90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 56 – The Safe Foundation of Self-Love

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 56: The Safe Foundation of Self-Love

“It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourselves.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The last week we have been diving into the importance of self-worth. When I was planning out the layout of Part II, I went back and forth whether to put the self-love or self-worth section first. They go hand in hand, but as I thought about it and the process I went through, I realized that I had to gain self-worth to start liking myself. Once I started liking myself, the path to loving myself was smooth. I wasn’t trying to force it. I remember the first time I looked into the mirror and said, “I love you” as an exercise, that’s when I found out how much I didn’t like myself. I saw how brutal I was to the person looking back at me. I worked on healing that before I could look back in the mirror and say, “I love you” and truly mean it.

Self-love is the safest foundation we can build our lives on. Self-love is the glue. We need self-love for all the other elements of love (Days 32-35), acceptance (Days 36-41), perspective (Days 42-46), gratitude (Days 47-50), and self-worth (Days 51-55) to grow and expand. Without self-love we fall off the wagon and struggle to get back on. We struggle to find our way through the dark tunnels and small confined boxes. Self-love is the essence of what living in the light is about. When we love ourselves fully, deeply, and without question, we are able to shine our lights at full capacity.

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It is sanity.”

-Katrina Mayer

Many of us have been raised in ways that were led by fear. That makes the understanding of what love is very confusing. That makes self-love even more confusing. This is where confusion can set in about someone who loves themselves too much (which is not possible) and someone who is ego driven. Ego comes from our fears, not love. It doesn’t mean anyone who lives in their ego driven world is a bad person, they are just caught up in their own dark energy that seeks outside approval from the world. Often it comes from deep levels of self-loathing. They are trying to prove something to the world and seeking love from the outside world because they can’t find it inside themselves. Have you ever been caught up in this downward spiral? I know I have. When we are there, we start taking our lack of love for ourselves out on the world. We want someone else to make us feel safe, because we can’t find that safety within our own feelings about ourselves. Self-love is where our safety lies. We just need to move past all the fears that have been blocking us from seeing the full capacity of our own lights.

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If you read the Day 55 post from the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series, “How I Honor the Person I Am” I talk a little bit about how I’m connected to my spirituality through my self-love. I’ve studied many different religious paths on an academic level. I’ve looked for similarities and differences. I’ve looked for the love and fear within the readings. I’ve looked how human words whether in text or in services have brought perspectives of fear or love into their interpretations. I’m a spiritual person, so my connection to Spirit is very important to my journey, but my connection does not come from a human level, so no words spoken or written can contain my connection. No titles can hold me to the point where I can’t spot the love within another human.

If I have a weak moment where my own darkness is dimming my light, I know I have to go back to the truest form of love, the love within myself to reconnect beyond what the outside world tells me. Many people try to connect to spirit through words, but words and interpretation of words are apart of our human journey. Spirit is an energy beyond what we as humans can ever contain. In my perspective of truth, the closest I will ever get to feeling and honoring a true connection to Spirit is through the energy of love. I know that my capacity to love and be loved is at it’s highest when I love myself. I have to have it within me to fully feel the effects of it outside of me.  I CHOOSE LOVE. I choose love to connect me to myself, to the Divine Creator, to humanity, and to the planet. That is all created through my safe foundation of self-love.

When I’m honoring the love within me—I’m safe. It doesn’t matter what people don’t love me back. That is their business. That is their journey. The people who are meant to be on my journey will be there for as long as they are meant to be. When they leave or I shut the door, I’m still safe within the love I feel for myself. I can grieve them knowing they played an important role on my journey. I can feel the loss of their energy in my life. I can have moments of fear where I wonder if I will ever feel that way for someone again. That is apart of honoring their part in my journey, but in the end, I will still be there for me. I will be grateful that I was able to love someone so much. This can of course extend to animals, the Earth, our environment, etc.

The more we love ourselves and understand our mistakes, failures, triumphs, darkness, and light, the more we can see that it’s not our place to judge someone else’s life journey. It’s more important to keep our  own gardens the way we want them.

“I see our choices of perspectives of truth as the garden we create in our minds. I choose what seeds I’m going to plant. I decide how to treat the soil. I figure out the way I want to water my garden. I choose which weeds I want to pull. I determine how much light each flower, plant, vine, bush, or tree needs. I choose the space between each life form to support their growth. Other people can give me seeds to flowers, plants, trees, weeds, smuggling vines, invasive species, fertilizers, etc. I get to choose whether to plant or use them. If it doesn’t fit into the garden I’m creating, I can put it in my pocket to possibly plant later, or get rid of it completely. The choice is MINE and MINE ALONE!”

