I’m not referring to the removal of your clothing but behavioral patterns that block you from joy: the defenses and excuses, complaints and procrastinations, the lies and attempts at control. Strip away the symptoms and what’s left? Why do you do what you do?
Here’s the sad reality: we live in a world where the majority act unconsciously— failing to understand why they make the decisions to do, how these decisions are creating their reality, nor how they can begin to act from a more conscious, deliberate place.
The good news? If you’re reading this, you probably belong to the minority that care, that want to carve out an empowered, enlightened and meaningful existence. Very cool.
But f you can’t keep your emotional center intact, the journey will be needlessly difficult. Tend to your heart first and both the dysfunction and the pain behind the dysfunction will vanish. It really is that simple– we just get good at complicating things.
If you’re finding yourself in an emotional hotspot and don’t know why, consider the following:
Everyone is addicted to something.
Ok, not everyone, but lots of people (myself included). We humans are extremely adept at devising ways to detach from our own emotional lives- alcoholism, eating disorders, compulsive exercising, gambling, smoking, and sexual dsyfunction to name a few. We would rather stuff our faces with fast food and chain smoke and watch way too many reality shows than deal with how we feel—it’s that scary.
Trust me, I get it. I lived in a dark, fear-centered place for a long time where addiction was the only normal I knew. It’s why I have to remain extra mindful today about what I’m feeling and why. It’s less about getting back to some childhood source than it is peeling away the present layers of dysfunction and seeing what they have to teach me. The answers may take many forms but it’s asking the questions that matters.
If you’re numbing yourself to life in some way, begin by examining what purpose the behavior is serving—what is it attempting to conceal, or perhaps, reveal? And what’s the payoff?
Asking these basic questions will allow you to get in touch with your insecurities better, as well as your most basic needs. Both are essential in order to begin taking care of yourself.
…you will get in your way more than anyone else.
We’ve all had to contend with the naysayer or chronically critical friend but no one is going to bring more negativity into your world than you yourself! For better and worse, we can’t get away from ourselves. And because we have gotten to know ourselves better than anyone else, we’ve become really good at kicking our own asses. We pick and prod at long-held neurosis instead of offering ourselves unconditional love and acceptance.
Why do we this?
Good old fashioned fear, mostly. But fear also takes a thousand faces- self-sabotage, manipulation, contempt, deceit- and it’s for this reason that it remains difficult to combat. How do you go tackle an enemy you can’t see?
The first step is all about becoming aware. However the problem presents itself, always ask yourself: what am I afraid of? And then: how can I use this fear to propel me forward?
I also find it helpful to trace the root of the fear, if possible. If you can see that your present difficulty is in direct response to a situation that exists only in the past; it loosens fear’s grip.
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where…
self-worth is in short supply.
Not the kind of self worth that comes from a stable childhood or righteous living or a thousand self-help books; though these can all be avenues to a healthy, happy life. No, I’m talking about the kind of self-worth you don’t have to work for or go in search of. It’s the kind of self worth that stems from a deep and unwavering knowledge of WHO.YOU.ARE– the divine personified. It’s not the kind of knowledge that easily transmits from the head to the heart, but when it does, it changes your whole world.
If you’re not feeling in touch with all the godliness that is you, take 20 minutes a day to explore your connection to spirit. This might come in the form of a meditation practice or a prayer ritual or dancing in the rain. Or some other unexpected and exciting form altogether. The point is not to force it. Allow it.
That’s great agency in doing what feels right, especially when it defies logic. So for once, let your emotions lead the way. Allow the sorrow, in all its expressions, to wash over you. It’s ok to be you now: raw, real and oh so sexy.
I’m dying to know, what are you going to strip away today?