Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Enough Already!

Why is it that we feel compelled in our society to go at warp speed, and exhaust ourselves to prove our worth?
I have noticed this for a while now, people keeping themselves busy, and I am not talking about
being productive, but rather giving the illusion of doing something, never completing anything fully,
 all the while complaining about how busy they are. Why is it that they can't stop long enough to
take a good hard look at their lives? Is it because they are afraid of what they will see in the reflection?

I know of a number of people who keep themselves so pre-occupied with 'stuff' almost to the point of not being able to function over the weekend. Are they are running away from
who they are, unable to face the truth, whatever that might be. What are we so afraid of?

We look outside ourselves for validation, and have been taught that way. We are never good enough,
smart enough, attractive enough, have enough money, ENOUGH ALREADY! The truth is, we are
enough, and we don't need anyone other than ourselves to realize that. It is time to remember who we are and our contribution to life.
Isn't it exhausting trying to be all things to everyone else, leaving nothing left for you?

I know because I was one of those people. Always busy, never taking the time to live in the moment,
there were too many things to do, places to go, obligations to meet. I thought of myself as a martyr,
not consciously of course, but martyr just the same. It wasn't until I began getting sick, and I mean
really sick, where I had nothing but time on my hands that I began to listen to my emotions and thoughts. I could do nothing else but lay in bed and 'FEEL' what was happening to me, and it was a profound moment for me. The illness was a gift, not a burden.. I had been attempting to prove my worth by making myself available to everyone except the most important
person and that was me. I was running away from who I was, because at the time I didn't believe I
was good enough and I had something to prove. But every time I ran in a different direction, I was
still there looking back at myself asking the same question over and over:" Why do I keep doing
this? What was I so afraid of?" Rejection, condemnation, criticism?

The realization that I was enough, was a big AH-HA moment for me. When I learned to say "No",
without an explanation of why, just no, and not worrying about what others would think of me, it
was like a huge bolder was lifted off my shoulders. Whatever the situation,  the task
 would be completed by someone else. It took a while, but I was beginning to see myself in a
different light. I was learning to validate who I was, and my self worth as a person, not an employee,
a wife, a mother, a friend, volunteer, a sister or daughter. Just me, and that was enough.

I now take time to read, play, working outside in the yard, run with
my dog, or ride my bike, and it's just for me. My life is joyous, my heart is happy, and most of all
I am a happier person. No more guilt, which is a wasted emotion once you have learned the lesson.

You are enough, never forget that. Embrace who you are, because you are a gift to this world,
and I am glad you are here.

Take Off Your Mask

Do you know what I mean when I say " Take off your Mask?" You see, we all wear them.
 Everyday we head out the door to face the world, attempting to live up to the expectations of everyone else except our own. We have done this all  our lives. We conformed to become the people our parents thought we should be, our teachers, our peers, partners, and employers, just to fit in. But somehow in the process of 'becoming' all things to everyone else, we abandoned our sense of self. We have either forgotten who we really are, or we are so afraid of reveling ourselves, that we stay hidden behind these masks. If you look in the mirror, do you even recognize yourself anymore?

This is not only emotionally exhausting, but it can also be a causation for illness. I have seen it many times in my practice, when a client comes in with several masks on, pretending  to be someone that they are not. They have surrounded themselves with cars, a home, clothes, jewelry, money, lucrative career but are still unhappy because the one thing that they are missing and can't buy is their identity or sense of self. They feel sick, tired, haven't been happy in years. Something is wrong, they just can't pinpoint it. They are missing who they really are, flaws and all.

Fear of being authentic is huge in my business. People fear being authentic for many reasons,
 but the most common response is because no one would like the 'real' me.
 This is what I hear most often. When I ask them
who the 'real me' is, they have to stop and think because they aren't even sure anymore.
 Recognize that you are fearful, but honor who you are by slowly beginning to shed
 your mask and allow your true self to shine through. It is liberating, and powerful.
 Unfortunately, this means others may not like you now. If that's the
case, then it's time to move on, and gravitate towards those who do. I can't emphasis this
enough, so it bears repeating.  Honor who you are, because if you don't, no one else

I have someone close to me who doesn't like the way she looks, so she turns off the lights when getting
dressed, and never looks in a full length mirror. That way, if she hides from herself,
 no one else will see her either.  Nasty comments about her appearance
 have been made, and she laughs about it, insisting that is is all in fun,
but I know she is hurt by this. Her mask is the jovial
person who doesn't care. The reality is, she is in pain and it shows physically in
the illnesses that she deals with on a daily basis and the medications she takes.
 You see wherever you go, there you are. You can run, but you cannot hide.
So why not embrace the person that you are now, not the person
 that others want you to be, or the person you were in the past, but the person you are now.
 Open your eyes,  look in the mirror and smile. Begin a new relationship the reflection
 that is looking back at you. I can promise you, your spirit will be much happier!