90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 48 – The Loving Energy of Gratitude

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 48: The Loving Energy of Gratitude

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: The more you have and are grateful for, the more you will be given to you.”

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Authentic gratitude carries a loving energy that projects light. The light manifests to more love and when that energy reflects back to us we receive so much more than we could have ever imagined when we were consumed with our own darkness. Saying we are grateful, saying thanks, writing gratitude lists, and writing thank you notes doesn’t ALWAYS reflect authentic gratitude. When we are being authentic in our gratitude we FEEL it. That is the vibration of gratitude. That is what changes us. When we are truly grateful it can make us cry, laugh, and tingle. Feeling gratitude causes a physical reaction in our bodies. Those are just a few things that we can see. It can also shift toxic energy blocks within us that create disease. Gratitude gives space for miracles.

“Gratitude drives happiness. Happiness boosts productivity. Productivity reveals mastery. And Mastery inspires the world.”

-Robin S. Sharma

Our joy, happiness, tranquility, and peace expand and project out of us when we embrace the loving energy of gratitude. The people around us will feel the difference in our energy without saying a word. Something will just feel different to them. If they have light inside them, it will create a reaction in them where their light will shine brighter. If a person is carrying a lot of densely packed darkness, they will react too.

A person caught up in their own darkness might attempt to dim our light unconsciously. We only allow as much happiness in our lives as we feel comfortable with inside us, so a person who is stuck in the dark can feel VERY uncomfortable around people who give off a lot energy that is full of love. DON’T TAKE THIS PERSONALLY! This is NOT about you. If they need to excuse themselves from the room or from your life, it’s because their energy field doesn’t blend with yours anymore. Give them the distance, when and if they are ready to see your light, they will come back.  You may notice they only come around when they need help. Be GRATEFUL for that! That is when they are ready to accept a little more light to their life. We know we’ve reached a wonderful place in our own light when people are attracted to ours. If they are demanding help, they are not attracted to your light. They are trying to connect to some of your dark (enabling energy). If you are shining your light bright enough, it won’t touch your dark energy. You won’t react out of fear, you will respond from a place of love. They may get frustrated, throw their hands up, and walk away. You will stay centered if you are in your light. Your light acts as a force field around you. Then when the moment is over, you can be grateful for the opportunity you were given to show love and respect to yourself and others even in the face of fear.

Honestly, we wouldn’t have time for all the people who fell out of our lives because of their own darkness. It wouldn’t be healthy for us. If we surround ourselves with too much darkness, we could fall back into our own when we hit a challenge and we went to people who were trapped in their own darkness for advice. When we are in our own dark moment and there are people who are living in their darkness around us, they will be attracted to the darkness beacon we are putting out. It’s CRAZY how this happens. I’ve watched it in my life so many times; it doesn’t have to be people I know, it can be complete strangers.

When we are vibrating on the loving level of gratitude, we need to trust that whoever comes into our life is meant to be there as long as they are meant to be there. Some people are in our lives to teach us great lessons about ourselves then leave. This can include people who teach through lessons of fear like blaming, shaming, assault, violent attacks, abuse, rape, harassment, etc. We find our own light in the dark when we reach a level of gratitude in what we learned about ourselves and the love and compassion of others around us in those dark times. If we spot the light in someone, we have it in ourselves. If we spot the dark, we have it in ourselves. We can be grateful for the awareness of seeing both.

When we shine our light in gratitude we attract guides, Earth Angels, and spiritual nudges from the Universe—Be grateful for that! We will have some people we are meant to guide and/or teach. When we live in gratitude, we can find the love within the learning, guiding, and teaching. We don’t get stuck on how long someone will be in our lives. We are simply grateful for them being in our lives for the time period they are meant to be there. I will talk more about gratitude in relationships on Day 49.  We can be grateful for ANY experience we are given whether another person is involved or not.

For now, we are focusing on the loving energy of gratitude that helps us to not get stuck on expectations, time, and what we don’t have. When we live in gratitude, we realize we have everything we need in this moment. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be alive. Our challenges teach us, which is something to be grateful for. Our blessings show us we are paying attention to what we do have, or else we wouldn’t feel the blessing of having it. We can choose to live in the energy of lack (fear), which will manifest the energy of hate (Day 24) within ourselves and out in the world; OR we can choose to live in the energy of abundance (love), which will manifest the energy of love within ourselves and out in the world. We are responsible for our own energy that we put out in our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. What would you rather be manifesting?

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

-Oprah Winfrey

I CHOOSE LOVE! When I realized how much harm I was doing to myself and others by living in the darkness, I had to make the choice. For me, my breakthrough point with gratitude was looking at my babies and asking myself what was the legacy I wanted to pass onto them. I knew I was the example to my son of how to treat women, and I was the example to my daughter of how to treat herself. Those thoughts have expanded greatly since that day, but at the time, that is what I needed to breakthrough and open the door to the journey I’m on now. That was the day, I committed to being grateful. Even while I was in a very unhealthy relationship, I wrote in my gratitude journal EVERYDAY! I was so determined to break myself out of the cycle of lack, I wrote no less than a page a day.

Your breakthrough moment may not be like mine. It doesn’t have to be an extreme knock down with the emotional 2×4. It can be an AHA moment while you read something that just hits you in the right way. It can be an accident or illness that gets you to slow down enough to realize how precious life really is. It can be watching hate in the media and wanting to help by contributing something different. I can be a pay-it-forward line at a drive through that helps you see the power of gratitude. It can be looking at a flower and being overwhelmed by thoughts of how amazing life on this planet really is. It could be that you are so sick of yourself and your thinking that you just are desperate enough to find a path to change. Since a large element of my 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp is based on gratitude, and when I work with friends, I go instantly to gratitude, I get to see a lot of different breakthrough moments and the transformations that follow. This practice doesn’t just work for me. It works for anyone who is truly ready to be AUTHENTICALLY grateful. If you REALLY want to help yourself and others, commit to the journey of gratitude. You will consciously serve yourself, others, and the world in away that will contribute to the loving energy force guiding our existence. Each of us are already contributing, but many unconsciously of what our energy is really creating more of—Love or fear. We can start living life from a loving place in this very moment. We just have to make the conscious choice to commit to gratitude.

Just for Today

Write a gratitude list of things, people, events, or circumstances you are authentically grateful for. I mean you need to have a physical reaction when feeling gratitude for who or whatever you are putting on the list. If you don’t laugh, cry, or tingle, it doesn’t belong on this particular list. I want you to fully feel the energy of the gratitude so that you know how to spot it on a regular basis. Get into it! This is the best high you may ever feel!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Did you read today’s Letter from A Better Me? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 48 – The All-Encompassing Energy of Gratitude

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 29 – Self-Abuse

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 29: Self-Abuse

“If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, ‘I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.’”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

In The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he wrote a few paragraphs about abuse. Reading the passage up above broke my whole world wide open. I felt the foundation under me shake and my house of fear began to crack apart. That is exactly how I felt, Like I deserved being emotionally beaten down. I had to face that I was allowing him to continue to talk to me like I was a piece of trash is because that is how I felt about myself.

