Beating Yourself Up Isn’t Going to Make Things Better

Image

I’ve been dreaming a lot about babies, and in these dreams I’m taking care of them.  I’m holding them closely and watching over them.  A great deal of love overflows from me onto these several babies that have made their sweet little appearances in my dreams.  I know that these children that I’ve been caring for represent my inner child.  The other day I was on a hike with a friend who told me when she takes care of her inner child, it keeps her from self-destructing.  I agree with her.  It’s that self-love that I refer to often.  We must treat ourselves with kindness, compassion and offer ourselves forgiveness when we make mistakes.  Instead of beat ourselves up for things that we aren’t good at, or for mistakes that we keep making, it is a good practice to recognize the mistake, or the lack of maturity and then to ask for guidance thereafter.  We must realize that life is all about learning experiences and growing, rather than seeing it as a series of “rights and wrongs” followed by rewards and punishments.

 I still think catch myself thinking that when I make mistakes that I’m entitling myself to some kind of punishment.  My mind sees karma as a cosmic lashing and sometimes I catch myself expecting the worst to happen to me because I managed to fail myself in certain aspects of my life.  My old way of thinking is that there is no mercy and that I’m due for a good universal whipping.  Although everything I need and all I could possibly want is being provided, I feel like the boogey man is right around the corner waiting to jump out and attack me, but this is not truly how things work, unless I want them to be this way.  If I continue thinking like this, I should expect something negative to occur.  The way we think delivers results.  If I keep beating myself up and expecting to be punished, of course I will draw that experience toward me.  Our thoughts have a magnetic pull, so we should understand that whatever we put out there will be drawn into our experience. 

I’ve made some mistakes over the past year and I’m quite aware of them.  My relationship gone bad is a direct result of not being financially responsible.  I can place blame here and there, and dissect this to where I’m less of the problem and he is more of the problem, but in recovery we learn to sweep up our side of the street.  In doing this, I realize that I took on way too much financial responsibility when I was barely on my own two feet.  How I managed to make ends meet each month is a mystery to me, but there was a lot of tension between my boyfriend and me, and most of it was due to lack having enough money.  Both of us were tight each month and a lot of fear came up for both of us.  I got to a point where I stopped fearing and just began accepting that I made a mistake.  When I got to this point of surrender, I stopped trying to beat the system and decided to make some cutbacks in my life.  I asked for guidance and also for some universal mercy.  What occurred is that the world opened up for me and I found a place to live within a week and a half of putting in “out there.”  When I ended the relationship, the fears really started grabbing at me.  They told me that I would end up homeless, or that I would never find a place to live within my budget.  I have hardly any furniture of my own, so another fear was that if I did find a place to live, I would be sleeping and sitting on the floor.  I have no dishes other than pots and pans.  Because I was financially stretched to the max each month, there was no way that I could go out and purchase these things.  So my fear told me to remain in a miserable relationship because without it, I would be pretty much living in a tent (or something).  On top of all of this, I was driving a car that I didn’t trust.  It got me to and from, but for how much longer – I didn’t know.  The bottom line was that I was basically living on the edge, and my fear told me that I had to stay in the relationship because I wasn’t secure without it, but I felt my inner child in such discord with the relationship, that I decided to take care of her first, so that’s where I surrendered, and offered myself a lot of compassion.  I know deep down that I was doing my best.  Sometimes my best falls short, but it is still my best, and I have to pat myself on the back for my ambition.

That fear is a piece of work – let me tell you.  Like I said, once I surrendered to that which I had no control, and put it out to receive something that I could manage, I was offered a wonderful place to live in a price range that I could afford.  When I walked into the apartment, there was a bed, a couch, a dining room table, cups, plates and a microwave.  All I had to buy were some utensils.  There was no deposit (WHAT?  HOW COULD THAT BE?).  This kind of arrangement is unheard of, but I didn’t worry about any of these things.  My first concern was taking care of that inner child.  What followed was that my entire being was taken care of.  In the middle of securing the new place to live, my parents got a new vehicle and put their very well-cared for car up for sale at a very low price.  I saw this as an opportunity to get out of my old car before it took a dump on me.  We made a deal and now I’m in a vehicle that I can trust.  When I woke up yesterday with my two children near me, I went outside and noticed that I get to see the sunrise every morning if I so choose.  I can walk outside onto my new deck and get that glorious morning view.  I wouldn’t call any of this “punishment.”

