really listening
  Making quality time
  Being held
  Divulging deep dark secrets without fear
  Safety
  Consistency
  Acceptance of who and what you are
  Great character
  Kindness to strangers
  Humility
  Great sense of humor used at the right time

Too many times I experience individuals so desperately trying to keep a relationship that they give stuff, their bodies, favors in hopes that they will be loved in return. These are gestures of fear and desperation. You cannot make love from this space.  If there was one word thst could summarize all the others above it would be to connect to someone. This makes loves because you are actually thinking of and feeling for the other person.

Enough about Me, Tell Me about You
I like to think of love like being open and ever curious. If you don’t feel this or have anxiety or fear then you are not in a good space to find, to make or to maintain love.¬† When you stop thinking about me, me, me and how I get my needs met, you can open up to another person and get to know them. Funny thing is that with most people they want to reciprocate. So, you have a better chance of getting what you want by showing another person the same curiosity you would like first.

It really struck me to finally have a simple set of words to frame what I’m looking for in a relationship. It goes a step further though I think. As we say in science,¬† like attracts like. If I am the qualities on that list, I will attract that kind of person into my life. Those we are with are a reflection of how we see ourselves afterall. In other words be the person you’re looking for.

 

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

The Road to Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy. We live in a society where any inconvenient thought or feeling is considered “drama.”

How do we find our happy place? Can we plot out our journey with happiness as the final destination? Can we steer clear of the “drama” until we are only sourrounded by people with no needs at all? Will that make us happy?

Avoiding unhappiness, is not the road to happiness

How many times have you heard yourself say, I need to get away? How many times have you walked out on people or situations that challenged you to stay present? How many times have you drunk, smoked, fucked, shopped, etc. too much just to avoid facing the unhappiness in your life? You’re not alone. This is a place where we can stop lying to ourselves, put down the mask and look into the mirror.

People are not happier because they’ve been through so little. They are happy because of how they handled getting through so much.¬†

Fear: Ah yes! Your fear can kill you from within making you second guess yourself into inaction.¬† Fearing death makes you afraid to live. To really live is to smile at the face of death and say “thank you for one more day”.

Happiness is in all the moments on the periphery.

It does not come when we try to force it or search for it or put a laser focus on it. It is when we stop looking that we catch glimpses of it out of the corners of our eyes. It is there in the moments we are enjoying a conversation, a play, the birth of our child, a five second orgasm. It is the moment when we confess to another our truth and they say with their eyes, I love you as you are.

Clariry of Purpose is knowing what you’re willing to lose to keep that happiness.

The key to everlasting happiness is knowing what you value the most and relentlessly pursuing it with all your might for the rest of your life.

For example, if the happiness of your spouse makes you happy and s/he is currently suffering, then you will not feel well either. You will feel her pain, suffer with him.  Your happiness will elude you. Therefore, you must work for her happiness directly and your own, indirectly. You see, your smile, your hapiness is the by-product of achieving what you value most Рthe hapiness of your wife.

Figure out what you value the most, pursue it tirelessly and you will know how to acheive everlasting happiness.

Mine is to be loved and accepted for who I truly am. This has been the main pursuit of my entire life. So goes the name…aneternaltraveler.¬†

What’s yours?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Introduction

She was old, but familiar. I wanted to keep myself moving along, but I stopped and sat next to her instead. I didn’t say anything. Nothing I thought of sounded like a good start. Maybe I hoped she had something to say to me. I had been in search of something, a kind of answer to a question equally unknown to me. But was now the time? Why should I ask this familiar stranger?

She was so quiet that it made every thought in my head seem so loud and intrusive.  There seemed to be a million things to say and nothing too important at all. So we sat there and finally my mind relaxed and got quieter.

I knew what I wanted to say. So I finally asked, “Did you ever think our life would turn out like this?” 

She looked at me and a wide smile slowly formed on her face. She stretched out her hand to place it in mine and said, it is nice to finally meet you, but I guess there is no real need to introduce myself. Finally?, I thought. “Yes”, she said. “Finally.”

And that is how it all began.

Failure Guaranteed. Success Optional.

I would say my biggest struggle throughout my life has been not feeling like I was good enough. ¬†I plugged along anyway and got things done, but I always wondered what it would feel like to accomplish those things without that crippling handicap.¬†There is some part of me that still is not sure if I’m worth the trust I place in myself. I’ve been knocked around a lot and it gets harder to get up each time. ¬†I always do, but I never quite heal fully.

