Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Pain of Rejection. What Do Your Feelings Tell You? Part 1

Everyone knows rejection. We've all experienced the feeling. It can be a simple put-down with surface wounds that heal quickly. Or it can wound the soul so deeply, it robs you of your full potential. Maybe once you were a confident, easy-going person, but since the rejection you're guarded, skeptical, and you feel you've lost part of your real self. For long periods of time you may not even think about it, but it's reflected in different aspects of your daily life, and you carry it with you with no sign of recovery. It sounds extreme, but it does happen.

Children especially need to know love and acceptance, and they're sensitive to rejection from any source. A child may not be chosen for the team, one child in a family may be left out, they may be called stupid or useless, etc. And scars can be left on young hearts. When I was a child, I moved to a northern city with my southern accent, and my classmates kept asking why I talked funny. I took this to mean I didn't fit in, and to me that was rejection. I cried sometimes when no one saw me, but in time they got used to my curious speech, and I finally felt acceptable in my new school.

Sometimes rejections come in innocent ways, without intention from others to say or do anything hurtful. Or other times they may be deliberate. Either way, we live with them. Adults may feel rejection in broken relationships, problems at work, being left out, their race or religion, different lifestyles or life situations, any way they're considered different. Reasons for rejection are numerous and can come from any source with minimal or severe consequences. And we feel the pain.

The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection. Henri 

Rejections from outer sources hurt, but what about the way we reject ourselves with all kinds of inner criticism and fault-finding. Maybe that comes from messages when we believed negative remarks and treatment in our world--messages that said you're selfish, ungrateful, unworthy, unimportant, incapable, you don't matter...whatever. We picked up those messages and sent them to our subconscious as truth. Then our subconscious said, "yes", and spits them up when our buttons are pushed.

Healing begins with self-reflection to expose those rejection messages and regain your strength to erase the scars you carry. You may be familiar with feelings of rejection but not clear about what the message is telling you.
1. Get quiet, close your eyes, and identify any fears, negative beliefs and behaviors you see in yourself. Make a list of whatever you come up with.
2. Now connect a feeling with each one. Examples: (belief) Nobody cares what I have to say, and (feeling) that makes me feel unimportant. Or, (behavior) I don't ask for help, because (feeling) when I do, I feel selfish. Continue your list, matching feelings with what you see in yourself. And allow yourself to really feel your feelings.
3. Now ask yourself where you got a message that coincides with each entry on your list. Examples: How did I get the belief that nobody cares what I have to say that makes me feel unimportant and rejected? Where did I get the idea I'm selfish if I ask for help? Now put a check mark only by those that have a sense of rejection connected to them. Those are the only ones you will need to deal with in this exercise.

Never be afraid to fall apart...because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you always wanted. SoulKu

This may seem like a lot of work, but most people will actually come up with a short list where rejection is involved. And it shouldn't take much time to clarify the needed information. Next week I'll get into ways you can begin to confront the messages and change your feelings from rejection to freedom. This week research, and next week heal.

I wish you freedom from the pain of rejection.



Monday, July 20, 2015

From Fear To Faith

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.  Marie Curie

We're all afraid sometimes. It's part of the human condition. Rational fears of a real danger mobilize to positive action. But fears of imagined threats can be destructive and immobilize to exhaustion. We deal with both as we move along our day-to-day path. And it's helpful to understand what it is we're dealing with.

A few years ago, I was in a serious car wreck caused by a driver making an illegal turn in front of my car at an intersection. My foot immediately slammed on the brake. Panic and fear gripped my senses, and I couldn't stop screaming until impact suddenly stopped my car. I spent 4 days in the hospital and 2 months in a nursing home for rehab. I went from a wheel chair to a walker and then a cane. Yes, real dangers need positive action. But fears we conjure up in our minds take their toll in unnecessary stress and worry.

So what are you afraid of? What scares you? Does your mind sometimes drift into "what if" thinking, and you function from a state of fear? What if...I don't get the job, I make a mistake, this person leaves me, I get sick again, I look foolish, my plan doesn't work. What if...what if....  It doesn't get you anywhere, does it? But we all do it.

Faith and fear both demand you believe in something you cannot see. You choose. Bob Proctor

We can't see into the future, so everything in life is unpredictable. Caution is useful, but fear of the unknown can become a damaging habit. Usually it begins with doubt, then you worry, and then fear sets in. Can you imagine how much negative energy you're pouring into a situation? You're already contaminating it. And your mind has chosen that route. But you have the power to choose freedom.

An effective way to stop a fear habit is to replace it with a habit of faith. And that takes some monitoring of your thinking patterns. Once you identify your doubt, worry, and fear, then you can do something about it. When you feel that first bit of discomfort in the pit of your stomach, go inside and clarify your feelings, honestly. And begin confronting those feelings.

Don't be afraid of change, because it is leading you to a new beginning. Joyce Meyer

I'm a believer in denials and affirmations to change our feelings about something. We can't deny our emotions, but we can deny them any power over us. Pull the fear up to the surface and talk to it like you would another person. "Okay, fear, I know you're there. But I deny you have any power over me. You're no bigger than a fly on a horse's rump, so you might as well go away. I'm done with you." Then affirm the truth about the situation. "I release you now, and affirm my freedom from you through the real Power of faith within me. I am a precious child of the Universe, untouched by your mischief. So get out of my life." Use whatever words you're comfortable with, but be firm in your faith, faith in the truth of who you are.

