Last week, I was musing on love all it’s forms and the following words spewed out.
It was a week when I was shown love in all it’s many wonderful and not so wonderful forms:
Sibling love, romantic love, parental love… the love of friends, children neighbours and pets. I saw it all. The expressions were sometimes beautiful, other times they were less so…
Sadly, I noticed too that sometimes, just sometimes when we say we love what we do is allow love to be expressed as long as it fits what WE decide is an acceptable expression of that love.
Sadly, sometimes we impose conditions…
Sometimes we threaten and it got me thinking…
What IS Love?
And though for me it was just a momentary thought, a whole stream of words spewed forth.
I shared my thoughts on my personal FB page. It wasn’t a big deal, but it seems to have gotten a powerful and positive response with one or two people mentioning that I should share it more widely, so I am here for you today.
I hope it inspires you at the start of your week’s journey:
Contemplating love…In all its forms
Love is open
Love is giving
Love does not deny…
the friend…child…parent…lover, those parted or the living
Love is never demanded!
Love is kind
Love is inclusive
Love is free from guilt
Love should never be denied
…used as weapon its withdrawal a threat
For love should be…
And fall where it may
Love is trust(ing)…NOT
insecure or blind subject to rules, conditions & moral confines.
The day the Earth stood still is a film about an alien who lands on earth. It that captivated me as a girl. For over 50 years it has been one of my favourites. When I was younger I didn’t really get why, but now, I get it!
The film’s message is one of love. Yes, L.O.V.E. Love. Unconditional acceptance and the freedom to be the way you were made to be.
The Plot: Basically An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully in love or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. The ship is a Metal Giant, in it a ‘man’ like extra terrestrial delivers the warning insisting that they ‘come in peace’
Now these two beings do nothing wrong. They do not instigate anything; the man goes around interacting and being a wonderful example of how humans should behave. It illustrates how base and barbaric our way of being is.
Because we do not understand it…we decide to attack it and that’s when the trouble starts.
I don’t know about you but I’m fed up of being attacked because others fail to understand my actions as I express love. I am Mad, yes, Fuming at how often I have to bear witness (and received) the basest, most hurtful comments and despicable actions of others because they insist on judging others by their own insecure, base, greedy or evil standards.
We’re seeing it all around us…
Look at the world we’re living in!
So I’m getting it off my chest and declaring to the world ‘I am an alien!’
There, I said it.
What I mean by this is that I believe that love is… that’s it.
Love is all; It’s all we have ever or will ever need. It would seem that thinking and being this way makes me an alien.
I am, it would appear an ‘other worldly’ being others sometimes assume has an ulterior motive or else they believe I am dealing in something unsavoury; that I and others like me are acting in a way that is strange. When all we aliens are doing is expressing what we feel is right and good showing love for our fellow citizens, our families, our friends and our neighbours
We say we believe in love and it’s a CROC!
We cry and weep and wail for Paris and Turkey…. as we should.
In our millions, we share posts for ‘Black lives matter’ as we should
We get incensed when we hear of the genocide being committed and rightly so
We march to show how much we care and rightly so
We insist time and time again that we believe in love AND
Share profound videos on social media that remind us that L.O.V.E. is all the world needs and you know what
It’s a ‘Croc’
You see if we believed in LOVE, truly believed, we’d practise it – every day, in every situation, in every way, unconditionally.
All too often love I see love showing up with conditions.
You can love me but not him/her/them/that
If you love me you won’t speak to…
I love MY people, but THEY are different
If you love me then you won’t be/do/say X, Y, Z
If you won’t do this and my way, you won’t see your children/family/mother/father/grandparents
Love is demanded
Love is withheld
Love is used to manipulate
Love has many forms.
The Greeks had at least four words for their interpretation of the different ways love can be expressed
Éros:means “love, mostly of the sexual passion.” Although éros is initially felt for a person, it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or an appreciation of beauty itself. Physical attraction as not necessarily a part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.”
Agápe: means “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse
Philia: “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.” It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle In his best-known work on ethics. Philia is expressed as loyalty to friends; (specifically, “brotherly love”), family, and community and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity.
Storge : means “love, affection” and “especially of parents and children” It’s the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring. It is almost always used to refer to relationships within the family. It is also known to express acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. Storge is also used when referring to the love for one’s country or a favourite sports team.
On Being Alien
Being an alien means I know that love shows up as familial, as friendship, as care, as companionship.
It shows up deeply and casually, it shows up as sex and affection, it shows up in making a cup of tea or coffee
It shows up as staying up late to mark those last 10 papers
It shows up as telling someone they look lovely even if you don’t know them and will never see them again
It shows up as laughing at a friends joke, speaking kindly to a customer, rubbing your dog’s whiskers and every day…
It shows up perhaps 50-100 times a day
But, how many opportunities do YOU take to live in the Love you say you believe in?
I am an alien
I make no apology for being an alien,
I will not stand down nor accept criticism & condemnation when I choose to love as compassion or affection.
I will not allow your sullied mind to make my expression of any connection to another seem seedy and unsavoury because you judge from within the dank walls of your own insecurity, hatred and fear
I will not abandon my sister or brother because their experience is not that of my own
I will not give up on LOVE whatever form it needs to take
So, why not join this alien?
