Forgiveness and self-acceptance, to Sympathetic Joy…

Hello and welcome,

I’d love to share another cuppa together while we ponder sympathetic joy through the art of self-acceptance through forgiveness…

I’m contributing this piece to Debbie, of Forgiving Connects and her ForgivingFridays initiative, where she kindly invites us to ponder the steps we can take towards self-forgiveness, a huge leap towards self-acceptance and love.

 

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Accepting ourselves involves all the traits we deem unworthy of our acceptance.
We cannot begin to see ourselves as whole until we acknowledge those parts of us we are hoping no one notices….

Take jealousy for example…

I’ve been the worst at being jealous of everyone and everything they’ve achieved.
It’s only recently I’m beginning to get a grip on this.

I can see where these intense feelings were coming from now….
I wasn’t happy with myself. It was like life had become one huge race, where there was one set of rules on how to be successful, how to live a happy life…

I was living according to everyone else’s idea of what that should look like.

As a result, I’d allow myself to gravitate towards traits, experiences, material things that I associated with a successful life.

Perhaps I was running away from being myself?

This realisation began through the critical journey towards self-acceptance…

Learning to explore what those intense feelings were trying to teach me, began the journey to accept it as part of me.
And like a naughty child, once some attention is given to them, they don’t feel as desperate to create havoc…

Becoming more comfortable with myself enabled me to reach a point where I can now be happy for others’ successes. Any residual feelings means there are more lessons for me to learn.

As part of this acceptance, I discovered there is a term in Buddhism for this…the wonderful world of Sympathetic Joy.

Once I discovered I could cultivate this by focusing less on ‘eradicating’ jealousy, and focusing on learning how to be truly happy for others, it became a new way of thinking, like a mindful mental workout.

That doesn’t mean that little ‘green eyed monster’ won’t rear its little head any more.

But I’ve made peace with who I am, what I believe are my strengths and can laugh at the ‘rest’ of me now. Believe me, there are plenty of those occasions….

It helps negate the desire for the worst kind of comparison…the type that originates from those feelings of unworthiness, as opposed to being inspired to reach a level we wish to attain, coming from a place of love, or simply just being happy within ourselves for no particular reason.

The act of self-acceptance means when we have our buttons pushed by others, we have a greater capacity for seeing that person with compassion and understanding, knowing where they are coming from….after all, at any given moment we can also be in that place of discomfort and need to lash out in our own way.

In our wholeness, we can also at times be belligerent, jealous, thoughtless…

I forgive myself for feeling inadequate when I compare myself unfavourably against others, or display emotions that I have deemed ‘unworthy’.

A spiritual journey isn’t so much about ignoring  or attempting to ‘mend’ all those parts of us.
It’s about diving deep into our messiness, understanding ourselves, going ‘within’ in order to have greater capacity to emerge, with greater awareness of the impact we have on others.

In a way, it can become the essence of our purpose…

It begs us to ask the question, ‘How can I be more loving in this situation?’

We learn to respond rather than react.

When we return to the world in a state of non-judgement towards ourselves, we can offer this gift of peace, of being fully present and compassionate towards everyone we meet, including revelling in their joyful moments.
In other words, we see ‘us’ in everyone….

Everyone becomes our teacher, helping us forge deeper roots to anchor our growth…

It embraces the power of connection, and is my new interpretation of the expression ‘we are all connected’…

…when we can delight in the joy of others, because we too understand joy,
and also…

…when we can sit with them in their pain, because we have also known pain.

That’s when the beautiful magic between us and others begins…

The quote by Teal Swan is from the link I’m including here, titled ‘Self Love – The great Shortcut to Enlightenment.’
If you have a desire to listen in your own time, I hope you enjoy it too. There are some amazing pearls of wisdom in her teachings.

As always, I thank you for being here,
Much love from Di 💜

 

Releasing the little person within.

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”. Albert Einstein

Hello and welcome…let’s share another cuppa together this week 🦋

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Well, Autumn lends itself to much contemplation for me…

I had the opportunity of sitting in a beautiful country village nestled in the mountains, watching the golden or red leaves gently float towards the ground. As they released themselves from the tree, some would not make it all the way, but would become wedged on a branch… it was if it were not quite ready to complete its journey yet, but still hung on to the tree, as if for comfort, as if for fear of fully surrendering to its transformation.

