Suffering and Sorrow : Released

All suffering and sorrow feelings are due to un-forgiveness energy.  Where there is sorrow, there is  un-forgiveness energy.   The two exist together.  What can we do about sorrow and suffering energy?

Head in Hands by Alex E. Proimos

Craig and Dana have been married 18 years.  They love each other, are happily employed, have two children and are healthy.  However their sex life by their own report has always been difficult.  They have a long history of missed opportunities, guilt feelings, sadness energy, failure and frustration energy with each other sexually.  Yet there is love on both sides for the other.  They have “tried everything” including therapy, changing techniques, weekend get-aways with support groups, videos, talking with trusted friends. They have yelled, accused, defended and attacked each other repeatedly through the years.  They have also tried calmly taking with each other about what is missing, wrong and not working.

After years of deep sorrow and frustration,  we talked about forgiveness.  Their work began with forgiveness of self for all their perceived failures, the years of unsuccessful attempts at loving intimacy and for their own judgments they held about their partners.

This is what it looked like.  Dana would sit in silence and ask to be shown places of un-forgiveness she carried about herself regarding her sexual relationship with Craig. She would sometimes get a snippet of a past conversation, a fragment of an argument or a memory of a specific weekend where she had sobbed in great anguish. She would focus on one of these images from the past and say, “I forgive myself totally and completely.” She might say this 20 or 30 times or more if the pain was especially raw.  Sometimes she cried so hard, she reported having to write out the forgiveness statements because she could not speak them aloud.  Sometimes the same situation or memory would surface again weeks later and she would have to forgive herself all over again.

Craig was following his own process as well.  He tended to remember specific times where he felt he had failed and worked through those scenarios at first.  As these receded in intensity, other memories presented themselves where he had been deeply sad, then others where he had been frustrated and eventually times of feeling guilty surfaced.  Both Dana and Craig were led in Silence to different processes for their individual work.

holding hands by annstheclaf

When they got to a place where no more need for self -forgiveness was coming up, they switched to forgiveness of each other.  Slowly, slowly compassion for self and for each other began to surface.  They were able to spend intimate time together in tiny steps with no expectations. The beginning steps made without the mantel of the  past led to more trust, more success, more expressed loving wholeness over time. They began to find their way together by retuning to forgiveness of self and each other when they hit more road blocks. They both reported success in their efforts to spend intimate time together.  They also reported that throughout their entire lives, they were seeing new evidence of this forgiveness energy working and smoothing out other challenges they faced.

Forgiveness work, whatever the topic is, has to begin with ourselves.  We have to forgive ourselves for what we see as our anger, sadness, mistakes, ignorance, etc.  This is the only way we can totally and completely forgive another person from the heart.  Both parts of this process, forgiveness of self and of another have to be taken together.  Forgiveness of self allows the forgiveness of another to fully manifest. If we do not see our own brokenness and sorrow and move to release it from our energy field, we will never be able to forgive another wholly and completely. Suffering and sorrow then remain with us in our energy field.

Karl was divorced by his wife after 22 years of marriage.  They were in counseling for a year before the divorce was final but his wife felt the situation was irreconcilable.  When I began working with Karl,  he was still very angry, deeply hurt, with feelings of abandonment, mistreatment and rage.  He could not feel any energy for a new relationship even 4 years after his divorce.  He felt betrayed through no fault of his own.

Anguish Ian (or:The Scream) by sparktography

When we began talking about self-forgiveness, he was totally closed to this.  He was divorced by his wife after all.  Karl told me his wife was the one at fault and he had nothing to forgive himself about.   We continued to talk about his feelings around this divorce and eventually we tried a session in sacred space, where he simply said, “I forgive myself totally and completely”,  over and over until it felt complete for that day.  There was no image of what that forgiveness might be about specifically.  He worked with this for several weeks and eventually the dam broke and he was able to grieve the loss and forgive himself for all the things he was blaming himself for, which he could not see nor name at the time.

Divine Grace was present in these sessions working with his unseen energy, unseen by me and by him as well.  Nonetheless, the forgiveness progressed and in time he also did the needed work in forgiving his wife.   He eventually began to date other people and reported he was a different person completely from who he had been in his earlier marriage.  He tells me he still uses that process especially around things he does not understand  but knows are out of balance.

Steps to take when suffering and sorrow are present.