–Rachael Wolff, Day 46

We keep our gardens by being aware of our light and darkness and accepting ourselves for the person we are and the one we choose to be through our choices. When we choose to love ourselves, we have the ability to create gardens of AWE and AMAZEMENT. Our love guides us how to care for the gardens in our minds. Our love for ourselves gives us the beautiful seeds to pass onto others. Self-love gives us so much room to grow and expand without being contained by fear-driven ideas and demands. We are safe because the love we have for ourselves cannot be taken away by anything outside of us. Our gardens are in our minds, but when we create them from self-love, that creation is coming from the energy of our light within us, our soul.

Just for Today

Could you name three things you love about yourself everyday for 90 days? If you don’t think you can, start today. If you think you can, start today. If you want to see the biggest transformation that you will EVER see, start today. A hint into finding things you love about yourself is to look at what you love about others. If you spot it in someone else— It’s in you too! Enjoy the journey!

Thank you for reading and growing with me. I hope this journey helps you to create and expand the gardens of your dreams! Don’t limit your garden’s beauty. SHINE BRIGHT!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 56 – The Safety of My Self-Love

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 38 – Being Secure in Our Present Moment

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 38: Being Secure in Our Present Moment

“One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”

-Eckhart Tolle

We can easily get stuck in the trap of what we think should be happening at this very moment. Guess what, IT ISN’T! Nothing should be happening different than it is in this very moment or it would be happening. We aren’t supposed to be farther along. We aren’t supposed to be without the challenges we have. We aren’t supposed to be feeling different than we are. If we are stuck in the cycle thinking things should be what they are not, we are projecting an idea of a future on our present moment that doesn’t belong there. There is a difference between having goals and shoulding the joy and peace right out of us. You are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be in this moment.

Whatever lesson is in front of you is the one you are supposed to be experiencing. It doesn’t matter if it’s an easy flowing lesson that we breeze through or a hard-hitting knock our asses to the ground lesson that has us questioning our faith and/or anything and everything we believe in. Each experience is a necessary step in our journey. The sooner we can accept the importance of the moment we’re in, we can feel secure and open to receive the gifts that come with the experience. We may need to be questioning our beliefs to open our perspectives and break us open to experience a new level of faith, but sometimes we can’t do this if we are clogged with old beliefs that don’t allow this to happen. The struggle that you are facing right now could be the one that breaks you wide open to experience life in a whole new way. You can only find out if you move out of your own way and accept the moment.

If we are so lost in our struggle of not having enough, not being enough, and not giving enough; we are stuck in the energy of fear/lack. Here is where we see the Law of Attraction come into play. All we do is project that lack and manifest more things that will engage that feeling of lack. I know that isn’t what most of you want. Lack can be a projection that came from generations ago in your family. If no one in your family changed the pattern that comes with projecting lack, well it was passed to you. Now it’s up to you to change that energy if you don’t want to pass it down to the next generation. Lack is the opposite of the energy of gratitude. Gratitude is what comes from seeing the blessing in our current situations no matter how challenging they are. Gratitude is the path out of the energy of lack. We will start the section on gratitude on Day 47 of this 90-Day A Better Me Series.

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Being secure in our present moment is accepting that everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be. We are no longer fighting reality. It is was it isstops being a saying that we add BUT to like I brought up on Day 36. When we are in full acceptance of our present moment, we stop getting ourselves trapped in the cycle of judgment, which once again gets projected than manifested into even harder lessons about judgment.

There are moments we aren’t going to understand in the bigger scheme of things and/or Universal lessons. We’ve projected a lot of fear, blame, shame, judgment, hate, and overall darkness into the world speaking as a collective species. Therefor we have already manifested a lot of darkness for us to learn from. The blessing is that more and more people are becoming aware of the energy they are contributing and have starting making more and more strides at projecting light.

We’ve had people spreading light from as far back as we have stories. This is the basis of many religions, and sometimes with the influence of humans on the story, we lose the messages of love. Fear and love project and manifest two very different things. Love unites and fear divides. We have to remain very aware by what is leading us through every moment if we are going to get the most out of it. We can make every moment count by embracing a perspective that this moment is important and necessary to our growth as a person and  as a contributor to the global energy being projected.

Being secure in our present moment opens us up to taking a step that will benefit our energy that we are projecting. This is one of the current lessons I face in my journey as a writer. I have a book out to publishers and I have to trust that everything is exactly how it should be right now. If the book sells, awesome! If the book doesn’t sell, awesome! I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing right now in this moment and whatever experience I’m meant to go through I will because that is what is. I can have goals, but it is the steps I take in each moment that count. It is the energy I give to the moment that will create my pathway of learning experiences. That’s why today I’m choosing to enjoy the journey! My perspective on my reality is my choice. It doesn’t matter how many people try to influence how I see my life—That is their business. Whatever they are projecting is on them. What I choose is on me. I’m choosing to be secure in my present moment. What you do is up to you.  Choose wisely!

