[These excerpts are from CYCLING in the CITY — How I Got My Confidence Back, Book 2 in the Burnout to Bliss series. Book 2 is about a first step in recovery after intense burnout. (For that story, please see Book 1, BURNOUT — How a Desert Lizard Restored My Faith.)
Book 2, CYCLING in the CITY, was designed to be a guide for anyone wanting to make any kind of change in her life. “Part One: Cycling in the City” is my story, sharing the process of making a huge personal change — healing myself and reclaiming my confidence and self-esteem. “Part Two: Thoughts About Making Changes” explains why making change is so difficult; it addresses the different kinds of changes we make, the mental games we play, and the essential key for success. The book is $1.99 for a limited time. Buy it here. If you want a free copy to review, please contact Choosy Bookworm HERE.]
Excerpt 19, from Part Two, CYCLING in the CITY:
There’s a secret to making a successful change. But it requires accepting yourself, warts and all. It requires forgiving yourself for everything you’ve ever done or said that was less than you meant to do or say. It means loving yourself.
When we love ourselves, we become the stand-up adult in our world who accepts complete and total responsibility for everything we experience.
If you are a spiritual person, you probably believe in God, or at least a Higher Power. If you do, then you probably also believe that Supreme Being is omniscient and omnipresent – knows everything and is everywhere. Everywhere includes you!
Loving yourself is loving your Source!
And once you do, your inner child will trust you and quit sabotaging your efforts to make changes.
But what if you are not a spiritual person, do not believe in a Higher Power?
You still probably want to experience the very best in life, and that is much more possible when you accept responsibility for yourself. Earlier, I mentioned being the stand-up adult for your inner child in your life.
No one had a perfect childhood, but as an adult, each of us can become the perfect parent to our self, our own inner child.
Forming a relationship with that younger part of yourself involves listening to what your inner self wants and needs from you, and then being the stand-up adult and delivering. For starters, for example, mine wanted me to get out of a very destructive relationship, one that didn’t feel safe, much less loving.
It involves getting to know yourself, discovering what brings you joy and doing it. Each morning for years I would ask, “What do you want from today, Sweetie?” And I would make it a point to spend some time with her doing that thing. This morning, for example, I danced before settling in to write this.
Forming a relationship with your inner child includes standing up for her and protecting her. As wounded adults, we get ourselves into some rather damaging situations trying to feel good – situations that can feel terrifying to a young child. Knowing that, keep in mind that your inner child is with you at all times. Where you go, your little one goes.
I’m pretty sure that becoming a stand-up, responsible adult is absolutely required for loving yourself, and no one does a better job of spelling that out than Tolly & Peggy Dylan Burkan in Firewalking: Guiding Yourself Into a Spiritual Reality. Admittedly, their book may have been written for a different purpose, but in my former line of work, as a teacher and psychotherapist, I used their Five Points of Power (p. 13) as the rules for getting well:
- Pay Attention.
They do not refer simply to gazing in some direction, but instead to “attentive awareness,” citing the story of the Zen monk who discovered a strawberry while dangling from a cliff, where a tiger pawed at him from above. They explain that life is always handing us tigers and strawberries, but it’s up to us to choose what we want to experience. “When you are miserable, it’s only because you are dwelling on the ‘tigers.’ At that moment, you have to find the ‘strawberry’ and pay attention to it 100%” (p. 15). Need I mention that monitoring thoughts is included?
- Speak the truth.
This means not only speaking what is true for me, but also being constantly watchful to see that my words are of service to myself and others. Passing gossip isn’t.
- Ask for what you want.
This point includes not only asking for the time, but for what we want in friendships, business, and intimate relationships.
- Take responsibility for your experience.
This might be the toughest one of all. The authors warn us to quit creating ourselves as victims, because it only makes us feel helpless. And they give examples to explain how that works: “Too often we think other people cause us to feel whatever it is that goes on inside us. ‘He made me angry’ or ‘She makes my heart swell’ are statements that deny how we create our own experience” (p. 18).
But the reward of accepting responsibility for your own experience is this: “You will be able to take control of your destiny and create whatever experiences you want” (p. 19).
- Keep your agreements.
The authors wrote, “… if you tell your friend that you will meet her at 4:30 and you do not arrive until 4:45, you will silently note that you have broken an agreement. You have created a small bump in what could have been a bumpless road (p. 19).”
Friendships have been broken over this one. Regarding your relationship with your inner child, let’s just say, “expect sabotage.” Remember the mixed voices you hear in your head whenever you have a tough decision to make? Those are your sub-personalities; we all have them. Your inner child is in cahoots with that gang inside your head and has the power to enlist their brilliance whenever she chooses. Not keeping an agreement with your inner child is a really bad idea.
What I’ve noticed since I’ve been following those “Five Points of Power” is the development of self-reliance and strength that enables me to be the “stand-up adult” for my inner child, which means that she is less wounded and more likely to play, which brings me unbelievable joy – like standing very still while maybe a hundred or more Canadian geese flap their wings past me on their decent to the icy river below.
It’s not too late to start loving yourself unconditionally, to experience “the greatest love of all.” Are you ready?
Coming up next week: “Start Loving Yourself”
If you want a free copy to review, please contact Choosy Bookworm HERE.
In Progress: Book 3, Burnout to Bliss series
Book 3 relates my story of “surrender” — trusting that my life is in Divine Order. It is the final story of an awakening experience, my two-year journey with one modest paycheck and no plans that was launched with BURNOUT. The first getaway from that extreme situation was to a “sanctuary” in California as related in Book 2, CYCLING in the CITY. That getaway apparently was simply to heal myself enough to take the next step.
The real story of “surrender” began when that sanctuary was no longer available and I became like The Fool (Tarot card), jumping off a cliff with a tiny knapsack and a little dog for company…
Want to be with the first to know when Book 3 is available?
Click the BURNOUT TO BLISS tab on the far right at the top of the page and scroll down, and then follow the directions OR simply click the link below:
Till next time, please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi