Once upon a time, I was easily wounded by what I perceived as another’s rejection. I was all too willing to take everything personally. The slightest comment, or lack thereof, could be considered a deliberate attack.
My ego was, and still is, capable of creating scenarios completely blown out of proportion and based on events that have not actually taken place. I lived my life from a place of fear.
I was afraid of being abandoned, not being good enough and winding up alone. I was so consumed by my fear that I stopped speaking my mind. I kept my mouth shut, acting as if I had no opinions whatsoever.
I had been avoiding conflict for many years in an effort to keep the peace and be likeable. I had become everyone’s doormat! And no one knew the real me. She was hidden from the world.
On the outside I was strong, smart and capable. On the inside, I was a crumpled mess. That is the story of how ego works. The ego is your self-image, the you that you present to the world, and it is an excuse making machine! Here are some of the things my ego told me:
Strong, confident women don’t wear their emotions on their sleeve.
I am better than they are, so there is no need to argue.
I am patient, tolerant and kind. There is no need to hurt someone’s feelings by expressing what I really think.
Everyone has a right to their own opinion and views. It is not my job to judge.
Now, that might not sound so bad, right? Not if it is your ego doing the talking. The ego tells you what you want to believe to keep you in your place. The ego is afraid of change.
Inside of me was a mountain of repressed emotion that was about to become a volcano of spewing anger, judgement and self-loathing. I had embraced becoming the victim.
It oftentimes seems, that as human beings, we gravitate toward the negative. Rather than take responsibility for our actions, feelings and emotions, we want to blame, complain and stay the same.
I am not the same person I was six months ago. In fact, I am dramatically different. I have discovered the “bigger voice” inside of me. My soul-self is awake and I am allowing her to take charge.
Everyone wants to know what the “one thing” is, the key to happiness, the secret to life. I know that secret. The “one thing” is self-love. There is no stronger force for creating joy than learning to love yourself.
You can consciously practice gratitude, forgiveness and self-care with positive results even if you haven’t truly achieved a great level of self-love. My article Soul Growth tells of my journey and some of the tools that got me here.
It’s difficult to explain and I know my old self would have had a difficult time grasping the notion, but with self-love comes clarity. The clarity to see what an amazing creation you are and everything and everyone else is too.
The practice of gratitude and forgiveness takes on a new life as well. It seems to come naturally to me now, without so much effort. There is so much more to be thankful for and so much less that requires my forgiveness.
I now know that strong, confident women are not afraid to show their emotions.
We are all equally perfect in our divine creation regardless of how we express ourselves.
I AM patient, tolerant and kind, but that does not mean I have to keep my mouth shut. My opinions matter. The feelings of someone else are their responsibility and, quite frankly, none of my business.
Just as I believe everyone else has a right to their opinions and views, so do I. It is not my job to judge anyone else on what they believe and it is not their job to judge me. My feelings can only be hurt if I believe what is implied.
My journey has been amazing and I look forward to all the future holds for me. A word of caution, however, would be that although I love the changes that have taken place and I am deeply grateful for the awakening, it is not always a comfortable place to be.
You still have to feel your emotions, in fact, possibly on a much deeper level than before. I know, for me, I have good days and bad days, just like before. Now, however, my good days are fabulous and my bad days are, well, not so tragic.
My ego can still get the best of me. My soul-self usually prevails if I use my tools. I always have to keep working. If I let my spiritual practice slide, I will fall back asleep.
So I keep practicing, I keep learning and I keep evolving. With every day I am able to do this, the world becomes a brighter, friendlier place, where we can all be ourselves, we are all connected and we are all enough, just as we are.
Smiles and hugs!