My son, Tim, has been on the self-improvement and spiritual path for 12 years and is a Life Coach from Boise, Idaho. He recently invited me to be a part of a powerful online group process called “Self-Love, Self-Acceptance and Self Appreciation.” He designed it to bring people together to share their power with one another for a greater cause other than their own individual use. What a delight it is for me to be a part of this group and witness my son’s teaching about self-love. There is no greater joy for a mother than to see her children live their lives fully and making a difference in the world. I am truly blessed and grateful for my children and who they have become and what they bring into the world.
I have been on this journey of self-love for many years and I believe it is the foundation for everything. When I love myself, I will know how to truly love others. It is important to me because I didn’t love myself growing up and wasn’t taught how to love myself. It was very confusing because I was told I was conceited as a young girl. Coming from an alcoholic home, I was starving for love and looked outside of myself and in all the wrong places for it. I didn’t know that the love I was so desperately craving was inside of me all the time. I looked to others for approval, to love me and tell me I was o.k.
I have heard that LIFE (and the people in our lives) is like a classroom and we are always learning lessons. I believe each lesson is like an “awakening” to see the truth and to set me free to live the life I am called to live as a child of God. It is like peeling an onion and we keep going deeper and deeper into ourselves to see the truth of who we are.
After years of practicing self-love, I wasn’t expecting to have such a powerful “awakening” after our first “Self-love, Self-acceptance and Self -Appreciation” call. Spirit didn’t waste any time because that night something “showed up” with Larry that I needed to process.
Larry and I love to dance and we have great chemistry together, for the most part! He has been learning some new difficult dance steps and was trying to teach them to me on the dance floor. Not a good idea because I had no idea what he was doing and tried to follow him to the best of my ability. I could see the look in his eyes and the frustration on his face when I screwed it up royally. I have always had pride in myself for being a great follower. But, I wasn’t following him and started to feel “inadequate” and judged myself to be “not good enough.” Needless to say, I wasn’t in a good mood when we left the dance.
I was quiet at first when we got in the car because I didn’t want to just dump on him. He knew something was up and turned to me and said, “I love you, Sparkle.” I then decided to share my feelings and communicate because being quiet was an “old behavior” and it didn’t feel very good.
After I shared my feelings of “inadequacy” about my dancing with him, he immediately apologized for being a “jerk” and took responsibility for his actions. He said, “It’s not you, it’s me and my ego. I am frustrated because I cannot remember the steps I have been learning so I haven’t been able to lead you. I know that is unfair to you and I am sorry.”
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that admission from him because I judged myself and thought it was my fault. We talked for quite a while in the car and I felt better when I left. The next day, while journaling and in prayer, some awareness came up for me about my lack of self-love and acceptance. I spent the day going within to process what happened and what I want and don’t want in our dancing experience. I wrote 7 pages in my journal and gained clarity about how I have internalized and allowed what others think of me and how they treat me to be the barometer of how I judge and treat myself. Larry was frustrated with himself (and me) because he couldn’t remember the steps he learned and I wasn’t following him. I took on his frustration and assumed it meant that I was inadequate and “not good enough.”
If my self-love and acceptance was at 100% (which no one’s is,) I would have realized in the moment that it was his frustration and that I didn’t need to buy into it & create and my own story. Feeling inadequate and “not good enough” are old core beliefs that reared their ugly head-again! I forgave myself and wrote a gratitude list.
The truth is it’s about me and how I treat and love myself. I cannot control how others treat me, but I can control how I love, accept and appreciate myself. Through this experience, I was able to give myself the love, acceptance and appreciation that I have craved from others. What a gift and opportunity to see the truth and to see how I have grown and learned to communicate and get my needs met. I felt so empowered after Larry and I discussed what I will and will not do on the dance floor! And the best part is we had a fantastic time on the dance floor this Saturday night.
