We all want to be appreciated; it feels good to be appreciated when we have done something nice for someone else. I go out of my way to appreciate others when they have done something nice or been kind to me. I love to compliment others when they have something pretty on or have beautiful eyes.
But, there is a problem when I obsessively look (outside) to others to love, accept and appreciate me. When that happens, I leave myself and lose myself because I want someone to fill the void, instead of me filling it with my own love, acceptance and appreciation. It’s been an interesting week to witness my “old behaviors rearing their ugly head.” Thankfully, I have the tools to come HOME to myself and take my power back.
We all have the power to depreciate or appreciate ourselves. The choice is ours. To depreciate means something has lost its value over the years. To appreciate means its value has increased and we recognize the quality, significance or magnitude of something. I am choosing to appreciate myself and recognize my value.
I shared with Larry, “I’m feeling stressed and I’m tired.” I know that moving is one of the top stressors, especially when combining households and letting go of things that are no longer useful to make room for Larry’s things. I’m also helping Larry get ready to move here and get rid of things he doesn’t need. On top of that, although I have truly enjoyed it, I have had friends staying at my home for the past few months. In addition, I have been preparing for a 4- day retreat which is the weekend before Larry moves in.
Although Larry was attentive and understanding when I shared my stress with him, I didn’t think he was really able to grasp the magnitude of my experience of stress. Perhaps I wanted sympathy, even though I said I wasn’t complaining, just acknowledging my feelings. I felt annoyed with him, which is an indication I am giving my power away. Deep down, I was looking to him to appreciate me and say, “You are doing such a great job and I would be stressed if I were you too.”
Looking to others, no matter how much they want to help or love us cannot and will not fill the “hole in our soul.” It will never be enough. They are not meant to fill us up, so no matter how hard they try, it is futile.
It is only God that can fill the “hole in our soul” because that is how we were created. What I have learned is that I need to give myself the love, acceptance and appreciation that I crave from others. Instead of looking to Larry to appreciate the magnitude of my stress, I needed to appreciate myself. It’s my appreciation that I crave, not the world’s.
When this awareness came to the light while I was praying, it felt like there was a shift inside of me and the stress lifted. I still had all same things to do, but I felt a new freedom inside. What I thought I needed from Larry, I gave to myself. This is what I did to re-focus and come HOME to myself.
- I wrote a list of 50 things that I appreciated about myself. What I appreciate, appreciate
- I listened to my son, Tim’s, visualization on loving, accepting and appreciating ourselves
- I focused on what was good and working in my life
- I increased my daily gratitude
- I forgave myself for giving my power away and leaving myself
- I focused on giving myself pleasure and having fun; i.e. swimming, walking, dancing, snorkeling
- I had a massage
- When I went to bed, I thought about all the things I appreciate about myself.
I depreciate my value and worth when I look to others for my value. I appreciate my value and worth when I give it to myself. Here are some things we do to depreciate ourselves on a daily basis. Which ones can you relate to?
- When we judge ourselves to be “not good enough” or strong enough
- When we say YES when we mean NO
- When we choose fear instead of love
- When we don’t speak our truth and live in integrity
- When we don’t allow ourselves to feel our feelings
- When we want to please others at the expense of ourselves
- When we don’t trust ourselves and our intuition
- When we beat up on ourselves and live from the “shoulds”
- When we try to control others
- When we procrastinate about making important decisions (or small ones)
- When we think we have all the answers and don’t listen to others
- When we don’t pray/meditate and depend on Spirit
- When we don’t take time for ourselves to enjoy life and use our gifts
- When we don’t live in the present moment and worry about the past or the future
- When we don’t know how to relax and just BE
- When we are unable or unwilling to forgive
- When we medicate our feelings through addictions i.e. alcohol, drugs, shopping, busyness, food, gambling, codependency
I am grateful for the daily lessons to grow and live my best life. We must be willing to go within and listen to our souls. We must be willing to change and do whatever we need to do to heal the “hole in our souls.” We have the POWER to change because the POWER is within us to live a magnificent life. I encourage you to live your life to the fullest, because you are worth it. We are not promised tomorrow.
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