Just for Today

If you think you should be anywhere but where you are in this current moment, or you think you shouldn’t be experiencing something you are experiencing right now, take out your notebook and write down how you could view your current situation through eyes of acceptance. What does that look like? How does that feel? What do you think you can learn from your current situation? What areas of fear are keeping you trapped from experiencing the moment you are in? What energy are you projecting into your current moment? Is that what you want to be manifesting more of? What can you do right in this moment to change the energy you are projecting? If you struggle with finding actions to take to get yourself out of the mindset you are in, PART III is all about action steps. Make sure to follow along with the 90-Day A Better Me Series by scrolling down and following via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and/or on WordPress. Enjoy the journey from this moment you are in right now!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Today’s Letter from a Better Me “Embracing Where I am Now”. Invest your time in a perspective that can contribute to the energy you want to be projecting to the world. Thanks for reading! I hope you can find the blessings in your day!

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90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 37 – Accepting My Lessons from the Past

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 37: Accepting My Lessons from the Past

Dear Universe,

I’ve made a lot of choices in my life. I’ve experienced great joys and excruciating pain.  I’ve had things happen to me that tested my courage, strength, will, and perseverance.  What I realize now is that every single experience was necessary for my development into the person I am now. The most challenging experiences gave me great compassion for other individuals experiencing similar experiences. I learned how strong I really am and how no matter what I went through—I’m still here. I know there is a reason and I trust that learning from my experiences will not only help me, but I will be a better partner, friend, family member, co-worker, and leader.

By becoming aware of what I’m responsible for in the past is key. No one can make me feel, think, act, or react a specific way. I made choices. I can accept the choices I’ve made and learn the lesson from the experiences. I can show respect for others who choose to take responsibility for their choices too. I can accept our humanness.

As for the people who acted against me, I know that’s not really what they were doing. They were acting against themselves. I’m not responsible for what they feel, believe or think. I’m not responsible for how they act or react. That is on them. What is on me is the energy I continue to contribute to their behavior. If I’m carrying them around with me when they are not in front of me or in my life—That is my stuff. I’m not going to blame myself or them, I’m just going to take the actions that are necessary to take care of myself. If that means I report a problem, I’ll do it. If that means I walk away, I’ll do it. If that means I dig deep and show them compassion, I’ll do it. Whatever feels the best in the moment for my self-care is what I’ll do.

By accepting the lessons from my past, even if it was an hour, day, or week ago, I learn and I grow. I see options instead of traps. I see light instead of dark. I see my empowered self instead of my victim self. I’m not going to beat myself up over the experiences I’ve had, because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I’m grateful to have taken chances, learned from challenges, and prospered in the knowledge that I’m here living life from a loving place. By accepting my past I open the door to accept others for being who they are too.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Please click here to read today’s installment of the 90-Day A Better Me Series “Accepting Our Pasts”

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 37 – Accepting Our Pasts

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 37: Accepting Our Pasts

“Accepting responsibility is simply admitting to yourself that you put out energy that wasn’t serving you well. It’s nothing to feel bad about because you will soon be choosing to refrain from repeating the pattern.”

-Laura George

We can’t change the past—It happened! There is no reason to let the hamster wheel spin over and over in our minds trying to make the past different than what it was. Was the key word. We convince ourselves that was is an “is” with our choices to keep the past in our present moment.  Was and is are two different things. Accept responsibility for the energy you put into it, feel the feelings that come with the lesson, learn the lesson, and change the pattern. Our peace, health, happiness, and stability will depend on how we choose to hold on to our past.

Even people who have experienced traumatic events can accept the past. The only person who can tell you that you can’tis YOU. Our belief of can’t is based on belief systems we’ve taken on as facts. They aren’t facts—they are perspectives. The blessing is we can always change our perspective. There are plenty of people who have been victimized who don’t take on the role as victim. They are two different things. We will talk more about victims of traumatic events and the role of victim on Day 41.

I spoke about blame in Part I of the 90-Day A Better Me Series. Blame doesn’t get us ANYWHERE!! All blame does is keep us in the problem, whether we are blaming others or ourselves, we haven’t accepted what happened if we are still pointing fingers. We are still messing around in the toxic energy that keeps us stuck. We don’t have to stay there! It’s a choice! Once again, whatever event that we are blaming others or ourselves for already happened. That is a fact. Acceptance opens the door to the learning experience from whatever happened. If our focus is on the blame we are stuck in the energy that got us in the predicament in the first place. If we are focused on acceptance, we are focused on the energy that will lead us out of the problem and into the best solution possible.