 Side Note:

If you have a similar reaction to the material, please exhale now. Make sure to do it all the way. Get all the air pushed out of you and take a few deep breaths. If you need to stop reading and take a break because this passage triggered you, do it. Even after all this time and all the progress I have made, I can’t even believe how awful I was to myself, and how much pain I would allow myself to go through to prove it.

If we don’t want to be treated badly, we have to stop abusing ourselves. If we can’t look in the mirror and be kind to ourselves, we are attracting the energy of hate into our realities. This can come in a variety of ways. People may see us as having a chip on our shoulder. If we have friends they are the kind that will commiserate in our victimhood. We attract toxic relationships. We attract bosses who disrespect us. We have drama all around us. We might not experience it in all these areas, if there is a place we feel confident, we won’t experience it there. What areas we do feel it, we sit and blame the world without taking responsibility for the real person who is hurting us—Ourselves. Our own personal perspective of pain, fear, and suffering is hurting us. We believe someone’s view that says we HAVE to blame someone else for our pain, but the truth is suffering starts in the mirror.

If our perception of ourselves is abusive and full of fear, shame, blame, judgment and hate (like I’ve covered over the last 28 days) we will perceive the world outside of us according to how we evaluate our inner world. If we are abusive to ourselves, emotionally, physically, and/or psychologically we will sabotage everything that will take us to a level of happiness that we are uncomfortable with. The outside world treats us the way we tell it to.

This doesn’t mean that once we have a good self-concept and we take the time to take care of ourselves that challenges won’t come our way. Whatever comes our way has the opportunity to help us grow or allows us to sink back into old patterns so we get the chance to go deeper. Sometimes the greatest challenges help us find the path to serving the world in the healthiest way possible.

A friend of mine once gave me the suggestion to get a picture of myself as a little girl and talk to her in the way I think she deserves. Our emotional maturity stops the second we stop looking at ourselves for the answers and start blaming the world for how it treats us, this is the time we become vulnerable to addictions and abusive cycles in our relationships.

When we are victims of trauma early in our lives, it is very challenging to come into adulthood with a healthy self-concept. We weren’t emotionally mature enough to see beyond the black and white. This person did this to me or this happened to me, so it is the fault of the person or event. It is easy to stay the victim once we have been a victim. We don’t know better. I know I didn’t! I tried everything I could think of to try to help myself like therapy, church, spiritual groups, reading, in-treatment programs, outpatient programs, affirmations, writing, reiki, healings, and meditation.  Even with all I tried, I had to go through years of suffering to finally get that my problem was how horrible I was to myself. None of the help I got stuck, because I was still abusing myself.

After focusing my unhappiness on someone else’s drinking for way too many years and letting that be my excuse for treating the situation with hateful energy, I finally reached the point I needed dig down through the rocky foundation and get rid of all the hate making my life so miserable. The 12-steps of AL-ANON helped me dig myself out of the hole I created. I didn’t realize how powerful my shame cycle was until I dug myself deep into the work.

I didn’t go through this phase of my journey alone. That helped me see that I wasn’t the only one who beat themselves down. I started looking at the world differently. I wanted to live a healthier life, so I started seeking different ways to view the world. Everyone is different, but what I realized is that I needed examples of different ways to do things. I needed to see relationships that were healthy even in the midst of struggle. I had to teach myself a new way of looking at myself. Otherwise, I would continue to send this hateful energy out just for it to be returned back to me. I was done with this vicious cycle.

After peeling away layer after layer I started to see patterns of self-hate that went back beyond me. I saw how toxic my parents relationship was and how I continued that cycle because it felt normal to me. I had belief systems that worked against me in so many different ways to squash my value and self-worth. It was important to me to acknowledge the beliefs that hurt my view of myself.

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We will get the lessons we are ready to learn from. We might need to build some strength and courage before we can go deeper into what we are feeling. I got to the point that I attracted a narcissist to my life, because I needed to see just how far my darkness went. If it wasn’t for that extreme lesson, I don’t know if I ever would have figured out how cruel I was to myself. If you haven’t read the shame section in 90-Day A Better Me Series, it is an important one to look at in order to set yourself free from the self-abuse cycle. Shame was covered on Days 7-12.

Just for Today

Get out a piece a paper or a notebook. Look in the mirror. STAY THERE! What is coming up? If it gets uncomfortable stay longer! Write down how you are talking to yourself. This can be a layered process. If you feel like this is too intense to do right now, Louise Hay has a book called Mirror Work. It guides the reader through a whole program of doing the work in the mirror, one day at a time. On your journey with me, I don’t spend too much time here, but it is an important place to go back to make sure you are being honest with how you really feel about yourself.

Come back later to see today’s Letter from A Better Me. If you are ready to really dive into the work, you can sign-up with me to do the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp (click here for details).

When you are doing this work it is very important to be gentle with yourself. Don’t abuse yourself for abusing yourself. Our pasts can help us grow or hinder us from growing. It’s all in our hands.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 29 – How I Abuse Myself

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 20 – Judgment in Our Intimate Relationships

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 20: Judgment in Our Intimate Relationships

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

-Mother Teresa

As I wrote about earlier in the 90-DAY A BETTER ME SERIES in the section about fear, there is often confusion around what is considered love. Some of us are taught that to love is to fear. Others are taught fearful actions are projections of love. We make it okay to name-call, belittle, condemn, degrade, intimidate, manipulate, and violate (all fear-based living). Some of us will live in internal hells while we are in relationships because we are so caught up in our toxic stories in our heads that lead to jealousy, rage, betrayal, distance, separation, depression, anxiety, and isolation.

Sometimes we come into relationships with our ideas of a happily ever after story playing in our heads. We have this ideal image of what happily ever after looks like and we judge everything in the relationship against that criteria. We don’t even SEE the person standing in front of us. We are in a fantasy world that isn’t our reality in that moment. In the moment we could be ignoring red flags flying or  ignoring a great person who is looking to get to know us better. All those judgments about  how love should be could actually be stealing the focus from where our attention needs to be—Making sure we are loving and honoring ourselves, so that we can give and receive love from our partners. This is how we keep ourselves out of the toxic muck that judgment creates in relationships.

In intimate relationships we are building trust with our partners. If a partner is being judgmental, that creates holes in the trust. We want to feel safe with our partners and judgment is not safe. In order to not let judgment get in the way of love, both partners have to come to the table with love for each other and themselves, self-respect, respect for each other, awareness, presence, and curiosity. We aren’t all going to think the same way. We aren’t all going to do things the same way. Some of us like the toilet paper to come off the top and others like it to come off the bottom. Some of us like our glass to be bottoms up and the shelf, and others like them to be bottoms down. There is no right vs. wrong. IT’S JUST PREFERENCES! In a healthy relationship we can discuss preferences without things getting ugly with judgment.