1. Create a sacred space by saying, I open a sacred space with my I AM Energy/Eternal Self/Spiritual Self and Divine Presence in the highest forms ( angels, ascended teachers, divine ancestors, nature intellegences, etc.)  to help me forgive myself.

2.  Sit quietly to settle into the sacred space.  Set the intention of your work by stating in your mind that the forgiveness work is around your marriage, your relationship with your mother, the loss of your child or spouse, the relationship with your boss, specific abuse or trauma you have experienced,  etc.

3. Begin silently to yourself saying,   “I forgive myself totally and completely“.  Repeat this until you feel this in your heart.  You might put your hands on your heart as you are saying this.

4.  If  you try this for 15 minutes and feel little or nothing, try this.  “Sacred Flame from within me, consume any blocked emotional, mental, self-protective ( thermal) energy, spiritual energy or curse energy I am manifesting which is keeping me from being able to forgive myself.  I command this stuck energy out of my field, now. Thanks be to God/All That is. ”  Wait 5 minutes in this energy.

5. Return to #3 again.  If  this is still not working, write this out in a journal, again and again.  However, remember to open a sacred space within which to work.  This is most important!

6. When you feel no more un-forgiveness of self is present, which could take days or months,  use this same process for others in your situations.  “I forgive ___________ totally and completely.” Even when you are working with the death of another, do this part of the work.  Often we are angry, sad and out of balance with a loved one for having left us here without them.

Sunset and balancing rock stack by James Jordan

This process works because when we open Sacred Space we engage our Eternal, Spiritual Selves and all the Loving Presence of All That Is to help us heal.  When we surrender to loving forgiveness, we return to our natural state of balance which has left us due to experiences in the past.  We come into the present and thereby heal from the past.

Loving Oneself to Wholeness

Whenever Joyce looked in the mirror, she was angry with herself and angry at her body and mad with the world.  She was heavier than she wanted to be and had been that way for over 10 years.  The negative messages were really getting more and more self-punishing.  “You are good for nothing, you are a lazy bum, you are ugly, ugly, ugly, you are a failure”, etc.  Saying that everyday was like taking a poison bath in the morning.  She often had to have three cups of coffee to counteract the lethargy that immediately descended upon her after taking her shower, where she also saw her body in the mirror.  Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she thought that saying such awful things might motivate her to do something about her weight and general health.  These raw self messages though made her feel worse and worse over time.

Bob feels a deep loneliness in his life which descends upon him regularly on Friday evenings.  He has been through lots of relationship but none of them have worked out.

Trust by rogiro

He wants to be in a great relationship where he can love and be loved.  He spends weekends going from bar to bar hoping to meet someone of interest. That is mostly depressing and he often comes home with his insides churning from a sense of failure.  He has lost weight, is increasingly down and has nearly constant indigestion at this point. This malaise is creeping into his weekdays as well.  His thoughts are filled with images of  being alone and of feeling unlovable.   Bob is still trying out new places on the weekends but he is pretty sure he will continue to fail.

One way to work out negative feelings towards ourselves is to do something or find some place where we do feel good about ourselves and hope it transfers to the areas we are beating ourselves up about.   Giving to others is a tried and true way to generate love within.  We can also try new things such as diets, dating services, exercise, reading other’s stories, or travel in the hopes of finding something to blast us out of where we are.  All these steps could bring us some relief.

We probably all know if what we are doing does not work,  we need to try something else.  However, realizing we are doing the same thing over and over again which is not working, is the kicker.   Something about a familiar though unhelpful pattern is better than the unfamiliar, more risky option. Clearly though, repeating what is not working is a road to more pain.

What to do? TAKE THE FEELINGS INTO SILENCE FOR HELP.

Imagine there is a space inside of you where you are truly loved, because there is. Imagine that you can go there whenever you want to, because you can.  Imagine that there is a plan for you full of abundance and joy, because there is.  Simply sit and speak to the Divine Universe, which is all ears.

Devon on the mountain by Maya De La Rosa-Cohen

People ask me what I do in Silence.  I open the space with Divine Energy. I invite all Divine forms of energy to join with me for the purpose of creating more wholeness and peace.  I am still for as long as I can be which varies by the session.  Then I scan my sadness and my fear and I speak of it out loud so that I can call in Divine Help in alleviating the stuckness I feel.  Working with Divine Intervention, Knowing, Love and Presence informs and fuels my intention to feel better about myself. When I release my sadness and my fear, I feel better.  When I call in Divine Intervention right into the source of my sorrow and sense of failure, I experience a shift in the heaviness of carrying those misperceptions I have been feeling.

