I spent 4 days in hospital recently as a result of the physical symptoms I was experiencing (my first nights in hospital in 13 years of living with cancer – not bad going!). A CT scan (it was 16 months since my last), showed a tumour encroaching on the sac around my heart – needless to say, my heart isn’t very happy about it. Of the many, many tumours in my body, this one is the most immediately life-threatening.
Based on the scan results, the Doctors expect me to die quite soon. They may be right, they may be wrong. My centre of consciousness is not based primarily in the physical realm, therefore in my mind, and with everything I have experienced, anything is possible. Complete Healing, Physical death, and anything in between.
A Course in Miracles says “Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong”.
This statement is part of a lot of statements about miracles, which should be read together,(I thoroughly recommend doing the Course in Miracles workbook if you are serious about changing your perception of reality) however, in the mind state that I live in, Miracles are natural, and should never be discounted.
Because of the somewhat precarious state of my body (Apparently. Except for my heart, the rest of my body still works ridiculously well), I have decided to share, hopefully with some rapidity, the wonderful lessons that I have learned in my journey through 53 years of life (so far) on this planet. These lessons have been the source of my transformation from anxiety and fear into love and joy and peace. I hope that there are some snippets of wisdom held within them that will inspire others to follow their own personal path of transformation into living primarily in a state of love and joy and peace. Even in the face of death.
The first lesson I want to talk about is Loving Yourself.
There have been many misconceptions over the years about what this means. Christianity in particular has been very wary about promoting self love in its followers even although Jesus specifically instructed to “love thy neighbour as thyself”. This was the second part of a two-part commandment. The first part said to “love the Lord thy God with all your heart, your mind and your soul… and love thy neighbour as thyself”. Clearly, if you don’t love yourself first, it is difficult to love your neighbour. Most dysfunctional relationships have a basis in a lack of self love that spills out and contaminates the relationship in a multitude of ways.
There is a very good reason, I believe, why Jesus instructed to love God first. Because as we open to Divine Spirit/Life/Being/God, whichever you choose to call the Spiritual Power that runs the universe, we begin to understand our own divinity, our own true eternal nature beyond the physical body and conditioned mind that is in the foreground of our physical experience of life as a human being. We begin to see past that, and gain a perspective of Life that liberates us from fear and anxiety. It also saves us from our conditioned mind running with the delightful idea of loving itself (it doesn’t – it is generally terrified that it is unworthy and unloveable), and turning it into a shallow, narcissistic and self centred love that doesn’t transform.
I want to be very clear here, that I do not identify as Christian. Especially not in the sense that it is meant today. Some of the Christian teachings are beautiful. Many do not resonate with me at all. I use a Christian based language sometimes because I live in a culture that is predominantly Christian. I have spent many years learning ancient wisdom that does not align itself with a religion in particular, but Spirit in general. My experience is that Spirit is freely available to any and all, is in fact In everything and Is everything and therefore unavoidable: “there is no state, no place, no time, where God isn’t”. The wonder and transformation begins when we become conscious of this Spiritual Power and begin to consciously align ourself with it. Religion tends to place limits on God. There are no limits – the only limits are in our mind.
In my experience, loving yourself well, is helped enormously by opening your mind to the idea that you are a soul. You ARE a Soul. Not; you Have a Soul. You are a beautiful, wise, loving, powerful soul who is always connected to the Divine Source. Choosing to acknowledge and align your mind and body to your Soul is the beginning of a journey of transformation into love, joy and peace. It is the journey that fills your life with meaning and calm and inspiration. The journey that teaches you how to live joyfully. Fear and Anxiety fade, Love and Peace move in. And take up permanent residence. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes work, but it gets easier and easier, because you realise that all you need to do is be open and show up. The people, the books, the learning – whatever you need for your growth arrives. In time, on time. Everytime.
You, as eternal soul, are completely loveable, completely worthy just by virtue of Being. You are unconditionally loved, held in love. No Matter What.
I used to think, way back when I thought I needed to be perfect; that I was only acceptable if I was perfect, “why did God design me like this then tell me I needed to transcend it?”. It felt unjust. I felt like a sinful, weak victim of my humanness.
I absolutely believe that we are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience, not Human Beings having a Spiritual Experience. It may seem like a moot point, but it is an incredibly important distinction that has a huge impact on how we see ourself and the world.
Knowing yourself as a Spiritual Being having a human experience, opens up the space wherein you are able to love yourself with increasing ease. You understand that you are here to learn and grow. You hold your human foibles and frailties with increasing lightness, and no longer have the need to protect and defend them. You no longer identify yourself completely as personality and body. You become increasingly open to life and people, because you no longer need to hide through fear of unworthiness or rejection. It is a paradox that as you examine your shadows, the parts you are ashamed of, the scared parts, and allow yourself to be vulnerable, open, you actually become stronger and less vulnerable because you have perspective. You understand that everyone is flawed and struggle at some point. Everyone has self-doubts and fearful negative thoughts, but instead of falling into them, and acting as though that is all you are, you observe them and smile gently, forgivingly, and return to loving yourself. You are just here to learn, its ok to make mistakes, that is often how we learn.
