Friday, October 22, 2010

Want To Love Yourself? Get off the Roller Coaster!

I knew I needed to work on self love at the ripe age of 17. I first started to figure out “my story” when I went to a fabulous women’s workshop called Woman Within. One of the first things I learned was that I didn’t take care of myself, this was in contrast to the fact that I easily cared for others, so much so that I internalized their emotional pain. I needed to escape that pain if I was to survive. I found my savior, through food. Each time I committed to take care of myself, to love myself, I learned how deeply wounded I was. That wound shouted “you are not good enough.” Each time I attempted to embrace self-love, it ended in my falling even deeper into that wound. Until now. Something has shifted inside of me. Something at my core has fundamentally changed. I deeply, unconditionally ACCEPT & LOVE MYSELF.


So you might be asking how?

I did not find my way to love and acceptance by figuring out every detail of “my story.” Investigating the story is worthwhile but it only takes us so far. And really it’s just a story that is 0-99% true. You’ll never know for sure WHY, you are the way you ARE, will you? Sometimes we get stuck in our stories and the understanding of them. I read somewhere one time that people who are seeking self growth get in the boat (wanting to discover their story), they cross the river (figure out their story) and then get to the other side and never GET OUT OF THE BOAT!

I did not find my way to love and acceptance by self affirmation. I could have untill I was blue in the face recite the words, “I Love Me” I could have covered my walls with post it notes with sweet affirmations. I could have and I tried. But when I tried to simply change the conversation, that powerful wound and its words always won in the end.

I did not find my way to love and acceptance because of a book, a method or specific process. Sure these things are of huge benefit to us. They are tools. At the right time, the right tool can assist us in changing our lives forever. But the right tools only come when we are ready.

I did not find my way to self love and acceptance by being grateful. We have all tried it. “ I am grateful because even though I’m overweight, at least I’m healthy” or “I am grateful because at least I’m 50lbs lighter than I used to be” or “I am grateful, look at all the people with much worse problems than mine” Having gratitude in and of itself of course is a good thing, but we try to use it as a way to reason away our inability to accept and love ourselves…and my friends it will never work!

So what then??? How did I find my way? What was responsible for the shift? Unequivocally in comes down to one concept, PRESENCE. Most people equate presence to meditation. Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to practice what Presence feels like, but really it’s got nothing to do with its practical application in our lives. Presence is the difference between riding the roller coaster or watching it from afar. The roller coaster is our emotions, our thoughts, our beliefs, our ego. We are not the roller coaster. When we get off it and truly see how we are separate from it….that is the place from which SELF-LOVE and ACCEPTANCE is possible.

Its not easy to get off the roller coaster at first, for most of us. We get off it to only find ourselves back on again. We have been riding it our whole lives….of course it takes effort! The first step is getting off the roller coaster the first time. STOP. Be in the moment you are in right now.

Try this:  Stop thinking.... clear your mind…and wait…until that first thought flies in. You hear that thought?….who was the YOU that heard it? THAT IS YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF. That thought is not you. YOU are what hears the thought. Presence is living from that authentic self and the authentic self in all of us already loves and accepts.

I found my way to self-love and acceptance when I committed myself to getting off the roller coaster. I didn’t get off it for very long the first time. I found myself on it again and again. But each time the ride has gotten shorter and the time between the rides longer. These days roller coaster rides are few and far between. The rides I do go on are invaluable because they only help me to become more present.

It’s difficult to explain the concept of presence…and I am sure not everyone reading is following me. Maybe presence seems a little too new agey or spiritual for you. However I cannot talk about my process without it. It truly is the essential ingredient to my evolution. I truly believe it is the sole concept that frees us from suffering no what the source of this suffering is.

There are many tools to teach you presence. Be open and one might just find you.

Quote:

"So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it."
-Eckhart Tolle
Links:


This week was Fat Talk Free Week, I love this promotional video from 2008!

P.S.

What an awesome day Saturday was, the whole family was out for a day of fun for a good cause at CrossfitKOP. It was the grand reopening celebration and Barbells for Boobs Fundraiser. Competed in the workout as prescribed, Grace- 30 clean & jerks for time with a 95lb barbell. My time 3:58…not too shabby. Also got to do a team workout with the hubby and Mike & Joe (two awesome guys from CFKOP!)

2 comments:

Christina said...

Just found your blog. So timely for me. I'm in the midst of knowing I'm on the roller coaster and wanting to get off but not really stepping off. But I've had moments. So thanks! Awesome, well-said, and I appreciate that you share your experience.

Stephanie Vincent said...

I am glad to share my experience....knowing really is half the battle :-))))