Each person has internal Light which we were born with.  It may be dimmed though through unloving messages from our growing up, due to traumas in our lives or by unloving messages from our own personal fears.

Cal-2005-444 by Paul-W

We have not however come here without a rudder, without direction, or without purpose. The feeling though of sailing without a rudder may well be an indication that we might go within and ask for help.  When we do this, we then have to wait knowing that we have been heard and we will get all the help we need. This help may not be in the form we expect to receive it.  This help may still require us to do something new, to risk.

If you are not sure you “have done enough to get the help you need” here are a few pointers.

1. Do not judge by appearances. If you go into Silence and then immediately go out and do just exactly what you have done before the Silence, like berate yourself, simply stop.  Accept that you are between unhealed and healed, which you are.  Realize that you have moved closer to wholeness, through that realization alone.  Congratulate yourself and let it go.

2. Talk to yourself in a loving  way, such as,  “this thought is not loving and has no power, so I let it go.”  ” I am lovable and capable.” ” I am getting all the help I need even though now, I do feel lousy.”  ” I call into my life good thoughts and feelings about myself and ask for help in guiding me to people and places where this can occur.”

3.  Ask once and give it time to manifest in your life. Do not pick up your issue every day and re-ask for the same help, as if you have not been heard.  If you can’t help doing this, figure out what fear you are still carrying that is fueling this response.  It could be the fear of not deserving any help in this life.  A feeling of fear can completely block your receiving the support you seek.  Go after the fear face on!   Call for the Light to dispel this fear you have. Fear has only the power we, ourselves, give it.

Love is the absolute way to Wholeness. Love and joy are ours when we face our fears and let them go.  Loving oneself  manifests Wholeness.  When we face tough issues alone though, we often can’t access enough Love ourselves to shift our energy. That is one MAJOR reason to work through it with Divine Presence which is within.  There is ALWAYS enough Love to take us to Wholeness if we seek within, in the Silence.

The first step towards Loving oneself to Wholeness is often the hardest.  Ask, seek, sit in stillness, scan for fears and sadness and wait holding the space for shifting energy. Wholeness can come to each and every one of us.   Love is everywhere present, all knowing and all powerful.  Loving oneself is one major highway to Wholeness. Try it and let me know what you find.

Calling Out Impatience, part 2

If you are reading this blog for the first time or after a while away, read the previous post before reading this one, as they go together.  Go to http://www.robbinshopkins.com/2009/09/patience-is-love-of-self-part-1/.

It is possible to focus on impatience within ourselves and rout it out! This concept though came to me slowly over a long period of time.  I awoke gradually to the implications of naming what was causing me distress, imbalance and friction in my life.  Here are some concrete examples of how to name impatience and command it out of our field.

A Half and a Third of the Sky by Shamanic Shift
A Half and a Third of the Sky by Shamanic Shift

Before doing this work or any other of a spiritual nature, open a sacred healing space. I do this by inviting my Highest I AM Self , the Angelic Host, the Nature Intelligences, the Ascended Master of all traditions, the Comic Light Being of the Highest Light, Divine Physicians who can work with me today.  Do what works for you.

When impatience is manifesting in our lives in the present time, we usually know it is present.  We sometimes carefully and cleverly ignore it, make excuses for it or downright deny we are being impatient.  This is a process when you are ready to honestly face the energy of impatience within.

1. The first step is to NAME the settings, interactions, situations  where we are feeling impatient with ourselves or others. It looked like this for me.  Getting up every morning, stomping around the house looking for my hair brush and cursing about never being able to find anything, repeatedly, day after day when I had to go to work!!

Also, even though you can quickly and decisively name impatience in others, that does you absolutely no good.  You can only change that pattern in yourself.   Your own healing of this imbalance will affect those around you.

What does impatience look like in your life?  How does it specifically manifest? Pick one instance where you have been impatient with self or others, to further explore.

2. A second step in this process is to  name all the ways impatience in the situation you have named is  benefiting  you.  For me, it benefited me because it allowed me to get out my impatience with myself in a safe private environment before I was publicly at work.   The ranting also kept me in touch with my power, as distorted as that was, because I felt trapped by the daily routine of going to that job.  Giving power to my impatience provided me a forum to rail without any perceived consequences to myself.   I could let loose and not hurt anyone but myself.