When we get stuck on little ideas of right vs. wrong, the big ones can really get us. We have to remain in a calm place and communicate with curiosity about each other instead of judgment. When we don’t agree there is an opportunity to learn. How much do you really care about your partner? If it’s A LOT, then being willing to open the door to try to understand where he/she is coming from. How did they get to the beliefs they have about relationships, life, religion, positions of power, family, strangers, etc.? What we don’t see eye to eye on is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Once we know where their and our perceptions of truth come from, if we communicate from a loving place instead of a fearful one, the relationship will grow. We get to understand our own belief systems by communicating this way. We also get to decide if old beliefs are still working for us towards the version of ourselves. If they’re not, we can choose to let them go.

In a healthy partnership, we support each other’s growth. A healthy partner doesn’t try to keep the other partner down with their judgments. Curiosity fuels relationships and judgment creates toxicity.

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If one partner takes the journey down fear’s road, and the other follows, the toxic energy just brews and festers. I used to think of it as when I went down, he went with me and when he went down, I felt like he was dragging me down to be where he was. It wasn’t a healthy way to look at it. It was only when I had enough self-love and self-respect that I could have solid boundaries to the point I could actively choose not to go down with him.

“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.”

-Wayne Dyer

Now, in the relationship I’m currently in, we know when each other need a little space to figure out what is going on in our heads and we take it. We do our best not to communicate if we are heated and triggered because we might mistakenly judge each other instead of figuring out what inside us is being triggered. What we find is it is usually not what is happening in the moment. It is something from the past that has crept in to our perception of truth. It could be a trigger from an old relationship or judgments we felt from childhood. Either way, we choose to process first before we communicate. This has kept our relationship a very loving one. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our stressful moments, but we actively work to communicate in a way where each of us are heard and understood, even if we don’t agree with each other. We use laughter as our favorite tool when we know the other person isn’t reacting to what is happening in the moment. For us, it reminds us that we aren’t making the judgment that the other one thinks we’re making.

When we do our best to seek understanding instead of insisting on our own way, we reveal who the person is in front of us. Then we get to decide if this is a person who we want with us on our journey based on who they are not who we want them to be, or who they feel they need to pretend to be to get us to want them. If we feel safe in our relationships, communication isn’t either party feeling like they have to walk on egg shells. That is a sign that something is wrong. It could be our self-judgments, projected judgments, or their projected judgments or self-judgments. It could be that there isn’t a mutual respect. Whatever it is that is keeping the relationship in a toxic cycle, it is important for us to see our part in the chaos. If we are staying, when in our hearts we know its not healthy for us to stay: what are our self-judgments that keep us there? If we know the person we are with is a good person, but we feel disconnected: What are the inner judgments going on that are making the relationship feel off?

In order to be healthy we have to stop trying to change someone else’s behavior and start looking to the one person we can change. OURSELVES! We need to be responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. We can’t hold another person responsible for our health and happiness. If we are pointing the finger in blame, we are hiding from the truth (A reminder from Day 17)!

Just for Today

If you are currently in a relationship, think about how your judgments in the relationship have affected the relationship. Don’t focus on what the other person is doing or not doing. Just focus on your own judgments.

If you aren’t in a relationship, think about a past relationship with the same focuses. If you’ve been keeping up with the series, you might remember my story about how I avoided looking at my own stuff and it kept me in the toxic muck. I went out and repeated toxic and unhealthy patterns with my next partner. The experience blew my life wide open and it is what set me on the path to develop the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. I did the work to get me out of my own way, and it all started from seeing how I really felt about myself and what I was projecting into my relationships. I saw first hand how my pretending to be healthy couldn’t fool the Law of Attraction. Your life and relationships will change for the better by doing the work. If we focus on the one person we can change, instead of trying to make others conform to us, we win in the biggest way possible, because we get to live and love authentically! It’s the best feeling EVER! Keep with the series and if you’re not there already, you will have plenty of opportunity to get there.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Part of the work is writing your own letters of inspiration. Read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 20 – Judgment in My Intimate Relationships to see today’s letter of inspiration.

Do you like this series? Don’t forget you can scroll down and enter your e-mail to follow along.

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 17 – Blame Conceals the Truth

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 17: Blame Conceals the Truth

“When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself.”

-Deepak Chopra

Blame conceals the truth in a multitude of ways. It’s not even as simple as not blaming others or ourselves. It goes even deeper. Our blaming of things, circumstances, and concepts, give us the same negative outcomes. Blame conceals our power to change our insides to even have a chance to change what is happening outside of us. We actually can hinder other people from getting the help they need by encouraging and supporting the blame cycle. We stay trapped and held hostage by the negative energy that we engage in. This path is dark and ominous, because we are stuck in an endless tunnel. We don’t see that our light to see the end of the tunnel comes from inside of us. We keep looking outside of ourselves and finding there is only dark, because the truth is darkness is what we are projecting out.

One of the most dangerous parts about what blame conceals is what happens to victims of trauma who get stuck focusing on the traumatic event that happened to them. This is not about P.T.S.D. This is about the deeper seed that is planted that keeps this person the victim of the person or event sometimes for their entire lives. We think we are doing victims a favor by helping them keep their finger pointed out, but energy of blame is consuming. A victim can build their entire life around being a victim because that is where their focus is. This attracts more trauma and heartbreak to the person’s life. Sometimes, it will be the rope that hangs them. Too many people have died from the everyday pressures of living in a world where they STAY a victim to the point where they become the victim of themselves. The victim punishes her/himself over and over. The trauma could have been twenty years ago or more, and if we stay focused on the blame, we will re-live it continually.

Think about the Law of Attraction that we talked about earlier in the series, can you imagine the pain and suffering this attracts? Blame takes away our power to change our lives for the better. The resentment of blame keeps us operating on a low frequency, so that is what we attract more of. Many victims will blame themselves for something or other and will take on feelings of shame. I’m sure everyone is also aware that there is plenty of victim shaming out there too. Together the shame/blame cycle can reach devastating measures.

Think of the straw exercise from yesterday (click here for link). A victim who can’t move on from the blame in order to get their own personal power back is literally stuck in that sphere of fear. No matter what they do to get out, if they stay blaming, they will never see outside of that sphere of reality. Many victims have tremendous fear over letting go of the trauma. Just like a job or any position in life, we can make it a part of our identity (dangerous in itself), a victim can think by reaching a level where they don’t blame and possibly even forgive that it means they are excusing the behavior of the other person or even event from taking responsibility for all the pain they/it caused. That is not true at all. By staying in the blame, we are taking responsibility for something we have absolutely no control over. We don’t let go for someone/something else; we let go to free ourselves of the burdens that aren’t ours to hold on to.

“When you think EVERYTHING is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot.”