There are times when I’ve held on to relationships longer than I should have just because I felt safer having a second person as a back up plan to myself.

I’ve pretended not to feel bad to my “support network” because I learned that I couldn’t count on people to stick around when the going got tough.¬†

I believed that there was something so flawed about me that I couldn’t even correct it. ¬†I imagined that others found it so repulsive that eventually, they’d stop liking me (if they ever really did), stop wanting to be around me, and finally leave me.

I realize now that I had learned not to trust myself or others.  Instead, I taught myself to be self-sufficient to a fault. I taught myself to rely on no one. To hide myself and quietly toll along.

A¬†part of me hoped I would¬†arrive at some destination where everything would fall into place – I’d be successful and people would really like me, hear me, and stay for a change.

I realize now that I had taught myself to believe that no matter what I accomplished in life, it was because of a force outside of myself and it had nothing to do with me. Yet I was always responsible for the failures.  Interesting how that works!

When you don’t know how it works, it all seems like magic!

You hope that success in one area equals success in all areas by proxy. Sort of like believing that if you get¬†that promotion you’ve been working for, you’ll also magically lose weight, get in shape, get great friends, and find the someone of your dreams. When only one of those things happen because it was the only one you were putting effort into, it can feel disappointing if you believe that mainly outside forces control the outcomes in your life. It can seem like with all the good energy being put into the universe, all your wishes should come true even if you didn’t do anything more than wish.

I think one of the hardest things to give up is a fear of your own success.

Yes! You heard me right. ¬†Fear of Success. We can actually become comfortable with our lives and our ingrained thought processes even when they do us no good. ¬†If you’re afraid of succeeding you can often sabotage your efforts to keep yourself stuck in place. It’s a bit like an addiction. You do it compulsively even though you know better. Giving it up is a major stressor. It forces you to rethink everything in your life.

That’s just hard because the brain likes predictable things to work with. ¬†It likes to think as little as possible. So, you’re literally messing with your own head when you force it to change the message based on how you look at your accomplishments.

You can’t keep reasonably telling yourself you’re a worthless, no good, failure when you keep succeeding. And especially because¬†despite that awful voice in your head, you’ve succeeded! That’s really a feat to be proud of!

Letting yourself be proud means letting go of the tapes in your head that trained you to believe otherwise about yourself.

When it all boils down it sometimes helps me to remember that failure is guaranteed. Success is optional.

I’ll write more in future blogs about the fear of failure vs. the fear of success so it can be a more expanded discussion. I just wanted to get this out.

with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Invisible Widget

In a world that moves too fast for dreams to take root, no wonder you’re disappointed.¬† Where is the safe place in your socially networked mind that you go to get some peace? Who are YOU? A profile, a mask, an image, a task, a job, a role, an invisible widget in something¬†that feels like life? ¬†I ask you WHERE are YOU? ¬†What would you call yourself if you didn’t have a name?

I’m filled with many unanswered questions too! ¬†I walk out into the big wide world and think,¬†what the fuck am I going to do? Success may be fleeting, but what else makes living worthwhile? So we figure out where we’ve failed in the first part of life and then spend the second half¬†making a self-improvement plan and celebrating the little victories. ¬†The hope is that maybe everything we do will make just a little bit of sense. Just enough to keep us waking, working, striving, rinsing, and repeating.

Do you have a dream? Remember when it felt like you had time to dream? ¬†You took that for granted didn’t you. And now you wish for naps in the middle of the day where your mind could just float away and nobody snapped you back to anything that was more important – called REALITY.

Recently, I’ve started dreaming again and now it looks like the first step of one of my dreams is about to come true. Nothing could both excite and terrify me more. I wasn’t sure I could allow myself to dream after years of shutting them down. And here I am again, almost 40 and about to start school again en route to¬†a new career (middle school science teacher!). It feels different that it did when I was in my 20’s in grad school. Sometimes I wonder if I can make it through!

I think acting on your dreams is scary business especially when you stopped even daring to dream for so long. When we take the next step into action, we make it real. We bet the house on ourselves. Sometimes, that bet doesn’t feel like a sure thing. It is an act of faith towards ourselves. Sometimes we need time to prove to ourselves that our faith is well placed.

One step at a time.

–<3 with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Assault of the Mind

Today was another day of waking up to a roll call of my failures and shortcomings.  All before I even opened my eyes.

