I’m learning that when we lose faith in our feelings, we lose faith in ourselves and become outer-directed. That is, we look to the world to tell us how to feel and what to do. We seek approval and love from others so we can prove to ourselves that we are worthy. Paradoxically, to be outer-directed is to be self-absorbed. How can this be? We feel so unsure of who we are , that we cannot let go, be spontaneous or real.We can reclaim ourselves by becoming inner-directed. This means looking within ourselves for the direction we need. When we’re just beginning to learn to trust our feelings, this can seem to be truly agonizing. It means trusting the reality of our needs and our right to express them. Only then can we find the faith in ourselves and in life, that we have lacked.
Becoming inner-directed takes self-acceptance and self-love. It also takes time. Until then, there will be no real peace because it is the only way to find ourselves.
Weakness and fear make me defensive and dogmatic (adhering strictly to something). I often find myself becoming strident and aggressive without any apparent reason. I insult my acquaintances, hurt my friends, and even frighten the neighbor’s children. In that moment, I may feel I am being strong and assertive, and yet the effects are just the opposite of what I had intended. I am hurting, and so I lash out and wound others.
What am I hiding? Why am I feeling threatened, vulnerable and weak? I usually strike out when hiding my needs and fears. I think that, if I attack, maybe I won’t need to let anyone in. I start to make-up in my mind that if I let people in, they won’t love me; I feel unworthy and shameful.
I have come to find out however, that it is the strong that are tolerant and charitable and forgiving. As I continue to grow in confidence and strength, I will find that I too am able to be flexible, patient and open with others. I am striving to be strong, open, tolerant and loving.
- Our deepest fear (bahiehk.com)
- Learning to Overcome Fear (madihaakhtar.wordpress.com)
- Your world is created in your mind, create a great world and you will live happy in it. (runimal800.wordpress.com)
“God delays, but doesn’t forget.” — Spanish Proverb
Each month, I find it more difficult to meet my expenses until the end of the month, on my fixed income. As each month’s end grows closer and I find myself without enough funds for essentials like food and medications, I find myself sinking into a dark hole of depression and anxiety. I worry that I’ll become severely ill, as happened last year, spending months in the hospital. In today’s still lingering economic downturn, it’s frustrating for anyone who has lost a job or met financial setbacks. Those of us facing financial difficulty suddenly feel curtailed, with the rhythm of our lives changed in a way we never anticipated. But the Universe slows us down for a reason.
There can be gifts in adversity. They can give us some much-needed time alone, time to think. Being alone gives us the chance to find ourselves in a new way. We may be surprised to find some previously unknown inner resources. A period of waiting through adversity can also turn us to our Higher Power, God, or the Universe when the solace we need is beyond the capacity of people to give.
It’s challenging to be able to do nothing when the world tells us that we must take action. When action isn’t possible, accepting the circumstances of our lives enables us to experience the value of being, and not doing.
- Prayer and the Spiritual Journey (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Suicidal Thoughts: Strength to Continue and Endure (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Feeling is the Inner Life (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
“Every forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind.” –John Spalding
There are some people who knew all too well the person I was – before I started to focus on becoming a more emotionally healthy person through personal growth. I know that a person can’t do the kind of work I have on myself and remain unchanged. However, for whatever reason, these people cling to the toxic images in their minds of my former self. I know that each day brings more depth to my spirituality, and with that comes change.
A friend of mine once shared with me that he begins each day by saying out loud, “O.K. God, surprise me!” Although each day brings new challenge, the one thing it won’t bring is perfection. I know that each day I can expect a mixed bag of experiences and all kinds of emotions to match.
If I begin to feel discouraged because of someone’s inability or refusal to see how different I have become, or even negative about life in general, I cultivate an attitude of gratitude by looking back at how far I have come. I remind myself, its progress I’m looking for in myself, not perfection. There’s always something to be grateful for, including the ability to be grateful!
- The Priceless Gift of Personal Growth (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- “A Letting Go” for the Holidays (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Damn Heels Hurt! When In Pain, Who Knows Best Where it Hurts? (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- S.T.A.R. A Tool to Choose Healthy Alternatives (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- For All This We Can Be Grateful and Joyful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
“We live each day with special gifts that are a part of our very being, and life is a process of discovering and developing these God-given gifts within each one of us.” – Jeanne Dixon
As I continue along my path of personal growth, I discover ways to share myself with other people. I feel the want to act on things I’ve learned and to apply them in my relationships. This way, I can pass on to others the awareness and knowledge I have been given.
