Tag Archives : worthiness

We are more connected than we believe 1

I sent a telepathic message to Oprah through my Facebook Status to please do some better shows before her last season is over and…she answered!
Wednesday’s episode, “Do you Believe in Miracles,” may seem a little out there, but I was inspired. Millions are flocking to a tiny Brazilian village to be healed by a farmer with no medical training and little education. Is he performing miracles? She got firsthand accounts from skeptics and believers.

(I thought Oprah was also looking especially pretty in peach). 
Dr. Jeff Rediger is a psychiatrist who traveled to the Casa seven years ago as a skeptic.  He has since said the trip “turned his life upside down.” I thought his summary was considerably meaningful.
He said, “In short, we all matter far more than we typically have a clue about. And love is what is real.We tend to believe in what we can see and touch and believe that the world as it appears to be is the real world. On the basis of my experience, I’ve come to believe that reality is both revealed and concealed by the world we see with our eyes and that none of us are who we appear to be.”
Oprah added, “These are just little human suits that we’re using to disguise who we really are” which I thought connected very well with the Brené Brown journey of authenticity and worthiness I have been on lately.
Dr. Rediger went on to say, “…There is something unrepeatable and good about who we are.There is something mysterious about being human. I believe that our suffering comes in some way from not ‘getting it’ about the dignity and goodness of what our individual life means. And I believe that we also often may feel alone, but we’re not alone in any way like we believe we are. I think we are more connected than we believe. I feel like there’s a dignity and goodness to what we bring into the world and the point of our lives somehow is to begin to ‘get it’ about that.”

And that, my friends, is why I do THIS.

This blog, this writing, this sharing–all for the sake of connecting and spreading the goodness in the world.

Hearing people say my words are meaningful and inspiring and helpful is a miracle.

My miracle.

A line from the old Beck song, “Loser,” always stands out in my mind: “You can’t write if you can’t relate.”

In writing, I am trying to relate to anyone and everyone in an effort to feel connected to the universe. I think that feeling connected and loved is a large part of finding happiness which explains why people love social networking sites like Facebook. Since starting this quest of writing, sharing and connecting on a daily basis through this blog I have never been happier.

Finally, Dr. Rediger’s best summary of what he learned from his experience:

“Perhaps the real heart within us is not just a pump,” he says. “Perhaps the real heart within us is about love and faith. Perhaps the physical body is not who we really are. Perhaps we are these invisible souls walking around, and the body is just an instrument or metaphor for something we are trying to learn.”

Coming from a doctor, I find this quite refreshing.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a little pop culture. In last Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy episode, “Something’s Gotta Give,”  Meredith ended with one of her sometimes cheesy, sometimes wise voice overs. I thought this one was particularly insightful:

“Every pressurized system needs a relief valve. There has to be a way to reduce the stress; the tension before it becomes too much to bear. There has to be a way to find relief, because if the pressure doesn’t find a way out it’ll make one. It will explode. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves that’s the hardest to bear. The pressure to be better than we are. The pressure to be better than we think we can be. It never, ever lets up. It just builds and builds and builds.”

My relief valve is writing, sharing, connecting, loving, helping.

Without it the anxiety, the pressure, the quest for perfection, become too much.

(The pressure to be better than we are. The pressure to be better than we think we can be.)

What is your relief valve?

What are you doing to stop the pressure?

What is your miracle?