Waking up this morning, I felt the pressures of what I’ve left behind in the wake of my moving forward.  There is an angry ex-boyfriend and some financial debt that I’ve got to face.  I can’t ignore that it’s there, and I’ve still got some moving to do.  I’ve got to sell my old car.  There are a lot of things I’ve got to manage in a short amount of time.  This is where I’m beating myself up a bit.  That anger from the ex weighs on me.  It makes me feel like I am walking around with rose-colored glasses while he’s hovering over me stating all these facts.  The truth is, I know that life is not about all these little dramas we create.  They aren’t about man’s idea of right and wrong or facts and fiction.  No matter what is occurring, it is never that black and white.  Beyond that which we can see is a whole universe that lies beneath.  If I’m following my path and when I’m aware of my emotions along that path, then I’m living more in reality than the person who is outside of me pointing out black and white.  The material world is a farce.  It’s a shell.  It’s easily manipulated.  When you follow that inner universe, the material world caves in and falls into place in such a way that is difficult to comprehend.  I’m not worried about the things my ex worries about.  I know what lies before me and what I must do.  I realize the mistakes I’ve made and I know exactly what I can handle and what I can’t handle.  I trust that as I keep moving forward and as I do the next right thing, all of that stuff that seems overwhelming will reveal itself to be minor in detail.  I know this because I’ve witnessed it over and over and over.

So I’m not thinking about or entertaining the idea of a boogey man around the corner any longer.  I’m just hanging out with the sunrise and grateful for the plates, the bed and the microwave.  The only thing I can offer my ex is a prayer that he will have everything in life that he desires, and that the world will open up for him as it did for me.  I have no hard feelings, or anger.  I absolutely did my best and that’s a great deal more than I’ve given in my addicted past.  I absolutely did my best.  This is the bottom line.  My best is not perfect.  My maturity is still on the awkward side of clumsy.  My life is still a series of learning experiences.  I’ve learned to give myself compassion and to offer myself love.  I forgive myself for the choices I made that were not the best choices.  I move forward.  I take care of business and I trust that my life will continue falling into place.  It’s not that difficult to trust when I’ve gotten so much proof of it.

That inner child is the most important thing to me now.  I understand that I am loved beyond measure, and provided for beyond my own capabilities or comprehension.  I know that I’m not perfect, but I am open to receiving guidance with much universal love and support.  Just like those little babies I’ve been taking care of in my dreams, I’m also being cared for.  We have to trust in this, and we must understand that mistakes are going to happen as life goes on, but we do not have to wallow in the mud with them.  We are allowed to fall short and to fail every now and then, but we must get back up and keep moving forward.  Life will fall into place for us.  Don’t allow your negative thoughts to hold you back from receiving all that is being offered to you. When you trust that your experience is simply one of learning and growing, you will be able to laugh at your shortcomings.  When you honor your inner child (or your divinity), you will discover that the physical world will honor you in return. And don’t forget that beautiful prayer, “God grant me the serenity…”

If One Door Slams Me in the Butt, A Whole Wide World Awaits My Awareness

Image

Rejection letters used to frazzle me.  Probably because I was full of hope, which is a terrible, terrible state to be in (trust me).  Hope is a farce – a real sham of a way to be.  When I hear the word “hope,” a chill runs through my spine like it did when my mom told me she found a black widow spider in her kitchen.  Hope does not belong in our thoughts no more than a black widow spider belongs in a kitchen.  I do not engage with hope anymore than I suit myself up in fear.  It’s the same thing.  HOPE = FEAR.  Think about it real hard. 