Most times, we aren’t dealing with evil people who vindictively are trying to hurt our communities, environment, our resources, and us. They were most likely trying to find the solution to some other problem, but were stuck in an energy that made it so they couldn’t see the big picture of the solution they chose. They tried to skip over acceptance.  Here’s an example: A person is trying to figure out how to save a company money. If their fear is not having enough money, their focus is on NOT ENOUGH, their solutions will come with consequences of that not enough energy, because they are focused on the problem.  Maybe they find something that saves money, but in time they find the solution destroys the environment. Then they have to go back and they try to fix the environment from that same feeling of NOT ENOUGH and then they lose more money. The negative energy that comes with the decision making which stems from blame, shame, guilt, judgment, anger, rage, and overall fear will come with really hard-hitting life lessons. The problem is when we skip over acceptance—We just get another lesson.

Acceptance helps us see with a wider view so we can step back and gain perspective on our and others past choices, feelings, and lessons. Our brainstorming of how to fix things comes from a place of compassion and understanding. We’ve accepted that the event happened based on the choices we or someone else made. We look at learning from the experience so we look at the how and why without blame. Then we do our best to see the bigger picture. The process of problem solving past learning opportunities isn’t about fear. Therefor, even if we didn’t see everything and we still have something to learn, it won’t be as harsh as the lesson that comes from putting the energy of fear into the situation.

There are so many examples of how we choose fear over acceptance of our pasts, but I’m hoping that the example I give can be adapted to whatever circumstances you have happening in your life. We can take this example and make it about romantic relationships, family, friends, politics, etc. The point is when we use acceptance as a part of processing past events, feelings, decisions, and or circumstances, we open ourselves up to learn and grow from the experience instead of becoming a victim of it.

Sometimes we try to avoid looking at our part and how we contributed to the problem, we all have a part to play if we are caught up in the toxic energies that we talked about in Part I. If we aren’t aware, we won’t accept. If we won’t accept, we don’t grow. We stay caught in a trap. Some people’s emotional development is actually stunted by their choices to stay in this place. They continue to have problems in their relationships, communications, and career development because they choose not to accept responsibility for their feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions. They get stuck in the dark room and they look for some outside light to get them out, but keep getting hit with more dark. We can’t break out of this room until we discover that the light comes from what we ourselves project out into the world. We have to accept that the dark and the light all has the same source—Us.

Just for Today

Take yesterday’s exercise to the next step. Step back and look at the events of the pasts with acceptance. Then try to come up with at least three different perspectives of how you can look at the learning experience. Just looking at different perspectives helps set us free from being tied to the stories of our pasts. Learn what you can about past patterns and you know longer will put yourself in positions to keep those toxic patterns alive. We accept the learning experience and grow from it.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Today’s Letter from A Better Me is “Accepting My Lessons from the Past” click here to read now.

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 36 – Opening the Door to Acceptance

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 36: Opening the Door to Acceptance

 

Dear Self,

I’m ready to close the door on my old story and open the door to acceptance.  I’ve realized that focusing on fear has kept me trapped and I’m ready to set myself free by opening myself up to accept, let go, and trust the moment I’m in.

I feel confident that this path will make this journey easier. I know that I’m responsible for the stories I write about my life. I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of this life and not trapping myself with belief systems that leave me feeling unsafe, angry, and unsettled. I’m ready for my foundation to be solid and stable.

Acceptance is my path. My circumstances don’t matter as much as what I’m carrying around inside of me. I want to be projecting ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that fill my life up. As I become more accepting, I know that my perspective on life will expand.

I’m ready to be a better family member, friend, partner, co-worker, and community member. I can see myself at the door. I feel the light coming through. I’m ready to cross the threshold.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Make sure to read today’s companion piece:

The Stable Foundation of Acceptance

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 36 – The Stable Foundation of Acceptance

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 36: The Stable Foundation of Acceptance

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Acceptance is apart of our journey inward. The more we come to terms with what is, the more open we become to see, access, contemplate, understand, and adapt to other perspectives.  We see opportunities even in the midst of chaos. We create a stable foundation the more accepting we are. One of the slogans that stuck with me when I attended AL-ANON was this too shall pass. Life is ever changing. The sadness will pass, the heartache will pass, the joy will pass, the challenges will pass, and the triumphs will pass. This isn’t a good or bad thing; it’s just the transitions of life. When we accept our ever-changing lives, we don’t get so wrapped up in the little things. This makes us a lot more stable and open to receive the blessing that come with it.

This isn’t about allowing unacceptable behavior, and not doing anything. We will cross that bridge, but not quite yet (in the days to come). I know that is a difficult one for any survivor of trauma. Keep reading! You will get the tools in the 90-Day A Better Me Series. You will have to choose whether or not to use them. If you haven’t read the whole series, got back and start from the beginning. This is a stepping stone process, if you miss a step; the process has less chance of success.

