Harmonize – A Step Towards Self-Acceptance

Maria is a channeler, acupuncturist and contributor to our Gaia Blog, and this is one of an ongoing series on self-care.

My last post on self-care focused on ways to remain our first priority when we’re feeling over-extended or fatigued.

Today I want to talk about self-acceptance.

This is a completely over-used phrase, right? We already know accepting self is a key piece in happiness, life balance, and feeling whole. 

And with all the changes going on in the world, we could all use a bit more happiness and balance in our lives.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m not sure we really have a good model on HOW to do this.

Many of us are trying to rationalize or convince ourselves that we are accepting where we’re at. For example, we’ll make lists of our achievements to anchor ourselves, and we’ll spend time with our supportive family and friends who remind us how fab we are. 

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t work very well for me.

It’s only a (brief) matter of time before the self-criticism starts back up, the “should’s,” the “why didn’t I’s,” and on and on…

Rationalizing that we SHOULD be accepting ourselves is not very effective. 

So what is? What is a productive behavior in this process of self-love?

Drop the comparisons.

If we’re comparing ourselves to others (positively OR negatively), we are simply not accepting where we’re at. 

It doesn’t matter what other people in our field, our age group, or our neighborhood are doing. We’re all on our own timeline, making our own decisions, and living our lives based on sometimes very different parameters.

Someone else’s successes or failures have absolutely no bearing on where we’re at. 

If we’re consistently comparing ourselves to others (again, positively or negatively), perhaps its time to look within. 

Are you living a life you enjoy and feel accomplished in? Are you living in a way that showcases your personal code of ethics, or your standards, or your integrity?

(You’re the only one who gets to decide what that looks like, for you.)

If you’re not, that could be enticing you to look outside of yourself for validation (comparing yourself to those who don’t appear to be doing as well) or for excuses to beat yourself up (comparing yourself to people who seem more successful/attractive/happier/whatever).

If you’re having a tough time breaking the comparison habit, focus on YOU, and ask yourself these questions:

1. How are you looking to feel? (Big question, there!) 

2. What are you doing/can you do to create this feeling for yourself?

3. What steps can you take to start/continue/fast-forward this process?

This is a concrete step to help you stop comparing, get focused on what’s important (YOU!), and continue moving towards the goal of self-acceptance.

It’s really important to remember that we can accept our current self, and where we are, all the while recognizing we may want something different for ourselves. It is NOT required that we be exactly where we want to be in life. 

Self-acceptance is a journey we’re all sharing. I hope this month brings you a little closer to your destination…

Maria channels, blogs, and helps you let go of the old to make room for the new at www.mariachanneling.com

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Harmonize – How to Care for Self in a Quickly Changing World

Hey y’all, I’m Maria, and I’m excited to join Team Gaia! I’ll be blogging about self-care, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’m a channeler and an acupuncturist, and I think nurturing ourselves is the most important thing we can do on this sometimes-wacky life journey. Nice to meet you!

Life is pretty crazytown these days!

Lots of people I talk to are having all sorts of out-of-the-blue experiences. Unanticipated drama, unexpected changes, career surprises, relationship shifts, the loss of loved ones… And I’m experiencing this, too.

When life is feeling a bit much, as it has been, it reminds me how important self-care is.

I don’t mean warm baths, cups of tea, or yoga. Those can be useful, but I’m talking about a deeper version of self-care.

For me, this is about the steps I take to ensure I’m remaining my priority when the world is moving quickly and flexibility is an asset.

I’m NOT talking about when everything is great for me and I have one friend going through a rough time. When that occurs, I certainly have the reserves to be there for them.

But let’s face it: these are trying times. The world is changing fast and many of us have quite a lot on our plates. 

I simply don’t have the energy and time that I had in the past to cope with the struggles of others. And, as I’ve learned, I’m not sure I SHOULD be trying to cope with their struggles.

Here’s the thing: I’ve had to re-train myself to stay out of other people’s business.

This can be tough. When people I love have “situations” happening, I want to go to them, to help out, to surround them with love and support. This is perfectly natural!

However…

I’ve learned, the hard way, that expressing support and giving a damn is one thing; getting wrapped up in other people’s emotions/experiences/drama is another – and unfortunately, this is what I’ve tended to do.

I care for them and want to reduce their emotional load… but those subtle (and not so subtle!) ways I tried to do that were pretty draining for me.

And when there’s a lot going on in my life, I don’t have the oomph to deal with that drain. 

That’s why right now, self-care for me is about reserving the energy I DO have.

Processing what I am already experiencing takes energy. Being present and available for my commitments when I’m tense takes more energy then it normally does. Plus, my introvert-ish tendencies mean when I am stressed, I look for more alone time.

So how do I go about offering whole-hearted support without feeling drained, or worse, resentful of the time and energy spent?

1. I keep the emotions of others in context – they are THEIR emotions. I can feel for what they are going through, without actually feeling WHAT they are going through.

This is a conscious re-frame that I’m working through, and affirmations is one of my tools. Try this one:

My feelings come from within me – others’ feelings come from within them.

2. I remember to keep setting solid energetic boundaries. 

This is super important for me. If I don’t do it, I can get energetically wrapped up in a situation that has nothing to do with me. Sound familiar?

The affirmation I use for this one is:

I can care for others and remain responsible only for myself.

3. Since sometimes our dramas are self-induced, I strive to keep in mind that we’re all on a journey. Our life experiences help mold us, and tough times are an opportunity for growth (I’m the eternal optimist!). 

Keeping this in mind helps me to respect and honor where my loved one is at and the choices that they’re making. It also helps keep me from jumping in to “fix” it when I don’t agree with said choices.

This affirmation is my favorite 🙂

I empower myself to choose, and I contribute to others’ empowerment by respecting their choices.

These affirmations, coupled with remaining conscious of how I want to frame my care and compassion for others, have proven really useful in shifting my relationship with self. My comfort with putting myself first has really grown.

I hope you find these affirmation useful, too!

Maria channels, blogs, and helps you work thru your forays into crazytown at www.mariachanneling.com

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