Day 25 8:45PM

A Confession

For the past week or so there has been a current of sadness running through my life. It started with publishing my thoughts on nursing on a social media site on which close friends, family, and my colleagues could read it, and did read it. If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know that one of my colleague reacted to it as if I were insane and needed to be treated with kid gloves. This triggered a childhood trauma in which I was humiliated because of letter I wrote to someone that showed my passionate nature especially when related to relationships. When I integrated this inner child, I felt the usual relief and sense of purpose that I usually feel when I do shadow work.

Thinking I had overcome my fear of showing my passionate nature to others, I went happily about living my life only to run smack dab into an unrelenting current of sadness. My higher self whispered that it was time to do shadow work. However, I ignored this. I did not want to admit that I was still afraid of putting myself out there. To feel sadness after redefining core beliefs and becoming more confident about my ability to meet my own needs and take control of my life, meant to me that I had failed. I surrendered to my negative thoughts and the sadness persisted and I began to doubt myself.

It hasn’t even been a month, I thought, and I’m failing already. I shouldn’t be feeling sad. I should be feeling happy. Will I ever get to the point where I am happy all the time? The more I ignored the sadness the more persistent it got. All the while, my higher self whispered, “Do shadow work.” I knew I should and I knew that was the loving thing to do, but instead, I lapsed into my old addictive behavior of binge eating. It was a temporary fix, but it was more appealing to me than shadow work. Sugar is my vice. Whenever I feel out of control, I binge eat sweets, and I hate myself all the more afterwards. That’s how addictions work after all.

So not only was I ignoring my inner guidance system, I was abandoning myself yet again by surrendering to my need to feel better. It did not help that it was coming after writing a sincere letter of apology to myself in which I promised not to do that. It’s been a hard couple days.

The Little Girl’s Dreams The Woman’s Reality

So, this afternoon, after binging on cookies and feeling utterly powerless, I decided enough was enough. Doing shadow work was better than this awful feeling of shame and guilt that comes with giving into my addiction. I waited until my husband came home and went down to our bedroom to do shadow work.

Through shadow work I discovered the source of the sadness. When I was around eight or nine, I revealed my inner fantasy world to a friend, and she betrayed me. To my face, she told me I was amazing, and the fantasy world that I shared with her was so real, and she could taste it, see it, and experience it as if she had really been there. Behind my back, she told all of our mutual friends that I was a freak and laughingly told them about my fantasy world telling them that I actually believed it. As a result of her actions, I was uninvited to a birthday party and ostracized by my friends. This experience created a core belief that I am powerless. I stopped believing in my power to create, and redirected my focus from that of creating my own reality in the physical world to creating worlds on paper. I began writing prolifically.

As I was reliving this memory, I approached my nine-year-old self, and told her that she did have the power to create, and that the fantasy world she had experienced was real, and that she had always had the power to control our reality. I felt as she began to believe this, and I took her to a place where she would always be loved and accepted. She gave me her blessing, and said that she wanted me to embrace my calling, which is to write. In the experience of integrating my imaginative inner child, I regained my creative energy and realized that beyond a shadow of a doubt that the way to my bliss is through writing.

I hope that you will find the way to your bliss, and that you will be brave enough to go in the direction of it no matter how unfamiliar or risky it might seem at first. Once you start on the path to your joy, magnificent things are sure to happen for you. May you know, breathe, and live the brilliance that is you.

 

 

Day 24 9PM

An Invitation

Hi there. So up to now I’ve just been sharing what I’ve been experiencing in the 365 Days of Self-Love process, with shadow work, and reading “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding The Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times.” But today I feel like reaching out to you. To the ones who read my posts, who like them, and who follow this blog, and to the ones that will. I want to ask you to tell me your story. I am open to whatever you have to say, and I will respond to every story. We all have something to contribute to the world, and I think a great way to do that is through telling our stories. I look forward to hearing from you.