Create a tribe of aliens who come to the world in love, who come in peace and take every opportunity, every moment of every day, to express it in all its wonder, its beauty and yes it’s LOVE.
This year, Valentine’s day falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year, It’s the anniversary of the George Ferris’s 157th birthday, it’s also the day a famous massacre took place in 1929. In 1945, just after midnight the German city of Dresden was bombed and finally the saint after which the festival is named, ST. Valentine, was executed on this day some time around 270 AD according to historical records.
It’s a day when we express our affection with cards, excesses of chocolate, roses, wine and all manner of tokens.
Valentine’s day is a day of romance, declarations of love and gift giving
What is it really?
For many of us, love (romantic love, that is); the affection the care; the companionship, the respect; the support, the shared laughter and the faithfulness that we want in our love relationship seem rather elusive.
As you have come to learn, I am a bit of a ruminator. I think deeply about things and as this day of romance approached I got to thinking…
Thoughts on Love & Romance
Don’t get me wrong I’m a great romantic. I luuurve the idea of us loving one another and I love nothing more than the ‘frisson’ and thrill of meeting someone new and getting to know them. The hope and the expectation that maybe this time we have found someone a person we can hope share our life and experiences with, someone we can laugh with and cuddle up with and ‘be ourselves’ with.
But as I contemplated Valentine’s day and the nature of ‘love.’ I realised that in my life and experience I have learnt that the ‘Valentine’ and Romance movie version of love will remain an elusive and distant dream until we recognise what love and loving really means…
5 benefits of learning to love yourself
We cannot give what we don’t yet have ourselves…
Yet so many of us have so little love for who we are, but at the same time we are desperate to have another love us
To truly find love and a love that lives up to our idea of romantic love, we first need to know how to love ourselves…
Loving yourself heals every problem you have in life
Loving yourself makes you happy
Loving yourself improves your health and well-being
Loving yourself generates positive energy and that positive energy creates positive experiences.
I have learnt that loving yourself is the pathway to your PEACE & your HAPPINESS – When you love yourself you feel pretty good most of the time and feeling good all the time means you’re pretty happy.
Even when you have challenges, if you love yourself you respect and honour your strengths, you understand that you can overcome because you know how amazing you’ve been and the wonderful qualities you possessed that helped you deal with your previous challenges.
You are enthralled
As you voyage deeper into self-discovery. You gain a deep-seated appreciation for the YOU that you are. You accept the different parts that make you YOU; The foibles and idiosyncrasies, the embarrassments and peculiarities. You celebrate all parts of you and find yourself walking taller, feeling more peaceful and smiling without having a reason to…
You let go…
Of the need to control or define others. Having a deeper love of yourself makes you to realise that your only purpose is to do just that and that your happiness is YOUR responsibility. You therefore begin to accept that you cannot ‘save’ or create happiness in others, that’s THEIR job. Once we ‘get’ this we begin to let go trying controlling circumstances or the emotions of others and more importantly we let go of…
You learn to stop blaming yourself.
Yeah OK, we all have our quirks and habits, our fears and ‘weirdnesses,’ but once you learn to truly love yourself and I mean develop that complete acceptance for who you are in your core; develop the ability to forgive yourself, talk softly and lovingly to yourself as if you would a young child, then you understand that those less than perfect actions you are simply opportunities for you to ‘choose’ again, a lesson in the school of life. You understand that you too are no better or worse than anyone else and that it’s OK to falter or make a mistake, you’re simply learning how to create the ‘you’ you choose to be.
You see once you understand how to LOVE YOU…
Then you are filled up with it.
Full to the brim with it…
It is then, when you know how to love you, when you are so full, that you have more than enough to share and still be full, it is then that you know how to replenish any that you do share and you make it your mission to always replenish your reserves first, that you will you truly understand love’s nature.
In this space you will be able to truly honour and respect and love cherish another enough to share the best of YOU
So from today…
Make it your mission to truly learn how to understand, honour, accept and deeply appreciate all of yourself; without condition.
Learn to do this and you’ll know instinctively how to do so with the one you choose to share your life with and between you you’ll create magic!
Please Excuse me…I hope you’ll forgive my not posting last week, but one week and one day ago one of the most momentous events that I believe can occur in one’s life happened to me.
I became a Grandmother.
It’s been a week of transitions and changes and emotions and insights, which have left me reeling at times and awed at others. Don’t get me wrong, I have been aware of our little angel’s imminent arrival for the last nine months, but nothing and I mean nothing prepared me for the searing almost pathological love that consumed me when she did arrive.
Yes it was a little girl.
Beautiful…perfect and I believe with all my heart she is a gift handed down into the hands of my wonderful daughter and into our family, directly from the Angels themselves.
I have been in the privileged position of working with the next generation for the last ten years. This means I have been able to observe them, to know them and t love them intimately and to learn what we need to do for our children to survive, thrive and contribute.
Those children who have a less than secure, or indeed NO connection to their heritage, their foundation or roots, if they are not sheltered and secure as they grow, they are less able to find the self-esteem and worth required to allow us to teach them and to guide them. They have less self-love and this manifests in destructive behaviours, towards themselves, towards others, or both.