Sometimes, I stay paralyzed in this state for a good 15 min. while I get the shit beaten out of me.

At some point, another dude shows up and says, “C’mon now, it’s not that bad. ¬†I love you & we’re gonna be ok.” ¬†I have to hear this repeated over and over in order to release the physical paralysis and get up.

Tired Before I Get the Day Started

Do I have to get out of bed?
Do I have to get out of bed?

Needless to say, this is an extremely exhausting way to begin my day. Often it will take me until afternoon to start feeling ok. ¬†It makes it hard for me to focus on the things I set out to accomplish. ¬†Often, I’m too exhausted to do much else after just managing these assaults all day long. ¬†This, of course, folds back on itself creating “proof” that the asshole in my head just might be right after all.

Of Two Minds

Wait a minute!! Who's in charge here?
Wait a minute!! Who’s in charge here?

Research shows that the conscious mind averages about 40 bits of information/secondapproximately 1-3 events at a time. The subconscious mind however takes on an average of 4 BILLION bits of information/secondso literally THOUSANDS of events at a time!!!

If these two were in a fight to get the message across the fastest, who would you put your money on to win?? If you said the subconscious,¬†congratulations…you’re a little richer.

If you are one of the many people out there, like myself, who have jumped on the “law of attraction / affirmation” bandwagon in order to feel better about your life, you may have also noticed that it’s not quite cutting the mustard. ¬†Why not? ¬†Well, I’m glad you asked ūüôā

First, we read all these books or watch the videos and we “think” Aha! ¬†I’ve got the secret. ¬†Soon, after much practice…we say something like…wait a minute, it’s not working.

That’s where the gurus typically tell us that we are not trying hard enough and we are affirming our negativity.

Try harder!!
Try harder!!

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more I hate than someone telling me I’m failing because I’m not “trying hard enough”, especially when I”m giving¬†everything I’ve got.

I believe¬†that’s both unfair and unhelpful. ¬†It gives you absolutely no insight whatsoever. ¬†To make some headway (pun intended hehehe), first you have to understand a little bit about the purpose of the conscious and the subconscious parts of the mind.

Conscious vs. Subconscious

Conscious Р uses logic & reason, anything you CHOOSE to do, past & present, filter for your belief system (the judge/bouncer)

Subconscioususes emotions, involuntary actions, always in the present, core of your belief system and memories

Let’s use an example. ¬†Based on my experience of being bitten by a big dog I trusted, my subconscious has stored a memory of the event and a belief that ALL big dogs are dangerous and I should stay away. ¬†When I see a big dog my conscious mind is alerted by the subconscious that there is danger and it logically chooses to avoid contact to keep me safe from perceived danger based on my belief system.

Now, let’s imagine you try to create a conscious affirmation that “ALL big dogs are safe” because you’re tired of being scared. ¬†Hmmm…it isn’t working. ¬†Well that’s because your conscious mind says these words and then dutifully checks in with the subconscious belief system and¬†learns that¬†the subconscious says…hell no. ¬†So basically, you can say all you want, but if the subconscious says bullshit, all bets are off. ¬†You are still afraid of big dogs.

The Powerless Feeling of Positive Thinking

In my own life, without realizing it, I’ve habitually and chronically adopted some beliefs deep down that prevent me from achieving what I say I want out of life. ¬†This is really demoralizing and depressing.

You start to get pissed at yourself because, you’ve tried to convince yourself to believe differently¬†through affirmations and you’ve failed. ¬†You start to think well maybe I really am useless, messed up, broken, etc. So now you’re basically afraid AND¬†feel like a failure. ¬†Cool. ¬†So much better. Thanks.

If this sounds familiar, first of all take a deep breath. ¬†You’re not the only one who has tried the power of positive thinking and felt at your wits end.

It is¬†enormously helpful to understand that, you simply cannot consciously do what you subconsciously don’t believe without creating a moral dilemma.

That is the whole basis of the conflict, misery, and discontent you feel inside.

When these “two minds” are aligned we can be successful, when they are not we are in conflict with ourselves and others. PERIOD.

If you wonder why you say you want to do one thing, but seem to quit before you start, or half-way through, or lose it after you get it, this is why. It is almost impossible for us to achieve a goal if we hold subconscious beliefs that are in conflict with that goal. Your subconscious mind will find a way to sabotage you at some point in the process.