Day 23 11:40PM

A letter of apology to myself (inspired by “Tool #8 Releasing Yourself From Guilt” pages 133-140

To you, oh my soul, I apologize. I apologize for holding you back, telling you that you cannot, and denying your worth. I apologize for abandoning you in the face of fear; fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of success. For every time I put you last, neglected your needs, or pushed you aside, I sincerely apologize. I’m sorry for telling you time after time that you are not worthy of love, acceptance, and happiness. I’m sorry for laughing at your dreams and scornfully telling you that such things are not for you, beyond your reach, and not worth striving for. I am sorry for trying to snuff out your light and telling you that to allow your brilliance to shine would be shameful, arrogant, and wrong. For every time I told you, “Who are you to believe in your greatness?” I apologize.

There was a time when I knew beyond doubt that we were meant for brilliant things. There was a time when our power to create a life worth living was as easy as taking a breath or thinking a thought. I apologize for what forgetting that has done to my confidence and my sense of value. I am capable of wonderful things. I remember now.

From now on, I am willing to do whatever it takes to reintegrate all of the parts of myself that make me whole. I am ready and willing to accept where I am now and allow greatness into my life today and every day. I am ready and willing to meet all of my needs for I know that I am capable of doing so. I am ready and willing to embrace my brilliance and share it with the world because I know that is the best way to live and thereby the best way to help restore the world to its brilliance.

I promise you that I will always be there, and that in the face of fear, I will be brave. I will stand in my truth without apology. I promise you that I will always see you and hear you. I will always check in with my feelings for I know that is your language, oh my soul. I will listen to you and heed your council for I know you know what’s best for us.

No longer will I walk ahead leaving you in the shadows. No longer will I fear the shadows where you dwell. Stepping into the shadows, embracing you, believing in you, knowing all that you are and appreciating what that means, I will bring forth the shimmering radiance that is you and that is me.

Today and every day I commit to you. Today and every day I embrace you. Today and every day I remain open to the greatness that you are and the changes that that greatness will bring into my life. For you are me and I am you and it will always be us, today and every day, oh my soul.

Final thoughts

I was feeling a little sad today, and felt that I needed to address those parts of myself that are still hurting from the years of self-abuse and self-neglect, so I was inspired to write this letter to myself after reading the chapter on guilt in “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times.”

My hope for you as that you too will find peace within yourself and that you will be able to release the brilliance that is you and share it with the world. For it is through our brilliance that the world will be restored to the shimmering place of love and light and infinite possibilities so many of us have forgotten.

 

 

 

Day 22 9:50PM

Restructuring negative core beliefs in pursuit of my bliss (from “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding The Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times” “Tool #6 Jail Bars of Belief” pages 117-128)

One of my negative core beliefs is: “I will never have close friends with whom I can be completely myself.”

The emotional payoff for this belief is that I won’t be disappointed when friendships end because I will have had no expectations of my friendships succeeding. It also keeps me from opening up to others and getting hurt.

The rationale behind this belief:

  1. I’m not good at keeping in touch.
  2. I eventually say or do something to upset or scare off the other person.
  3. I have a lot of failed friendships in my past

Looking deeper at 1: Although I don’t keep in touch on a regular basis, it takes two to keep in touch. When my friends go weeks or months without getting in touch with me, I don’t feel any less close to them or bitter about them not keeping in touch on a daily or weekly basis. Checking in every once in a while is good enough to maintain a friendship, and besides being in touch on a daily basis might get a little old leaving very little to share. Besides keeping in touch is a great way to maintain ties but it is not necessary to do so on a regular basis to maintain a friendship. True friendships stand the test of time and distance.

Looking deeper at 2: Just because my friendships end after a major falling out, or shortly after saying or doing something I might have regretted, unless he or she told me that that was the reason we stopped being friends, there is no indication that something I did ended the friendship. There are lots of reasons that friendships end. In my case, distance has a lot to do with it. Losing touch, as I addressed before, does not necessarily mean the friendship is over. A friendship could lie dormant for years, and then be quickly rekindled when the two reunite. Friendships also have life spans. Some last a lifetime, while others last for a few years, months, or even a week, or a holiday. The important thing is not to focus on the end of the friendship, but rather the friendship itself, the lessons I’ve learned, and the love and appreciation I felt while I was in that person’s presence.

