In my early 30's I found myself very far from where I'd thought I would be at that time in my life. The hopeful and idealistic views of my 20's had worn off, replaced by the very real consequences of a lifetime of struggling with self-judgement and low self-esteem.
I was unhappily married. I felt emotionally drained. I felt suppressed, trapped and lonely. I had completely lost myself and my sense of direction. I was unable to work or study to develop new skills. I was isolated, thousand of miles away from my family and friends.
Initially, I tried applying spiritual and metaphysical healing tools that had helped me in the past to cope and improve the circumstances but as the unhappiness persisted, I gradually descended into despair. I found myself isolated, caught-up in the situation, without any other tools or support, and I became an active participant in the chaos.
Change began for me at age 35, you could say that it was the result of depression, anxiety and praying. Lots of praying. It was also the result of being a mom, and wanting my children to grow up to be healthy, confident, strong and most of all happy. I knew that the only way to achieve that was for me to model those qualities for them.
I had to do something about it. I had to take action.
Action for me came in 5 steps and over a period of time:
1) To find my way, I found a sense of PURPOSE
2) To take charge, I let go of ANGER and BLAME
3) To find identity, I rebuilt my SELF-ESTEEM
4) To support growth, I found a spiritual COMMUNITY of mentors and friends.
5) To live in peace, I RELEASED attachment to any particular outcome.
1 - FINDING PURPOSE
In order to HEAL, to feel happy and FULFILLED we need to find a way to live with PURPOSEFUL INTENTION. In other words, we need to find our MEANING -our special calling- that transcends our own lives.
Before I began implementing the 5 steps I had no self-esteem or sense of self-worth, it felt like I couldn't find enough motivation to take action. That changed when I realized that I had to fight for something bigger than myself, I had to heal myself so that my children could grow into strong, dynamic, confident, and healthy human beings. I knew that the only way for that to happen was for me to heal myself first. They are my purpose, my calling, my meaning.
2- ANGER AND BLAME
Life has taught me -the rough way- that while my mental and physical energy were consumed in blaming others (or the external circumstances) for my suffering I had no energy left to find my way out of it.
Our ability to change our lives is within us, not outside of us. It makes no sense to ask others or a situation to change so we can heal or be happy.
When we BLAME others for our circumstances, we tell ourselves that we have no power to change them. We tell ourselves that they are in charge and we are powerless. In this mindset, the only possible way out of the struggle is for that external factor to change.
The truth is that you can only control what YOU do.
Throughout my 20 years of applying metaphysical healing I experienced and confirmed first hand that WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY. Specific people and circumstances come into our lives that confirm our beliefs, although sometimes in quite extreme and exaggerated ways.
Lao Tzu says:
" Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
I realized I suffered from debilitating negative self-judgment and low self-esteem almost all my life, long before I got married. Looking back, I can see that the particular disempowering dynamic in the relationship and circumstances surrounding it presented themselves in my life in that particular way because that set of disempowering beliefs was already within me! The people and circumstances simply matched or reflected my negative sense of self-worth and my negative inner dialogue.
Of course, I didn't understand this fully at the time. I was consumed by blame, self-pity, and anger for the poor model we were setting for our children. This made me really mad and ANGER kept me stuck. I felt entitled to my anger, and I stubbornly waited to get acknowledgement or an apology. I was constantly disempowered by transferring the responsibility of growth and change to others.
I realized I needed to TAKE CHARGE.
When I understood that if I wanted to change my life I had to change my beliefs, I knew that I had to learn to love and respect myself. Once I did that, my world would change to reflect confidence, positivity, and self-love.
I recognized that my life was mirroring the emotions that I felt. If I wanted to attract unconditional acceptance, love, positive relationships, and abundance, I needed to live those qualities daily. I was tired of attracting abusive and unhealthy people/circumstances, and so I took charge of my thoughts and actions to enact a fundament shift to positivity.
The single greatest thing I did was let go. I stopped worrying about what other people would do. I accepted that I could not control them, their actions or their timing. I stopped waiting for them to change. I shifted my focus to what I needed to do to empower myself. I took charge of myself.
3 - REBUILDING SELF-ESTEEM
I was unexpectedly clear about what I had to do to rebuild my self-esteem. Each step of this process was KEY because in order to build a stable foundation for my children and myself I needed the SOLID GROUND of a healthy self-esteem.