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
I would like to share with you what Spirit revealed to me in prayer yesterday. I picked an angel card and it was the angel of TRUST. This is what it said, “You are about to experience an accelerated period of spiritual growth and breakthrough in which your definitions of love will change. You are encouraged to maintain your trust and belief in yourself as a worthy and effective vehicle of positive action. Whatever your fears, insecurities, the angels are working with you to bring you into greater clarity with the nature of love. Love is the capacity to allow all other living things to grow into the fullest expression of self. The love that you are learning to give is the same that you long to receive: without judgment, acceptance of differences, kind and forgiving, hopeful and courageous. TRUST holds love in place in your life.
I believe this message is not only for me, but for you who are reading this. Love is all there is. We all want to be loved and to love. It is who we are and where we came from. God is love, we are love. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. Many ask, what is my purpose in life? I believe that my purpose in life is to love. First and foremost, I must love myself. Can I really love another if I don’t love myself? I don’t know all the answers, but I don’t think so. Since God and I are ONE can I love God if I don’t love myself?
Learning to love myself has been a lifelong process and will be until I leave this earth. I have shared in other blogs that there was a time that I didn’t love myself or believe in myself. I compared myself to others and beat up on myself when I didn’t measure up or I made a mistake. I have an example that happened this morning that I could see my growth. I woke up early because I had to go to the lab and get blood tests. I found the paper I needed to bring with me and put it on the kitchen table. I got dressed and off I went to the lab. I arrived at the lab and was about to get out of the car when I spotted a man walking in with a piece of paper in his hands. I said out loud, “Oh, I left the paper on the kitchen table.” I immediately started thanking God (because it is my belief that all things happen for my good) and turned my car around and drove home to get the paper. I didn’t say one disparaging remark to myself about forgetting the paper. What would you have said to yourself? Be honest!
Another thought just came to me. If I don’t love myself, can I truly allow another to love me? I don’t know. I have to ask myself, “Do I feel deserving and worthy of love?” How many times have we blocked our good and what God wants to give us because we didn’t feel worthy and deserving? I remember when my friend Ellen invited me to stay in her condo in Maui (while she was away) for a month in 2011. I was feeling “unsettled and guilty” the week before the trip and as I prayed about it, Spirit showed me on a deeper level that I was feeling unworthy and undeserving. Thankfully, I recognized this distorted belief and quickly changed it to the truth of who I am as a child of God. Today, I am living and loving in Maui. I shudder to think that I could have blocked my good and receiving this gift to live in Maui because I didn’t feel deserving and worthy (which sometimes masked itself as guilt).
I read in Alan Cohen’s book, “Enough Already.” “I do not worry about what will happen in the future or “someday.” Deep in my soul, I AM READY to be a full expression of God’s spirit right now. I give thanks for the opportunity to fulfill my heart’s desires. Aligning my thoughts with Spirit, I proclaim what is true about me and for me. Align your thoughts, feelings, words and actions with a success attitude and positive events will follow. People who have an abundance mentality keep attracting more of what they want and need. Those with a lack mentality keep attracting something missing.”
For a long time it has been my heart’s desire to travel. I was a speaker on the Norwegian Cruise Ship to Mexico In January, 2012. I had a fabulous time and since then, I have wanted to go on another cruise. Every time I see the Norwegian cruise ship in the Kahului Harbor, I say to myself or to whoever I am driving with, “I really want to go on another cruise.” I even have a picture of a cruise ship on my kitchen cabinet.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Larry, invited me to go with him on a 12- day cruise to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, German and Scotland – all expenses paid! We will fly into London and spend 3 days there and then go on the cruise. I have never been to Europe nor have I ever traveled with a man other than my husband or finance. I know friends of the opposite sex travel together all the time, but this is new territory for me, for sure. I asked myself some questions:
*Did I attract this gift into my life by aligning my thoughts and feelings to what Spirit wanted for me?
*Could I accept this trip as a gift from God?
*Did I feel deserving and worthy?
*Could I trust myself and my intuition that this was right for me?
*Was I willing to take a risk and travel with someone of the opposite sex (without any strings attached?)
*Was I ready to be a full expression of God’s spirit and fulfill my heart’s desires?
