I don't know about you, but for me I had a major aversion to being seen as weak, needy, powerless or helpless. I was known for being strong, having it all together, and always knowing what to do. What this created over time was a deep resistance to getting help, even when I desperately needed it! Alongside that was an instilled value system of being independent, doing it myself, being a leader and finishing first. Do you know of anyone like this? Are you or have you been like this?
I'm here to say that getting the help you need is the most loving choice you can make. Asking for help is a sign of courage, vulnerability, and honesty. The reality is that people do desire to help us! If you told that to me in my early 20's I would have subtly or overtly disagreed! I had a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Fortunately my life got painful and bad enough that I was able to break free from the imprisonment of the value system I lived by. Is it your turn? What mind-set are you imprisoned by? You can wait until you have no other choice but to change, or you can make the choice to take a look at it now, regardless if you are feeling amazing and at the top of your game, or terrible.
A few key questions to ask yourself when you are ready to get help is:
1) Is this person capable of supporting me in the way I desire to be supported?
2) Are they going to judge me for the thoughts, feelings or behaviors I have chosen in the past? If so, please find someone else, as that will only make you feel worse and more alone!
3) Is this person interested in me finding the solution, getting clarity and moving forward or are they quick to provide me with solutions of what they think I need to do, or how I should see it?
4) Are they able to see me as equal to them, or do they think they are superior because they are helping me (which will make you feel inferior and less than, which will reinforce your desire to resist help)?
5) Do you feel empowered by them (where as a result of seeing them you feel more capable, resourced, loved and supported) or do you feel dependent on them (which won't feel good over time)?
Moral of the story is that it feels amazing to receive help when the person giving it is happy to do it. It feels good to help when people are asking to receive it. Now is the time for all of us to feel resourced and supported! Please get in touch if you feel like I can be of help to you. We don't have to do this alone. There are no gold stars or rewards for doing it all by yourself, trust me, if there were I would have a lot of them! Instead, I had years of depression, anxiety, confusion, disappointment and frustration because I wasn't willing to reach out or show people what was really going on for me. This doesn't have to be you!
It is so common to hear the advice, "You just need to love yourself," as the solution to solve everything. The big question I often hear is: how do I do that? Many people know that they should love themselves, but feel incapable of consistently doing it. So, do you feel capable of loving yourself? What does loving yourself mean to you? Today I wanted to share 5 Keys to Self-Love.
Key #1: Being present and attending to what's going on for you. The invitation here is to spend a moment paying attention to how you're feeling, what you're thinking about, what you're appreciating right now, and/or what's challenging or difficult right now. The key is just naming it, without trying to fix, change or heal it. Loving attention is often the greatest desire we have. People can say I love you all day long, but if they don't direct their presence/attention towards us we don't feel it. Here's your invitation to provide yourself with loving attention. Are you up for it?
Key #2: This is a question that I heard someone suggest: what would someone who loves themselves do? So when you have a choice to make you can ask: what would someone who loves themselves do? What this question does is to assist you to become aware of the most loving and honoring choice you have available moment to moment.
Key #3: Love is not a reward. For many of us through our childhood love/appreciation and positive attention became something that we were given when we did something good or right, and was withheld from us when we were bad or did something wrong. This is a essentially using love to control someone's behavior, and often in adult years we end up perpetuating this same cycle with ourselves and in relationships. Is this how you want to live? Is this method effective in controlling you to be good and do the right thing? The reality is that this method doesn't work! The more we feel safe, loved and supported, the more likely we are to act and behave in a way that honours ourselves and others. The message that many of us got as kids is that unless we were good we would not be loved, and that belief creates an amazing amount of pressure because people have all sorts of different ideas and definitions of what is right/good and it keeps us living in fear of love being taken away or withdrawn. So we will withdraw love and appreciation from ourselves so it doesn't hurt as much when other people do it. Is that crazy making or what?! So, love is not a reward, it's a choice, and the more we choose it, the more it becomes available.