Like the acorns that fall from the Original Oak tree, they need fertile soil so they can begin to burrow their own fragile roots into the soil, they need time to feed and grow; become strong.
The strengthening and growing process is most successful when it takes place in the shade and protection of the branches of the mighty trees, which came before them. They are strong enough; they know the vagaries of the wind, they can read the seasons and know when and how to bend and not break, to store nutrients to survive the droughts and the storms, when to envelop the new sapling in their protective branches so they are not buffeted and destroyed by the elements beyond.
If the older trees fail to do this, if they turn from the sapling and leave it exposed to the vagaries of the seasons before it is ready or able to deal with the searing sun or the biting wind then our poor sapling grows warped and misshapen, unable to grow tall and straight, unable to stand strong.
For our little sapling the wind is harsh, not soothing and the sun is cruel, not nourishing as it was exposed to it too soon. Exposed when it had neither the strength, knowledge, nor experience to anticipate the damage it would suffer to and was left scarred by the meeting; blistered & burnt; limbs broken & weak…
If these ‘elders,’ the mighty strong Oak trees, which stand in the forest before them are loving and caring they will bow and bend, flexible enough to protect our young sapling, they teach it when & how to hide from the searing sun and the biting wind.
The sapling then grows knowing care, knowing love, secure; knowing and feeling protection. Our sapling faces the wind and the sun when it is ready, when it has the knowledge and skills and the strength to do so… the sapling grows straight and strong.
Legacy: defined by the Cambridge dictionary as:
‘Something that is part of your history, or that remains from an earlier time’
I could have had mixed feelings when I think about ‘being from an earlier time,’ but for me this new phase of life; being part of her ‘history’ means the sapling (me) has become a ‘Mighty Oak’ and that ‘legacy,’ the passing on of the history, the sharing of ‘that earlier time’,’ is now my responsibility.
I am responsible for passing on the ‘legacy’ of who we are and who we were, to teach her where she came from, so she is able to navigate where she is going, to strengthen her roots and guide her through the wind and the sun, so she grows strong and straight, enabling her to become the magnificent ‘She’ that she will inevitably be.
I’ve been so moved by this new phase, it got me to wondering about what it means to me and what I hope to pass on to her and so I wrote it down..
I won’t care that you dirty your clothes
As long as I can sit with you on the doorstep in the fading sun, sucking on home-made lemon-ice, chit- chatting about everything and nothing
As long as I can show you how to mine your wonder and find your limitless potential
I won’t care what you do in your work
As long as I can teach you to do what it is your heart aches to do
As long as I can show you how to dream
I won’t care who you love
As long as I can teach you to do so with an open heart
As long as I can show you how to live with passion & fearlessness, always alive, always brave.
I will care when you are hurt by life and love and betrayal, but…
As long as I can teach you how worthy you are
As long as I can show you how to let your pain expand your soul, stay open to life, despite the hurt…you will rise.
I won’t mind (too much) that you sometimes forget to call or visit your ‘Ya Ya’
As long as I can teach you the power of your spirit
As long as I can show you the magnificence and the beauty of the Queens from whom you’re descended & whose fire & determination courses through your veins
I won’t care how many degrees you hold
As long as I can teach you to dance with life and express yourself in JOY
As long as I can show you how to live unrealistically and daringly, show you how to be limitless and carefree, show you how to not care one jot for the opinions of those who seek to restrict you out of their fear.
I won’t care (too much) to leave you…as it’s inevitable that one day I must
As long as long as I can teach you to keep on hoping, teach you to keep on dreaming, teach you you MUST keep wishing; knowing that there will always be a brighter day, knowing that you always deserve to see the sun rise
As long as I can show you how to truly ‘like’ whom you’ve become, look in the mirror and see the beauty in her…
Even when your life feels less than pretty.
I won’t mind that you’ll sometimes forget me
As long as you remember to ‘feel’ life through your grief and despair, as long as you remember the lessons I taught you
As long as you remember the loving kisses I gave you
As long as you remember the pressure of my arms around you
As long as you remember to look yourself in the mirror and see yourself with love and with acceptance.
As long as you remember you’re amazing and perfect
There are those days in your life that even when you’re in the moment you KNOW in your very cells that THIS MOMENT is one that is changing your life. You’re filled with fear and trepidation because you know you will never be the same again, but you have no idea how or why or what it all means…
Yesterday was such a day for me.
I’m talking about the fabulous Richard McCann & his transformative and I mean TRANSFORMATIVE, speaking Bootcamp!
I spent the day shaking! Literally shaking…unsteady on my feet every time I went back to my seat and crying with emotion. The energy in the room was palpable. Thick and hot and you just knew, something was ‘HAPPENING’
Twelve people walked into a room, complete strangers. Each one of us nursing our individual anxieties, fears, and limiting beliefs and we walked out friends, and I do not use the term lightly, connected in a way that I have rarely experienced in my life before and expanded beyond what we could ever have imagined before we entered that room.
With each round of activities, the compassion and love grew. Each one of us holding a space so the very best of each of us could emerge and boy did we emerge!
There’s a film called ‘Limitless.’ Starring Bradley Cooper. I really like this film. Anything that shows me how limitless we are and the power of the human spirit and abilities captivates me. Yet in this film Bradley has to use a powerful drug to access the limitless side of his nature and we learn that there are dire consequences to it’s extended use.