  Ridding yourself of unwanted emotions isn't easy, and it takes practice. But as time passes, you'll feel a shift of courage within you, and you'll smile. As Maya Angelou says, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Not every situation in your life will turn out the way you want it, but you can avoid those negative feelings, and walk your path with courage and faith. It's like having a tool in your pocket when your human self gets in the way of your sacred Self. Life is not for living in fear. It's for learning and growing and feeling happy.

I wish you faith filled walks through each experience in your life.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is Your Pain A Blessing? No? Look Closer.

Maybe you know what it feels like going through a painful experience, and all you can see is the pain. Each morning you wake up is just like yesterday, and you feel like it will never end. I think that's how most of us see our suffering when it happens. But have you ever looked back on a painful experience and realized it really was a blessing? When you do, that realization itself is a blessing.

The problem is not that we have problems. The  problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. Theodore Tubin

We live in a dualistic world where everything has an opposite--joy or sadness, inner bondage or freedom, peace or anxiety, bumps in the road or smooth sailing--everything. And we see experiences as either good or bad. No one goes through life with only one or the other. We must experience both. But the quality of our life often depends upon how we interpret our experiences, and the labels we put on them. Our life is what we see and how we respond to it.

A couple months ago I wrote about finding meaning in your suffering, but it goes a step further. Meaning can cause you to look deeper into yourself, discover hidden talents and abilities, and even turn you in a new direction. How wonderful to see some meaning in those difficult times. But do you ever see that meaning as a true blessing in your life--one in which you feel the joy of knowing you don't need to be afraid when life throws you a curve that pains your heart? That's a blessing.

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose--the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. Robert Brault

You may find some meaning in your suffering during a painful experience or soon after it subsides, but sometimes it takes some looking back to see the blessing. In my book, Silent Echoes, I describe my years of suffering with depression, my suicide attempt , and 2 1/2 years of therapy. Then my life took a miraculous turn. I wanted to work in the mental health field, so I went back to school, and with training in Psychotherapy my life had meaning.

But it was not until I began my work that I suddenly came to the profound realization that my years of suffering had actually been a blessing as preparation for the work I was meant to do. Now I understood how my patients felt, I could feel their pain, and I was better able to serve them with compassion. Those lost years had purpose, and with heartfelt gratitude they became a blessing I hadn't seen. And I was blessed.

We can't escape life's challenges, but we don't have to meet them with fear, devastation, and helplessness. We can look with wiser eyes and allow the adversity to reveal what we might not see otherwise. You don't need to curse the darkness you feel inside. The light is always there if you look past the pain, knowing there's a blessing in the experience as it unfolds. When you're going through a difficult time, say to yourself, "Somewhere there's a message in this." Then go within and ask for it to be revealed to you. It may be just enlightenment to help you on your personal journey. But whatever it is, if the answer doesn't come right away, know that one day it will. So it's worth the wait. And you will be blessed.

I wish you blessings unfolding in your life.


Monday, July 6, 2015

You Have The Power of Energy. What Are You Creating?

Everything in the universe is energy, including you and me. We think about energy, but we seldom view the use of our human energy as having much effect on anything. Yet we are powerful beings. Every thought we think and every word we utter produces an action or response, harmony or chaos, within ourselves, in our environment and beyond. Our thoughts and words can produce sickness in ourselves and sickness in our world. Look around. What do you see? This is the world we have created.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. Buddha

Have you ever walked into a room where harsh words were spoken and felt the negative energy in the air? Did this energy tend to bring you down? And what about the opposite--a room with happy energy that lifted your spirits? When I first began in the mental health field, I worked on an inpatient unit in a large hospital in Las Vegas. Each afternoon during shift change, the staff walked quietly through the halls and projected thoughts and words of love and peace into each room. Whenever staff from another unit came on our unit, they always remarked how peaceful it felt there, especially for a mental health area. And we smiled. We knew the power of thoughts and words, and we used them for good.

How are you influencing your world? Do you have a positive influence on your own life and on the lives of those around you? And what about times when certain areas of your life don't work out, even though you're projecting positive energy? We do have power on a conscious level, but negative beliefs we hold in our subconscious also produce energy. And these can sabotage or weaken conscious positive energy toward ourself and our world.

The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein

Is there something you would like to change inside yourself or in your world? You can monitor 3 areas of energy in your life and make changes you want--your own inner health, energy you project into your environment, and the kind of energy you take from it.

1. Thoughts and words about yourself. We all have some self-defeating beliefs. Acknowledge the conscious ones, and search for any that may be hiding in your subconscious. Correct all of these with positive affirmations about yourself. And you will see the positive transformation of energy within you.
2. Project into your world only the kind of energy you want to receive from it. There are many ways you can project happy energy and feel your own happiness when you do. Spreading love, peace, and kindness can even be fun. I like reading people's name tags, store clerks, nurses, food servers, etc. Then I love watching delight cross their face when I address them by their name. They love being recognized, and it makes me happy. And your positive energy can travel anywhere with a positive effect, so project it as far as you want, and help heal our world.
3. Protect yourself from negative energy. With your own thoughts, you can refuse to allow any outside energy to disrupt your life. Michael Jackson says, "Always believe in yourself, no matter who's around you being negative or thrusting negative energy at you. Totally block it off, because whatever you believe, you become." When conflicts need attention, you can block off the negative energy while you deal with the situation in a positive way. With practice, detachment is possible.

Individually, each of us is responsible for what we think, say, and do. Collectively, we can change the world. Thoughts of love, peace, and kindness are as contagious as those that have the power to destroy. So choose those that uplift, and the Universe will answer in kind.

I wish you happy creations in your life.