Our Self

The other day I was talking to a friend who was going through a really difficult time. She was in the midst of losing her home, job, relationship, and was financially bankrupt. She was getting ready to move and start a whole new life alone. She was afraid that without all the things that had defined her for so long, that she would lose her very identity.

I told her that no matter what we may lose in the material world, whether it was people or things, there was one thing we could never lose and that was our Self. There is a part of us that is always more than the sum of our parts. The part of us that is greater than careers, homes, relationships, money or possessions.

Years ago I went to a Transpersonal Psychologist. She explained that within each of us we have a Self and lots of little selves. The little selves are the things that we use to define ourselves but the greater Self is that which is who we really are. Some call this our inner Buddha, our inner Christ, or our inner Wisdom. To me it is the part of my self that, no matter what happens in life, gives me Courage, Integrity, Wisdom, Joy, and Love to move forward in spite of circumstances. This Self cannot be taken from me unless I allow it.

No matter we are going through, no matter what we may lose, when we face our difficulties rather than avoid them, we are acting from that inner Self. I told my friend that she was my hero because in spite of what has happen to her, she continues to move forward, to take the next step no matter how scared she is.

We live our lives defining ourselves by our stuff, our jobs, or our relationships. In doing so we shortchange ourselves. We allow the material things in the world to keep us from allowing our inner Self from soaring. So whatever life may be bringing us, remember we are more than the facts of our lives, we are more than our things, we are more than we think we are – we are Spirit – and our Spirit can never be taken away.

It can, however, be lost when we forget that we are never alone. Our Spirit is always within us, residing as our Self, and giving us everything we need at anytime in our life. It is for this Truth that we can be truly grateful.

Quote of the week

“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be, and ever was.”
Anthon St. Maarten

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Don’t Take it Personally

Last week I wrote about the book, The Four Agreements, and the first agreement which was “Be Impeccable to Your Word”. The second agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”. Don Miguel Ruiz says that no matter what anyone says to you, “don’t take it personally”.

That means no matter how much someone yells at you, criticizes you, blames you, or is just plain rude to you, you are not to take it personally. The key to being able to do that is to understand that it is not about you, but about them.

For instance, imagine interacting with the same person in two different situations.
In the first, the person had a great day, had a good night’s sleep, and everything that could go well for them did. How do you think that person is going to treat you?

Now imagine the same person but they had a terrible night’s sleep, got fired from their job, got stuck in traffic or in an accident, and in general had a terrible day. Do you think they’re still going to treat you well?

In both cases, we did not change yet we tend to judge ourselves based on what other people think of us. Let’s all work on feeling better about ourselves. Remember we are children of a loving God and perfect just as we are. It is up to us, whether or not, we allow another person to make us feel less than God created us to be.

Quote of the Week

“There is one recurring, persistent, perennial, and dogging personal problem which, more than any other, steals the force and peace of people … It is the habit of feeling hurt because of what others do or do not do and what they say or do not say.”
Ervin Seale

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The Power of Words

I am currently teaching a class on the The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a very powerful book and I highly recommend it if you have not read it.

In the book, Ruiz says that our self-limiting beliefs rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Those beliefs come from agreements we made throughout our life – often without realizing it. To replace these error beliefs (agreements), the book offers four alternative agreements to transform our lives.

The first and most important one is be impeccable to your word. Words have power and when we use negative words against anyone or anything, including ourselves, we are causing both pain and negativity to ourselves and others.

When I was young someone called me stupid. Not realizing it, I agreed with that statement and then began to fulfill what I believed to be true. It was not until many years later, that someone told me I was not stupid and I began to believe that. The more I believed that positive statement to be true, the more it was.

The next time you say something about someone or yourself, remember that words have power. That power can be one of damaging negativity or life affirming Truth statements. We were created by Love and Love does not create garbage. Stop thinking you are not enough and start using affirming words and you will find the peace and happiness you have been seeking.

Quote of the Week
“Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use your power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” 
Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements.

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God’s Got Your Back

An expression I heard years ago that has given me much courage and fortitude whenever faced with challenges, is “God’s Got Your Back”. I know that expression is the Truth because time and time again, when I thought I could not do something or endure something, I found a strength to continue that was not my own.

I believe that life may bring us challenges but we are never given more than we can handle. However, often I am given more than I think I can handle. It’s as if God was our personal coach and cheerleader who had more faith in what we can do than we do ourselves.

How often did something come up in your life that you thought you could not survive? Maybe it was an illness or injury, a loss of a loved one, a financial crisis that seemed to have no ending, or the feeling that you could not endure one day more in the emotional, mental, or physical pain that you are/were in?

That is when we need to remember that God’s got our back. That God does not give us more than we can handle – but often more than we think we can handle.
When we remember that we are not on this journey called life alone, we will always find the strength, courage, ability, wisdom and faith to do what is ours to do next – even if it is just one small step forward.

God does have your back!

Quote of the Week

“Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

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The Importance of Hope

Hope – it is what keeps us going when for all reason we should not. Without it life would be difficult to say the least. We all have hope – it can be for something big like peace on earth or for something small, like getting a promotion. When we lose hope we become despondent and fearful.

Hope is what allows us to hold on when every part of us tells us to give up. Hope gets us though the days we feel alone, when our finances are less than we would like them to be, or when our dreams seem to be just a little bit out of our reach.

In the movie “The Amazing Spiderman 2” there is a wonderful scene in which one of the characters is giving a speech at graduation and talks about hope. She says that when “hope is alive in us, we will be greater than what we may be suffering.” We may forget this in the midst of everyday challenges, but hope does help us to be greater than whatever we are going through.

One of the dictionary’s meanings for hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. “ When we believe in what is possible we can become better people because we follow what we believe in spite of the obstacles. When we do this we become a light to help others do the same.

Quote of the Week
“My wish for you is to become hope, people need that, and even if we fail, what better way is there to live.”
Gwen Stacy, character in the Amazing Spiderman 2.

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