As yesterday unfolded there was none of the Hollywood glamour of people accessing their limitless potential, but just a beautifully soft, compassionate blossoming of it.
In the space of seven hours, I saw people transformed. YES! Transformed. It was the most beautiful sight to see. Some walked taller, some straighter, spoke louder, stood stronger and as I watched it all unfold I couldn’t help but marvel on how amazing we EACH & EVERY ONE of us is – Without exception.
When we allow ourselves to be tested, but we are encouraged, supported and loved, there is nothing… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING we cannot achieve!
The people I met yesterday had already achieved the most incredible things, come through the most testing of times and yet were humbly denying their magnificence and supporting one another to be even better, push through barriers and become even more expanded… cheering them on to their fullest, limitless potential.
I was truly bless yesterday and the angles were with us in that room, but what I want you to get, and REALLY get this, is that its in ALL of us.
Each of us has the capacity, talent and ability to reach for anything we wish and make it happen.
If the situation you are in, or the people around you are not conducive to you stepping into your limitless power and possibility, then Change IT!
But, more importantly…
Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
It is our natural state to connect and be connected, it is in our DNA to be supportive.
So, for today, (Grandma-to-be-baby-shower-duties-call) I’m going to leave you here.
Do it now!
Hold someone’s hand and unlock their prison doors,
Unlock you own by asking for the help you need to step into the life you want to achieve
I am indebted to the following people for being my Eath Angels yesterday up the sincerest and most loving gratitude to Yoen van Velzen, Angela Dowd, Christine Wragg, Emma, Eula, Corrina Lawrence, Farah, The beautiful Michael Brodie, Nick, Julie, Lisa & the masterful and inspirational Richard
I’ve noticed and I’m sure you have too, that one of our biggest sources of misery is from the relationships we have with others, especially our love/romantic relationships. There is nothing that we think provides us with such acutely negative feelings about our worth, as having a partner or Spouse leave us.
But, I have come to realise that loving someone is a gift. Each of our relationships is a lesson for us to learn from and pass through so we can evolve and transform. Each relationship is another opportunity for growth, if we choose to see it.
The misery comes not from the experience but from our ‘Expectations’ of it.
Person A has the belief that their self worth is tied to being loved by another. Their expectations are that love means the other person is constantly by your side, gives you their undivided attention and consistently offers displays of affection both in private and public.
Person B’s expectations and beliefs are that love means giving others the space to be themselves, that love and affection are offered gifts and aren’t a demand or an obligation. The expectations they have of their partner are that they have freedom of choice, so every day that they wake up and their partner has chosen to be with them tells them they are loved.
Now the universe is made of opposites, Ying & Yang, masculine & Feminine and so…
So person A & B meet. The pull of person B’s strength and independence attracts A’s desire for care and protection. Person A’s emotional freedom and affection are a breath of fresh air and makes person B feel cherished, something they haven’t felt before. They are attracted to one another and begin a relationship.
Person A’s displays of affection allow Person B become a little more affectionate and Person B’s respect and support is warm and unusually freeing for Person A.
As time rolls by
After a while however, Person B finds A’s demands for affection suffocating and confusing as they begin to get upset (feeling rejected) when Person B leaves them to pursue other interests or isn’t constantly demonstrating their affection.
To Person B, their constant demands for physical displays and emotional reassurance, implies a dependency that they associate with childishness and insecurity. They are uncomfortable with being constantly on emotional alert to A’s shifts in mood or upset when they do not feel too satisfied.
Surely they appreciate that they give them space to pursue their own interests and freedom to be themselves because of the immense love and respect then have for them? They have no idea that Person A sees the lack of attention as being abandoned and the result is they feel rejected.
Because of Person A’s belief that Love is demonstrated consistently person B’s displays are never enough for them. They feel constantly rejected. This becomes too much for them and they leave Person A to find someone who can give them the affection they crave.
Person B is left reeling; they were completely unaware that Person A was so disappointed. They have no real idea as to why. They then begin to assume that there must be something wrong with them, not with As expectations why person A left. They spiral into hurt and despair and berate themselves for their failings.
Let’s look at it another way:
Both person A and Person B were operating from a set of beliefs. The truth is, if they had complete love for themselves they would understand that THEY are all they need, that approval from another is a bonus, but not necessary.
As the singer songwriter India Irie said:
‘Your self worth is YOUR job. It’s your sacred space to cultivate’
How another person expresses their love is not a reflection on your worth, but more an expression of what they have known and learnt about love and their relationship to it up to this point.
Now we all have a right to express our needs and how we would prefer to see them expressed, but how many of us actually sit with our significant other and have this conversation?
For A & B their relationship was a unique opportunity for person A and person B to learn about the nature of love and it’s many expressions. It was an opportunity for them to decide what love is, what its expression means to them and how and when they choose to express it.
Choices, decisions and changes
Our relationships are always opportunities to make and refine our choices, decide which of our expectations no longer serve us and so we choose to discard them and which expectations/beliefs we now know because of new information and learning we will decide to keep.
We would suffer less in our love relationships if we used them as a source of learning.
When we have a strong emotional reaction, consider if you’re seeing the actions of the other person through the distorted lens of your preconceived expectations or is what their communicating justified and so they DOneed to consider making changes?