Perspective and acceptance work together. They create a flow to life that opens up door after door. When we are shut down within ourselves, we can’t see the options of either of these things. We might say under a deep sigh, it is what it is, but we don’t mean it. We don’t really accept it. We can’t fake acceptance and get frustrated when getting out of our rut doesn’t work. If you say, it is what it is BUT… That BUT is the resistance. Go deep into the BUT to figure out what needs to be fixed to eliminate the BUT. Your peace depends on it.

Challenges will come up. We will be faced with opportunities to practice our acceptance and see situations from different perspectives. Sometimes we will be able to get to acceptance easily. Other times it will take a great deal of work. Don’t give up. The next few days we will be taking this process step by step.

How we process life changes through the eyes of acceptance. Life becomes softer. The lessons become more manageable. We become better friends, coworkers, partners, family members, and overall champions for life. This is a journey of true awakening.

Just for Today

Look at the areas of your life where you struggle with acceptance. What parts of your life to do feel trapped in belief systems and/or situations? Are there areas where you struggle to forgive yourself or others? Do you struggle with accepting the unknown future? Do you struggle accepting death? Go deep! If you still struggle with any of these areas after this series is over, I invite you to reach out to me. For many if not all, the grip of fear will be drastically lessened by the end of the series. The transformations that come with acceptance are amazing and you will see that the Law of Attraction will REALLY start working with the positive energy you are putting out.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Read today’s Letter from A Better Me 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 36 – Opening the Door to Acceptance.

Perspective is the Key to a Happy or Miserable Life

“It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer.”

-Pema Chodron

Perspective is the key to a happy or miserable life. We all come with a set of ingrained beliefs. Some of them will work for us and others will work against us. Then we go through life gathering more and more beliefs and again, some will work for us and others will work against us. We get fixated on what is true according to our beliefs. It starts so early! As much as I try to teach my kids perspective and give them examples of other ways to look at any given situation, they still believe their way is the only way that could be right. The battles for right and wrong, no wonder why some of us have so many issues in relationships. If we are battling for right and wrong there is a winner and a loser. That is a competition, not a partnership. I can’t hear other people when I’m so fixated on being right. I can’t hear someone talking to me if they are so fixated on me being wrong. All I’m doing is coming up with my argument.

Perspective opens our mind to possibilities. We can see things from other angles and really get our creative brains flowing if we can simply change our language from I’m right, or I’m in the right to this is my perspective, what is yours? We are more open to understand if we don’t think in absolutes. We can come up with real working resolutions when we are not acting against one another but working for the betterment of the relationship with one another. Does this mean we can’t have strong beliefs and convictions? Of course not! We just stop being limited by them. We open ourselves up to understanding. We still may not agree with what another person says or does, but we can all agree to disagree whenever we sit fit. You can agree to disagree with this article and that’s ok too.

All I can say, I’m happier when I am not competing to be right. When I don’t understand someone’s perspective I can ask questions, I will learn enough in their answers to know if it’s worth sharing my beliefs or not. I know I won’t change someone’s opinion by saying they are wrong, but it might change eventually in time when they are ready. If we aren’t battling a person to make their beliefs wrong, and simply offering our perspective, it is much easier to disagree and keep things peaceful. If a person doesn’t feel threatened by our opinion, they might remain open enough to hear what we have to say. We also may be able to hear what they have to say, who knows we may alter our perspective on some issues.

No person can be 100% right all the time. We are all shaped in very different ways, this doesn’t make any of us right or wrong. We need to have people who are different and who have different beliefs. This is how we learn empathy, compassion, and acceptance of others. This is what makes us better people. We can turn to judgment, hate, and bigotry if we want too. All I know is when I go there, I don’t feel good. My stomach gets tied in knots. I get tense. I get angry. Overall, I feel like a miserable human being. Though I can fall into some nasty cycles of judgment here or there, I do become aware much faster now and can work my way out of it for the most part. I have a few stragglers that keep rearing their ugly head from time to time.

When I don’t work myself out of my misery, I know there is a bigger issue at hand. I know the issue doesn’t involve me changing anyone else’s behavior except for mine. I don’t have to respond any ONE way to people I disagree with. I have tons of options. When I know that AND can spot it, life becomes so much easier.

Perspective of knowing, I CHOOSE to see things the way I do is so incredibly freeing. This perspective is what opened doors for me out of toxic relationships and helped me to be kinder and more loving to myself and others.

Now, I can look in the mirror and know that I have a choice in what I want to focus on. I can focus on the areas of my body and mind that cause me to not like myself or I can CHOOSE to celebrate what I see.

I can look at someone else’s beliefs as a personal attack or I can see that they are only reflecting their own beliefs on me. I don’t have to agree with them under any circumstance if I CHOOSE not to take on their opinion.