Key #4: Notice the conditions you put on loving yourself and loving other people. The notion of: I will love you when ____ or I will love you if ______ , or I love you because ______ is another form of controlling your own or someone else's behavior. Is it effective? Does it leave you feeling more stressed or more relaxed? The invitation here is to take off those conditions and start to create love as the foundation. With love as the foundation it's much easier to modify choices or behaviors that have negative or undesirable consequences.
Key #5: Loving yourself is not selfish. Loving yourself will actually give you a greater ability to love other people and receive love/attention/appreciation from other people. Increasing your capacity to allow, give, and receive love will assist to resolve past events and experiences that were not loving or supportive. It's a way not only to benefit your life now, but also to heal the anger, grief and sadness lingering from not being loved in the past. Don't let your past experiences keep you from the love and joy available to you now, and if you are, it's okay, it just means that you haven't yet gotten the skills, resources and support required to change it.
Feeling loved, supported and safe can be the foundation from which we live, and it's okay when we don't feel that. You don't get gold stars, rewards or validation for loving yourself, but the quality of your experience and the ease of navigating your life will improve exponentially! If you would like support to increase your ability to love yourself go to the contact page and send me a message. We can set up a time for a free 20min consultation to see if we're a good fit to work together. Also, if there is a certain subject matter that you would like to see addressed on the blog let me know. May we feel loved as we are now and increase our capacity to give and receive love everyday!
For someone who has their attention solely on the negative hearing the advice, "focus on the positive," can be a blessing. In it is an invitation to have a more balanced perspective and become aware of what's going well or what's going right. Where things become out of balance is when you hear, focus on the positive and you interpret that as avoid or turn away from the negative. This creates a spit or fight within yourself, and leads you to turn towards the positive and away from the negative. On the surface this can show up as tension, stress or low level (or high level) anxiety or depression. Each time you turn away from the negative you are abandoning an aspect of your experience, which is equivalent to abandoning yourself. This behavior will also show up in your relationships, where when someone is being positive you turn towards them and when they are being negative you turn away from them. This will always create hurt, fight and division. Is this what you want?
When you do bring your attention to the positive, or towards where you're feeling love, support, nourishment, harmony, or happiness in your life, it will give you the courage and ability to face or bring your attention to what's negative, or what you would like to change. Often though, if you have spent a lot of time suppressing the "negative" you will have a hard time turning towards it because it feels overwhelming, intense or wrong. This is the moment when it's key to ask for support. Who can assist you to turn towards what's negative? If in this moment you're not able to move into a loving, safe and supportive state find someone who is in that state who can hold the space of that for you. This will make it infinitely easier to shift! There is no need to fight. The invitation is to develop your ability to face all of your experience and make the changes that move you into a richer more fulfilling experience of living. I would be happy to support you in this. I offer a free 20min consultation to see if we're a good fit to work together. Get in touch through the contact me page.
An author once spoke of how if you take the letters in the word anxiety and rearrange them it reads "any exit." At the root anxiety is often a desire to escape or get away from something. The freedom comes from moving in the opposite direction, which is towards whatever is there to address. When we're in a fear based or panicked state it's often hard to move towards the feelings, the intensity, the racing thoughts or the situations in our life that we feel powerless over. This, however, is a skill set that can be learned. What can be learned is to bring our loving presence and attention to the feelings, sensations, issues and life situations. The easiest way to begin is to have someone model that behavior to us. We develop the courage and ability to approach rather than avoid.
The anxiety is providing an opportunity to face what you have previously desired to escape, which is often what you decided you couldn't handle or are afraid will happen again (projected fears). Experiencing anxiety is not wrong. Having anxiety or panic attacks does not mean something is wrong with you. All it is, is pointing you towards something within you (thought patterns, belief systems, feelings/emotions) that are ready to be resolved, or something in your life that is demanding your attention. I would be happy to assist you to discover what the anxiety or panic is about for you, and offer the support you require to move towards greater freedom, calmness and relaxation. Connect through the contact form to receive a free 20min consultation to see if we're a good fit to work together.