Blog Archives

Weakness and Fear

“When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic.”  — J.K. Galbraith

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.

You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

That’s Who I Used to Be

“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

“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.

Related Articles

A Solitary Journey: Following the Path to Spiritual Awakening

 

 

“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.


Discovering Our Uniqueness

“The search for a new personality is futile; what is fruitful is the human interest the old personality can take in new activities.” — Cesare Tavese

Complete these sentences and if you’d like include your answers in my poll:

Hard, isn’t it?  It’s usually easier to come up with five awful things about ourselves.  Yet, knowing who we are and being able to state it is a good exercise in self-esteem.  It feels good to be able to make positive statements about ourselves and our uniqueness.  We get a new sense of identity, especially when we take the risk of telling someone else about ourselves (Feel free to take a look at my page titled “This Boy’s Life – All about Me” which is this exercise at a much more detailed and intimate level). It’s the small things, our preferences and idiosyncrasies that add color and substance to our personalities.

The longer we work on ourselves through personal growth, or recovery, the more we enjoy our unique combination of qualities.  We begin to feel “comfortable in our own skin.”  We can start by affirming them to ourselves often, “I am unique. There is only one person like me.  I am worthwhile, competent and lovable.”  We can focus on ourselves, not in grandiosity, or self-centered ways, but lovingly.  Getting to know ourselves is an adventure, one we can enjoy each day.

The Power of Art

Mask of Domestic ViolenceThe Mask of Domestic Violence – By Artist, Christopher Eshenbaugh

 

Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world (our own), we see it multiplied.”  — Marcel Proust

 

I’ve been looking at the therapeutic nature of art to one’s recovery lately.  In our active addiction, we tended to have a single, narrow view of ourselves and the world we live in.  We thought that everyone was obsessed by using, fantasies and erotic images; we saw others perhaps as mere doubles of ourselves. 

One of the great joys I find in reading is the ability to enter other people’s lives.  We often come to know fictional characters even better than our friends because a novelist can give us the illusion of being all-powerful and all-knowing.  So we get a special “inside view,” and many people in books become familiar and very dear to us.

Reading can take us out of ourselves and expand our views of other people.  We learn that, indeed, “it takes all sorts to make up a community in this world of ours,” and our lives become less isolated through contact with others.  The power of art is to deepen and enrich this perception of ourselves in relationship to the world.  Through reading, watching plays and films, or exploring a painter’s world, we begin

The Gift of Forgiveness

forgiveness7

 

“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”  — Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is forgiveness.  When we remember the past, we often find we were much harder on ourselves than we were on other people.  We may no longer even remember some of our misdeeds, but it’s not so easy to erase the effects of self-punishment on our identity and self-esteem. 

There is no need for us to punish ourselves.  We can apologize to ourselves, just as we do to others.  Then, we can forgive ourselves just as we do to others, and just as we are forgiven by them. 

When we find it hard to forgive ourselves and let go, there are actions we can take: Reach out to someone, or try to find the real feelings beneath the urge to be so hard on ourselves.  We can still be honest and choose gentleness.  We can also keep our perspective, seeing things realistically and not creating a catastrophe where there is none.  We can turn to the Universe, asking for a higher forgiveness and be assured of the Universe’s understanding and love.