-Dalai Lama

Another way blame conceals the truth and keeps us hostage is when we blame things like addiction, alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, weapons, cancer, pain, weather, men (as a concept), women (as a concept), teens (as a concept), traffic, store hours, fear, etc. I think you get the point. We are still dealing with that same negative energy over things we have no control over. So the blame only creates more problems.

I uncovered an amazing lesson about blame, when I caught myself blaming someone else’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. For years, I blamed the addiction for this person’s behavior. I didn’t realize I was still investing in a negative energy by doing this. After the relationship with the person ended, I intentionally set out to make sure that the next person I was with didn’t drink or do drugs. That was my only requirement. Not realizing what I was doing, I put my full focus on what I “didn’t” want. HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCES! The next man I dated didn’t drink or do drugs. He had quit, but I got to see by blaming the addiction, I wasn’t taking personal responsibility for my part. When sick behaviors on both sides of the relationship started to present themselves, I got faced with an emotional 2×4 that hit me right where it hurts and saw that I was in fact the problem for attracting the unhealthy relationships in my life. Blaming addiction was my way of avoiding dealing with the real problems: my self-concept, self-respect, self-love, and lack of any self-worth. Blaming something and someone else kept me from seeing that I was co-dependent on these unhealthy relationships. I derived my self-worth from feeling important to someone else, and when I didn’t I crashed. This is just one piece of the vicious cycle of having no self-worth. I had to stop blaming before I could start diving into fixing what needed to be fixed— ME!

We don’t have to be trapped in ANY negative and/or unhealthy way of living if we CHOOSE not to be. That is another truth that blame conceals. For everything I named above there are people who make themselves victims by blaming these things or champions/heroes by seeing these things as opportunities to grow from. We live in an age where to see either side all we have to do is type keywords into our computers, tablets, or phones. We can see inspiring or devastating stories how people have made their perception of truth work for or against them.

When we blame others/situations/events we are in engaging in fear-based living. We are saying this is on you. The truth is we have a personal responsibility for every thought, feeling, action, and reaction we have. When we blame we are concealing the truth about how we are letting the person or event have power over our lives. Many times we keep re-living situations over and over having pretend conversations of all the things we could say or do if we were given the chance. I know I’ve had full on conversations in the mirror telling people off for doing what they did to me. The only person that hurts is the person looking back at us in the mirror. Blaming keeps us from fixing the one person we are responsible for fixing—OURSELVES!

We can’t control what other people do to us or what they do to each other. We can’t control our families, friends, partners, co-workers, governments, and strangers. We can’t control traffic, accidents, store hours, delivery services, disease, etc. We can manage what goes on inside of us. We can control where we want to focus our energy. We can choose to take our lives back from all the people/events that WE have been GIVING our power to. Nobody/thing can make us do that. Nobody/thing can control what or how to feel. That is our decision, but if we choose the path of blame, it tells us we have no choice. Examples of self-defeating statements that come from blame:

  • (Fill in the blank) happened to me, so of course I’m going to drink my problems away.
  • (Fill in the blank) happened to my family, so of course I’m the victim of the government.
  • (Fill in the blank) happened, so there is no way I can live a happy life.
  • (Fill in the blank) happened, which is why I addicted to pills and miserable.
  • (Fill in the blank) happened, so I can’t control my eating.
  • (Fill in the blank) happened, so I can’t look at myself in the mirror.

I’m drawn to survivor stories from traumatic events. I’ve read a couple books on the Holocaust, and what I saw in them was the people who survived and thrived after the horrible circumstances found meaning in the madness. They didn’t finish their lives as victims. They finished as champions of hope, mentors, and heroes. This isn’t about how the world saw them, it’s about what they perpetuated out from the inside. They surpassed the state of victim internally. They actually found their inner purpose during their darkest times. That is what kept their light inside ignited to walk out of the tunnel. That is what attracts millions of people to read their stories.

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Viktor Frankl is the the Holocaust survivor who wrote the book  MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING. Elie Wiesel wrote the book NIGHT

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Blame is one of those sharp rocks in our foundation that like to poke people as they try to get too close to the truth. When we don’t like ourselves we are more likely to blame others for our feelings and actions. During my teenage years was when my mom first said to me, “I can’t make you feel anything.” I thought of course she can, and so can everyone else. They can make me sad, mad, and happy. I had no idea that by making other’s responsible for my thoughts, feelings, actions and/or reactions I was giving my power away. The one part of my life that I am 100% responsible for taking care of is within me. Just because I was introduced to this concept when I was thirteen doesn’t mean I was ready to embrace it. It did what it was supposed to do; a healthy seed was planted amongst the toxic muck.

Just for Today

Be aware of how you are living in each moment. What happens to your thoughts when you are stuck in traffic? What happens to your thoughts if you are blaming your pain for your misery? What happens to you if you are blaming your partner for not living up to your expectations of him/her? What happens to you when you are blaming your kids for not doing what they were told? Keep investigating where your mind goes and figuring out what truth that the blame is concealing.  What perception of truth is making you suffer?

Read today’s  90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 17 – Seeing the Truth Behind the Blame (click on the Series to take you to the link) to help you open your mind to seeing opportunities from releasing the blame.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

 

For those of you ready to take the next step and do the everyday work it takes to get out of these self-defeating patterns, click the link below!

35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 15 – Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

 

Day 15: Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

-J. Michael Straczynski

Blame is one of those things society supports us doing. Mass and social media thrive on the blame, shame, fear, judgment, and hate in the world. Here’s the tricky part—If we are engaging in it, we are supporting it. Watch the news and see how you react to the stories they are telling. If the media says we should shame a person, do we? If we are told to blame this politician, government, or school system, do we? If we are told to hate a hate group, do we? If we are, we are contributing to the very energy that got us to where we are in the first place. How has this tactic worked for us so far?

We can’t get sucked into blaming the media for doing this. If we are blaming, we are contributing to the vicious cycle. I know, it’s not easy! Believe me, I KNOW! Here’s our responsibility in the matter. We’ve trained the media and entertainment to be this way. They wouldn’t survive if this way of delivering news, campaigning, and entertaining didn’t work. I watched candidates in elections try to run a clean campaign and because they didn’t bash the other opponents, while the opponents were bashing them, the majority didn’t follow them. It doesn’t even matter that most of the mudslinging is us being manipulated—We fall for it. We don’t want to spend the time searching for the truth, so we like to believe what people tell us. If we buy into this method, they are going to keep selling it to us. Otherwise, they wouldn’t succeed at their business.

So, they may feel like they are stuck just as much as we might feel we are. Some media blames the people watching because they are driving the sales and the people watching sometimes will choose to blame the media for not being better. Both sides are caught up in the blame, so we feed that energy and we attract worse and worse. We have people who are extremely sick looking for their 15 minutes of fame, and they don’t care how they get it. We are focused on the worst in society so we perpetuate the cycle of fear and create more of it. If the majority of a nation focuses on blaming, shaming, and fear, we can manifest leaders who project our vision out to the world. Scary, right?

