Archive for you’re worth it

Emotions: The Water’s Fine

I don’t know about you, but I never learned anything in school about emotions, except, of course, that I shouldn’t have any. I’m sure it was easier for the teachers that way, but it wasn’t such a great lesson for me, or you, either, I’m guessing. So, over the last several decades, I’ve been doing the work of (1) learning to identify my emotions, (2) allowing myself to experience them fully, and (3) sharing them in situations where it is important for me to do so. And let me tell you: sometimes, it’s just plain ‘ol not fun.

In fact, there are times when identifying, experiencing, and sharing our emotions is excruciatingly uncomfortable. It’s no wonder the majority of us are addicted to something, diagnosed or not. Addictions work. They take the edge off, protect us from discomfort, help us forget for a while, and give us something to deal with that we think we can control… unlike our emotions.

Unfortunately, however, these seemingly benign behaviors – the ones we get into to get out of experiencing our emotions – only work until they don’t. And then, guess what we’re left with? The havoc we’ve caused by engaging in these destructive behaviors, and, our emotions – the new ones and the ones we were trying to avoid! So, as much as we might not want to, it’s in our best interest to get in there and get a handle on these things called emotions, even if our teachers shied away from the task.

Now, before I go any further, let me also say that there are volumes upon volumes written on emotions, and I won’t come close to addressing all there is to say about the subject here in this little blog post. What I will say is that if you will give yourself the gift, as uncomfortable as it may be, you won’t be sorry in the long run.

Even if you’re starting at the very beginning (that’s a very good place to start), with learning to identify which emotions you’re experiencing, you are embarking on important, enlivening work. I’ll never forget when I began to be able to make distinctions between emotions that I’d previously thought were interchangeable. Discovering that guilt and shame aren’t the same things, learning how they felt different in my body, and that they called for different responses was liberating. Also, I used to believe that rage was “anger on steroids.” Now I’ve come to know that rage and anger are worlds apart; one being about crossed boundaries, the other being about invisibility and powerlessness. (A little test: can you identify which is which?)

I tell you all of this not because I’m sitting all high and mighty on some mountain top, with it all figured out, and therefore living a perfect life. Far from it! I tell you this to invite you into the pool of learning about emotions with me. If you’ve not yet dipped your toe into the water, come on in. It may be chilly at first, but soon you’ll see that “the water’s fine.” If, on the other hand, you’ve been aware of this work for a while, and feel called to learn even more, I invite you to wade a bit further out, perhaps even swim into the deep end. Sure, it’s scary there, but you can always just dog paddle until you get your bearings. Besides, it’s worth it. You’re worth it.

See you in the pool!

Valentine’s Day – The Bad News and the Good

The bad news: For many, Valentine’s Day is among the year’s most unhappy days, whether or not they are in relationships.

The good news: There is a foolproof way to eliminate this unhappiness due to an unfulfilled desire for love, and not just on February 14th!

So, what is this foolproof way of having fulfilling, lifelong love?

Loving yourself.

Granted, this can be difficult. Fear not, though, there’s more good news. Louise Hay has offered us clear directions for getting started, with her 12 Commandments to Help You Learn How to Love Yourself.

They are:

  1. Stop All Criticism;
  2. Forgive Yourself;
  3. Don’t Scare Yourself;
  4. Be Gentle and Kind and Patient;
  5. Be Kind to Your Mind;
  6. Praise Yourself;
  7. Support Yourself;
  8. Be Loving to Your Negatives;
  9. Take Care of Your Body;
  10. Do Mirror Work;
  11. Love Yourself… Now; and
  12. Have Fun!

It would be easy to let this list overwhelm us. That’s why we need to just pick one and start there. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to start with #6. Which one will you choose?

Regardless of which, do choose one, and make yourself your own, lifelong Valentine.

Choose you. You’re worth it.

Love,
Laura

P.S. For more about the 12 Commandments, go to this page of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life site.

P.P.S.  This post is based on an article from the February, 2013 Edition of my newsletter, True Voices Express.  If you’d like to subscribe, please do!  Just go here and fill out the form in the top, right corner.  Thanks!