"There is nothing more beautiful, powerful, and free than the person who chooses to love themself." Christine Arylo, 40-Day Summer of Love and Miracles.
I am currently participating in a 40-day "Fear Cleansing" with the crazy, awesome, spirit junkie, GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN and her spiritual running buddy, CHRISTINE ARYLO. Through this process, I've realized I'm not so much afraid in life, as I am resigned, sad, bitter, and jealous, with an ugly dash of angry thrown in for "good" (aka,"self-serving") measure.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy most of the time. But there are those other times when I allow my Mean Girl or Sad Girl or Bitter Girl or, my personal favorite, Poor Me Girl to creep in and wreak emotional havoc. I hate when that happens. And what's worse is I know I have total control over it. The first thought isn't in your control. Fortunately (or unfortunately!), the ones that follow are. Admitting I have total control over my feelings proves that I do - on some level - at certain points throughout my day - CHOOSE to be miserable.
But, why? Why on earth would I do a crazy thing like that? Why on earth do we do crazy things like that? It's simple. Feeling sorry for ourselves allows us to be right and make others wrong. It allows us to not take action/be lazy (I don't know about you, but when I'm down, I get VERY tired). It gives us a reason to complain, feel bitter, angry, and most importantly, to put the blame for our sorrow/anger/jealousy/resentment, etc. on someone else's head.
I watched the interview with Diane Sawyer and Jaycee Dugard last night. Jaycee was kidnapped by a deranged sex offender and his equally twisted wife when she was only 11 years old. She was held captive for 18 years, and had two children fathered by her captor. During the interview, Jaycee smiled a lot. She laughed a lot. She seemed genuinely happy. I'm inspired by her for surviving and thriving, and am deeply grateful for the HUGE lesson she taught: It's not what "happens to us," it's what we "make it mean." If she can be happy after losing her entire childhood and so much more at the hands of a madman, what's my excuse for not doing cartwheels every five minutes? (Besides the fact I might kill myself if I tried!) My sad story is a walk with the angels compared to Jaycee's.
Of course, I "know" this. I've participated in the transformational work of The Landmark Forum, I've read Byron Katie, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and many others who have great lessons to teach.
For me, it's a matter of being present to and grateful for the magnificence of my life and the people in it. In order to remind myself of my many gifts, I get Weekly Happiness Assignments from the brilliant, generous, and deeply beautiful Sharon Chumash (I highly recommend you sign up for these magnificent - and free! - gems) and daily Miracle Messages from Gabby and Christine from the 40-Day Fear Cleanse. I'm getting back into the habit of meditating, stretching, and yoga, which I've found to be a profound way to become present to the wonder of my existence. In addition, I'm committed to performing transformational acts of forgiveness, kindness, and self-love.
In that vein, I want each of you reading this to know your heart touches mine. For that, I am deeply grateful.
What about you? What do you do to stay focused on the enormous gift that is your life? And, how do you give your Mean Girl/Guy a proper flogging?