How does the impatience in the situation you have identified,  benefit you?  What pay offs are your getting from you impatience in this situation?

3. The third step is to consider the costs of this continued set of behaviors to yourself and to others. In my case, it was very unpleasant for my husband to witness this self-condemnation on my part every morning I had to work.  Though I seemed to be getting in touch with what I thought of as power, really, I was venting my impatience with myself  all over the house.  This made it very difficult to get to work with grace and ease, actually, next to impossible.  I don’t think grace and ease were even in my vocabulary at the time.

What are the costs to yourself and to others of continuing with this form of impatience with yourself or others?

4. The fourth area to explore is what specific fears are fueling the impatience with self or with others. In my case, my fears were of losing the “me” I liked, by being in a job I was not happy with.  Another fear was that I was losing my sense of my 0wn power by needing to “fit in” to the organization where I was working.  Another fear was of never getting to where I could really make a difference through what I was doing.

What specific fears are fueling the impatience with self or with others?

When the fears are specifically named, you are ready to decide if you would like these to leave your energy field for good. If so, continue with the next section for how to do that.  If not, perhaps you can return to this when you feel ready to release the fears manifesting in your life as impatience with self or others.

Clearing the energy behind impatience.

There are a few basic concepts which will support this clearing of blocked energy manifesting as impatience. The first is that impatience is not an eternal energy.  It is not of the family of love and therefore is fleeting, passing and is not a permanent fixture of our own true selves.  We may have this trait for months, years or lifetimes but none the less, it is a passing trait which we can release if we are so inclined. Secondly, we have the deep knowing of All That Is within us.  We are one with God/The Great Oneness/All That Is.  We may not feel we are connected to this knowing, but we are.  We need to claim this connection and releasing that which is not of love, in any form, strengthens that connection on our side.  From the “other side” that connection is constant, everlasting and steadfast. Thirdly, if we command blocked energy out of our field, it will go. Until you have experience doing this, you have to simply do it and see.  Then the experience of cleared energy will be known to you in this time and space and the process will become easier over time.

The clearing process begins with intent.  One day I decided that I no longer wanted impatience in my energy field.  Thus began a series of letting go and clearing of impatience energy from all areas of my life.   I imagine there is still more to do but the backlog has been addressed!   We get as many chances as we need.  We can do the work now or do the work later.  This is a loving step towards claiming the power and peace of our own true selves.  Every one of us is capable of being patient with ourselves and others.  We simply need to call out the blocked energy manifesting as impatience and call forth love to replace it.

Human being asking Universe by ULUC
Human being asking Universe by ULUC

Steps to Clear Impatience from you Field

1.  Reopen your sacred healing space or restate your intent to work within that space if you have already opened it that day.  ( see above)

2.  Call forth the sacred flame from within you.

This flame is the form of God, All That Is, the Great Oneness which is within each of us.  It knows nothing beyond the Presence of God.  It is the energy of our own I AM Energy and of the Great I AM Energy in the same moment.  Further, the Sacred or Eternal Flame is constant, all powerful, all knowing and everywhere present.  We are in good hands with this image of Divine Oneness!  Say, “I call forth the Eternal Flame from within me.”

3.  Call out all the blocked fear energy you have identified in your field which is manifesting as impatience.  Say something like, ” Sacred Flame consume the blocked fear of ______ which is manifesting as impatience with myself and others. ”  You can call out all the specific fears you have identified from Step 4  above, at the same time.

4.  Call out the core of the blocked energy from the specific year, month and day of its inception into you field.  Say something like, ” I call forth this blocked fear of ____________  from all time and space from the specific year, month and day of its inception into my energy field which is now manifesting as impatience with myself and with others.  Consume the original blocked energy source of this impatience from my energy field totally and completely.”

All that can go in the given day, will leave your energy field.  However, you may have to repeat this process many times until the manifestation of all impatience leaves your field.  Each time you do this, more and more blocked energy will leave your field forever!

5. Call in the Presence of Divine Love in the place where the fear has been. Say something like, I call forth the Presence of Divine Love into my thinking, feeling, acting self  where this blocked fear energy has resided manifesting as impatience with myself and others.

