Life is like high school…it seems like a big deal when you are in it, but when it is over, the real enjoyment begins and you truly start to appreciate the authentic delicacies of your existence. Not to discredit the gift of life as I do believe it is a journey of soul discovery and your position and place within the web, but the most gratifying thought is that it is eternal if you allow your soul bloom in spirituality and self empowerment. I do not claim to have the answers but I can give an update on my journey to becoming strong in life and it seems that I am subtly reassured of my direction along the way when life’s beauties unexpectedly present themselves to me. In this post you will find 3 discoveries that have calmed my heart and opened my eyes.
3 Discoveries to Self Empowerment
In today’s world with the popularity of social media, this feels almost impossible to do. Everyone puts on a desirable face in hopes that the world will portray their life to be superior, untarnished, quintessential… but like the cover of a magazine, this is VERY RARELY the case. It is merely a “touched up” picture of yourself that if we must be honest, doesn’t even really look like you. We often envy our neighbor’s lives but we would be super naive to believe that they are 100% completely fulfilled or that there lives are anywhere close to perfect. The truth is, we are all challenged with trials and tribulations continuously through our journeys that test our stability and strive to break us. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.
In order to protest this behavior, I have decided to practice transparency. It is super hard and VERY scary. I must admit, I have become more conscious and worried what others think about me now that I am not only showing the bits and pieces that I want others to see. I have to continuously remind myself that I AM ME…the good, bad, and ugly and ME is good enough to present the world, just the way that I am. Judgement is inevitable but I have conditioned myself to ignore it and when I begin to recite a conversation in my head, trying to rehash “How I came across?” or “If I sounded stupid?” I block the insecurity and cognitively drop it from my mind. It’s a useless use of precious minutes that have been gifted to us for more positive activities such as self discovery. While I have found this to be uncomfortably exposing, I have also found it to be extremely liberating. It is super tiring trying to keep up with the Jones’. Just think of it as the, “I don’t give a ****…but in a, mindful of others feelings kind of way” mentality.
BECOMING MORE TRANSPARENT
- Practice Being the Authentic You – when you feel like you are holding back for fear of judgement, be honest and open. You may find that new relationships will bloom from others desperate to connect with people that they can better relate to. You don’t have to be lonely in your “less than perfect” life experiences.
- Eliminate Judgement from Your Capabilities – Of course we will always be capable of judging, but if you practice daily to remove this activity from your “reactions” you will experience a beautiful empathy and interest in your fellow human being… whether you actually know them or not. (Empathy has been something that I have always wanted more of…I used to feel like I was unable to truly put myself in other’s shoes, but being more transparent myself has allowed me to experience empathy in greater magnitudes and it is absolutely beautiful)
- Journal Your Insecurities – This practice actually helps. At the end of the day, …or the week if my days were too exhausting to journal…I pull out my notebook and I am completely honest with myself. I write down my insecurities as well as positives from the day/week. Then I look back on them the following week and it is crazy how most of it seems to have become invalid, not worth my worries. The main identifiers of my diffidence comes when I come across the ones that continue to sting in my reviews. These insecurities are the ones I spend more time nurturing into non-existence.
Allow Yourself to Feel
A wise man once said, “Feelings are like a road map. They tell us where we are, and where we should go next.” I have never been short of feelings. To be completely honest, I was SUPER sensitive as a girl, but have found that life’s unfair and challenging experiences briefly numbed my ability to evoke emotion in most cases. I began to become proud of my hardness and ability to “cut off” my heart strings. The total control of my feelings was my way of achieving safety. I used to always say when giving relationship advice to my gals…”You are in control of how you feel always…do not let someone else control your emotions and make you cry. You have the choice to give the wheel to someone but you can always take it back because YOU are ALWAYS in control of YOU.” This is only partially true. You do have the choice of who you let in to your heart, but you are not in total control of your emotions because your head and your heart often are on opposing sides and you can’t always control that, you just have to embrace these situations and allow yourself to feel. By soaking in the feelings, you are guaranteed to learn more about yourself, better understand others, and in most cases appreciate the strength that you have when you come out on top. It is OK to cry in front of others, shriek with excitement in public, lean on others when you are scared. If we all allowed ourselves to feel, then the world as a whole would be more considerate and understanding of each other.
My attitude towards feelings changed when my little brother passed away 2 years ago. I remember the extreme devastation and feelings of total loss in every aspect of my life. The feeling of not being able to breath, the feeling of unfairness, the physical feeling of my heart slowly bleeding, the feeling of hatred and love, the extreme feeling of desperation. I have never felt so desperate in my life. Desperate for the answers, to fix it, to reverse the clock, for justice, to wake up. But one thing through the whole experience….I was grateful that I felt. When something like this happens in someone’s life, we are programmed to go into “fight or flight” mode. Many people shut down to the point of numbness to cope. They run from their situation so that they do not have to feel the pain, but the problem is, it will always be there waiting for you when the numbness wears off. I totally understand how some people can become addicts in effort to take away the feeling, but in ALL cases, allowing yourself to feel is more empowering in the end healthier than running. Feelings are indicators of your current mental situation but also if you embrace the feelings you will be given incite to the path that you must choose to travel.
This has by far been the biggest contributor in my journey to self empowerment. I have discussed this in previous posts so I will not get into major detail here, but I will share an activity that has really helped me a lot. A reading activity.
First, I write down my feelings at the present moment. I am completely honest with myself during this part. Sometimes I come to the table super enthusiastic, inspired, and joyous, and other times I am tired, scared, and confused…either way, I hash it out all on paper.
Then, I refer to my reading list for my daily bible reading. It is never a huge time consuming chapter. I think it is important that it is not too long so that you have the time to comprehend and soak up the words. I write down phrases that stand out to me in my readings..those that really speak to me and my feelings in the present moment. I often find that the answers to my feelings or ideas for further empowerment are in the pages of my bible. I have actually never experienced a REAL correlation as far as religion and spirituality goes. I have always believed in both but have never experienced the two working together until I actually began this exercise.
Last, I write a prayer of thanks and also a list of names for those of whom I want to pray for.
Below is a picture of what our church calls the Edible Scroll Club. These are daily reading for February. Feel free to follow along. I have found that the readings only speak to me if I actually do the activity above before and while reading.
I believe that life is about empowering yourself to achieve but to ensure that you prioritize to persevere towards the goals that truly energize a positive environment, a self discovery and a spiritual growth.
WANT MORE INSPIRATION? Here are a few books that I have found inspiring both in self development and spirituality. Download my reading list here!
Thank you so much for allowing yourself to be open to the ideas and reading!