Of course, I felt excited about the prospect of going to Europe on a cruise. I told Larry, “I will pray about it and let you know.” I can hear some of you who are reading this-pray about it, are you nuts? Well, I did pray about it and went inside to see how it felt. I felt peaceful and excited. I have learned to trust my inner guidance and intuition as God’s voice within.
I am happy to say that the answer is YES to Larry’s invitation to go on a cruise with him. I say yes to God and to all the good that God wants to give me. I am deserving and worthy to give and receive more love in my life. I realize that I have received more than I asked for because the universe had a bigger idea for me than I had for myself. TRUST holds love in place in my life.
The Wind Star (name of ship we will be sailing on) is a sleek, four-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks and a gross tonnage of 5,350, the Wind Star feels like your own private yacht. Wind Star features wide open, teak decks—quite unusual for small ships. With over 10,000 square feet of open deck space, guests will find hidden nooks for private moments giving them a feeling of being on their own private verandah.
I just received an email from a friend and this is what she wrote: When you surrender to the wind…you can FLY!! And that is exactly what I find myself doing. Without controlling the how, why, and where…great blessings are appearing…and offering me the opportunity to SOAR!! Life has lifted me from the stagnant waters of hesitation…and placed me smack dab in the center of experiential BLISS!!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT; ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IS WHAT YOU WANT
This is a subtle but paramountly important and exciting key to personal success. It means that there is much more to the universe than we have believed, and if we really expect to realize our dreams, we must allow God to deliver our blessings to us in ways deeper than we can plan and understand. There is an old saying that “The Lord moves in mysterious ways.” God is like the driver of a universal Greyhound bus. Once we have decided where we want to go, we can “sit back and leave the driving to Him.” If we would just choose a nice window sear and relax, we would find ourselves as our destination in no time. Instead, we make it hard for ourselves because first of all we are not sure which bus to get on; we vacillate at the ticket counter, mulling indecisively over a number of possible destinations. The agent can’t sell us a ticket if we don’t tell him where we want to go. Then once we’ve made our decision and we’ve stepped aboard the Greyhound to God, we immediately try to wrestle the wheel away from the Driver, insisting we know a better way. Then, even after we have surrendered the wheel and we arrive, we have a tendency to want to hide in the back of the bus, wondering if this is really where we want to go. And maybe we should turn back. Alan Cohen – Rising in Love pg 75
I would like to end with my favorite scripture. “For I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29-13
Join Pat Hastings, Spiritual Life Coach & Inspirational Speaker for a night of transformation and healing at “What Women Want Series.” Spirituality begins with your relationship with yourself. It is nurtured and developed through relationships with others, and culminates in a sense of purpose in life. In this fun, interactive workshop you will be given the tools to stand in your power – a “must” for healthy relationships. When you get comfortable saying “yes” to yourself, which sometimes includes saying “no” to others, you will be better able to say it in a way that is safe and lovable. You will also be empowered to create what you want, protect what you value, and change what doesn’t work for you. Develop your ability to stand in your power, take spiritual responsibility for your life and live from a place of authenticity.
WHEN: June 22, 2011 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Water Street Cafe, Fall River, Water Street, Battleship Cove, MA 508-672-8748
Loving yourself is a process and a life long journey. I choose to love myself daily. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like that and I had to learn to love myself. The truth be known, I hated myself and felt inadequate most of the time.
As the captain of the cheerleading squad at East Meadow High School in New York, I loved cheering for the football and basketball teams. I also “cheered for” my friends who often came to me with their problems. They knew I would listen and wouldn’t judge them. But what about me? Did I cheer for myself?
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know how to cheer for myself. I looked outside of myself for others to approve of me and tell me I was okay. My self-esteem was like a yo-yo. If you liked me, I felt good about myself and if you didn’t like me, I didn’t feel good about myself. Instead of loving myself, I judged and beat up on myself. I didn’t know how to love myself and I didn’t have a “self”. I became a people pleaser and was loved starved. I wasn’t in touch with my feelings (especially anger), what I wanted or who I was. But, I looked good on the outside-like I had it all together.
