Tip of the Week
As you’ve noticed by now, I often include a silver lining story in my blog. When appropriate, I’m going to begin with a tip for the week from my e-book, 33 Tips for Self-empowerment. I’ve decided to do this because when you are self-empowered, you are connected to your limitless higher self, your soul. As you learn to hear the still small voice within over the loud voices of others, you will begin to feel at peace. It is through this connection with the limitless part of yourself that miracles occur, like unexpected healing and wealth. In our first show this year Psychic Dawon Washington pointed out that this connection to our limitless higher self is essential to make the best use of the energy available in 2016. This is new energy entering the world that will allow us to change our destiny and create the life we desire. So please use these tips. My Tip for this week is: Reconnect With The Divine. Fear moves in when we feel separate from the Divine. Think of someone you love and reconnect with the Divine through Love. The fact is that like fear, separation is an illusion. Since the Divine is pure Love, we can help ourselves feel Divine love by feeling the love of another human or an animal. This is what we mean when we say, “love is all there is.” When we are able to truly know and feel that, we live without fear and in continuous connection with the Divine.
Silver Lining Story
My silver lining story for this week is actually about my last 2 shows, which were both on emotional abuse. Every time I do a show on abuse, old buried memories, new insights or feelings of sadness or anger surface. With Dr. Marti Loring, I remembered that feeling of never being safe and of walking on egg shells never sure what was going to trigger an angry explosion because there was, in fact, no rhyme or reason to his actions. That was the whole point. The outbursts were random to keep me off balance. With Nancy Addison, I remembered who I was when she and I met before we had left our marriages and we were still trying to make a plan to leave. I remembered how fearful, lost and disconnected from my own power and strengths I was. It was painful to look at all of that again, some of which I hadn’t thought about in 10 years or more. The silver lining is that by allowing those feelings to surface, I could examine them, feel them, learn from them and release them. Through this process I become even stronger and more comfortable in my own power. It’s easier to keep those feelings buried and not remember. The problem with that is that they are still there doing damage under the surface. When I allow myself to feel what I was unable to feel years ago and release it, I free myself to be more of who I am and to bring in more joy and physical and emotional health into my life. I’ve noticed that when the process is complete, I have more brain power and physical energy. Keeping unpleasant thoughts and memories suppressed takes a lot of energy—physical and mental. When that energy is no longer needed to hold back those feelings and memories, it becomes available for me to use in positive ways of my choosing.
Living with abuse is like experiencing a death, the death of the true self. Even though the body is still alive, the spirit is not. Anyone who has lived with abuse and left has lived through a near-death experience. So here are some things I’ve learned about living.
Let Go of Guilt
In last week’s show, Nancy talked about grappling with the guilt she feels for not leaving her abusive marriage earlier. I’ve learned that I cannot undo the past. I used to ask myself: “Could I have left my marriage earlier?” The answer to that question is “Yes, I could have.” That produces guilt and even anger toward my counselor, who advised me against divorce assuring me that I had a good husband and we shared the same values. The problem with that question is that it was the wrong one. The better question is, “What would have happened if I had left earlier?” What I know now is that if I had left earlier, I would have entered into a similar relationship thinking that it was different but eventually I would have discovered that I had attracted the same kind of man because I hadn’t done the healing I needed to do in order to be free of abuse. You can’t push the river. I needed to stay and develop the inner strength that eventually allowed me to leave and create a healthy life for myself. I know people who have been married 4 and 5 times because they didn’t take the time to change themselves between the marriages. If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you always got. So, no, I couldn’t grow any faster than I was capable of growing. We are always where we should be. The earlier we discover this truth, the easier life becomes and the easier it is to release guilt.
The guilt is really a form of self-abuse. When we realize that we are all One and that the Divine is pure love, there is no room for guilt or self-criticism. The logic of the Oneness with the Divine is that if we criticize ourselves, we are criticizing the Divine that is within us and thus we are criticizing the Divine. One way to stop this pattern is to pay attention to our thoughts and substitute the self-criticism with the awareness of what we learned in the way of wisdom and knowledge and how we grew. The more of us who commit to doing this, the more love there will be in the world, thereby diminishing the violence and fear in the world.
Let Go of Judgment
It is important that we do this as we observe our path in life, which is only clear in retrospect. We think we are achieving a designated goal when in fact we are really gaining experience for our true path. All of our experiences are actually preparing us for what we wind up doing. That’s why we now write resumes based on the skills we have learned and the accomplishments we’ve achieved in each job rather than just listing a series of job titles. Certainly, I never would have thought that my life experience as an abused child and woman would influence my career path. Yet, here I am. Living life with a sense of curiosity, adventure and wonder rather than judgment and absolutes makes it possible for our lives to unfold like a novel. We have to be willing to shed our skin, like a snake does, when it no longer fits who we are. Recently, I was reading that hermit crabs grow by discarding their shell as it becomes too confining for them. They know when to shed the shell because they feel uncomfortable. That discomfort, that stress can be our impetus for growth. We can get stuck in bitterness, guilt and blame or we can welcome the opportunity to shed our limiting ways, learn and grow.
Make New Choices
In education, we have two curriculums. One is the curriculum that the teachers are given at the beginning of the school year. It includes the skills, content and competencies that the children need to learn for their written tests. Then there’s the most important curriculum and that’s the unwritten curriculum. The one that you don’t realize you’re teaching but actually influences the character of your students. It includes the way you treat people, the values, the morals, the attitudes that you share with your students, your prejudices, your likes and dislikes, your frustrations, how you approach a problem, etc. In other words, the most important lessons in life are the unwritten curriculum. In every relationship, job and experience, there is an unwritten curriculum. Pay attention to what you are learning, whether the learning is enjoyable and who you are learning from. Then consciously choose to continue with that unwritten curriculum or to choose another one. We do have the ability to turn in any direction and at any moment. Make sure you are using that ability wisely.
There’s a Jewish teaching story that I love. It goes like this: when Zuysa finds himself at the entrance to heaven, he’s asked only one question. “Were you Zuysa?” His accomplishments don’t matter. God only wants to know if he was true to his authentic self. The other wisdom that I love comes from the founder of the Hasidic movement, the Baal Shem Tov who said: “Who lives in joy, does the Creator’s will.”
So I ask you, what if all that was expected of you was to be You and to do so in joy? How would your answer effect the way you live your life and the choices you make?