If I am living in a state of hope, I am not in acceptance of ‘what is,’ nor am I living in the solution of whatever problem I am hoping doesn’t linger.  It’s one thing to hope dark chocolate is hidden inside an incoming grocery bag; its another thing to hope someone gets better when they are very ill.  I must trust that whatever is occurring is for the well-being of everyone involved, and know I you can handle whatever comes your way.  A higher purpose is always at work even when circumstances seem futile. When people receive a message of “hope’ it is because they are currently residing in a state of fear. This hope brings them light, of course, but they have not yet walked through the fear. We all do this. I’m not immune. I’m just clarifying how hope is a fear based emotion, and I try to be aware of it when it comes up for me.

Standing in the light of acceptance (k-sera-sera) is a place where you will not be crushed when a literary agent sends you an informal letter informing you that your hard work wasn’t worth their time.  I wasn’t crushed this time around because there is a whole wide world of opportunities simply awaiting my awareness.  When I got the letter on Saturday, nothing even moved inside of me.  I was perfectly ok about it and really enjoyed the remainder of my day.  “Ok, no problem Universe.  Let’s keep moving, shall we?”  I planted some tomatoes and basil and enjoyed the sunlight.  It was a perfectly lovely day.  No skin off my back (progress).

The same book that I sent to the literary agent was sent to my friend in prison who has been struggling with his time in there.  I self-published the book in paperback, so it was easy to mail it off from Amazon.  We’ve been down similar paths and he’s been part of my life since we were children.  Parts of his life are in my book and it was important to me that he got a chance to read it, but I knew that he too, could easily reject it.  We’ve had our differences.  And if he rejected it, perhaps someone else in prison would pick it up and get something out of it, but if not… oh well.  It’s a book about addiction and recovery – my life story with answers to very large questions that so many of us ask when we are lost. 

I received a thick letter yesterday from my friend in prison.  He read the book with his cellmate, and now the other guys in there are passing it around and ingesting it like a pack of cigarettes!  I was so touched by his letter which praised me for my hard work.  He was moved emotionally and the book has given him a bit of popularity with the men.  I had no idea the book would have this effect.  I merely sent it to give him something to read and trusted that it would sooth him momentarily.  It had more of an effect than I ever expected.  His letter went on and on.  I would take his letter any day over a letter from an interested publisher.  He and his cellmates are real live people who relate to me, and who felt the book in a way that an agency could not.  His letter moved me, reminding me that nothing is a dead end.  I wrote the book knowing that it needed to be written.  It was a yearning inside of me that beckoned me to write it.  Who am I to limit the book in its movement? The book will travel where it is needed.  If prisoners are reading it and getting something out of it, then job well done.  These are the kind of people I want to reach anyway.  They are the lost and they have time on their hands.  The words I wrote are actually being absorbed, rather than tossed aside in a pile.  I am blessed beyond words.

Whatever I am aiming for may not be what the universe has in store for my life, and I have to accept this.  This is why I blog a lot about knowing exactly what feeling you are trying to reach, instead of chasing specific things, or expecting certain outcomes.  When I write, I simply want to relate to other people.  I desire a connection with the world through the likes of my writing.  I don’t discriminate on who those people are.  I may not be reaching publishers, but I am reaching prisoners.  I think this is incredibly beautiful.  It’s real life poetry if you ask me.  Other things that tend to worry me will fall into place because they always do.  I simply have to follow my gut and trust that I’ll be taken care of.  It’s none of my business how the universe takes care of me.  When I am on my path, I’m always provided for.

If FIVE doors slam in my face this week, a whole world still embraces me.  This is my understanding and its yours for the taking.  Thank you to my readers in Greece, Bulgaria, Mexico and South Africa.  Thank you to my American readers, and my prisoner readers.  Here is a link to my Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Forbes/e/B00HS980ZI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1400074569&sr=8-1