About twenty five years ago, I learned about Codependency and it changed my life. I gradually learned to like myself and then to love myself. Codependency can be called “other-addiction.” Codependents have a long history of focusing their thoughts and behaviors on other people, often at the expense of themselves. They “people please” and will do almost anything to get the approval of others. People pleasers are full of anger because their needs are rarely met because they are so busy taking care of everyone else. They look very competent on the outside but on the inside they feel quite needy, inadequate, helpless, or perhaps nothing at all. They may have experienced abuse or emotional neglect as a child. They are outwardly focused on others, and know very little about how to direct their own life from their own sense of self. Sound familiar?
We cannot change until we are aware of our behaviors and what needs to be changed. I needed to change. I learned to stop beating up on myself and looking outside for my answers and self esteem. I began to affirm myself, “I like and approve of the person I am becoming.” I said it constantly and after awhile, I started to believe it. This was the beginning of self-love. Nobody can love you like you can love yourself. When you love yourself, you learn to love others. Love is the answer. The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself.” We often forget about loving ourselves first.
My journey has been one of self-discovery, self-love, self-confidence and self-trust. I started to say NO and stopped “shoulding” on myself. I put a sticky on my phone that said, “I will not should on myself.” At first, my children and family weren’t happy when I set boundaries and said no. They thought I was being selfish. I told them it was self-care! Today, I say no easily when I want to and so do my children. And the best part is – I don’t feel guilty and neither do they!
Loving myself means I stop acting like a victim, blaming and judging others. I take responsibility for my feelings, actions and behaviors. It means I forgive myself for years of not loving myself, beating up on myself and having to be perfect. Today, if I make a mistake, I quickly forgive myself and see what I can learn from it. If others do something that I don’t like, I choose to forgive and see the perfection in it – that I attracted it into my life for my highest good and healing. I believe everything happens for a reason and that it’s for my highest good.
MORE TIPS ON LOVING YOURSELF
1. STOP ALL CRITICISM– Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept and love yourself exactly as you are – knowing you are doing the best you can.
2. DON’T SCARE YOURSELF – Stop terrorizing yourself with your negative thoughts. Find a mental image that brings you pleasure and switch your scary thoughts to pleasurable thoughts. Remember the good things that have happened in the past.
3. SPEND TIME ALONE IN MEDITATION AND PRAYER- Plug into the Power within on a daily basis. Allow yourself to receive Divine Love and healing. Journal your feelings and focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.
4. BE KIND TO YOUR MIND – Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Change your thinking and focus on the positive things in your life. Start a gratitude journal.
5. PRAISE YOURSELF – Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing. Stop looking for others to validate you. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself as you would your best friend. Look into your eyes often and tell yourself the truth of who you are as a child of God.
6. SUPPORT YOURSELF – Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. Asking for help and being vulnerable when you need it is sign of strength and courage. It gives others permission to ask for help when they need it.
7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Exercise. Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
8. ACCEPT YOUR GIFTS – Step into your greatness and magnificence. Stop hiding and let your light shine. Find your passion and live it. Live your dreams.
This workshop is for anyone who has experienced a painful break-up or divorce, whether recent or long ago. You may be asking yourself, “Why do I always sabotage my relationships or why do I always pick the wrong person.” Many women are afraid they will never have a healthy relationship again. Pat has helped hundreds of women learn to love themselves and find healthy and lasting relationships.
Join Pat Hastings, Spiritual Life Coach in this interactive workshop where you will have the opportunity to:
- Write out your history of relationships in the past
- Review patterns in your past relationships so that you don’t attract the same kind of relationship
- Learn how to love yourself and become your own best friend
- Explore limiting beliefs that keep you stuck in unhealthy relationships
- Learn how to forgive yourself and set yourself free
November 14, 2010 1-5PM
WHERE: Private home in Narragansett, RI
|Stay updated by signing up!|
Simply A Woman of Faith
Pat’s book, Simply A Woman of Faith, is available for only $16.45 (incl. S&H).
Click here to order.
Share This Experience!
Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
621 Laniolu Place Kihei, HI 96753