Once we are aware of this we realise that we can change our thoughts and therefore our beliefs and as a result our experiences.
What can you learn about yourself – what do you think and how do you feel and Why?
What are your expectations of love & Romance? – are they reasonable/achievable?
What do you assume Love should feel/Look like?
What are your expectations of yourself in love – How do you think you should feel?
What habits/beliefs still serve you and you choose to keep and which ones should you now let go? And why?
Take the time to honestly contemplate the questions and truthfully answer them.
And so to you
If you’re in a relationship, you’ve recently had had a break-up or you’re looking for a new relationship, it’s worthwhile really examining these questions for yourself before you enter into a new phase.
You will find as you uncover who you and what you need you begin to change your thoughts and alter your expectations. These new expectations mean you are more likely to attract a relationship which serves you more completely, one which and will ultimately runs, rather than one which leaves you feeling unfulfilled or dissatisfied.
When I started writing this blog over a year ago now, my reasons were simple ones to help someone, anyone, even just ONE person who may be at that moment in their life facing a challenge that MY experiences could shed some light on and to write.
I simply wanted my learning from life to support others if it could.
A fortnight ago a friend and I were talking and she said that I needed a ‘core’ idea or message. I hadn’t though about that before and it got me considering what that might be. It took a few days, but I realised that my message is, at its core is one of
My mission, I now realise is to help as many people as possible o find their way to loving themselves.
My message is always:
The theme ‘Love YOU’ then showed up in three distinct ways (you know they say everything comes in threes, well it did) over the last week or so:
The question from my friend
A conversation with a filmmaker
Conversation with a filmmaker:
The message Love YOU continued into last week when I had an online chat with a filmmaker who had produced a film about love. Rather than it being about romantic love and the external expression of love towards someone else, his message is to love YOU as the path to your salvation, redemption and potential. It seemed as he said to me ‘We were on the same page.’
Whilst talking with him I realised that one of the major factors that made me decide to commit my message to paper was because it broke my heart as an educator to see so many young people; people who should be carefree, vibrant and fearless, so consumed with ‘getting things wrong’ afraid to even try, convinced they were no good.
The result of such thinking is of course to compensate for the feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence with bravado and boastfulness with ‘overdoing.’ These shallow and often angry expressions of a fake confidence, this overdoing, mask a deep-seated insecurity and I believe a deep-seated cry for love, attention and affection.
But they won’t find it fighting the world outside!
We’ve all seen them: Young people (and many adults) calling each other names speaking aggressively, putting others down and ridiculing others in a vain attempt to find some feelings of worth, becoming caricatures of wo/manhood.
These caricatures bully and shout or are hyper-sexual or over-made-up. They make vain attempts to feel ‘excitement’ to mask and push down the lack of love for themselves that rears up if they are still for too long. This ‘excitement’ takes the form of violence, drug use, sexual activity and living vicariously in fantasy worlds through the use of technology, anything but face themselves in THISword.
In their attempts to leave childhood and the unworthiness attached to it, in their desire to ‘grow up,’ Their behaviour causes them to turn against each other as they lack the maturity and self-worth to communicate their needs, wants & feelings in a responsible & respectful way. These outbursts are in my mind, clear indications of Feeling unworthy…
Not able to Love (who they are).
A christening & balloon chasing
Little Ava is a powerhouse. She’s lively, intelligent, articulate, vibrant & self-assured and last Sunday it was clear she had a ball. Last Sunday little Ava was christened. As I watched her and the other ‘little children’ (0-6ish) I saw how beautiful it is when you love YOU.
These children don’t care what others think.
They are quite clear what they want and need and are happy to express it. They understand on some cellular level that they are worthy, as worthy as the next and have every right to:
Dance when they want to dance, no matter who’s watching,
Eat when they’re hungry,
Chase balloons when they feel inspired and
Sit in the dirt if that’s what they feel like doing no matter if any one cares or is looking.
They need no-ones approval; their self-worth and value is not decided by others, it comes from within…
Self-love is a given, so automatic it’s not even thought about. It simply is…
As I watched and smiled at how free they are and actually how loving to themselves and others, It confirmed to me:
We are all born in love…
We are born loving ourselves…
You were born to Love YOU
Arrogance & Humility
I know what you’re going to say. I know someone who loves him/herself and they’re pretty arrogant, but arrogance is simply another display of a lack of self-love.
A display of arrogance is always trying to feel superior. In so doing you show that you’re really insecure, as true self-assurance doesn’t need another to push against to feel valued or worthy.
For example, the next time you do create or achieve or do something you’re proud of, instead of playing it down and adopting the false modesty that we’ve been trained to else we come across as arrogant of boastful, congratulate yourself.
By being ‘humble’ and dismissing our achievements are we not unconsciously asking for more recognition as others, then say ’Oh and s/he’s so humble too?’ The focus is still on us. Instead we should have confidence in and love for ourselves enough to graciously say ‘thank you,’ should praise come but still in LOVE with who we are and what we do not needing it regardless.
Be proud of what you’ve achieved after all you put the work in. give yourself and internal pat on the back and allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of achievement As long as your thoughts or celebrations are in no way causing upset or harm to anyone else then why should you be denied them?