I find it fun to play with perspective now when something really gets to me. It may take me a little bit before I’m ready to play, but once I get there I feel soooo much better. Seeing things with an open mind never means we have to agree with anything that we don’t feel comfortable with. What it does do is help us trust our gut to tell us what feels comfortable and what doesn’t. At least, that’s my perspective.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

5 Ways to Stop Abusing Ourselves: How to Bring Healthy Relationships into Our lives

If you are one of the many people who have wondered what a healthy relationship looks like, more than likely you are guilty of abusing yourself. Why do I say this? Because healthy people don’t have to ask the question, they just have healthy relationships. This isn’t just an outer appearance healthy; this is the healthy that comes from the core. Those of us who struggle with issues of self-worth, guilt, and shame have to dig really deep to even figure out where these insecurities come from and have to do even more digging and work to figure out ways to let these past struggles go in order to move on and have healthy relationships. I will give you some of the tools I used to break the horrible cycle of self-abuse, but I can’t do the work for you. If you don’t do it, you will continue on the same path and continue to ask yourself the question, what do healthy relationships even look like? I don’t know what the result will be for you, but for me…It was AMAZING!!!!!

1. Become AWARE of Your Part

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I know it is so much easier to blame the other person involved, but we are treated the way we project out. What does this mean? Watch how you are talking, communicating, and acting towards yourself. I’ve read so many relationship books throughout the years and whether the author was talking about it in ways I didn’t understand or I was focused on the outward goal that I ignored the inner work. I don’t know, but seriously I didn’t see this clearly until I was taking a college course at 38 years old. A college professor told the class how “We’re as sick or as healthy as our partners.” WHAT????? I didn’t realize my sickness was my feeling of having no value to someone else. I didn’t know that my sickness wanted credit for making other people better. I didn’t realize how utterly unlovable I felt. I was one sick puppy who spoke horribly to myself and treated my body like a giant punching bag.

The way we treat ourselves is like any other habit. Somewhere we pick up an action or behavior. We start repeating it daily. Once we can do it on autopilot, BANG!!! It’s now a habit. Habits of self-abuse tend to hide under rocks, so we don’t tend to see them until we are ready to start looking under rocks to find them. If you’re ready to start, here are some good questions to bring out some of the hard to see habits that have been taking over your psyche:

  • How do I talk to myself when I make a mistake?
  • How do I treat myself when I do something nice for myself?
  • How often do I do something nice for myself?
  • Do I feel guilty about doing something nice for myself?
  • Do I exercise my body and mind so that it can function at its best ability?
  • Do I talk to myself in ways that I wouldn’t accept people talking to my best friend?
  • Do I talk to myself in ways that if a partner, parent, or stranger did it, it would be called emotional abuse?
  • When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
  • When I let other people’s behaviors stir me up, what thoughts about myself are going through my head?
  • Do I take responsibility for other people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions?
  • Do I mentally beat myself up?
  • Does my eating support a healthy mental outlook?
  • Do I criticize myself when I don’t exercise, eat right, or have unhealthy encounters with others?

Be honest and write the answers out. Really become aware of how you are treating yourself. It matters, because if you accept that treatment from the one person you are with from the cradle to the grave, you will make it acceptable for others to take your lead.

2. Accept Responsibility for Your Choices

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If you are anything like me, that list above revealed a lot of not so nice truths about how you treat yourself. Some of them were very well hidden. Don’t use this list as yet another reason to beat yourself up. You are finding your way out, which is something to be celebrated!

The way I started accepting my responsibility is by seeing my relationships as lessons of how I was treating myself. I used a method by Byron Katie called “The Work” (click on it and it will take you to her site). The method consists of four questions and then a turn around. This process REALLY helped me to start to accept the responsibility for what I was putting out there. It helped me see what these partners were latching onto and flinging right back at me.

Now, when I’m being triggered its my sign to look at myself. I’ve accepted that my lack of self-care can lead me to be mistreated by others. My critical eye on myself can create me to have a critical eye on the relationships in my life. If I’m judging others, I’m judging myself worse. One of the questions I used to ask myself was why did I choose him? I even wrote a piece on it.

Every partner we choose gives us great lessons. We just have to open our eyes wide enough to see them. When a relationship is unhealthy, we aren’t healthy. Healthy people don’t attract unhealthy partners. Accepting our contribution to the chaos is the way out of the ugly patterns that keep us making the same mistakes over and over.

Now, here’s the trick: We can’t beat ourselves up over the choices we’ve made to get us where we are now. If we do that, we stay in the cycle of self-abuse. We have to forgive ourselves, find the lessons, and move on.