Looking deeper at 3: Just because a lot of my friendships have ended does not mean they failed. As I mentioned in 2, there are lots of reasons that friendships end. Furthermore, just because my friendships in the past have ended does not mean that the same will be true of my present friendships. I have the power to change the outcome of my present relationships. I am not the same person I was yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, or last year. I am raising my frequency in such a way that I will attract people with whom I can co-create lasting and fulfilling friendships. I have successful friendships now. Some are decades long while others have just begun, so it is not exactly true that I have a lot of failed friendships. I have had friends who are not present in my life now, but it does not necessarily mean that those friendships had failed or that the people with whom I was friends are no longer friends. I have wonderful feelings around all the people I have called my friends whether they are in my life at present or not. Therefore, they are still my friends, and I love and appreciate them still today.

An alternative to this negative belief:

I have the capacity to co-create lasting and fulfilling friendships with people with whom I can be completely myself.

Emotional payoff of this alternative belief: I can now appreciate the people in my life whom I call friends. I can stay focused in the moment and appreciate the friendships I have had in the past and the ones I have been blessed with now. I can feel comfortable being myself with the people who have shown an interest in being my friend because I know that they are the types of people who will love and accept me as I am. I am free to cultivate uplifting and soul enriching friendships and continue to attract accepting loving people into my life.

My Thoughts on This Exercise

I feel so much more optimistic about friendship now. I believe that I will be surrounded by people who love and accept me for who I am. I am excited about who I will meet and the future friendships I will make. I also appreciate the friendships I have now, and I am now more aware of what is rather than what isn’t. It’s much more fulfilling and enriching to believe that I have the capacity to co-create lasting and fulfilling friendships with people with whom I can be completely myself than to believe that I will never have close friendships with people with whom I can be completely myself. The alternative is so much better.

Final Thoughts

If you struggle to find self-love and self-worth, I hope reading this exercise helps you examine some of your negative core beliefs that are keeping you from being happy. I hope that you will be able to find alternative core beliefs to your negative ones that will enrich your life and empower you. I hope that you will always remember who you are and what you are capable of. We all have the power to create a life that we love living; a life worth waking up for. We have only to believe. I wish you all the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 21 11:50PM

Developing Self-Worth (pages 107-116)

MY LIST of ENDOWMENTS

I am creative.

I am a good listener.

I am generous.

I am positive.

I am a good teacher.

I am a diligent student.

I am a compassionate person.

I am a good singer.

I am a good dancer.

I am a good actress.

I am good at synthesizing information

I am a good writer.

I am a thoughtful person.

I am a nurturer.

MY LIST of CAPABILITIES and POTENTIALS

I am able to express myself in writing.

I am able to teach second language writing.

I am able to empower others through my actions.

I am able to face my fears and learn from them.

I am able to learn from my mistakes and forgive myself.

I am able to listen to my higher self and follow my desires.

I am able to be self-aware.

I have the capacity to meet my needs.

I could take the risks necessary to live my dream.

I could be courageous in the face of terrifying challenges.

I could live and create a life worth living.

MY LIST of CONTRIBUTIONS AND SUCCESSES

I have received a Master’s degree.

I have maintained a successful marriage for fourteen years.

I have maintained a close friendship for nearly three decades.

I have co-authored and published a textbook.

I have stayed committed to loving myself despite many drawbacks and false starts.

I have told everyone I love how I feel about them.

Shadow Work and Connecting to My Higher Self

In my last post, I mentioned how I had hit a wall. Well, I’ve discovered that that wall was not solid at all but made of smoke born of fear. So much of what stands in my way is the result of fear. Doing shadow work this morning, I discovered a part of myself that was frightened of being judged because of my passionate nature.