I decided to TEST how other people really viewed me, and how I responded in circumstances outside of my own world. In other words, I started getting "second opinions" or feedback from impartial friends and acquaintances who gave me a more objective view of my value.
These are some of the things I did to learn more about who I really am:
Volunteering: Initially I could not work, so I decided to volunteer instead. I selected specific activities that I knew would help me feel capable, allowing me to expand beyond my main role of a stay-at-home mother. Being competent outside of the home made me feel really good about myself and created a positive inner dialogue.
I focused my energy on other activities designed to help me grow and become stronger. For example: meditation, physical exercise, martial arts, healthy eating, therapy and of course Reiki energy healing!
Setting boundaries. As my confidence grew, I developed a "CODE OF VALUES". This “code” is my personal set of right and wrong rules and I decided to hold MYSELF (before others) accountable to it. In doing this, I found a strong sense of INTEGRITY. For me, integrity serves as the back bone of my self-esteem.
Obviously, the change was not easy or quick. Although, I had found my PURPOSE, I had for the most part let go of BLAME, and my SELF-ESTEEM was getting stronger, there were still many moments during this process in which I lost my faith in it. My marriage was still unhealthy and I was still getting negative feedback at home. At times that made me feel still stuck and confused. Change is like an ebbing sea, it moves forwards and back. I found my strength to persevere with the support of a wonderful community of loving mentors and friends.
Since childhood I had learned to be self-sufficient and I rarely felt comfortable reaching out to ask for help. I felt people would reject me if they knew how 'defective' I was. I felt ashamed of myself. The idea of receiving help from a whole community of people I had 'just met' was simply terrifying.
But something awesome happened... The community started reaching out to me! As I gave to it, it gave to back to me! My martial arts instructor intentionally empowered me by asking me to 'help' teach some classes. My Reiki peers started sharing their stories with me and in turn I felt safe to share mine with them. My teachers and my friends made sure to always check on me. As they all reached out to me, I opened up and instead of rejecting me, they supported me and gave me strength. As I became open, and bold my community reflected that back to me.
The need to find the support of a loving community of mentors and friends might sound obvious to some people, but it wasn't to me. I had to learn it was safe to trust others first. This was scary but absolutely necessary, I wouldn't be where I am now without them.
5 - RELEASING ATTACHMENT TO ANY PARTICULAR OUTCOME.
When I began this journey of change I had no idea how things would turn out. I knew I was
unhappy in my marriage but I did not set out to separate or divorce. I never wanted that to be the solution. In fact, I had to RELEASE any pre-conceived ideas of what the solution was in order for this process to work.
The universe responds to your vibration, if you are vibrating with truth, love and generosity that is what it will bring. Remember the goal here is to create a peaceful, happy and abundant life. As humans we cannot conceive all possibilities and when we limit our minds to think that the solution can only come in one particular way we are blocking the other possibilities from coming into our lives.
It is essential to trust and let God and/or the Universe in its infinite wisdom provide you with the solution. Generally speaking, if you are not ready to let go of the way in which you would like things to happen it is out of fear of losing... and if fear of losing is what you have, losing is what you get. It is the basic law of attraction, what you project is what gravitates to you!
So be patient, trust the process until you start seeing tangible results in your life to confirm this.
My focus was on healing myself for the sake of my children. I deeply hoped that my relationship would change if I treated myself better, but in my case that never happened. Instead the universe responded in a way I could not have conceived of at first, by introducing me to all sorts of people that matched my new positive sense of worth, purpose and self-esteem.
This process was not always easy. I had to sometimes fight for what I knew was right and at the same time re-train the way I thought of myself. I had to take the frightening path of believing in myself.
I took actions that created new thoughts; new thoughts turned into healthy values and habits; healthy habits created a strong positive identity; a positive identity attracted a new positive destiny: an expansive life.
Today I have a life I only dreamed of before. I am happy, strong, healthy, grounded, and loved, but it is in no way a 'finished product'. I am still learning to express who I really am without fear. To believe that I am strong and capable. For the first time in my life I can say with pride that I feel successful! I live surrounded with unconditional love and acceptance. I am happy and I feel free because I learned that happiness is a choice supported by actions. I am the only one in charge of my own destiny!
The ultimate proof: My children’s lives have changed forever. They are thriving, they are fully empowered and happy. My choice to change and take action has created a new wonderful reality for us all.
Reiki Master/Teacher and spiritual coach
For more information about Guille please visit www.HealingPurpose.com