This wonderful urge to take action should be followed, not resisted. A spiritual awakening is just that – an awakening of the spirit, which then seeks to be part of all life itself.
When we discover our talents, whatever they are, we will be true to them and look for opportunities to use them. The challenge of doing this lets such qualities as integrity, courage, self-discipline and compassion to rise to the surface, where they become part of our daily practice. The alignment of who we are on the outside with who we are on the inside is a priceless gift that is received as the result of hard work toward personal growth.
- The Gifts of Peace, Simplicity and Reality this Holiday Season (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- A Gift So Rich This Holiday (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Be Happy! (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” – Prov. 17:22
When I am gloomy and melancholy I seem to walk around in a black cloud. I find that I attract other disheartened people to me and soon it’s as if we are marching along in a funeral procession.
To be permanently gloomy seems an insult to life. After all, there are many people who are worse off than I am, and yet they manage to find the energy and love to reach out and express joy. Why then, should I coexist in the gloomy minority?
Often, I find that my thoughts dictate my mood. Most vividly, I recall the gloom that appeared when I used to do a great deal of acting out, leading a double life with half of it rooted in fear and shame. It’s no wonder that I was “down”, and that I sometimes still carry this habit and attitude with me now, along my path of personal and spiritual growth.
Part of my growth is in the regaining of a sense of happiness that reaches into the deepest part of me. I can hear myself laugh and learn to play. What a tonic it is, to be happy! Joy is a vital part of life and I want to feel it deep inside me and bring to my face a smile!
- Joe Robinson: The Secret Key to Happiness (huffingtonpost.com)
- Personal Growth (retrohousewifegoesgreen.com)
- “It Really Is Just So Much Easier To Be Who You Are.” (happiness-project.com)
Sometimes, it’s as though I’m in the center of a bustling city, and then decide to leave. As I travel toward the more peaceful suburbs, there are fewer and fewer people. Finally, the city is behind me, and I’m alone. And since I can’t live in two places at once, I enjoy the pleasure of solitude by visiting the suburbs and pay the price of loneliness.
It’s the same when I leave behind the noise of my own thoughts and travel inward. By traveling inward, I’m referring to meditation and times when I just listen to myself; to listen to what my inner voice may be telling me. It takes courage to face solitude, a courage which the Universe gives to me only when I want to find what I can’t find when I’m surrounded by people or even just with my partner. Peace, inspiration, rejuvenation, nurturing, enlightenment, and strength – these are just a few of the gifts of solitude.
Beyond the loneliness, and the longing for others, I find the satisfaction of my company and the company of the Universe. I need these as much as I need the company of other people, and so I always seem to receive what I need to take the risks of solitude. You will too. There is nothing to fear in solitude. We may feel alone, but we never are.
- Solitude is The Best Mentor (socyberty.com)
- How to Get Rid of Loneliness (socyberty.com)
- Can Social Media Networking be an Antidote for Loneliness or is it an Escape from Aloneness? [Sam Borrett] (ecademy.com)
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Tao Te Ching
Working on one’s self is a process of becoming. It is finding, knowing and accepting who we are. It is having the willingness to fall flat on our asses, stumble around, and make some mistakes. It is being in tune with the constant process of death and rebirth that is part of life’s rhythm.
Each of us has our own, internal timetable; the rhythm of our Spirit. The process of discovering for ourselves just what that rhythm may sound like, or feel like and living according to its direction can bring to each of us untold serenity and joy. Our knowledge, or awareness gained through our new understanding also shall bring to us energy, because we’re not fighting the current; no longer is life an uphill battle. We’re not fighting ourselves, or reality. Most times, are we not our own worst enemy? To face who we are and to learn and grow from the experience is being created anew. In the process, we discover our own truths. Maybe that’s part of what a spiritual awakening is; seeing the truth in a new way.
Living according to the guidance of our Spirit and in harmony with our body, mind, and emotions is a solitary journey, but one that ultimately brings us close to other people and to life itself.
- Karen Talavera: Journeying Inward: The Beauty of the Empty Vessel (huffingtonpost.com)
- Make Every Attempt to Live Life by the Golden Rule (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Prayer and the Spiritual Journey (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- A Journey to Self-Discovery and Personal Growth (prweb.com)