At the end of the week, I congratulated a friend on something he’d visualised and had worked hard to achieve and which now it seemed to be coming to fruition. I was so proud of him and the work he’s tirelessly put in to reach his goal. I heard the hesitation in his voice as he said: “Yeah I’m quite proud of myself” and why shouldn’t he be? I was truly happy for him, but my feelings should not matter to him if he is in love with himself.
After years of self-criticism and doubt it is a daunting prospect for so many of us to think we can get back to (I say ‘back to’ because remember the children, we all started in love) a place where inside there is no doubt that you love YOU, but you can.
Baby steps lovelies…
It starts with your thinking, as does anything…
You see love…
Does not belittle
Does not exist if another is made to feel inferior
Does not criticise
Is not painful
Does not need others to be/do/like us to feel worthy
Cannot thrive where there is anger
Cannot survive is there is fear
Is always INCLUSIVE
Always feels good
Uplifts and supports
Starts with the SELF
Journey back to love
It occurred to me then, that we CAN journey back to self-love simply, through one thought at a time. Simply recognising and celebrating our successes, even if out of shyness you just think it for now.
One thought, then another, then another and slowly you begin to change your attitude to yourself. You begin to commit to yourself unconditionally.
You go from:
Criticism to consideration
Being Needy to self-belief
From denial to acceptance of your needs, allowing yourself to feel then and allow them to be satisfied.
Manipulation to motivation
Bullying to bravery enough to say ‘sorry’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘well done.’ Even when someone is attempting to get where you want to go and you’re not quite there yet.
When we celebrate and love ourselves, it doesn’t matter to us what others think or feel about where we want to go or what we want to make, do or be and we automatically understand and accept the right for others to love and respect themselves too.
In Yoga we end each session by bowing and saying ‘Namaste.’ It means:
“The god in me honours the god in You”
You see it tells us that we are all one, from the same core and as such should recognise that love/god is in each of us.
It is only when you begin to recognise the Love in you and love YOU that you can then truly ‘see’ and recognise the Love/god in others and then accept or allow love FROM others.
If you do not love YOU, then you will always (sooner or later) reject and doubt the love, praise, support others want to give you. In your mind’s eye you will decide there is something very wrong with them if they love you because after all aren’t you un-loveable/unworthy?
When you reject your achievements, when you play down your acts of kindness, when you reject support or love, if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and truly love what you see then you are rejecting your essence. Rejecting the GOD in you.
How then can you hope to find peace or love or true happiness?
I doesn’t matter if you call it ‘being independent,’ ‘being modest’ or if you are ‘not wanting/needing charity’ or think you’ll be seen as ‘arrogant or ‘full of yourself’ or you find some other excuse like ‘your aged parents’ or ‘your children’ or ‘distance’ or whatever other excuse you can come up with to reject love or attention or success or praise. If this is what you’re doing it’s because you’re in fear and need to work on loving YOU.
The City of ‘Self-Love’ is the destination for the journey we are all making, and every journey starts with a single step.
Start today so you get there in the shortest time possible.
Take your example from our babies and just enjoy being you.
Think well of YOU allow the goodness and joy and love that comes to you, so it can flow through you and enjoy all that being you involves.
This week I have been loving my connection with family. Now when I say family we have two. We have those we were born into and the family that we choose as we go through life. This week the clear message has been that our families are ‘Our University of Life.’
Now this post will be quickie as I have a family christening to attend later this morning. Another lovely opportunity to learn and I’m buzzed. Family is important to me, but the family connection and dynamic I’ve envisaged most of my life hasn’t always been present. This is perhaps true for many of you?
I’m sure we all have an ideal (sometimes one often given to us by the media and books) and idealised view of how we’d like our mother, father or siblings to be and behave, how we’d like to feel within the bosom of the family when we come together, but for some we spend our time nonplussed: ‘why this?’ and ‘why that?’
As you may have noticed, I am a reflector. An observer. I have always asked why this and why that both of myself and others and what I’ve come to realise about family is that it truly is the best learning environment for those of us who are seekers & questioner.
Reflections & Mirrors
We all (well many of us do) have that one brother, sister, cousin, aunt or uncle; maybe it’s your mother or father, but there is often one person in you immediate or extended family that gives you that ‘NYJA’ feeling. Who twist up your insides and make you cross or annoyed, piqued or frustrated, yet when it happens you decide every time it’s not worth it and instead of asserting yourself you stay cross and smother the feeling.
In this circumstance you need to consider if it actually is THEY that are the issue or is it YOU?
You see, it’s not the other person and their actions where the learning comes from, but our reaction to it!
When those resentful feelings occur or those critical thoughts they mean one of two things
This person is reflecting a trait within you that you are not dealing with
Or they are reflecting a quality or trait that you can think about and choose not clear or reject?
I would suggest that if you have the ‘njya’ feeling when you meet or spend time in the company of the other person and you’re feeling negative in some way about them and or their behaviour/attitude then it’s more likely that the family university is showing you a quality within you need to deal with. “But I’m not like that!” I hear you scream,
…but perhaps it’s not in the way you think
You have one person who is rather quick to take offence and react or overreact to family situations. They maybe sulk and snap at everyone blaming and complaining or maybe they explode and terrify the gathering through intimidation. You find this really annoying and it ‘gets under your skin’ every time.
