Monday, July 11, 2016

My Own Two Feet

My Own Two Feet

I’ve been at this personal evolution stuff for a very long time. Good thing, too, because I had a lot to work through. Far and away, the most challenging piece I’ve had to look at has been that victim thing.

Why am I aware?

I started my training at a very young age. I bought the message that the big ones had power not only over my physical being but over my emotional and mental bodies as well. I bought that I was less-than. I believed you when you told me I was stupid and ugly, and that you were better. I believed you when you told me that I would never amount to much, that there was nothing I could try at which I wouldn’t fail. I believed you when you told me that I deserved to be abused. Yes, I did.

How am I competent?

That my adults were abusive is on them. That I bought into the system is now on me. As a tiny child, I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. We learn from our adults; parents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, coaches, others in the community, even siblings who get it faster than we do.

What makes me confident?

Part of becoming an adult is working through our childhood mislearnings. In my case, the big one was my victim-hood. I have needed a lot of help to do that. Thing is, with one of those fundamental mislearnings, we often think that’s just the way things are, that’s just the way I am. We think that our mislearning is like air or water, fundamental to life. If I am not feeling pretty good most of the time, I am living with a fundamental mislearning. One way to tell I am in victim mode is when I feel fat and ugly and stupid.

How do I know I am strong?

For me, the first step was deciding that I could have a better life. I needed to accept that misery was a choice I could unchoose. I needed to decide that I was worth looking into my past fearlessly, knowing that everything that had happened to me had already happened to me. I had to trust that I deserved a decent life. Then I needed to find good teachers. I find it fascinating that the first teacher I went to for this was an abuser. I have had several of those since then, but I have also had brilliant, loving, teachers who really helped me.

Why am I grateful? How do I feel when I am grateful?

One of the best bits of advice I ever got was this: Abusers don’t single you out at first. They are abusive to everyone. They see who says, “Leave me alone!” and they do. They see who says, “Thank you, may I have another?” and they give another. If I have grown up with a victim mentality and don’t have anyone around to abuse me, I will often take care of it myself. A clue is when I am feeling fat and ugly and stupid and there is no one around but me. Self-talk is a great way to abuse ourselves. We can do it with worry or fear, with guilt or shame, with anger or even grief.

Why am I powerful?

As I reclaim my power, I reclaim my life. I start to use my superpower of choice to make decisions that improve my circumstances. I start to weed out the abusers, the mean ones, the indifferent ones, and I find myself more and more in the company of those who want my life to be happy and rich and fulfilling and support me in getting there.

How have I changed from buying into victim to standing on my own two feet?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2016 all rights reserved 07102016

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Boing Boing Doing!

Boing Boing Doing!

Why don’t doing and boing rhyme? Somedays it seems like rhyming it with boing is exactly how it goes. Doing doing doing!

We occupy ourselves in a thousand ways for a million reasons. Most of it is habit.

Getting up, we follow our morning routine. That’s good, it lets us get things done efficiently.  Many of us then go to work, and have pretty much the same experience with that every day.  Then we have the same expectations we have for work that we have everyday. Do you look forward to it? Or do you dread it?

How much of what you do during a day is stuff that you like to do? Just a percentage, you know.

We like to be occupied. We like to do stuff. In the olden days, we spent that energy collecting food and fuel. And in our tiny bits of leisure, we came up with better and better ways to do it.

And we all benefitted by enjoying more and more leisure.

So how do you fill your leisure time? Do you fill it with chores and errands and tasks and jobs, effortful, unrewarding, depleting, or do you make time for fun, and self-care, loved ones, and joyful occupations?

Have you discovered that your attitude could be the only difference between a job that sucks the life out from you and one that is fulfilling?

Have you discovered that some of the things on your to-do list don’t actually need to be done?

I used to punish myself with my to-do list, using it to prove to myself how bad I was. I believed that I had no inherent value; what value I did have came from what work I did. And so I worked three or four jobs at a time, jobs that were not my cup of tea. Doing jobs I didn’t like overly much helped to fuel the martyr feeling that I liked. Well, I didn’t really like it, but it was comfortable and ickily satisfying.

Why am I peaceful? What makes me calm? How do I relax?

The brain scientists say that only 12% of our thoughts are conscious, but of that 12%, up to 90% is habitual. Yikes.

When I decided to learn how to be happy, I had to give up a lot of stuff. I had to give up being a martyr, a victim, and hopeless. I had to give up feeling powerless to change. I had to stop hating myself. I had to give up slogging mindlessly through my days and I had to step up to the plate.

By paying attention to my thoughts and actions, I was able to start changing stuff. Seeing the changes I wrought made me feel good and helped me make more changes. As I felt better, I had room to choose to calm myself. I had time to breathe deeply and slowly. I had time to savor my moments. I discovered that at my core, I am always peaceful.

By noticing my habits of thought, of speech, of behavior, I can start to change the ones that don’t do well by me. By returning to my peaceful core, I can be kind and compassionate with myself.

How have I changed from believing this is just the way it is to trusting my power and my peace?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2016 all rights reserved 06262016