6.  Give thanks for the loving support of the sacred healing space.  Say something like, Thank you so much for this opportunity, for the clearing and for the reconnection with Divine Love.

Blessing to all who come this way!  If you try this process, share your results with us here that we may witness each other’s efforts and share in the energy of seeking greater Peace individually and collectively.  If you do not see the “reply box”  here, click on the Title and you will be taken to the Internet space to leave a comment.


Patience is love of self, part 1

Patience is a form of love.  It is the letting go of the need to control all that is happening around us.  It is the cultivation of trust that all is well even if at the moment, our plans and expectations are not being met as we envisioned that happening.  Patience begins with ourselves.  We can’t really offer patience to another freely if we can’t offer it to ourselves. We can offer it but perhaps with strings attached or at a  price if we have not really embraced patience within ourselves at a deep level.

Drepung Gomang Monastery in Nashua, NH by stargazr
Drepung Gomang Monastery in Nashua, NH by stargazr

Often when I work with those who self-report they are impatient in their lives, including myself,  the core blocked energy has begun as  impatience due to  a critical view of ones accomplishments, mastery, self-perceived expertise or skills.  There is a deeply held myth that if we are critical of ourselves, we will work harder than if we are complimentary of ourselves.  Neither statement is true, in the sense of eternal and lasting  because both views are evaluative and therefore not accepting of what is in the present moment.

Here are two contrasting thoughts on the same  day by a person before he opened to Peace and just after he asked for Divine Presence in his day.

Damn it, why can’t I ever get my things together and get out of the house on Saturday in an orderly timely manner.  One thing after another and I have shot the whole bloody day.

I just can’t seem to focus for some reason today to get the things done I wanted to.  I wonder what else I need to be doing on a day like today?

The first is self-judgmental in tone with anger and impatience with self.  The second is loving and accepting of what is, with a sense of wonder about what else might be going on.

untitled by ~FreeBirD®~   To describe a feeling of smooth is so hard when you know its about the calm times.  There are no unwanted winds and sudden rush of time to worry about... You just look into those waters and feel.... Wish I was that calm and the world around was so peaceful.   We all want to be nice but things with time makes you know and learn how the world is..... One for its own... !!
untitled by ~FreeBirD®~ To describe a feeling of smooth is so hard when you know its about the calm times. There are no unwanted winds and sudden rush of time to worry about... You just look into those waters and feel.... Wish I was that calm and the world around was so peaceful. We all want to be nice but things with time makes you know and learn how the world is..... One for its own... !!

Impatience is often wrapped up with time stress.  If I could just get this last thing done and off my list, I could have a bit more freedom tomorrow.  If I could just  fit this last errand in, I would feel I had accomplished something. If I could just make time work for me, the way I envision it, I can perhaps get everything done I need to and then I’d be able to  relax.  As long as we tie our amount of relaxation to accomplishment, we are living in the greater context of impatience.  If were were patient and in Right Relationship with time, we could simply look at the clock and say, “Right, time for exercise, this can wait for tomorrow.”  Often these decisions are within our own control but we give our power to time stress and impatience.

Impatience is the gap between our expectations and what is.

What if we had no expectations of how or when something might be done? What if we made a sacred commitment to something and let Divine Presence lead us as to when and how that might be accomplished with grace and ease?

When I was 38, I was seriously working my desire to be a spiritual healer.  I was enthusiastically consuming two or three books a week.  I was devouring all the workshops I could fit in and spending huge amounts of time in Silence.  I was also regularly talking fervently to God about becoming a spiritual healer.  From this vantage point,  I see I was simultaneously afraid I was not going to make it to my goal and also afraid I would get there and not know what I was doing.   This was all mixed in with some quandaries about my sanity given that I knew no one going about this like I was.  These feeling though I closely held to myself.

In fairness, there were no proven paths to becoming a spiritual healer when I was entertaining this.  I did not know where the inner call came from but I did know that I was passionate about it beyond anything I could control. There was however a deep level of impatience with the slow methodical process of gaining skills and confidence in spiritual healing.

The zeal I had for “getting this stuff” was crackling with energy and drive.  I loved the high of learing about spiritual healing.  So, when I finished my studies, wrote my last paper, was ordained as a minister of spiritual healing, I thought, ” AT LAST,  I am ready to go.”  Looking back my struggle with impatience though had just begun.

