As the captain of the cheerleading squad in high school, I knew how to “cheer on” my team and I loved it. I also learned how to “cheer on” all of my friends. Many of my friends sought me out to talk to me about their problems because they knew I cared and would listen to them. I seemed to naturally have the answers and counseled them (without formal training) with their problems. To be honest, I liked how it felt to be “sought out” and have the answers for others. It was a boost to my self-esteem and made me feel good about myself. But, if I had a problem, I felt ashamed and embarrassed to ask for help because that seemed to be a sign of weakness. So I learned to “pretend” that everything was fine.
As I think about this today, I ask myself some questions, “But what about me? Who had the answers for my life? How did I give my power away?” I didn’t learn to “cheer myself on” but looked to others to define me, to tell me what to do, how to be and how to feel. I looked to others to tell me that I was good enough, smart enough and deserving of love. Sound familiar to anyone?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the slightest idea about how to “cheer myself on” or love myself. In looking back, I realize I was my worst enemy. On the outside, I looked good and together, (whatever that looked like), but on the inside, I felt very different. I never felt “good enough” and compared myself to others. I beat up on myself constantly and was always pushing and striving to do more, to be more and to please others. That was my addiction. I looked outside myself for love and validation. There was a hole in my soul that was insatiable and I thought others could fill it by being nice.
I didn’t know that I was “supposed” to love myself. Nobody ever taught me how to do that. I didn’t know about self-care and self-love. I thought it was selfish to think about myself and felt guilty if I dared to put my needs first. I had no idea what boundaries meant. I was told I was “conceited” at an early age. I am sure that I didn’t know what that even meant, other than – don’t feel good about yourself, don’t talk about yourself or your gifts.” So being a good little girl, that is exactly what I did.
Yikes, it is hard to believe how far I have come and how I have been transformed. The truth shall set you free and I have been set free. I am so grateful to God and to all the people who have loved me and helped me along the way – to learn to love myself, honor, validate and celebrate who I am. Learning to love myself has been a life-long process and will continue until I leave this earth.
What I have learned on my spiritual journey is that there is nothing wrong with you or me, we are God’s perfect expression in this world and we are made in Gods’ image and likeness. The process is about remembering who we are. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to change because life is about change, and we are constantly evolving and growing into the person God intended us to be.
Spiritual progress is like going through a detox. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to the surface. Our blocks to love are not suppressed or denied, but rather brought into our conscious awareness. Our fearful places have to be revealed before they can be healed. Our ego is merely our fears. We all have egos and that doesn’t make us bad people. Our egos are not where we are bad, but where we are wounded.
We are all afraid at some level that if people saw who we really are, they would recoil in horror. That is why we invent the mask, to hide our true selves. But the true self, the Christ within us, is that which is most beautiful. We must reveal ourselves at the deepest level in order to find how loveable we really are. When we dig deep enough into our real nature, we don’t find darkness. We find endless light. Isn’t that good news? I have come to a place where it is safe to be myself, knowing that my darkness will not be judged, but forgiven. I am healed and freed to move into the light of my true being.
This process of no longer being anesthetized by unconsciousness can be painful and we may be tempted to go backwards. It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than to choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that could last the rest of our lives. When we feel jealous, it is because of the need to hold on to whatever we’ve got. It is because we think another person’s good takes away from my own. The ego is a belief in finite resources, but love is infinite. When we are in touch with our negative feelings and are able to release them, we feel the love that is beneath the feelings.
My journey is your journey because we are all ONE. That cheerleader that once cheered for others is now cheering for herself and she is doing an awesome job. I have learned to be my own best friend and it feels so good. I have learned to love myself and give myself what I need because IT IS MY OWN LOVE THAT I WANT. How many of us have spent years looking outside of ourselves for love?
Today, I cherish, honor and celebrate me and my successes. I strive to have my insides match my outsides. I have learned to be authentic and true to myself. I ask for help when I need to and am learning to receive all the Universe wants to give me.
Like many of you, I learned that giving is more valuable than receiving. That is a belief that I have let go of because it is not true for me anymore. It has been my personal experience and the experience of those I have coached over the years that receiving is what we need to learn. The Universe wants to give to us, but we often block our good because we feel undeserving. I invite you to ask yourself some important questions.
Do I want to experience abundance in all areas of my life?
Do I want to let go of beliefs (conscious and unconscious) that no longer are true for me?
Do I want to learn how I am blocking my good so I can receive all that God wants to give me?
Do I want to learn how to be my own cheerleader and love myself?
If you have answered yes to these questions and you want to change and learn how to love yourself more fully, I invite all of my “East Coast Goddesses” to the retreat on January 4, 2014 called “Falling in love with the Goddess Within.” There are a few seats left, so if you are interested, please email ASAP.
“You can have it all. The Universe is capable of answering your every prayer. To receive your blessings, you must be willing to invest in them. Your most powerful investment is yourself. You have access to infinite resources, and many gifts are being laid at your doorstep. Bring your dreams to life by being true to them.” Alan Cohen, Wisdom of the Heart, 2002
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