3. Take Action on Your Personal Journey

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We can’t do this for anyone else. No one can do this for us either. No friend can tell us enough times. No mom or dad can forbid us from getting treated badly again. No therapist can listen to our problems enough to support us not doing any work. We have to do the work. We will stay unhealthy until we decide with all our convictions that we truly want something better than we have right now. Nothing will change until we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I love you exactly the way you are” and more importantly, mean it. If you, like I did, struggle with this part of the journey, Louise Hay recently wrote a book called Mirror Work. She’s been doing seminars on this for decades, but she finally came out with a book that has a 21-day process. It took me a little longer than 21 days to accomplish what I wanted to, but this offers a great start and if you can stick to it, you will start treating yourself better.

We can’t blame anybody else for where we are right now. We all make choices to contribute to our best or worst attributes. We all have the opportunity to make an ugly past into something beautiful or to let it be our excuse to hold us hostage to our misery. We also each get to make the choice of the life we want for ourselves. As long as our actions follow the path of what we want, we can achieve it. As for healthy relationships, we can only attract healthy partners if we become a healthy partner. We can’t tell the Universe we want healthy lungs and then pick up a pack of cigarettes everyday. If we want healthy lungs we need to do a good cardio routine, drink water, and stay where there is good air quality. Take responsibility for your actions. The relationship with yourself has to be fixed before any other healthy relationship is possible.

This is your journey! A couple techniques that may help you commit to taking positive actions are:

  • Practicing Positive self-talk
  • Writing a list of all the positive attributes you would like to see in a partner, then start taking action steps to make sure you yourself are portraying those attributes.
  • Write a story of a positive life you would like to see for yourself. Make sure you are the hero in your own story. Don’t put the power of happiness in someone else’s hands.
  • Make a list of three things you like about yourself EVERY day for 60 days. This is you doing one thing for yourself daily to take care of your emotional and mental well-being.
  • Make a daily gratitude list
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Get outdoors and just watch nature unfold
  • SLOW DOWN and be Present
  • Meditate
  • Pray

WAIT!!! This list is not meant to be taken on all at once. Pick a couple of things and start there. I like change right now, so sometimes when I start looking at positive outlets for change, I want to take them on all at once. Then the second I fail, I use it as an excuse to get back into the pattern of self-talk that says, I’m not enough. I can’t do it. Don’t go there. Of course if we take on too much it will be too much. Start small, we can’t fix ourselves overnight. A friend once enlightened me on how the process of personal growth takes time. The longer we’ve had these self-sabotaging habits, the longer it will take to unlearn them and replace them with healthier ones. BE PATIENT!

You may experience big changes, then follow it up with a little step backwards in order to take the lesson a little deeper. Remember, we will only be given the lessons we are ready for.

4. Put Yourself on top of Your Own Priority List

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Don’t think I don’t know how hard we can make this one. Believe me, I know and as mom and a partner, I can definitely challenge myself to stay on my own priority list. With awareness, acceptance, and action I get see my progress. Now, I see a lot faster when I haven’t made my needs and myself a priority. I see when my kids are suffering, because I’m stretching myself too thin and making us all crazy for it. I can see it with my partner when I start expecting him to be someone he’s not and resenting him for taking care of his own needs. All signs lead to me not being at the top of my own priority list. My most recent lesson with this has led me to see that I just need to focus on the 24 hours ahead of me.

We don’t need to get caught up in any unknown future that keeps us from being available today. That’s what a calendar is for. Taking on only one day at a time makes self-care possible. The second we get into future thinking, all the sudden our time magically disappears to do anything to take care of our own personal needs. Just today, what are you going to do to take care of you?

Oh the excuses we can come up with to not do this one. Please, stop. If we have the time to do things for others that they can do for themselves; let them do it! They can be responsible for their own stuff; we have to be responsible for ours. If it means we need to get up 30 minutes earlier to do a meditation, exercise, or read a chapter in a book that contributes to the life we want to have; MAKE TIME FOR IT! We may need to use our lunch break or come up with a different routine at bedtime, but whatever it takes. We are all WORTH IT!! If we truly want to attract a healthier lifestyle, our life has to project it. We can only do that if our own life becomes a priority.

5. Be KIND to Yourself!

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Developing self-care, self-respect, self-love, and self-worth are all big tasks for people who have to ask themselves, “What does a healthy relationship look like?” We took a long time to get so down on ourselves that we don’t even know what healthy is anymore, some of us may have never known. We can’t expect anything to change over night. Just like anything else, we have to build up muscles that are weak or have never used before. The only way to keep going in the right direction is to practice, practice, and practice. We are going to make mistakes, but they are there to help us learn what we need to work on. We may go back to unhealthy relationships and be shunned by the people who love us, but if we need to do it to learn, then that is our journey. We may go for a person who is worse for us than any other person prior, but we brought the relationship there for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, we are ready to see what we need to do to break the cycle. Any way if happens, be kind to yourself.