As I worked, I realized how green I was.  I knew I was afraid of getting in over my head.  I dreaded someone coming in and wanting to work on something I knew nothing about.  I kept wondering how is this all going to work its way out?  How am I ever going to come in to a place of Peace about this work I felt so energized around?

Waiting Monk by h.koppdelaney
Waiting Monk by h.koppdelaney

Silence, silence and more silence.  That was the answer for me.  I was to sit and sit and sit some more while Divine Presence worked on me.  I was to face my judgment head on, rout out my issues, one my one, and continuously name the doubts and fears I was giving my power to.  Slowly, slowly, as I would work through a set of issues say around pride, I’d get three clients working on the same issues, no kidding.  Everything came in threes.  If I had looked at the issues manifesting as sore knees, three clients would come in with the same issues to look at for themselves.  This went on for years and years.

Patience, patience, patience kept coming up.  I had to systematically and continuously let go of my expectations and embrace what was.  When I didn’t, I would routinely hit a brick wall and feel bruised on every conceiveable level.   Whenever I would race ahead and wonder, why am I not able to hear what is needed for another?   Why am I not feeling connected to this client in the way I want to be?   I would crash and burn usually trashing myself  in the process.   I had no colleagues who could say, good job.  I was the ONLY person who could say that to myself because of the isolated and confidential nature of my work.

I had to methodically learn to love myself and in the process give up my impatience with not being perfect!!  No one told me this journey was about these things.  It just is though.

New week, Part 2 ,  Calling out impatience within ourselves.

Loving Self

Loving  Self is the fastest way to create a stronger connection with Spirit. However, most of us are not proficient in doing this.  We may think we know all about Loving Self but it is the last area we master, as spiritually developing beings, in body.   This can take several lifetimes to fully master.  However, we are given all the chances we need to make decisions for ourselves which are loving and in integrity with our spiritual, True Selves.

1.  One step to Loving Self is embracing that God and I Are One. We are not separate from God/Spirit.  We may feel disconnected but in truth we cannot be separate no mater what we do, feel, don’t do, think or imagine.  We are One with All That Is and that’s the Truth.  Most of us do not know this however because we give our power to human fears, emotions and thoughts every day.  This results in making us feel we are separate from Divine Presence.

Many of us  do not gift ourselves with the experience of meditation and authentic prayer,

Meditation II by Roshnii
Meditation II by Roshnii

so we do not have the daily opportunity to learn from Spirit that we and God/Great Spirit are One.  Even if we do meditate, we may not be actively releasing our human fears, thoughts and emotions.  Therefore, we may be peaceful in Silence and then go right out and have an argument with our co-worker because we are not releasing our fears and concerns proactively, clearing our energy field and making more space for Divine Presence in our lives.

At the very least, affirm out loud and daily,

  • There is One Power, One Source, One Life Force.
  • I Am One with All That Is.
  • I Am an Individualized Expression of God.

This brings  Divine Knowing more readily into our energy fields as we affirm these truths regularly.

2. Loving Self has nothing to do with personal indulgence and everything to do with living in integrity. Loving Self is  going out with friends and NOT over drinking, over eating, over smoking, over spending, over gambling or over sexing with others.   Anything prefaced by “over” is not living in integrity.  We usually know when we have “over” done something though frequently, not at the time.  Perhaps for a time it feels easier to pretend to ignore this information we have about ourselves. This pretense is costly to us.   When we “over do”  we are by definition, out of balance.  This absolutely affects us mentally, emotionally, spiritual and physically.  Living in integrity is Loving of Self and by the way, benefits not only ourselves but all whom we meet.

flickr turns 4, we celebrated by mode
flickr turns 4, we celebrated by mode

The energy of being with friends,  can be a very self loving experience if we are able to be our authentic selves in their company and receive affirmation for our own True Selves. This looks like being able to say I’m sorry for something we have done which was unkind or unthoughtful and being forgiven.  This looks like being able to say, “this was great but now I need to get some rest to function tomorrow”.  This looks like being able to set good boundaries for ourselves and have our friends or partners respect this in us.

3. Other acts of integrity include saying “no” to requests of us which are not good for us,  helpful for others or respectful of our own inner knowing for ourselves.