I also wondered…
Does the tree decide it’s time to release something that doesn’t serve it any longer?
What is it about that particular instant when the leaf begins to retreat?

Or…
Do the leaves decide it’s their time to fall away from the tree…
Relinquishing to something that’s been its support and nourishment for so long?

After my last three huge posts, things were presented as if I had made great progress in accepting myself and moving forward, finally content in the knowledge that I am comfortable in my own skin…

That’s all very well to believe, until something seemingly benign pushed that big red button on my back…
It’s usually a passing comment said by someone who doesn’t know our sensitivity to that particular topic… how could they really, if we have tried to hide it or disown it…
And in the freedom of being myself, I am learning that I must also afford others the same benefit to say what they need to, remembering we are all at different stages of this journey of evolution.

Until that moment, I’d thought…’I’ve got this now! You go girl! You’ve learnt much and worked hard on yourself…’

It was a welcome gift in retrospect.

These are my beautiful new awakenings from moments like this….

🌹 You see, it enabled me to discover those things that still push my ‘big red button’, that were next in line to be healed.
🌹It taught me that there is still a little more work to be done in my acceptance of those things I was ashamed of… that there is some more love to be generated towards myself.
🌹I understood that everything and everyone is here to help me evolve, no matter how much discomfort is stirred within.
🌹That it’s ok to be stirred by something. Evolution isn’t a static thing but like a mountain where each step takes you to the top, building on each other to get you closer to where you’re headed.
🌹It taught me there are some well worn beliefs that also must become like the leaves from the tree…they have served their purpose, but for growth to occur, they need to be discarded.

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So what did I do to comfort myself when I was triggered?

✨Firstly, I sat with my feelings of sadness and disappointment. It was what it was, and denying it would only keep my truth even further from me.
✨I searched deeply to work out why it hurt so much.
✨I spent some more time alone in nature, where I feel she accepts me as I am.
✨I discovered I treated myself gently during times like this… I’d walk slower, drive slower ( oh dear! Those people behind me, I’m sorry!) It was like I was cradling myself towards healing.
✨I decided that progress had occurred, in that I wasn’t beating myself up for becoming upset over the triggers, congratulating myself on this shining breakthrough.
✨I decided I was proud of my traits and next time, I’ll be more able to make light of a situation and perhaps again laugh at them too.
✨A serendipitous conversation with a friend eventuated very recently. It provided the  opportunity to search for photo of myself when I was a little girl.

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The mere sight of this innocent little thing with her life ahead of her.. tears effortlessly rolled down my cheeks while I was looking at the image of myself… I imagined wrapping my arms around her saying ‘I love you, gorgeous girl. You are precious.’ I told her she was beautiful, had a kind heart, just wanted to be understood and I reassured her that I understood her and had done so all her life…’but those pesky outside opinions and hand-me-down beliefs somehow had you all confused and unsure of who you were or had to be’.

Last week, I remembered this little girl…
…and just nurtured her back to love, by love. ‘It’s safe now to show your hyper sensitivity, it’s safe now to say you’re a dreamer, it’s safe now to show that child-like sparkly excitement over things that you are passionate about…’

I found this a very powerful part of my journey to acceptance…and now, the more layers I peel back, the more I’m realising I haven’t changed that much at all. What was required of me was to find those things that mattered to that little girl and let them shine, let them be used as a force for good for others. And to be proud of who she has become.

“I am worthy of love and acceptance as I am.”

It’s said that the path to self-forgiveness and acceptance is releasing shame and guilt. I realised this piece is really about these, so it’s with my pleasure that I offer this as part of Debbie’s ForgivingFridays

May you also feel you can love that little person in you…
Tell yourself the words you wished you could have heard back then, especially if you are finding parts of yourself difficult to accept or if certain things repeatedly push your buttons.

I wish you well in your journey, and please remember, we are all in this together. As always, you are very welcome to contribute anything here that has perhaps been on your mind.