The source of the shame I feel surrounding my passionate nature is from an experience I had when I was eleven or twelve. I was volunteering at a local grassroots preschool when I became particularly fond of one of the teachers. When she suddenly stopped coming to work, I was devastated. I tried to find out what happened to her by writing her letters and trying to call her home but to no avail. She was Southeast Asian and her family did not speak very good English, so when I called to talk to her, they would just tell me in broken English that she was not home.

One of the teachers that I respected and admired, found one of my letters. I overheard her talking to another teacher saying in hushed tones that she thought the letter was written by the woman’s husband. I was too young to understand what she was implying about my intentions, but I knew that her impression of my letter was disapproving. Later, the director of the school called me into her office and explained that because of family issues, the teacher would not be working at the school anymore.

I felt so ashamed of myself. Before that point, I had never thought that my passionate nature was something to be ashamed of; it was just how I felt and how I loved. After that humiliating experience, I decided that I would hide that part myself never to show it to anyone again for fear that I would have that same awful feeling of deep shame.

When I attempted to change this memory, and take my pre-teen self to a place of love and light where she would be accepted and loved for who she was, she was not ready to completely trust me. She still felt fearful of being rejected because of her passionate nature. I told her it would take time, but that now that I was an adult I could make it so that every one she came into contact with would love and accept her. She was not convinced. I told her it would take time for her to see that she was safe and no longer in a place where she would be judged and humiliated. I told her I’d leave her in the place with all the people who loved and accepted her and return to see how she was doing. I then opened my eyes.

I felt very sad. I was crushed that I was so afraid of being authentic. I knew on a conscious level that I was a passionate person and it was who I was meant to be and that it was my contribution to the world. However, unconsciously, I had rejected that part of myself and was afraid of what would happen if I allowed that part myself to integrate.

I wanted to see the process through. I didn’t like not fully integrating that part of myself. I wanted her to believe without doubt that we could and should completely embrace our passionate nature. So, I asked the question, “What would someone who loved themselves do?” The answer, “Write in your journal.”

So I wrote in my journal and what transpired was nothing short of amazing. As I wrote, a voice told me to switch to my less dominate hand, so I shifted my pen to my right hand, and began to write down what the voice was telling me. This voice was confident, gentle, and commanding. I call her my higher self. She has no doubts and she directs my desires and identifies my passion. With my right hand, I reaffirmed what I knew to be true but was too frightened to accept.

Again, my higher self told me You are love.  You are meant to connect to the world through your writing and it is through your passion that you will remind people how to love. She continued to describe in detail how I was going to fulfill my calling. Then, she acknowledged the fact that I was afraid, so she asked me to be brave and to carry on even though I was terrified of what would happen. She then promised that if I did what I was meant to do, and if I followed my desires and did so with love in my heart, brilliant things would happen.

Then she said, Trust me. Shifting to my left hand, I wrote I trust you. Then I finished writing and taking a deep sigh of relief, it was clear to me what I was meant to do. Now despite the fear, and I assure you I am still very afraid, I will do what I am meant to do and I will fulfill my calling.

My wish for you, dear reader, is that you too find what you are meant to do, and that even if you are afraid you will fulfill your desires with courage and conviction. For it is my sincere belief that the key to a better world is for all of us to follow our passions and live our dreams.

Each of us that accepts our calling to do whatever it is we are meant to do on this earth are shimmering lights in the darkness of unknowing and uncertainty that we find ourselves in today. If each of us could allow our true natures to radiate forth, the world would be a brilliant place.

 

 

 

 

Days 19 and 20

I’ve been burning it at both ends and I finally ran out of steam. I fell asleep last night while putting my baby to bed for the night and woke up at around 8AM this morning. My body needed the rest as I am coming down with something and I have been averaging about five hours of sleep a night and working long hours at home and at work. So this post will count for two days as really nothing’s changed between yesterday and today.