Robert (name changed)  is a management consultant in his late thirties,  in international management.  When just setting out, he felt he had to take all work that came his way for financial reasons. He loved the bi-play around negotiating new work, agreeing on the rates, specifying deliverables and getting the contract.  However, time and again, he experienced a sense of deflation when it was time to actually do the work.

Robert did notice repeatedly,  that if a  contract was good for him,  it was almost without exception,  good for the clients as well.  He began to try to determine while negotiating contracts, if he would enjoy the actual work.  He  made some spectacularly bad choices during this time.  His fear of having enough money continued to play heavily into his judgment about clients.   After 3 years of working with this rather directly, he turned away a very large contract for 6 months of nearly full salary, because it felt really wrong for him.

After that time, he had appreciably fewer bad contracts show up in his life, because his learning was complete.  His soul was at peace with regard to these learnings and therefore he no longer attracted these situations to himself.  He had learned to live in integrity with himself and not to “prostitute himself” for the sake of prestige, money, recognition, or safety. In Loving Self enough to only accepting work situations which were good for him, Robert  radically transformed his life for the good,  in all areas, not just with work.

In facing these situations for yourself ask the following:

  • Is this a loving choice for me?
  • Am I being honest with myself, about whether this is good for me ?
  • What is making me consider working (or staying) in this setting which I know is crummy for me?

4. Loving Self requires proactive attention to our deepest needs. If we are not getting enough exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, or spending endless hours before a computer or TV, we need to attend to this.  It is a loving act to pay attention to these things.  If we are deeply lonely, we need to take steps to be with others even if it feels like a big risk.  If we are in a bad relationship, we need to ask for Divine Help to come forth within us, release all that is our part of the bad relationship, and bless the other person regardless of the past.  If we are bored, we need to name the fear behind this and face it squarely so that we can move on from the languishing energy.

Loving Self is creating more compassion with ourselves in all areas of our lives. Love heals all things, no matter the size or complexity of what we might be facing.  Clear the fear you carry connected with the situation, call in Love even though you may not know what next steps to take because such acts create a stronger connection with All That Is, which leads to Inner Peace.

Loving of Self

“Loving myself seems indulgent.  What is all this stuff about loving oneself?  I get the best feelings when I help others meet their needs regardless of myself.  When I focus on myself,  I feel selfish.”

A spiritual definition of loving oneself might be a place to begin.  Indulging oneself is yielding to our wants, desires and whims whether or not they are good for us.  Loving oneself is making space for those things which feed our soul, our heart and our bodies.

Indulging oneself might be buying another tee-shirt in a color we don’t have or drinking the third beer when two is really enough for the particular evening.  Taking a walk outside to be in fresh air and allow all our cares to float away with the wind, is loving of self.   Calling a good friend to reconnect because we have been meaning to do it could also be loving of self.  The first examples are little treats we might want which we give ourselves permission to do.  They can be fun and though they are not really needed, we might say, “go ahead, you deserve them”.  The second set of choices are  gifts to ourselves of something we really need and benefit from, in order to feel love’s flowing energy in our lives.  They are both fine approaches to living, the latter though can bring balance and flowing energy to our sense of self and our bodies.

Hiking   Swiss Alps near Grindelward by Joffe Striker
Hiking by Jofre Ferrer Swiss Alps near Grindewald

Why is loving ourselves so hard to do?

Perhaps because we have not ever seen this behavior modeled.  Perhaps because when we do things for others, we get recognition and appreciation from another which strokes our ego temporarily.  Perhaps it is hard to love ourselves because  we don’t recognize our real needs or even know what is a loving act for ourselves.

Loads of us put a very high value on what gets external recognition, reward or influence with others.  Others make daily choices that will “get them ahead”, “get them in good with so and so”, or “pay off in the long run”.  For example, Washington D.C. is one place I have lived where folks actually get together at breakfast meetings for the long run. When I first moved there, I was astounded to discover this repeatedly. When we continue to fill our days with such choices, our time gets filled up with things we think will bring us concrete rewards in the future.  The present can become stale and literally lifeless. Our self suffers.

Then there are choices to help others because it is the right thing to do, it is my role in life, it is required and it is certainly expected of me.  Frequently, women tell me they have no time for themselves because they are fully committed to their children, their husbands, their parents, their pets, their neighbors, their synagogue ( church) and the PTA.  Men often tell me between home and work, there is no time to even consider what might be a loving act for self.  The very thought of it is often strange to contemplate.