Self-Abuse gets us nowhere and will keep us stuck wondering if we will ever be truly loved. We all get to choose how we will be treated by the people we love. When we love ourselves, we won’t attempt to hurt others or ourselves. We will not attract others who are looking to hurt us. They aren’t even meaning to hurt us. They, like us, are caught in a cycle of self-abuse caused by shame and guilt. Some people’s shame is so deep seeded it causes them to mentally and/or physically abuse others. Most of these people are burying their shame so deep that they have no idea how badly they are abusing themselves. They are projecting hate and rage that is stirring inside of them. It’s very sad to see, but they will only get help when they are ready to change. Our job is to stop focusing on the relationship that is causing us pain on the outside and start focusing on the one that we can change, the one we have created for ourselves on the inside. The first step is start figuring out ways you can be kinder to yourself.

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We will project a person who people respect, because we respect ourselves. We will project a person who inspires love, because we know how to love ourselves. We can’t fake this, if we try, the truth will come out. We will continue to get lessons to help us see the beautiful person that lies within the walls we’ve created. Trust the process! You are Worth it!

If you are in a situation where your physical safety is at risk, PLEASE seek help from an abuse shelter in your area. They are trained to help to keep you safe. If this process is too much for you to do on your own, please seek help from a professional. The key is for you to get the help you need to stop the cycle.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

We All Have Our Own Journey

Why do we feel it necessary to judge others’ journeys? I find it so easy to get caught in this web. When I can pull myself back from it, I can see a better way. I choose to embrace my own journey!

When I put the focus back on me and see that I’m only emotional triggered when someone else’s story hits too close to home, I’m set free. In this place, I can heal my old wounds. I can take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions. My power returns back to me.

I have gone through a lot in my life. I could have chose the bitter, victim of the world route and many people would rationalize my decision. I chose a different way. I chose to keep getting up, learn what I needed to, and move on. This is my journey.

It took me a lot of work, spiritual guidance, and loving support to get me where I am today. I had a lot of challenging lessons that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but they gave me exactly what I needed. Because of that, I can’t deny someone else’s journey is any different. We are all going through exactly what we need to for our personal journey.

Some of the most heart wrenching stories have the most to teach. We are all created different, we need to have different stories too. We need all of them to make this planet thrive. We can’t expect others to live according to our own path.

We will only ever leave impressions that may help others figure out their own path. Loving actions can plant seeds, ignite passions, and create positive energy around a situation. All judgments do is make a person feel worse and bury themselves deeper in the pain that is holding them back. If a person is leading a lifestyle that is hurting her/himself or others there is a shame cycle running through them. Shaming them feeds that cycle. They will experience consequences for their actions, they will pay the price, but we can help them by not keeping them in a prison of thought.

When we focus on our own journey, we can be a light for others. We don’t have to push our beliefs on them. We just need to show them by how we choose to live.

I’ve learned to help others  and myself by asking more questions. They, just like me, may get defensive when someone is approaching the buried truth. That’s a good thing, as long as I allow them to have their reaction without filling myself up with the defensive energy too. That is when the situation can get out of control. I keep reminding myself, this is their journey. I also remind myself when it’s my journey and that I don’t need to take all the advice that is given to me. I don’t have to get angry with someone for giving me advice either. It just means someone cares and they are doing the best they can with the tools they have.

My mom is a great example of a person who is really good at uncovering this through questions. She is one of the few people who can reach my hot spots for growth. I feel safe enough to react in my defensive way, come back, and understand what I was covering up. I’m very lucky to have her. By example, she has taught me to do the same thing.

Once I changed, so did some of the people around me. My circle of friends is amazing!! We are all very supportive of each other’s growth. I have this, because that’s where I put my energy. I don’t jump down into other people’s holes and I don’t expect them to jump into mine. I sit next to the hole and wait for them to tell me they would like a hand getting out. My solid foundation of love can only help them if they use their personal strength to pull themselves up. People only come to me when they really want change.

I also have learned not to take other people’s journeys personal. They need to go through and repeat their lessons as many times as it takes for them to figure out their own way. I am here to give them seeds of hope. It is their choice whether to put them in the ground and let them take root. The same goes for me, when the roles are reversed.

The most important lesson for me was to embrace my own journey. I know, I can only give what I already have inside. If I spot something in someone else, it’s because I have it in myself too. The best part about that is it includes the good stuff.

We are capable of embracing the light or the dark inside us at any point in time.  The dark has a lot to teach, I like to make sure that even in my darkest spots, I embrace the candlelight to have a foundation for love to guide my way. The better I talk to myself, the quicker I will get through the dark spots.

Embrace your own journey! It’s worth focusing on. You are worth it!