In times of pivotal change in society uncertainty surrounds us, so we need to remember who we really are. Who we really are is not the negative beliefs and limitations we put on ourselves and have managed to adopt on the journey of life.
Who we are is much bigger and brighter than that.
We are love and light and we are amazing, only sometimes we don't believe it. The fact that we exist at all is a gift. Each of us is a unique aspect of God and if you think about it, it's quite arrogant to think that we are not worthy. It is our duty to shine our light out into the world in a loving way. Our purpose in life is not to play small, our purpose is to be who we are and be the best version of ourselves. Not someone else's version of ourselves, but our own version.
As one of my favorite teachers Alan Cohen once said, "Show up as your full self and the rest will take care of itself." What Alan means, is to show up in life as your authentic self, with your heart wide open.
We need to stop worrying about what others think of us and concern ourselves with how we perceive ourselves. We need to be authentic and allow who we really are to express itself out into the world. The world needs heart-centered, authentic, loving and courageous people to stand up and shine their light.
When we step up to who we really are, then we allow others to do the same. By not stepping up into your power and showing who you are from your heart, you are actually doing a great disservice to yourself and to others.
Our responsibility is to learn to love ourselves and appreciate ourselves just as we are. How do we do that? How do we cultivate self-love and self-acceptance in a world that constantly compares us to each other, tells us that we must do more and have more in order to feel worthy?
We do this by taking a journey deep inside ourselves. Everything that is essential is inside of you. We believe that everything is outside of us, so we seek validation of ourselves in people, situations, drive for success, and in the attainment of goals and resources -- as if those things are the prerequisite for us to love and accept ourselves.
Those outside factors are a moving target, which means they are never stable, and they change. We could spend our entire lives chasing our tails and never come to the magic wonder of who we are.
I know first hand what it means to look outside of myself for validation. I spent many years suffering from low self-esteem and not loving myself. I had bulimia, and was consumed by my body image and how the world perceived me. I never knew I was enough because I was looking outside of myself for love and acceptance. It was only when I started to engage in a path of active transformation and look inside myself, that I discovered who I was. I found love and acceptance for myself and cultivated my unique gifts.
You. That's right, you are uniquely special.
There is no one like you in the world. You are the piece of the puzzle that the world needs and without it the world will not be complete.
I invite you to stop trying to fix, change or improve yourself, but rather to open up your heart to yourself, to your magnificence and to celebrate yourself exactly as you are with joy.
Accept yourself as you are, with all your imperfections in this moment, and have reverence for your journey struggling to be a human being. We are all on the same journey -- the journey to self-acceptance.
Show yourself compassion and love. Stop punishing yourself. All punishment is self-inflicted. The greatest punishment you can inflict on yourself is not loving yourself as you are. Love yourself through your dark hours, your trials and tribulations, your mistakes as they really are. They are "miss"-takes, so you get another chance at them.
Forgive yourself, let yourself off the hook. Often we forgive others in our lives, but we find it a difficult task to forgive ourselves. Forgiving yourself is an act of love. Your heart will be lighter, you will look brighter and you will find that life will be more joyous.
Express kindness to yourself, stop being hard on yourself and berating yourself for eating that extra piece of cake, for not winning that proposal, for not getting that guy or girl or for not being where you think you should be in life. Everything is happening for a reason, and that reason is not for you to be unkind to yourself. Instead use the events that happen in your life to teach you something about yourself and to open up your heart to yourself and others.
For me, the lesson of kindness came in the form of a young primary school girl with bowlegs and braces. After my second brain hemorrhage, I was doing my daily attempted walk as part of my rehabilitation. I was so angry at myself for being in this situation again (my first brain hemorrhage was three years before this second one), and for not working harder to walk faster. As I looked up, I saw this young school girl walking toward me with braces on her legs. She smiled at me, even though she had bowlegs and braces she was joyous and accepting of herself. That was a defining moment for me I started to cry and my heart was in pain. I realized how cruel I had been to myself and how hard I was on myself.
Be generous. Give to yourself and share yourself and your gifts to others. You have so much life force in you -- so much to offer -- that holding onto it only makes you smaller in life.
The world needs your generosity of spirit, your gifts, your love, your uniqueness and your authentic heart. You are not here to hold onto anything but rather to give it away. You are here to shine your light on the world exactly as you are.
It's time for you to show up in life in all your amazing glory!
For more by Mary Paleologos, click here.
For more on happiness, click here.