Any time the conscious is distracted or offline the subconscious takes over the reigns of control. ¬†So, that’s why I wake up to the jackhammering sound of my subconscious every morning for a while until my super slow conscious comes back online to get me up and going like a good project manager.

Your Head is Like an 8-Track Player with One Tape to Play

Most of us have heard about the “tapes” that play in our heads. ¬†This is another way to approach talking about the subconscious mind. ¬†Sometimes, it is really hard to tweeze out the messages that are constantly replaying in our minds because they play so quickly. ¬†If your’e lucky you have great positive messages playing, but for many of us, that’s not the case. ¬†Today, I wrote mine¬†down immediately after my conscious mind got me up.

I’m going to share them with you because, I have a feeling you might think you’re the only one this is happening to and you’re cracking up. ¬†You’re not alone. ¬†I can’t promise that you’re not cracking up ;p

You little worm...
You little worm…

Here are the ramblings of my subconscious (my tapes) that I hear every morning and whenever I feel insecure and my conscious can’t keep it under control.

Why don’t you just kill yourself? ¬†You always take on more than you can handle. ¬†You know you are going to fail, so why do you even try? Sooner or later you’re going to be homeless and living on the street. ¬†Nobody loves you. ¬†Nobody cares about you. ¬†You are insignificant. ¬†Fucking loser. ¬†You can barely keep it together. ¬†Why do you even bother getting up day after day? You are not good enough. ¬†You are not smart enough. ¬†You’re a fraud. You suck with people. ¬†Nobody would ever want to be your friend. ¬†Everyone see that you are a problem. ¬†If they don’t see it yet, give it time.

Whew!! I read these aloud and began sobbing uncontrollably half-way through.  Day after day of waking up to this barrage of abuse.  Knowing it is lying just beneath the surface of my consciousness threatening to undo me with the right trigger, makes it damn hard to get much out of life.

What do your tapes play?  See if you can write it down and then read it back to yourself.  How did you feel?

Prolonged Exposure Therapy?

I recalled reading about a “prolonged exposure therapy” developed by U. Penn psychologist Edna Foa to help veterans with PTSD. ¬†It has been enormously successful, but it works contrary to the way most of us deal with trauma (by avoiding talking about it or discouraging survivors to dwell). ¬†Basically, this therapy encourages you to talk about it /tell your story over and over until it minimizes or eliminates the PTSD entirely. ¬†If we don’t talk about things, they don’t magically disappear. ¬†They fester.

Prolonged exposure therapy is now also being successfully used to help survivors of rape and sexual assault to deal with their PTSD.  It has been shown to be more effective than conventional therapy.  After exposure therapy, 83% of these girls no longer had the diagnosis of PTSD vs. 54% who received conventional supportive counselling. Even their depression and daily functioning improved significantly with exposure therapy.

It got me thinking about how the tapes we play in our heads operate in our lives in a very similar way as PTSD in that they both can take over your life and belief system to negative affect.  Ultimately, in both situations a trauma has occurred that has affected your belief system AND is making life unmanageable.

Could a version of this “prolonged exposure therapy” help us to manage our crippling fears and beliefs¬†that negatively impact our lives so that we may move past the trauma and towards creating the life we really want to live?

Experimenting with Conscious Exposure to Subconscious Tapes

Step 1: I decided to begin by recording myself saying all the messages I hear on my tapes in the same mean way I hear them everyday.

Step 2: Then, I played the recording over and over and over while I visualized someone outside of me saying these things to me/about me.

Step 3: Each time I listened, I rated my emotional reaction on a scale of 1 (least affected) – 10 (most distressed).

Step 4: When I need a break, I either go to a safe place in my mind or I get up and go to another room to create a sort of “environmental reset”.

My¬†theory is that I “know” somewhere deep inside that the things on these tapes are bullshit….somewhere beneath the trauma and the entrenched belief system.

I hope that by courageously facing the fear of hearing those words and feeling the feelings that go with them head on, I can get to the point that I recognize it as false, reject it as untrue, and desensitize myself to the emotional terrorism I feel day after day so I can have my whole life back again with a much better belief system.

Then maybe we can talk affirmations ūüėČ

 

– With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

 

Stop Competing with Other People

I’m going to share something that I have a feeling many people can relate to even though they may keep this feeling hidden. ¬†I don’t like competition. ¬†Not only that. ¬†I don’t get the point.