WAYS THAT I CAN SHOW MYSELF LOVE (based on an exercise from “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding The Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times” page 101)

I can show myself love by…

Honoring my commitments to myself even if I don’t see results right away.

Taking care of myself by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy food, and being active.

Forgiving myself for mistakes and realizing that it is how I learn.

Making time for myself to do the things that I want to do.

Allowing myself to live in alignment with my passion no matter how risky it appears to be.

Allowing myself to feel what I feel knowing that my emotions are signals that tell me how my environment is affecting me.

Listening to my emotions to let them guide me on my life’s path.

Finding out what makes me happy and including those things in my life everyday.

Writing down my thoughts and sharing them with others in some form.

Doing shadow work as much as possible.

I hate to say this, but I’m just not feeling it today. I was really productive despite waking up with a scratchy throat. I went to a PTA meeting, cleaned my house all afternoon, and rescheduled a social visit because I was feeling under the weather (something I wouldn’t have done before). However, rather than feeling happy and pleased with myself, I just feel off. I cannot even describe what feeling off is like. So I won’t attempt to explain it.

This feeling started yesterday when I arrived at work and one of my colleagues approached me telling me he read the piece that I published on social media. He looked as if he were deeply concerned about me, which made me regret publishing the piece. Then I noticed that that about a half a dozen people liked or commented on the post, and although I was grateful for their showing support, I couldn’t help feeling like the whole thing was a mistake. It was all I could do not to remove the post because when I asked the question, “What would someone who loved themselves do” the answer was “Keep it there. It was a great piece,” so I’ve kept it there.

It’s puzzling because I feel like I am getting really close to identifying my passion. I have a strong desire to become a full time writer, but when I think about it and really consider committing to that, a voice inside of me says, “Are you crazy? Every time you try writing, it doesn’t work out. What makes you think it will be any different this time?” When I try to counter this argument, I got nothing. I believe this voice, so now I’ve hit a wall.

I’ve got to delve into the shadows and find the source of this skeptic who does not believe I can succeed at writing for a living. I know that if I don’t, any attempt at writing for a living will probably be unsuccessful. So, that’s what I will be doing tonight when I do shadow work.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the mean time, I wish you all the best.

 

 

 

 

Day 18 4PM

5 Commitments to Loving Myself More (inspired by the exercise in “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times” page 86

  1. Whenever someone I love does or says something that hurts or upsets me, I will tell them how I feel.
  2. I will express my opinion whenever I feel it is necessary and appropriate.
  3. I will write every day.
  4. I will limit myself to one sweet a day, and I will be physically active at least five times a week.
  5. I will do shadow work every day and keep a journal of my progress.

These are the 5 commitments I have made that align with my decision to treat myself better and in a way that shows that I deserve love. I have already begun to honor one and two. I told a coworker who said something that made me feel judged how I felt, and did so in a way that I believe was loving and compassionate. I also expressed my opinion about an issue that means a lot to me at the moment from a perspective that I haven’t heard and I felt needed to be said. I did this in a public forum in which people who know me, close and friends and family included would have access to it.

I feel apprehensive. I have rarely expressed my opinion about something this close to me before. It is uncharacteristic of me. I’m usually either agreeable or silent. I am uncomfortable with putting myself out there. This blog is different because I’m somewhat anonymous.

I am both excited and terrified about publishing my opinion on social media. I’m most afraid that no one will comment on it. I think that would be worse than if people hated it because at least I would be heard. I guess I’m afraid of not being heard and that my fears of insignificance would be realized. On an intellectual level I know that people not commenting on something I posted on a social media site is not related to my significance as a human being, but there are still parts of me that have not experienced love and acceptance.

I want to have people in my life who accept and embrace all sides of me. I want to be with people around whom I feel safe to express myself fully and to be authentic. To achieve this, I must embrace and accept all parts of myself. These feelings of insecurity tell me that there is still much to be done in shadow work. Tonight I’ll explore the part of me that is afraid of not being heard and of being insignificant.

I will let you know how everything turns out. I wish you all the best in your endeavors as well.