I took a course on media and society in college. One of the most eye opening segments was about how our views are skewed by the media using racism and sexism even in crisis situations. For a compassionate and empathetic person like me, it put me in tears and just thinking about it makes me tear up right now. They showed us pictures and news stories after Hurricane Katrina had devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. One news story had a black man carrying supplies over his head through waste deep waters and the news sources sold it as looting. Tell me that doesn’t stir up some blame cycles on both sides of the situation. Then a white woman doing the same thing is sold as surviving. Once again, the media plays to what sells. At the time I saw this, I’m not going to lie, my blame cycle went into full swing. It broke my heart how the value of people’s lives can be judged against each other. I really had to recognize what that energy was doing to me. For a while after taking that course, I couldn’t watch the news AT ALL. Now, I only watch in very small doses and I do my best to research any part of the news that doesn’t feel right. If a news story is focused on the sick individuals causing the pain, I research the people who are showing love and support to the communities involved. I follow the stream of good Samaritans who step up to fulfill what they feel is their calling to serve. I focus on what people are doing to support the victims of violent acts and natural disasters. This helps me to stay out of the energy of blame and focus on love

When I hear stories of natural disasters, terrorists, mass shootings, and overall violence, I have to REALLY be AWARE of where my mind is going. If I go into the fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate, I feel helpless. I feel victimized by what I’m seeing. I feel scared to adventure because the fear of others. I’m scared to use my voice in fear of what might come back at me. All I know is that I’m not at peace when I choose to live my life there. I have to make a conscious CHOICE to take my mind somewhere that lifts me above all the darkness. That is why I ALWAYS go to seeking out the loving and compassionate acts of others. I still cry my eyes out, but the energy of those tears feed my soul. They inspire me to be and do better. They remind me of my humanity. So, I will support the stories that encourage the best in humanity. I will give them views, likes, shares, and comments on social media, because that is the energy I want to feed.

I’m not saying anyone who wants to watch the news should stop. All I’m saying is make sure you know where your mind goes while you’re watching it. If you want a better life for yourself and others stay away from the finger pointing and start to investigate your thoughts. If you think something shouldn’t be the way it is, what can you do about it? What is your part in not feeding that energy? Doing that is what led me to writing a blog. I needed to focus my energy on what I wanted in my life and that was to come From A Loving Place. I know I’m accountable for the energy I put out into the world. From A Loving Place is a reminder for me to live life from a loving energy and spread it the best way I know how, which for me is through my words.

Side note

I will talk about that A LOT more in Part III of the series, because it’s not about following someone else’s path but figuring out your own. Part III will give you tools to do that.

We do have choices in what we buy into. There are magazines and shows that support us invading people’s lives that keep the blaming and shaming cycles in overdrive, we can choose not to buy them or buy into them. There are magazines and shows that support the best in us, we can choose to buy them and into them. Just remember that we will continue to get more of whatever we focus on. You get to decide where your head goes. No one has control over where you put your attention. Where we go on the inside will create our reality. If we focus on the evils and fears in humanity, we find ourselves surrounded by them over and over with no focus on anything good. If we want to focus on the loving actions of others, we will see them over and over!

Just for Today

Watch media sources with full of awareness of where your mind goes. Where is your focus?

Remember Part I is all about AWARENESS. This is heavy stuff and my promise to you is that if you stick with the 90-Day A Better Me Series, by the end, you will feel shifts you never saw coming and they are nothing compared to what happens if you do the work in the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. The transformative power that comes from shifting our perspectives is life changing.

Thank you for joining me today.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff © 2019

A Better Me

 

Don’t forget to check out the companion letter from the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series (click here to go there now)

Follow the 90-Day A Better Me Series by scrolling down and entering your e-mail below. Start from the beginning and enjoy the journey FROM A LOVING PLACE!

If you are ready to commit to the transforming your perspective to live the life you want:

Check out the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 14 – The Darkness of Self-Blame

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 14: The Darkness of Self-Blame

“You need to stop blaming yourself for the things you can not change.”

-AJA

Blame is sneaky. Blame creeps in like a shadow if we aren’t aware of where our energy is. As we realize we don’t want to be in the energy of blaming others, we can instantly jump into blaming ourselves instead. IT’S THE SAME ENERGY! We aren’t going to see better in our lives just because we are no longer pointing our fingers outward.  If we are still pointing that finger inward we are still living in the darkness of self-blame. We are going to be harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else.  Think about things you are capable of saying to yourself in the mirror when you’re not happy with yourself. Is there self-blame there? If so, that is part of the energy that is holding you back from having the life you want. Self-blame is self-abuse. People can and do take self-blame to the point of suicide, addiction, cutting, and other forms of extreme abuse. Self-blame has the ability to really push people off the edge. Mixing shaming with self-blame and it is a toxic cocktail.

When I was going through some hard-hitting life lessons I was not blaming others, but boy did I put the blame on myself. I still was contributing to the same negative energy, but I was putting it all on me. I was still ending up with people and in situations that would just perpetuate the blame, shame, and fear-filled way of life. It was even more confusing to me than how I was living before. At the time, I had NO IDEA it was happening because I was pointing the finger inward. I thought that is what I was SUPPOSED to be doing. I thought the blame was exactly where it was supposed to be, so why was I still feeling so depleted, depressed, and toxic to be around?

I didn’t know the difference between taking personal responsibility and blaming myself. There is a fine line between the two, but the energy from each one is VERY different. Taking personal responsibility comes from a loving energy. Therefor, it promotes self-care, compassion, empathy, and trust. We don’t have an expectation of ourselves to be more than human. We know making mistakes is apart of the journey and the learning experience. Taking personal responsibility means we’re open to learn from our mistakes and we commit to working to be and do better.

Now, self-blame comes from a fear-based energy field. Therefor, it promotes shame, self-centered behavior, anger, sadness, depression, energy depletion, just to name a few. It also can lead us down the path of addiction to try to cover up the way we are feeling inside. We can feel the difference in how our bodies respond and how we talk to ourselves and others after we have admitted our responsibility in the matter.  If we are depleted, we used self-blame. If we feel liberated, we took personal responsibility. We are just taking responsibility for our choices and the energy that we put out there that may have affected ourselves and/or someone else. We ARE NOT taking responsibility for the way any other person feels or their actions and/or reactions. They are in charge of their own energy, rewards, or consequences of their choices, even if they were in response to something we said or did.

