Updated: Oct 20
In my early 30's I found myself very far from where I'd thought I would be. The hopeful and idealistic views of my 20's had worn off. I had recently married and we had moved to the United States. It wasn't the first time I had moved to another country, but this time it was different. I was isolated and stuck. I felt emotionally drained, trapped and lonely. I had lost my sense of self and direction.
To improve my circumstances, I initially applied some spiritual and metaphysical healing tools that had helped me in the past but as the years went by and the unhappiness and isolation persisted, I gradually descended into despair and hopelessness.
Change began for me at age 35. It was a 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 that, I couldn't wait any longer. I had to take action.
Action for me came in 5 ways or steps:
1) To find direction, I found a sense of PURPOSE
2) To take charge, I let go of ANGER and BLAME
3) To find my self, I rebuilt my SELF-ESTEEM
4) To be able to sustain my change, I found the support of a spiritual COMMUNITY of mentors and friends.
5) To find inner 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. We need to find our MEANING -our special calling- that transcends our selves and our 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, confident, and healthy humans. I knew that the only way for that to happen was for me to heal myself first.
2- ANGER AND BLAME
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 practical sense to ask others or wait for a situation to change so we can then 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, there's no relief. We are always disempowered because the only possible way out of the suffering is for that external factor to change, and we cannot control external factors permanently.
The truth is that you can only control what YOU do.
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."
Looking back, I can see that the abusive and disempowering circumstances that I was going through presented themselves in my life 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. I realized I suffered from debilitating negative self-judgment and low self-esteem almost all my life.
At the time, I was consumed by self-pity, blaming, and anger. ANGER kept me stuck. I felt entitled to my anger, and I stubbornly waited for things to change. I constantly disempowered myself by transferring the responsibility of 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 in order to do 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 love, respect and other empowering circumstances, I needed to live those qualities daily.
The single greatest thing I did was let go. I let go of my fears. I accepted that I could not control anything but myself. I stopped waiting for things to change. I shifted my focus to what I needed to do to empower myself. I took charge of my own life.
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 healthy foundation for my children and myself I needed the SOLID GROUND of a positive 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: Due to the limitations of my H4 visa I was unable to work so instead, I selected specific volunteering opportunities that I knew would help me feel capable and create a positive inner dialogue.
Other activities: I focused my energy on other empowering activities. For example: meditation, physical exercise, martial arts, healthy eating, therapy, and Reiki healing and training.
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 self-esteem.
The change was not easy or quick. Although, I was healing and getting stronger there were still many moments in which I lost hope. But change is like an ebbing sea, it moves forwards and back and if you persevere, you'll see the the long term results. I was able 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. The idea of receiving help from a whole community of people I had 'just met' was simply terrifying but something awesome happened... as I started opening up, life started unfolding for me. Mentors, teachers, and friends started showing up and offered their unconditional presence and support.
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 end it. 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 something... 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 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 happily say 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 my own 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. My choice to change and take action has created a new wonderful reality for us all.
Reiki Master/Teacher and Spiritual Lifestyle Coach
For more information about Guille please visit www.HealingPurpose.com