It often results in this “one-up, one-down” ranking that cements the idea that one person is better than another. ¬†What’s more, there are often scenes where you can see the “winner” belittling the “loser”. ¬†I think this is just a terrible thing to participate in. ¬†What exactly do you win from this kind of mindset?

Keep in mind that I’ve played all kinds of competitive sports in school including, basketball, volleyball ¬†and I was a sprinter on the track team. ¬†I’ve worked in a gym, lost 40 lbs., and I’m a certified personal trainer.

So, I’m not even speaking from a place where I haven’t been involved in very competitive arenas. ¬†

But here’s the thing —- at the end of the day you can only do your personal best. ¬†You can only train to your personal best. ¬†You can only run as far as you can run even with the best training.

Comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t do anything to improve your best. ¬†It just sets you up to feel like you’re deficient and that doesn’t really motivate towards long-term results. ¬†You’ve got to accept and acknowledge where you’re at in any given moment with kindness towards yourself. ¬†Otherwise, when will enough be enough? ¬†When will you EVER be good enough? ¬†What happens when you lose? ¬†Do you give up and call yourself a loser if you don’t win every competition? ¬†If you’re not your own best friend, plenty of other people will have power to convince you that you are continually lacking; ie. never good enough.

When I train or help others train, I focus on the goals and how to get there. ¬†Assuming you are committed to achieving those goals, then it is really just a matter of doing what needs to be done to get there. ¬†That’s it. ¬†No crapping on yourself or others.

Since we can’t really deny that we seem to be set up to organize information into little file folders, instead of fighting it try shifting it into something like this. Compare where you were in the past to where you are now. ¬†This comparison will at least actually help you. ¬†That way you see how you’ve improved and where you need work. ¬†Then you can just do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Everything else is just some kind of pointless insanity.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Just Do It (woosh ;)

It’s taken me over a year of working in a gym & being asked by members to train them after they saw the intensity & results of my workouts, just to work up the courage to become a certified personal trainer.

I promised myself I’d make this happen by the end of 2013. On December 30th 2013, I passed the test with flying colors and it was official.

My next obstacle was finding the courage to follow-through on the leads I’d gotten for clients.

Since I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes in 2014 to stay positive, find the courage to act despite my fears & create the life I want, I realized this was going to be my chance to put my money where my mouth is and make it happen.

So I picked up the phone, sent out those emails & texts and gave it everything I got to follow through on those leads. Feel the fear, do it anyway!

You know what happened? I got a client who signed up for 6 months of training 3 days a week with me! I also passed a pre-screening interview ¬†with a master trainer who’s been in the business 35 years & has trained Olympic athletes. We’re meeting face-to-face on Wed. to discuss how we can work together on training a wide variety of clients!

The point is this – no matter how much you study or how scared you feel, at some point all your effort only counts when you make a move and keep making them.

Sometimes that move is a real leap of faith. For example, I have no idea where all these opportunities will lead. I am nervous. But without a doubt, I’m sure to learn something of value.

Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be perfect to be acceptable. Do you know what I mean by this?

Too often low self-esteem or sense of perfectionism, or fear of capability is lurking behind our unwillingness to take a leap; a risk on ourselves.

Here’s a secret..

You’ll never be perfect. You will be afraid sometimes. You will feel insecure. You will fail. You will succeed. You will always have something to learn. You are more capable than you realize.

You’re allowed to feel all that and go for your dreams anyway. If you wait until you’re 100% sure, you’ll never get off the ground.

So go ahead…take a risk..screw it up…get back up..because you learned something…be proud of yourself…some people never even try…let them laugh from the sidelines..let ’em try to tell you how the game is played while you’re the one getting bloodied up in the ring.

I was amazed with what happened when I took a risk on myself; when I moved my potential into action. I couldnt help but imagine where I’d already be if I took that risk 1 year ago when first felt it?

What are you holding yourself back from? What could your life look like if you made a move? What are you waiting for?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Think of Your Fear Like a Wet Suit

2013-2014As I go into the new year I’ve committed myself to an attitude of gratitude. However, that also means that there is a transitional phase from negative attitudes and mindsets that have to be managed. It’s a little like a corporate takeover. A lot of sorting out to do before it all settles down again. Oh how nice it would be to have my very own “Easy Button”!!

Today I noticed that I was feeling really tight in my chest and down in mood. I tried telling myself to stop it, but that didn’t work. Then, I tried closing my eyes and breathing, that didn’t work either. What gives??

