Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The challenge this week is to practice introspection and to write a blog. Introspect is to consider my own internal state or feelings. Being a rather spoiled human, I consider my own feelings all day long either in a good way or a bad way. My mood depends upon the way I am feeling about myself. When I feel insecure, everything anyone says or does is a direct arrow aimed at my heart trying to destroy me. When I am in a positive mood or feel good about myself, any negative actions of others are taken with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. The actions or words can be exactly the same. The meaning behind it can be the exact same meaning, but my reactions are total opposites.
How can someone else's actions affect me? Do other people have some type of power over me or do I control my feelings and emotions? Does my self-worth depend on what other people say about me or how other people feel about me? If so I am in deep trouble because the world is not a fair place. There are bullies everywhere. There are people who take advantage of others everywhere. There are people who will say mean things, say ugly things, judge me and treat me like I am worthless but does that make me worthless? Does the opinions of others change who I am? Only if I let it.
One of my favorite sayings is "Your opinion of me is none of my business." The first time I said that, it gave me a feeling of power. The look on the other person's face was actually priceless. It immediately put things into perspective and helped me to realize that I am in control of my feelings, my emotions, my actions. No one else can control me. No one else can influence me unless I allow them to. Sometimes it is very hard for me to remember that, and more often than not I get my feelings hurt and take things way too personally but I am a work in progress and I am working toward the day when the ONLY opinion that matters and the ONLY opinion that is my business is the opinion that God has about me. That is the opinion that will last for eternity. No other opinion matters.
Twenty five years ago I went to a few seminars taught by a lady named Jane Boucher. She has written several books and has self-help tapes available on the internet and she has a wonderful outlook on how to get through life. The classes she taught always talked about our individual personalities, that we control our own feelings and emotions, that we have power over ourselves and no one else, that the way our lives are right now may be a direct result of the things that have happened in our past BUT it is our fault if we stay that way. At the end of her seminars she always finishes with the following poem by Virginia Satir:
I am me
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it. I own everything about me--my body, my feelings, my dreams, my hopes, my fears--I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes--because I own all of me. I can become intimately acquainted with me. by so doing, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me and other aspects that I do not know but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore I can engineer me. I am me and I am okay.