As I was waking up this morning, I meditated. I felt peace in my body. When I felt I wanted to get up, I could feel some kind of resistance to getting going with my day. I realized I was wanting to be happier, more grateful, lighter, more energized. What was going on here? Then I said to myself–“I am allowing. I am allowing. I am allowing myself to be.” I don’t have to strive to be something more than I am right now. I made myself some breakfast and repeated to myself–“I am enough. I am enough. I love and accept you just as you are, Donna.” Already my mood was shifting and could let go of wanting to fix my mood.
I reflected on what I had said in Alanon the night before and more importantly, what I had not said. I hadn’t spoken about the disappointment and anger I had felt after a phone call with someone close to me. It was a familiar disappointment and hurt–the wanting for a deeper connection that just didn’t seem to be happening. I ended up talking only about what I was doing and how the weather was. I investigated this hurt further than I had previously done.
One realization I had was that my longing was to not only be talking about all the good stuff but to talk about the struggles too. And then, it came to me that because of this sense of being stifled in my self-expression that it brought out stronger desire to voice my sufferings. And in that, I was resisting the joy and happiness that was available to me. I thought to myself as I have recently–“I allow myself to feel good!!!!” I wrote it down. “I am worthy of feeling good!!!”
It has been over seven months since I left my husband. Was I expecting to feel a certain way by now? Was I expecting to be feeling more confident and calm? Was I expecting myself to have it “more together”? Was I expecting it to be easier? Probably “Yes” to all of those. I realized, too, that at the Alanon meeting I had talked about wanting to be more confident, calm, joyful and powerful. And I felt that underneath that was the belief that I’m not enough right now–that I’m not confident, calm and joyful enough just as I am today.
I also asked myself what the feeling of nervous or anxious meant to me. And I thought to me it meant that I wasn’t confident and this meant that I wasn’t capable. And if I wasn’t capable, I was failing. So rather that just letting the sensations arise and pass, I was attaching a story to them–a woman who was somehow failing. And of course, thinking I am failing and needing to prove myself likely only leads to more anxiety.
What if I simply see these feelings as natural? What if I allow them to be? I’ve been offering myself compassion often but I sense there was still some–“You shouldn’t really be feeling this way. Lots of people get separated, live on their own and work full time jobs and raise kids!!! What was wrong with me?! Why wasn’t I getting it together faster?”
And back to the phone conversation…I looked into that longing for deeper connection. I really wanted to be more authentic with this person and to have them open up to me more. I wanted to feel like I could talk about anything with them and that they would share their feelings and experiences and we could learn from each other. I imagined a safe place where I could share my joys and my pain, knowing I would be received with full acceptance and be truly seen.
I allowed myself to feel this pain and cried it out and then felt a lot of love for this person and everything they have done for me; the love, care and support they have given me.
Next, I wrote down how I thought I could bring healing to this and what I could let go of. I wrote–Giving full acceptance to myself, no matter what I’m feeling. I can let go of my expectations around this relationship and accept this person as they are. Yes, I could BE THE CHANGE!! I realized I was really judging this person for not being more accepting of me when I wasn’t being fully accepting them!!! (This must mean I am really growing up!! HEHE!!)
What also came to me was that I had been giving that safe space to myself where I can be open about my joys, pains, fears and dreams and that I could widen that space even more.
Through this process, it became even clearer to me how important it is to feel the pain of our experiences–the disappointments, the hurts, the longings. When we talk about our suffering, we are only circling around it. To express the true pain is where the freedom lies. Underneath all suffering is a wanting something to be more or different. Once we can accept things as they are, we become free to make a mindful choice rather than continue down the road of reaction. Perhaps it’s letting go of thought or belief, letting go of a situation or relationship or letting go of a how we are perceiving things.
I believe it all starts with believing that I am enough just as I am right now–that I am healthy enough, strong enough, calm enough, confident enough, capable enough, compassionate enough, kind enough, joyful enough and doing enough! Once we start allowing, rather than attempting to force ourselves to be more or “better”, then a real acceptance of self can naturally flourish.
It can be a tricky balance to hold a vision of who you want to become along with the acceptance who you are now. As soon as we image something better than it is, we can go into the thinking that things are not enough as they are now. As humans we are constantly wanting to improve and evolve–it’s one of our greatest gifts and it can also be the source of great suffering.
I can’t say that I have mastered this yet but I know the answer lies in allowing myself to dream and then letting go of the outcomes, staying focused on all the positives that are in my life right now. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!!!
Acceptance brings the change we so long for. It’s perhaps one of the biggest paradoxes of life. By seeing the truth of the way things are, feeling any pain that is there and then healing that pain, we can move on.
Here is the process I used today:
- Write out the limiting belief or “should” that is causing you suffering. For example: My spouse shouldn’t complain so much. I should be be more productive.
- Ask yourself–What is the pain that is underneath that? What are you truly wanting? For example: I am longing for more loving and positive interactions with my spouse. I am really wanting to contribute my gifts and talents more.
- Ask yourself–How can I bring healing to this? What do I need to let go of? For example: I could see my spouses’ suffering and offer them compassion and understanding thus creating the loving and positive interaction I am desiring. I could see that I am contributing all I need to right now and let go of the idea that I need to get a lot done to be a worthy person.
My message to you: You are enough. You are a beautiful, magnificent, unique creature of this earth and you are all you need to be. Simply allow the unfolding to happen!!