My hope is that people taking this journey will not do what I did and spend too much time in the self-blame arena. This is a dangerous place to linger and there are plenty of belief systems out there that encourage us staying in that place. We are still at WAR if we remain here. We are just fighting ourselves and the fear-based beliefs start taking over each time we pick a fight.  We don’t have to self-blame! We don’t have to be at war with ourselves! The energy of blame even if we are aiming towards ourselves is toxic to us and the people around us. It will come off in very different ways, but it still won’t feel right to people who are in our circles. Conversations may still endlessly rotate around you because a friend or family member is constantly trying to get you to be easier on yourself. We still aren’t capable of being in the present moment if our heads are stuck in blame. Blame doesn’t exist in the present moment. The dark energy consumes our thinking, while we continue to question why our lives are the way they are.

Just for Today

Investigate whether you are taking personal responsibility, self-blaming, or blaming someone else. How do the different energies feel in your body? How do they make you feel about finding solutions to the problems you are blaming over? How does taking personal responsibility feel different?

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff © 2019

 

If you are ready to dive into the work to create the life you want to be living, scroll down and enter your e-mail to follow this FREE 90-Day A Better Me Series.

 

Read today’s companion series 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series letter of the day 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 14 – Recognizing Self-Blame

Enjoy the journey and thank you for reading From A Loving Place.

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 12 – The Layers of Shame

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 12: The Layers of Shame

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

-Brené Brown

We have spent from Day 7 until today on shame. We have looked at the subject of shame on a variety of levels essential to our understanding of shame’s position in our lives. Now, we go into the layers of shame. Facing our shame and releasing it is NOT a linear journey where we go from A to B and we are done. We are going to go through the whole alphabet and it won’t be in any kind of specific order.

The layers of shame come with generation after generation of belief systems that we have bought into telling us we aren’t enough. There is so much undoing that this process takes time. Each time we become aware of our shame, in order to heal it, we have to figure out the belief system that got us believing that way in the first place. Then we have to be aware enough to know that every belief system is just a perception of truth, which many of us like to fight tooth and nail. We have to see the possibilities in other perceptions of truth. Finally the belief system will lose it’s hold on the way we are living in the moment. The beauty of the layers coming off is that we not only accepting ourselves more and more—We accept others for being who they are. Our compassion and love increase exponentially.

However, that doesn’t mean that some event or person down the line won’t test how strong we hold our new belief. Some of us will call this a setback, but it’s not. It’s just another opportunity to go deeper down and work out the roots of this belief. Think of it as those smothering vines. We can’t just clip them to get them to stop growing. We have to dig up the roots in order for them to stop causing damage.

Dealing with shame will continue to come up throughout our journeys. We will think we have dealt with our crap, and all the sudden a new lesson will be right there to meet us. The good news is, the more we are honest with ourselves about these human thoughts, beliefs, feelings, reactions, and actions the faster we will learn the lesson from it. Our shame from our pasts won’t have the ability to affect our lives like it did before.

The key to facing the layers as we move on is to not add to them by self-abusing because we aren’t where we want to be or we feel like we really messed up. A perception that helps me to keep going is that life is a classroom. When I’m finished with the lessons I’m meant to learn here, I will move on. This perception keeps me from awe-fulizing situations to the point I make them into a reason to give up. It also helps me be more accepting of whatever comes next. Another perception I changed was when I feel a downward spiral coming I say, I’m ready for another breakthrough. This keeps me from engaging in beliefs that would make me freeze like I’m hitting an emotional bottom or I’m having a breakdown. I used to feel the shame of feeling not enough when I had those thoughts. They made me want to go run to my cave and not come out.

I wasn’t always the person I am now. I have a past just like everyone else; mine was actually a pretty wild one. My actions have caused people to feel pain and I’ve felt hurt by plenty of other people’s actions too. What I realized is that shame was behind many of my misguided ways.  My feeling of lack contributed to me chasing things and people that weren’t good for me. I experimented with highs to cover the pain. I was self-centered and selfish while I was consumed in living in my shame.

Each thing I’ve experienced was a necessary piece of my journey, even being raped, molested, and verbally abused along with losing important people in my life, had their lessons to teach me. If it weren’t for my hardest lessons, I wouldn’t have seen the power of shame and what believing its messages did to my identity. When I learned the lesson about being as sick as the people I was continuing to have relationships with (revealed earlier in the series), I dove deep and fast into facing my shame. I read book after book on shame and codependency, because I found the two played off one another. I did the work! I got in the mirror and got honest. Even with years of working on my shame to the point I am now, feeling free at this moment, I know the next layer will come. It was this part of my journey that I put together my own personal boot camp. It’s how I know my 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP can and will work for people who do the work.

The layers will be exposed, as we are ready to face them. If we continue in patterns where we actively live in our shame, we will actively be apart of the shame cycle. We will hurt ourselves and others until we are ready to look at ourselves honestly. Even if we don’t share the fear, hate, and judgment out loud, we are still carrying the shame with us, we are just continuing to suppress it. I promise you, it’s leaking out and it will be what keeps you from the life you really want to be living.

I find it is important to have a person to share our humanness with in these kinds of situations. If we don’t have a person who we truly trust not to engage us in these shameful thoughts, or to use them against us; than writing it out is a great tool. Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself. I also have the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP if you’re ready to dive into the work to free yourself from shameful living.

None of us are perfect! Each person does the best with what they have. The ones who are struggling the most with shame are the ones who are out there hurting themselves and others. They don’t hurt people because they like what is going on inside of them. They are in an internal conflict and they act it out externally. Just like we are when we do it. Shame is the most unstable part of our foundations. This is one of the areas that will take the longest to clean up, but it is possible. Just don’t give up and don’t hold it in.

Just for Today

Write a letter to yourself as a contract to become aware of your shame. Commit to being ready to learn from how you’ve lived in your past and be open to see how your past has kept you in the shame cycle with your reality now. Read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 12 – Learning from My Layers of Shame for the companion piece to give you inspiration to write your own letter.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Are you ready to dive into BLAME? Read tomorrow’s post and take the next step in our journey to clean up our unstable foundations and uncover the blocks that keep us from living a love-filled and love-projecting life.

Don’t forget to scroll down and follow the 90-Day A Better Me Series if you haven’t already. I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow.

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 9 – The Secret of Shame

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 9: The Secret of Shame

“Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: Secrecy, silence, and judgment.”

-Brené Brown

Shhhh…If they know you, they will see how pathetic you are. If they knew what you did, they would hate you. I hate you.  Just keep doing. Just keep giving. You are nothing. You don’t deserve to be alive. You don’t deserve happiness. You’re a fraud. You should have been the one to die. You don’t belong here.Just try to be the perfect wife, husband, boyfriend girlfriend, employee, church member, mother, father, daughter, son…

Shame keeps us trapped in a hell within our own skin. Shame is the reasoning behind the messages in our heads that tell us we are unworthy and unlovable. We could have been told shhh…don’t tell or your mom and dad, if you do they won’t love you. We could have told ourselves that just as easily. We might have kept secrets fearing we would be exposed, abandoned, yelled at, and overall shown that we really are unlovable.