A choice to love oneself is foreign in a world where we so often measure ourselves by how well we are doing externally and how fully we meet our responsibilities.  A loving choice towards oneself only works when we move beyond finding pleasure in the way others see us, in our external indications of success and in the material possessions and experiences we can gather at will.  A loving choice for self, requires some deep time with our own integrity to even begin to recognize what that might be for ourselves. We may have to make some mistakes before we know what really feeds us on the inside.  Keep trying though, it is a pathway to the Divine.

When we love ourselves, we are actually able to come closer and closer to the divinity within. When we lose ourselves” to an endeavor of love such as a garden, a hot bath, a painting or walk up a mountain, we totally commune with ourselves.   We are One with All That Is.  We are not separate from All That Is unless we choose to be by not taking time to “be still and know that I AM God”.  Loving oneself is a spiritual act, an act of loving kindness which enables our deep well of love to flow without consideration of the outcomes, rewards or implications.  A choice for love enables us to be in the present moment which is all there really is, anyway.

Lots of  by
Lots of by Sandra Mora

We are not loving ourselves when we are pushing ourselves to do ANYTHING. We are not loving ourselves when we see ourselves as sacrificing our health, well-being or personal needs.  We are not loving ourselves when we are trying to please others, influence others, impress others, get something from another or act some way other than in integrity with ourselves.  We are not loving ourselves when we constantly choose others’ needs over our own needs.

Well, what about if we have to do something and the only way is to push ourselves to do it? A mental and spiritual adjustment may be needed but pushing is really not loving of self.

I was a life time hoarder before I worked with my mother to clear out her house where she had lived 40 years.  I rarely threw anything out and the thought of spending an afternoon cleaning out seemed a completely distasteful experience.  At 86,  my mother finally decided she needed to move to a retirement center.   I was the only one able to work with her to clear out the house, make the choices for keeping, throwing and selling of her things.  I dreaded the thought of what had to be done.

I literally felt sick thinking that I had to do this but there was no other way presenting itself.  I knew enough spiritually to realize that I needed to clear my fear of clearing out the family homestead and my fear of getting overwhelmed doing it.  If I didn’t,  I would simply make the process agony for myself and my mother.  My mother was already overwhelmed enough for the both of us.

I asked myself, what is the most loving way I can do this without pushing myself, beating myself up, or going into anger and rage about what needs to be done? I decided to move my work around to allow for two days out of town with my mother each week until the work was finished.  That schedule, I could handle.  I could enjoy being with my mother if I was not paying heavily with my own life.  I could  have enough energy in small doses to actually  be helpful.  I could retreat at a given time and re-marshall my energy to be my most effective loving self.  This way to work with my mother was a choice for love, and one of the biggest I had ever made.  That time became a blessings for us so thoroughly and deeply, I could have never imagined it, ever.  The love simply grew and grew between my mother and myself and between my brothers and me as well.  The love simply took over and the work got done with the Grace of God, with Love’s Divine Presence!  That choice for love turned out to be one of the best experiences Mom and I had ever had in our entire life.  We laughed and cried with abandon and wove our hearts together in a new way.

When we choose to love ourselves, everyone around us benefits. We engage our highest self because we put ease, grace and love on the front burner.  The act of loving oneself is deeply sacred because it helps us really know the deep integrity involved in making a loving choice for ourselves.   One act of loving towards self can teach us more about love than helping everyone on the street and all our next of  kin.   When we put ourselves into the equation for loving acts towards others, we truly engage the part of us which acts from a pure place of service, loving without need for recognition, reward or attachment.

There is such a thing as a self-centered or selfish person.  That is different from making loving decisions for oneself.  A self-centered person operates from a space of lack.  I need this to happen in this way and these folks to act in that way,  for the following to occur.  A loving choice for self can only be made  from a completely different well inside.  In that well is integrity, self-acceptance, allowing and kindness.  From that one space, love can expand in infinite directions.

When we experiment and practice making loving decisions, then our choices to help others come from that well of loving kindness inside rather than from the well of shoulds, ought to and have tos.  We can then allow the natural order of Divine Love Energy to swirl around, up and through us and extend out to all we meet.  Make the choice for love of self with as much humility, kindness and gentleness as you can.  You and everyone around you will be richer for this.

What choices can you make today which are loving ones for yourself ? Share these if you’d like, in the comments section at the end of this post.