As I searched for answers, I remembered what I wrote yesterday about using “LAG” as my new conflict management style and I thought, maybe this will work for conflict within me as well.

LAG is an acronym for a conflict management style I created to help me create the life I want to be living. It stands for these three steps in the process: “Lean-in”, “Accept”, “Go on”. I’ve started applying it to situations where I am in conflict with others and today I learned it could also be applied to internal conflict.

LAG: Step 1: When I “Leaned-in” to the feeling, my mind fought very hard to run away. It did not want to focus on the ill-feeling at all. I kept saying to myself, “Stay with it”. “You are safe”. I kept breathing in and out to stay calm. When I breathed in I said, “breathe in”. When I exhaled, I said, “breathe out”. That kept me better focused.

When I felt less flooded, I asked myself, “What are you feeling?” “How would you describe it in one word?” The answer came – “I feel rejected”.

I thought, ok. Now we’re on to something. The feeling has been identified. I had no idea until this moment how often I actually never knew what I was specifically feeling. It was just “bad” and I wanted to avoid it and get as quickly as possible to good. That’s all I knew.

It makes sense now why my internal conflict never got resolved as it arose. Negative feelings just kept building up until I began to feel helpless and hopeless in my life. I felt like a prisoner who was put on this earth to do her time. As if I were chosen to be unhappy, while others were chosen to have a fulfilling life. I have felt powerless in my own life for a really long time.

LAG: Step 2: “Acceptance” – I said to myself, “thank you for sharing that. I accept that you feel rejected. That must be very painful. How can I help?” Much nicer ūüôā

??????????????????????????????????????????????I waited a bit for an answer and then seemingly out of nowhere, an image of myself on a beach wearing a zippered wet suit popped into my head. The suit felt tight and constricting. My skin felt clammy. I could smell the salty air, hear the waves lapping onto the shoreline and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. I just stood there and took it all in for awhile.

A few moments later, a guiding voice spoke to me over my shoulder.

“What if I told you your pain of rejection could be removed at any time you chose?”I said, “Shoot. I’m all ears”. He said, “Unzip your wet suit and let it fall to the ground. Walk forward and feel the warm grains of sand between your toes. Look behind you and see your pain balled up and lying on the ground. You can pick it up anytime you want and suit back up or you can leave it there and go for a swim in the ocean and clean off all the residue that it left behind”.

LAG: Step 3: “Go On” – I decided to walk into the ocean and swim. It felt good to get the suit off. I kept swimming until all the residue was gone and I felt refreshed. I found myself smiling and laughing again. I felt lighter.

After taking myself through the process, I now understand why my initial attempts to deal with the feeling that arose didn’t calm me down. By flat out telling the feeling to STOP, I was completely ignoring and avoiding it. Then, with zero tolerance or acceptance, I wanted to flush it out with my breath without taking a moment to understand its purpose for being there. Very rude of me actually!

I looked back at the wet suit on the shore and thought about how I don’t have to wear outfits just because someone else thinks they suit me well and I can take them off at any time.

In more practical terms. Let’s say you are in fact being rejected by someone or a group of people. Do you have to feel ashamed of yourself and wear your feeling of rejection like a full body wet suit sponsored by, “THEY REJECT ME”? No, not really.

And here’s the kicker. You can still acknowledge to yourself that they reject you because they very likely may not like you or want you around. It happens.

You don’t have to treat yourself like a reject.

That’s where most of us end up in major pain. When we agree with another persons opinion of us, we are subconsciously feeling that other people know us better than we know ourselves. We give them permission to change us to become what they say we are, what they limit us to. This is the express lane to pain, depression & loss of self.

it's not personal

Instead, you can just accept that they do reject you and that it sucks.

Remind yourself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.¬†¬†YOU are not a failure because of this.

You are still that same awesome, talented, special person with so much to offer this world no matter what other people say.

People who try to make you feel bad about yourself are really unhappy people. Believe it or not, it is NOT personal at all. They are just showing you how bad they feel inside. Something in you reminds them of a quality they wish they had inside but they don’t know how to achieve it.

Pray for them. Acknowledge that they are in pain. But under no circumstances do you let what’s going on in them define who you are. It’s separate.

Instead of carrying their load as if it were your own, bless and release them.

You just may not currently be with a person or a group that honors your gifts in the best way. It’s just not a good fit. Focus your energy and talents on honoring yourself and surrounding yourself by people who do honor you.

You’re already good enough as yourself.

Happy New Year and lots of love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