Shame puts our value in what someone else might think of us. We judge ourselves according to what our mind tells us others are thinking. We make up story after story in our heads—Still not dealing and facing our secret feeling of being so bad that we are utterly unlovable.

Our reality is a mirror of what is going on inside us. How do you know if you have secret shame buried under the layers of defense mechanisms? In my findings and studies I found that shame is present:

  • If you don’t like your life
  • If you attack and gossip about others
  • If you think the world is against you
  • If you attract abusive friends and partners (and keep them in your lives)
  • If you self-abuse
  • If you engage in addictions
  • If you feel the need to numb yourself
  • If you self-sabotage
  • If you are a doormat in your life
  • If you feel like you are used by others
  • If you give so much that you don’t take care of yourself

I think I made my point. SHHH…Don’t tell shame but you are about to break your life wide open if you are open to face it!

If you found yourself shifting in your seat or getting emotionally triggered…It’s time to start digging into how you really see yourself. We do our best to suppress shame the best we can. I know I did, I went through years of unhealthy relationships and didn’t uncover my stuff that was keeping me there. It took me going back to school and my professor explaining to me that if we stay in an unhealthy relationship, it is because we are as sick as our partners. That one knocked the wind out of me. I had just moved from one unhealthy relationship to another and I kept focusing on their sickness.

The solution to shame is releasing the secret. Sometimes we think that we are such bad people because of the thoughts that float around in our heads.  This can come out in a myriad of different ways: thoughts about family, money, relationships, friends, careers, community members, or perfect strangers. We think people won’t love us if they only knew all the horrible things we’ve done and thought. I thought so bad of myself as a teenager that I tried to kill myself multiple times and ended up in a hospital. I thought that everyone would be better off without me around. When a person is suicidal the outside world may see that person as selfish. Most times the person wanting to commit suicide feels like they are doing the world right by killing themselves. That is about as deep as shame can go. It can tell us not only do we not feel worthy of breathing air, but the world would be a better place without us in it. No one knew the depth of how much I loathed my very existence. People couldn’t understand because I had lots of friends and I did good in school. Though I stopped trying to kill myself, I didn’t starting healing my deepest levels of shame until I was around 40. My life changed in the most miracle-filled way possible as I dug down deeper. Does that mean my life if perfect and things don’t get to me, HA HA—NO! As long as I’m living here, I’m learning new things about myself, life, and how I choose to live it in each moment. Just because I don’t feel shame now, doesn’t mean a layer of shame won’t expose itself. That is why I created the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp, because I wanted to help others transform their lives in miraculous ways and have tools to move them through the process of healing as many times as they need it.

“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”

– C.J. Young

Shame is so sneaky that it will creep into our spiritual practices, careers, volunteer hours, causes we support, and family lives. Sometimes we get caught up doing so much just to try to run from the one thing that we can’t escape—Ourselves. It is our perspective of thought about ourselves that keeps us trapped in our own vicious cycles. When we don’t face the shame inside ourselves, we taint everything we touch in our lives. That is the secret of shame. That is why the houses we build on our foundations of shame will always crumble and deteriorate. Too many of us believe the answers are in what we do on the outside…that is how shame stays alive. We think we might accept ourselves if we make ourselves look better on the outside, but those messages in our heads won’t change if we don’t face where they are coming from. We have to release the secret, even if it is to a journal or a letter that we never send and burn as a release. We have to get these secrets out of our bodies.

No one is too young or too old to change if they want to. There are healthy people amongst us living without shame or with very low levels. 12-Step programs succeed because their steps move a person through releasing their secret shames and healing with the support of a community. Many who fail are so scared to look at the person in the mirror, and the work of the 12-steps is all about looking at that person. We will repeat the same unhealthy patterns over and over until we stop, look, work through, and accept the person standing in front of us.

In my 30’s I started attending AL-ANON, which is a 12-step program for friends and family of alcoholics. It is not a program about changing the person who suffers from the disease. I needed AL-ANON to fix my warped perspective that had me focusing on fixing others instead of working on the one person I actually could change. I went to AL-ANON to get MEback. I was just a shadow of a person when I walked in that door. I felt like a series of titles, mom, wife, daughter, etc. I didn’t feel like I had a true identity because I was so busy defining myself in roles to please others. That is how little I thought about myself. In the program, I peeled back layers of shame (I will talk about that in the days to come). It wasn’t until I was around 40 that I healed HUGE chucks of it to the point where as of this very moment, I feel amazing inside. Getting here took a lot of work, focus, and commitment. We don’t have to be the victims our pasts if we heal the shame that past traumas and beliefs caused us. The process takes time, patience, and the openness to see other perspectives and thought patterns are possible.

Everything I write is perspective. It is the perspective I choose to live by because it fuels my happiness, joy, peace, and serenity. This perspective helps me look at myself with love and respect on daily basis. When I thought differently about life, I didn’t want to be apart of it. I CHOOSE to see things the way I do because I know it works for the life I WANT and AM living. You get to make that choice for your life. You don’t haveto agree with a word I write. You can actually get angry and rage-filled if you CHOOSE to. If how you are responding to other’s perspectives is causing you to spend energy in fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate this first part of the 90-Day A Better Me Series may be VERY challenging for you. I highly suggest getting a journal and writing down what is going on inside of you. PART II (Acceptance) and PART III (Action) will help you IF, and only IF, you CHOOSE that you don’t want that to be how you live your life.

If you want to go through a more intensified and faster process of getting there, I hope you will look at doing my 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp. It is a personalized program where I work with you daily as you work through the process of developing new thought patterns about your life and yourself. You also get 3-hour long sessions with me. I know the pain of living my life according to the fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate filled perspectives of living life. I don’t wish that pain on anybody. I heard someone years ago say, “If I want my life to be different, I have to do things differently.” That stuck to me like glue.  Along with a message I got in AL-ANON,  “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

We each get the power to CHOOSE how we see things. When we take back that power, we start living our lives instead of letting our lives live us.

Facing shame can be very intense work. I hope you have a support system to help you process what comes up. If you don’t, being open to change will light a path where people will show up in your life to give you support. STAY OPEN!

Just For Today

Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are lovable. You are worth living. You are capable of changing old thought patterns that no longer serve you. If you are carrying around belief systems that tell you that you are doomed or that you can’t change, ask yourself how those beliefs serve you?  All beliefs are just perspectives of thought. That is why we can have so many people with so many ways of interpreting the same exact material. Only you can decide what perspective works best in your life. Be honest with yourself. Don’t confuse perspectives of thoughts about yourself with an absolute truth.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

A Better Me

Don’t forget read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 9 – Exposing the Shame Within to get an idea of how to write letters to help you process and work through transforming thought patterns that don’t serve you.