Happy until proven otherwise 1

This morning I started thinking that besides being late for work again, (AJH waits to have a huge poopy diaper until RIGHT before we have to leave in the morning) I was having a pretty good day.
And then it occured to me that I was assuming I’d be having a bad day. I was totally shocked when I thought to myself that things weren’t going all that bad yet.
It stunned me and reminded me of the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.”
Why can’t we be happy until proven otherwise?
Instead we tend to live in the opposite realm:
Unhappy until proven happy.
Unworthy until proven worthy.
Ugly until proven pretty.
Bad until proven good.
Who or what is it we’re waiting on to prove we deserve to be happy, worthy, pretty, or good?
As I quoted from Brene Brown in Be Worthy Now, why do I need a reason or prerequisite to be happy or worthy or pretty or good?
I’m gonna start the day feeling HAPPY and wait until proven otherwise.
I’m gonna start the day feeling WORTHY and wait until proven otherwise.
I’m gonna start the day feeling PRETTY and wait until proven otherwise. Sometimes that happens as quickly as someone saying I look really tired, but I’ll try not to let it get me down.
I’m gonna start the day feeling GOOD until proven otherwise. And I will try not to let the things that get me down affect my worthiness.
*Hope you don’t mind day 2 of self-affirmation pictures. I think it’s a postive thing for me, so I’m gonna keep doing it!
For me, this simple mental shift really helps with the anxiety I often feel. For those of you that don’t know, I’m kind of on a new journey here…
If I’m trying to be more “authentic” I may as well be honest and open. I’ve been struggling with moderate to severe generalized anxiety for as long as I can remember. Sometimes when I tell people that they say, “Well, what on earth do you have to be anxious about?” And I say, “Exactly. Nothing. And everything.” and that’s the way it works. Those of us that suffer from  any form of anxiety or depression know that something is wrong when we are pushed over the edge by finding matching socks or having a bad hair day. It’s not something we can just “wish away” and as much as we may try to “put on our big girl panties and deal with it,” it’s not always that easy. So I take it one day at a time, and writing about it really helps.
Anyway, the “new journey” is trying to deal with my anxiety unmedicated. I have been on and off anxiety medicine for a long time, and while I think it helped in the beginning I began to see a need for more and more, with no lessening of my symptoms. A little voice in my head started telling me that something about this process was wrong. I was feeling tired, worn out, and unlike myself and I had no idea if it was from the medicine or just my body telling me to STOP. Chill out. Figure this out.
(Quick disclaimer: I am not knocking the use of medicine.I know for a fact that it can help people get their lives back. I have seen this more than you may know on a first-hand basis, and it worked for me for a long time. I am trying a new journey now and I appreciate all the support I can get. Whether you are a friend, family member, or complete stranger, I promise to support you on your journey whether it be with using prescription meds or not).
My perspective kind of changed when I explained to our babysitter that I was feeling kind of off because I was taking a new anxiety medication. She said, “Oh, have you tried meditation?” The resemblance of the two words shocked me. I quickly said, “Oh no, I am totally not there yet. I can’t sit still that long,” but a light-bulb went off in my head and I thank her for that.
Medication vs. Meditation….hmmmm?
I talked with my doctors and they supported my efforts to try to deal with my anxiety without medicine. If I were to ever get pregnant again (which I hope to at some point) I will have to go off the medicine anyway, but that’s a completely different story.
I am still going to counseling every once in a while to learn new strategies on dealing with stress, etc. and have also tried accupuncture, yoga, and altering my diet. So far, so good. I’m still slowly easing off the medicine, and while it’s not completely out of my system, it has dropped drastically and my symptoms are actually lessening, too.
I still have days when I want to scream. One annoying question too many from an inquisitive student, or one none-of-my-clothes-fit day can send me over the edge if I’m not careful.
But so far, today has been a good day. I haven’t had any (major) anxious outburts. 
I am happy until proven otherwise.
Calm until proven anxious.

Be Worthy Now 6

A friend recently posted this article about women in the Netherlands and I found it quite interesting.
Finally something to validate my desire to stay home and hang out with my daughter reading and making crafts! (Whose to say that would be a bad thing?)

This line really spoke to me: “The problem for American women isn’t just the amount of time we spend working; it is the notion that we need to be perfect at everything we do.”
Then another friend posted this article about how the long for perfectionism keeps people from being happy.
I am inspired!
I encourage you to read both articles and take them to heart, but if you are too busy, here are some highlights from the second one:

-Perfection is impossible, yet many people still spend time and energy trying to attain it
-We are drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth, not people who are perfect
-Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, we can avoid the pain of blame and judgment
-All people need love and belonging
My friend wrote, “If it’s not the clothes, it’s the size of the clothes; if it’s not your career, it’s your mothering abilities. It’s always something. Even my eyebrows stress me out sometimes.”
I realized this morning I was doing the same thing to myself. I had kicked my own mental butt and and it wasn’t even lunchtime.
In this world of Facebook and Picasa picture albums and our whole lives on display for the whole world (or just our “friends”) we feel the need even more to present this perfect image. I don’t do it consciously, but of course I don’t tag myself in ugly pictures or post status updates when I feel like crap and want to run for the hills. I paint a pretty picture, as do we all.
But what would happen if we painted an “authentic picture” instead?
Would we scare people? Would we scare ourselves?
Well, some mornings (like today)I feel like this:
And it makes me shrink, turn away from people, hide in my classroom and give  a half-hearted smile, rather than a full-on happy face. Not because I’m mean, or because I don’t like people; because I’m afraid they will think I am not enough. I look ugly. I didn’t fix my hair. I look tired. I have wrinkles. And in my mind that = bad person.
Why? I don’t know, it sounds absolutely ludicrous as I type.
But have you ever felt the same way?
I want to feel good about myself everyday, starting now. Whether I fix my hair, have on a cute outfit, wear makeup or not. All of those external factors don’t affect my ability to smile, and be nice to others, and when I do that, I feel pretty good because I generally get a very positive response.
What would happen if we all just let go of how we are being perceived and all of our worthiness prerequisites?
In “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect,” Brene Brown says, “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think — or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?
Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.
We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”
If we can believe that, then I’m pretty sure everything else will fall into place.
I encourage you to make your own statements, whether in a blog, a picture, or in your journal.
What are you waiting for?
Be worthy NOW!
PS–don’t feel the need to leave me nice comments about how I really don’t look old and tired, and have wrinkles. You all are nice friends, but you that is not what I want. Thanks for reading!