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7. February, 2018Uncategorized No comments

self discovery the best gift ever

Recently, a friend related a conversation with her childhood friend. Her friend had stern parents who didn’t believe in piles of presents for birthdays or any holiday. Although his home was supportive and loving, it was the exception to receive a gift and unlikely to be a gift for which he hoped. He believes today, his experience was a great gift to him. He learned about disappointment and how easy it is to get along without expensive toys whether just the latest name-brand running shoes or an Italian sports car.

managing personal self reflection

This put me to thinking of my own childhood. I was the second oldest of nine children. My father had a good job and he was good at it – and it took all that he earned to make our middle-class life. My mother was frugal and still found bits of money to squeeze out a few surprises. Like the time we came home from school to find a brand new pink flowered comforter on the bed I shared with my older sister. Or the 5-layered pastel petticoats we got to take dance lessons.

learning about self discovery

The Worst & Best Gift Ever

There is also a Christmas that is firmly pressed in memory. I was 11, in the 6th grade, and nothing I could think of that I wanted. Yet I longed for something grand, something to light up my life. Sixth grade was the year when popularity became a concern and I felt profoundly alone and lonely trying to navigate adolescence. I wanted something to reassure me, to make me feel better about myself.

What I got were a couple of books and some clothes. I didn’t say much and as I gathered up my gifts to put them away my mother knew I was unhappy. She asked if I didn’t like my gifts. Likely I shrugged and said yes, but I recall being slightly remonstrated for ingratitude.

I struggled with my unhappiness and finally realized what I really wanted was a gift to convince me I was beautiful, precious and special. Of course, there was no such gift. Nothing tangible existed, no-thing at all, to reassure me of my worth.

The insight was painful and a turning point in growing up. I developed a resilience, an awareness of what could and could not be provided, not just by my family, but from any external source. It was hard to realize, and it made me a little bit harder. It was also a great day. It set me on a quest, at first to soothe the pain and, later, for much more.

 

Step 1: We Want Life On Our Terms

exploring self analysis

I’ll be the first to say my effort to belong, feel good about myself, and especially, to get what I wanted were no different than the effort of the most lost soul. For a time, I thought the right path was keeping the peace, making others happy, fitting in. There was a lot of selfishness in that behavior. I was proving how much better I was than anyone else. It was manipulative in the subtlest way. “OK, Universe, I’ll be good and now you owe me what I want in return.”

We want what we want no matter how well we paint it over. We are childishly demanding that life must go ‘my way’. We have no interest in the desires or movement of our souls or spirit. Not really. Not beyond feeling good that the universe will come through with what we want.

I’m not certain this demand ever ceases completely. The less we recognize its grip on us, the less satisfied we are with ourselves, everyone else, and the circumstances of our lives. Once we admit that our demands and judgments are what create unhappiness, it is only the beginning of making peace with ‘things as they is’. It is a slow process to accept without judgment an alcoholic parent, chronic pain, or a lack of professional success. It is just as slow to accept an ordinary life, a life with blessings and success as well as misfortune and failure. In the final accounting, even the rich and famous have ordinary lives.

Step 2: Discovering The Truth Of Who We Are

how to find your path

The foundation for joy in an ordinary life is non-judgment of pretty much everything. This is not the same as giving up, defeat or even passivity. Life presents us with many choices. We must choose the ethics and principles by which we live, and we must have the courage of our convictions in action. This isn’t the same as judgment.

We are all flawed and sometimes inauthentic frauds. To stop judging we must stop berating ourselves while honestly admitting our faults. It calls for patience and persistence. Meditation, whether contemplative or Zen sitting, are valuable in the process. The goal is to understand ourselves better, heal what we can, and come to kindly self-acceptance. Knowing ourselves is the final antidote to judging others harshly.

remove self judgment

When we use our precious lives to make demands of Life, we will not know peace. We are living out meaningless concepts of how life should be. We all want to feel precious and special. We will not find it in our efforts to be superior and virtuous. Precious is a jewel hidden among the flaws and the frailty of being human. To find it we must get down and dirty with the truth of who we are.

 

 

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If you’re looking for support with your own self discovery and would like to learn more about living a life without judgement, contact Dr. Sandra Egli at Center of Intention to continue your journey with support and love. Call 480-582-3374 Today!

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Mindfulness

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The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.


To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.

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