 

If you want to follow along with the series, scroll down and enter your e-mail. 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 8 – Childhood Shame

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 8: Childhood Shame

“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”

-Anais Nin

Some of us go through life not wanting to look back on our childhoods. When we do, we may choose only to look at the surface layers of our youth. Some of us look back horrified and don’t wonder why our lives have taken the trajectory that they have. If you have wondered where the shame cycle starts—the answer is childhood. This is why shame is what makes our foundation extremely unstable. Shame makes our internal ground toxic. If we think we are a bad person at the very core, we will sabotage anything that tries to tell us otherwise.

Childhood shame doesn’t have to come from the home, though it often does. It is in our schools, churches, youth groups, after school programs, daycare, and entertainment. We are surrounded by shame and shaming from the time we can comprehend body language and words.

Before I get into the meat of childhood shame, I feel it’s important to state that not all adults use these tactics, but many have and do. The ones who don’t aren’t the majority. A person has to be EXTREMELYaware and have an understanding of psychology to understand what most of these tactics do to a child’s way of thinking. The majority of people didn’t mean to hurt us at the core of our self-worth. Just like we don’t mean to attack others at that level. It is so easy to fall into manipulation, guilt, and shame tactics to get what we want. Most times it’s a person’s own lack of self-worth trying to say: Hey I’m important. Why don’t you want to do this for me? Why do you think I’m not worthy of being listened to? Why do you not care about me?

We also have to remember that it is what most of us were raised to do as a form of communication. It doesn’t make people bad for using these techniques. We don’t know what we don’t know. We can only do the best we can at any given moment. Reminder Part I is “A Journey of Awareness”. Try not to criticize others for their imperfections during this series. Write out all the things that are coming up. I will give you tools to process what you see.

We don’t have to come from abusive homes to have been shamed. Shaming has been used in parenting for generation after generation. When a parent is frustrated with a child for not doing what they’ve been asked to do it is so easy to jump to shame and guilt tactics to get a child to do what is wanted of them. The underlying message of guilt tactics to a child is if you don’t do it you’re not a very good person. When a child is questioning doing the task, they feel like they are a bad person if they don’t do it. When they choose not to fall into a guilt tactic, they are internally accepting that I guess I’m not a good person because I don’t want to: clean up my toys, stop the rough play, clean my room, do my laundry, do my chores, and the list goes on and on.

Side Note:

Some of you may be thinking how this has been carried into your adulthood already. If you are shaming or blaming yourself right now, STOP!!! Even when we know about shaming it is difficult to stop using the techniques in our lives because we’ve been using them so long that it is in autopilot mode. Just be AWARE! The more you can get through this series just being aware of yourself, the more open you will be to change behaviors that no longer serve you.

Teachers and daycare providers may use shaming tactics to get children to do things too. They call out kids who they know are choosing poor behavior and try to shame them into submission. They can force kids to get up in front of the class who don’t feel worthy enough to be there, so it creates extreme anxiety. They can shame kids for not completing assignments, which an underlying problem may be a learning disorder. A child can feel like there is something inherently wrong with them because they don’t understand why things are such a struggle for them when it seems easy to everyone else. I won’t even begin to go into what paying teachers for test results can do the shame cycles in children or making standardized testing pass/fail does to a child’s sense of worth. I have personal experience with that and it has been one of the most challenging processes I have had to face as a parent, and I have had my share of traumas, but I have to keep re-exposing my child to testing over and over which the challenge a very long and awareness demanding process to help him through it.

Churches and religious practices sometimes will use shame techniques to get there congregations to behave the way the expect them too. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m a God fearing…”. Why would a person fear God? Because they are scared of not being worthy of God’s love. They question whether their thoughts and actions make them a good enough person to be valued by the Being who is supposed to love them the most. I will tell you GOD didn’t tell them to fear him, a human using shame tactics did. This can be true in any sector of religion, but even within the same sector, shame may not be used as a tactic. Love can be used and often is. Love has no place for shame. Shame comes from fear. When we serve religion out of fear, we are saying we aren’t worthy of our Creator’s love.

I remember being a small child sitting in church and hearing how unworthy I was to get to live this life as a “sinner” and how I was responsible for Jesus dying on the cross because of my lack of worthiness. I’m sure those weren’t the words used, but as a child that is what I heard. I was responsible for a man being killed. I must be a horrible person to let someone die for me. God must hate me for being responsible for his son’s death. So as I grew up and bad things happened to me, I actually felt like I deserved it and that I was being punished by God. It took me a LOT of years, spiritual quests, education, and healing to stop believing that. I spent years self-sabotaging myself with the underlying thought that I wasn’t a good person and that God hated me.

Entertainment, advertising, and overall is riddled with shaming tactics for a child’s viewing demise. Messages continuously come across the screen saying, you’re not good enough the way you are. You need to be this or have that in order to be a worthy human. TV shows exhibit people shaming and/or being shamed because it is how most us have learned to communicate so it just perpetuates the shame cycle in a child’s head to question their own worthiness. People may be portrayed as villains and the child has thought some of those same thoughts the villain did, so does that make them a villain too?

I’m not going to spend too long on trauma-filled childhoods, but you can only imagine that if in a generally healthy family environment shame is used, the extent of the damage when there is abuse, rape, incest, addiction, abandonment, mental illness, and/or suicide. I will tell you that seeking trauma therapy, which can include a variety of techniques such as EMDR, have done wonders to help individuals break-up the toxic messages and patterns we learn from being raised in these environments.

Shame tactics aren’t going away. The best we can do is being AWARE of them, catching ourselves from using them, and teaching the generations that come after us that how others behave is their own stuff. We don’t have to make their messages of lack ours. We are all worthy of being here and getting the opportunity to make mistakes so that we can grow and learn. We will all have thoughts that aren’t healthy, but if we are aware enough to question those thoughts we will grow from them. We aren’t bad people because we sometimes make poor choices. We are all humans and we have our own journeys and opportunities to be and live the best we possibly can. No other human can tell us if we are a bad person. If that is what they choose to see that is their choice. We don’t have to live according to any other person’s choices of thought or behavior. This is our own life and we will choose to live it the best way we can in any given moment.

There is ton of support when it comes to healing and transmuting the messages we were raised with. I’m offering the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp, which is an intense program to help re-wiring ourselves to see our own value and worth.  If you are interested, you can read more about the program by clicking the link below or there is tons of other support in therapy, 12-step programs, spiritual groups, seminars available on line, and books. Brené Brown is a powerful voice with her work on shame. Just remember, even people who are meaning to help us can use shame tactics, but that isn’t about you. That’s about them. Being aware when you see yourself and others using them is a huge step in the healing process.

35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp

Just for Today

Write down how childhood shaming has affected your life today. If you need to cry— CRY! See those tears as cleansing your soul to be open to experience life differently. Drink A LOT of water today because if this piece affected you, toxic build-up is being shifted and released inside of you. You need to flush it out.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff  ©2019

 

Today’s companion letter 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 8 – Bringing Awareness to My Childhood Shame is to help us heal from our experiences with childhood shame.

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