Thank you for reading,
much love from Di ❤️

Autumn leaves and forgiveness

Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.” Dr Desmond Tutu.

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Walking through the mountains with the freshness of a new Autumn kissing the air, I paused to reflect on the leaves scattered over the dewy early morning forest floor. What could they teach me about life, and why did they manifest within me such a connection with forgiveness?

You see, I’ve always compared myself to everybody, and I mean everybody, and always came up short in my opinion. There were always people who were more of everything…self-assured, confident…knew how to be themselves… if only I could be a little more like them.
I’d be telling an untruth if I said I never became jealous…but not of material possessions; it wasn’t about that, unless you’d call someone embarking on a world trip a material possession, then no. It was more about the traits of a person really.
I would speak badly to myself when I failed to live up to my, and others’, expectations, or found myself in the middle of those pesky little ‘brain freeze’ moments …the EFTPOS machine is constantly yelling at me to remove my card from the machine while I’m ‘off with the fairies’ for which I was oft accused.
‘But it’s always such a happy place there…’ I would reflect.

Did any of this chastisement make me happy with myself at all?
Or aid in rectifying my shortcomings?

Not for one minute.

All it did was consolidate more of what I didn’t want through spending energy on my lack. Frequently, our perceived ‘lack’ has been pointed out to us by others too, on a fairly consistent basis.
Being a bit of an anxious and sensitive person, I wrapped them up and carried them with me wherever I travelled…they became who I was.

Where were my gifts?
How could I find them?

More feelings of inadequacy grew to become the elephant in the room….I knew it was there but didn’t quite know how to approach it.

Once I eventually discovered two tiny seeds labelled ‘forgiveness’ and ‘acceptance’ with my name on them, I planted them, watered them and nurtured them to life until they were able to reveal their elusive mysteries. As I began to inhabit these new thoughts through daily reminders such as affirmations, intentions and words from wise sages, they began to disperse their seeds, creating more growth. In time, they left no space for the weeds in the garden of my mind to continue to cultivate those negative beliefs about myself.

I now understand that discussing world affairs isn’t going to be something I will comfortably engage in, that team sports and competitiveness in the arena are not interesting to me, that parties and large gatherings frequently have me running for cover unless I can hide in a quiet corner with someone else who feels the same way, where we share our personal stories.
Acceptance of ‘what is’ creates space for new growth and is a necessary contribution towards self-love.

When we choose to focus on our positive qualities, we watch them grow, awakening to how beautiful life can become when we no longer admonish ourselves.

The freedom it affords us is empowering.

After deciding to focus on my strengths and realising I could re-write my inadequacies as positives, I discarded those detrimental beliefs and gave them permission to ‘fall from the tree’, like the leaves of Autumn that have served their purpose, slowly drifting to the ground, returning their nutrients to the soil…making space for the new growth.

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What if our evolution meant simply loving those parts of us we were trying to conceal?
What if our evolution meant we could see possibility instead of lack?
What if we forgave ourselves for those feelings of inadequacy and just said thank you…

So now the time had arrived…

Thank you anxiety, you showed me how to control my fear,
Thank you inadequacy, you showed me I AM enough,
Thank you over-sensitivity, you showed me how to feel for others,
Thank you worry, you showed me greater peace,
Thank you emotions, you showed me to release my fear of vulnerability,
Thank you solitude, you showed me how to listen to my deepest spirit callings,
Thank you pain, you slowed me down long enough for my heart to catch up,
Thank you, ‘too quiet’, you showed me how to listen,
Thank you jealousy, you showed me what’s important to me,
Thank you ‘day-dreamer’, you showed me the possibilities,
Thank you fear, you showed me how to push through my doubts,
Thank you inferiority, you showed me we are all equal, and all worthy of LOVE,
Thank you self-criticism, you showed me the way ahead can only be LOVE for myself.

May we find forgiveness in our lack of unconditional love towards ourselves.

I’d be honoured to offer you a small affirmation if this post resonated with you…
‘I AM loveable as I AM…I AM enough.’

Sending love,
Di 🦋❤
**Prompted by forgivingFridays challenge, through the beautiful blog ForgivingConnects