This does not mean you are like them, however, such a powerful reaction in you indicates that perhaps there is some unresolved anger within YOU that you need to deal with?
They are mirroring this back to you.
In the same situation your sister or brother or cousin or whoever has a very different reaction as you complain to them (stating how shocking so and so is being and how can they do this and etc., etc). They are much calmer than you more philosophical in their response than you are, saying ‘Or poor so and so, it’s so hard for them,’ or something similar. You find this even more irritating because you wanted them to support and agree with you and our feelings about the other person. How can they condone this when Mr/Ms Angry is terrorising the family?
Ying & Yang
The two reactions to the same situation illustrate the point I’m making.
Their reaction is calm and reflective. They see the angry family member as having qualities they have rejected, never had and continue to reject or have dealt with in a healthy way. They decided some time ago, somewhere in their subconscious that a violent or aggressive expression of anger is not something that they have within them or choose to have, so it’s simply something they can see and let go; they can objectively see it and sympathise with the pain that is nearly always the root of anger and angry outbursts.
Your reaction, because it creates a physical response within you is reflecting that you either haven’t dealt with your own anger or that you’re ignoring it, pretending you’re ‘not an angry person.’ and denying yourself a healthy expression of the anger we all must experience at some point.
A conscious acknowledgment or a rejection.
An acceptance or blind spot
In the family university of life our children are often our biggest, most painful or most joyous lessons. Many texts I have read, say the energy and personalities of our children often show the energy and nature of the relationship between the parents at the time of their conception.
Similarly, as they grow, they reflect and mirror characteristics and qualities within yourself to look at and resolve.
When you observe your children what do their character and behaviours say about your relationship with your spouse or if you’re a single parent about your relationship with yourself? Your reaction to them will tell you.
Do you Love their characteristics and support them – are they mirroring the ‘good’ in you?
Do you resent some particular trait and as such are they mirroring something you need to deal with within yourself?
Or are they illustrating something you are ‘blind’ to and failing to acknowledge exists within you? If you realise you have this ‘flaw’ or characteristic, how will you then choose to ‘be’ in regard to it? Resentful meaning it’s not resolved or Accepting and loving yourself regardless but aware of it and working with and through it?
Well, it’s time for me to say ‘adieu’ and hope that today’s message has given you food for thought, but more importantly, shed light on why we react the way that we do.
When we observe our reaction(s) to the behaviours of our family, children and friends, when we sit up straight and pay attention in lectures provided by The Family University of life we are given opportunities, another day and another chance to ‘Choose who we want to be!’
Today I’d like to discuss with you, something which I may have touched on in a previous blog, but which seems to have been the theme of my week. I’d like, right here and now to get you to really begin to
‘love the skin you’re in.’
You see, too many of us don’t.
I often hear people I know and love commenting on the features or qualities they dislike about themselves or bemoaning the fact that they don’t have a particular talent. When we don’t accept ourselves, when we allow the ‘inner critic’ to constantly berate us how can we possibly access the goodness, abundance, the joy the peace and love we all want in hearts?
Mahatma said: ‘Be the change you wish to see…’ Michael Jackson said ‘He’s looking at the man in the mirror, ’ so anything we want to achieve, have or change starts with US.
The start begins in your mind and the things you say to yourself. We cannot hope to be our best, achieve abundance or business success if our mind-talk is perpetually reinforcing our insecurities.
Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t you think?
The very features or qualities you bemoan or have learnt to dislike can turn out to be your biggest and best asset and yet you’ve spent most of your time not appreciating it. I’ll give you an example:
Yesterday after yoga a fellow Yogi came up to me and said I had the most fabulous arms!
My Arms… Really? You’ve got to be kidding?
You see my sisters and I have muscular arms and have, over the years commented on this fact. It’s a feature I have often wished was more sleek and feminine. I have seen my arms as making me look more male and often thought they were too muscular, yet here was a woman telling me how beautiful they were to her. My Yoga teacher agreed too.
A feature that has always been a slight embarrassment to me was being applauded and commented on as being admirable.
From serious flaw to greatest asset
Another example is my voice…
When I was younger criticism led me to believe my voice and what I had to say was either a nuisance, inappropriate or too much. So I spent many years believing I should ‘Shut up.’
Yet, in my teens and twenties I discovered I could sing and in my thirties and forties and now into my fifties the desire to use my voice (speaking, writing) to uplift and support others has become irresistible and is now one of the talents I receive my most positive responses to.
My daughter’s birth-mark (on her neck) was a source of upset for her. She begged and pleaded to have it removed all through her childhood. She hid it whenever possible and because of it was insecure. I insisted that it made her unique, I refused to give in to her pleas. I told her that one day she would love it and be proud of it. Today she acknowledges that it separates her from the ‘crowd’ and actually enhances her beauty. She no longer covers it up.
Your greatest flaw can turn out to be your greatest gift…. but only if you accept yourself just as you are.
Like poor Elsa in ‘Frozen’ she has come to realise that the thing she believed she should dislike about herself is the thing that enhances her uniqueness. I’m sure we all remember Jennifer Grey of ‘Dirty Dancing’ fame, but what happened to her star and it’s rise after she messed with her nose?