Love and accept yourself.
There is enormous power in that.
I used to think “well its all very well for me to know this, but everyone doesn’t seem to, and its not going to stop them judging or criticising me or rejecting me”. No its not. But, as you grow into loving yourself, what other people say no longer affects you much. You see it for what it is – somebody else’s opinion – you have plenty of your own don’t you? It no longer triggers a fear reaction in you. If someone accuses you of being selfish for instance, instead of becoming offended and feeling the need to defend or attack in return, you simply centre within yourself and ask yourself where, at any time, you have acted in a manner that was selfish, and if you find a time when you have acted selfishly (and you will), you can calmly say “I can see why you would say that”, and thank them for pointing it out to you.
Oh the bliss of not reacting!
(And it is disconcerting for your attacker – their words have no power.)
If the person continues to attack and accuse, you simply choose to move away from them. Self love brings self respect, and it becomes easy to make choices based in self respect. Most people, unless they have serious unresolved issues that they are trying to blame on you, will respect a “line drawn in the sand” and in spite of some initial resistance to the change, will respect your new boundaries.
We model how we let other people treat us. If we are sending out an energy of inherent unworthiness, believing that we need to please others to be acceptable, letting them treat us in ways that are disrespectful, some people will respond accordingly, and often we end up feeling like a victim. Don’t condemn these people, we all have our faults, but see them as a gift sent by life, to teach you how to stand up and respect and love yourself. Change your energy by changing your beliefs, and it affects the dynamics of every relationship and every experience of life. it is that powerful.
So, how do we learn to love ourselves in a healthy way?
Many of the problems in this world could be resolved if people took this first step. Very few (If any), people escape childhood without developing some feelings of unworthiness, it is part of our learning experience as human beings. This unworthiness is the cause of most of our pain, and the pain we inflict on others by our behaviour.
Begin by opening to the notion of yourself as a Spiritual Being having a Human Experience. This does not need to involve a religious experience. Spirit is available to everyone all the time. This is simply acknowledging who you are. It will resonate with you as you sit with it, because it is truth.
Meditation is great, it helps you to be more still and to open. It also develops awareness.
Affirmations are useful if they resonate with you. Louise Hay was the queen of these, and her mirror work is very powerful. Read her books, or watch a youtube video.
Be willing to stop hiding your shadows. The parts you are ashamed of. The parts that are scared. When you feel the need to defend or attack, ask yourself why you feel like that. Don’t accept it as “just the way I am” It isn’t. It is the direct result of a subconscious belief you developed as a child that no longer serves you. Ask for help to let it surface, so you can let it go. True freedom is not being controlled by your past, not being triggered into reaction. It is a beautiful, incredibly strong place to be. It allows you to be more present. Seek the help of a professional – psychologist or therapist to help you if you can afford it. Having someone hold space for you as you investigate the wounded parts is incredibly helpful. Tell yourself you only want someone who is a good fit with you. If it isn’t the first therapist, move on until you find the right one.
Begin to watch your self-talk. How do you talk to yourself when you are angry or frustrated? When you feel unloved? Do you hate on yourself, or do you project that rage onto the cause of your distress. Don’t talk to yourself worse than you would talk to someone else. Don’t blame, that keeps you in victimhood.
Write in a journal. If you can manage it, write 3 small pages each morning. Just write, randomly. It doesn’t need to make sense. Just write whatever nonsense comes into your head. This practise helps you to become aware of your thoughts, and can give important insights into how you think. Write when you are angry or upset – again, just write whatever comes into you head. I would be very surprised if you aren’t horrified and amazed at the thoughts and ideas you have about life. Don’t judge. Just ask for guidance and clarity so you can move out of beliefs that don’t serve you. Writing while emotional, is also a physical release. It can help you to move through the emotion quicker.
Marissa Peer is an incredibly gifted Hynotherapist, Counsellor, Coach and Healer. She has many free videos on Youtube including one on Unworthiness.
These are just a few ideas. Your intention is what is important. Once you set an intention to love yourself, life will bring you what you need. it will bring you the books or support. It will also bring the people who will challenge you and trigger you – that make you dig deep to recognise and let go of the beliefs that no longer serve. Your job is to be open to whatever arises… Don’t make judgements that experiences which come are bad because they are uncomfortable. Choose to be open for the lesson within. When you do this and don’t resist What Is, it will be easier and you will move through the discomfort quickly, finding the peace and love and joy that lies beneath.
Set the intention
Do the work
Reap the rewards.
Love, Joy and Peace to you.