Her internal critic obviously had one particular point of view, yet her nose was the very feature that made her cute and gave hr face the form that made her believable as ‘baby.’ It contributed to her a achieving the success she had no doubt spent a long time working on.
Without it she lost it
Comparison the devil in disguise
It seems to me that the problem starts when we look outside of ourselves. When we begin to make comparisons. When we compare ourselves we invariably find ourselves lacking in some way and then instead of thinking ‘well It would be lovely if this, that or the other were better, BUT I have this and this talent and this quality that I admire and love about myself,’ we obsess over the one or two things that we see as inferior,
But inferior to what?
In the main we are comparing ourselves to manufactured ideals that bear little resemblance to the qualities of real people and when you look at it, really examine what we are capable of as a species you see we’re pretty damned amazing and achieve some phenomenal things when we get out of our own way and just get on with the business of living our best lives.
Children know the secret
Very rarely do you come across a toddler or baby that worries that they’re not good enough. How much joy do we get on social media from seeing children just full of fun and laughter, dancing for no reason or singing and simply being…
There’s recognition of something that we know we’ve lost, but are afraid to admit. I mean who the hell made up the rule that as adults we need to be ‘sensible?’ that we shouldn’t dance or sing with joy, that we shouldn’t believe in magic and dreams and completely believe ANYTHING is possible?
How well are you looking after yourself when you criticise and berate yourself?
Instead of sending the focus of your positive affirmations outside and onto others, appreciating their qualities and talents, you would be better to create a more positive mind-set within yourself and around who YOU are.
Like attracts Like
If you have a desire for success, whatever that looks like to you, how can you create this success if at the same time your mind talk and constant criticism indicates that you’re undeserving?
To create success, whatever that may look like, you need positivity. A healthy nurturing mindset and context into which the success can appear. This is why there are still wealthy people who are unhappy, super rich and talented sports people who are depressed, super-slim and beautiful women who are suicidal.
Despite having ‘IT ALL’ as we are brainwashed into thinking, they are obviously still discouraging themselves and feeling unworthy because of their inner critic. This creating a toxic and depressing inner world and leads to external symptoms of insecurity and self-loathing.
This is what you’re doing to yourself when you tell yourself you’re unworthy or wrong or just ‘toooo…’
The skin you’re in is unique.
You are the only ‘you’ there is.
You have a set of gifts and features that are a unique and special combination and are found only in you, so rare that the odds are millions, probably trillions to one that that same combination will be found elsewhere.
I don’t know about you, but if I found something that rare, my tendency would be to cherish it, care for it and make sure it as well looked after. I would want it to know every day how beautiful and rare I thought it was.
This is how you should speak to yourself!
Unique NOT the freak
When you speak positively to yourself, when you focus on your talents and gifts, when you appreciate your creativity, kindness or the myriad of other features all positive and that YOU bring to the world, you to develop a mind-set and thought process that is positive. A mind-set that uplifts and believes in you, a mind-set that is focused on creating SUCCESS.
For this week, When you find yourself criticising yourself (you know those thoughts that start with ‘I wish I…) make a deliberate effort to think about the talents and skills or features you have that you LIKE about yourself, the things that make you unique, that confirm that you’re one in a million.
Practise… and soon you’ll be smiling. You may even find yourself, like the toddler dancing with joy for no reason.
No-one can escape that today is father’s day in the UK.
So we’re paying tribute to the men the ‘good’ fathers who stoically and more often than not silently, get on with the business of being ‘DAD.’
Billy Graham said:
A Good father is one of the most unsung, un-praised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.’
I think, if you’ve been paying attention over the last couple of weeks you’ll know that I agree with him wholeheartedly.
This post is dedicated to the ‘Dads’ who, in the absence of a father in my formative years, have become a model to me in my latter ones of what it is to be a father.
So to:The Richard Smiths, the Lee Arnolds, Peter Brodericks, Sam Leighes, ‘Christafaris’ – Chris ‘Piano man’ Camerons, Deane Tomlins, Minton Goodisons, Tony Barzeys , Bjorn Foxes, Dan Sherriffes, David Taylors, De-Napoli Clarkes, Derrick Armstrongs, Gary Grants… to any I have not mentioned accept my apologies.
What is a father…
From those wonderful men mentioned before I have come to learn that a father is:
A Gladiator who satisfies his innocent offspring’s deepest need for protection.
The fiercest advocate, who fights for his child’s right to be.
Is in love…
With the wonder of his offspring though finding the words to express, may oftentimes be the hardest thing to do.
But it’s there…
A deep gut-wrenching ache of admiration he gets on those increasing rare times that his child acknowledges how much he means to them.
In his adoration
He is his son’s first hero and teacher the man you look up to no matter that you now tower above him.
He is his daughter’s guardian and the man from whom she learns how to love and be loved.
He embodies the ideas and the respect she should expect from the man who will replace him.
The perfect example of how she should be cherished nurtured and cared for.
He picks you up when you fall and let’s you know you’re OK
He makes the world safe
The one who’s approval you seek because you know he holds you to standards that aresuperior, that he wants you to be better thanevenhe.
Is a gift and his greatest gift to you is…
to teach you how to live without him, that way he knows not matter what