Honor Where You're At
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Goodness gracious! This can be a challenging concept for someone who's hard on themselves, a perfectionist, people pleaser, impatient, someone who wants to see results NOW - someone like me. Oftentimes I find myself procrastinating when needing to start a new project. Avoiding seemingly simple tasks toward said project is my forte. Oh and do I ever do this well! Instead of starting the project, I will find everything else to do instead - like grocery shopping, feeding the cat, playing with the cat, cleaning behind the TV (honestly who does that?), eating chocolate, determining now is the time to purchase an electric toothbrush. Can anyone relate?
Although the above example seems harmless enough and most times it is, procrastination and other forms of avoidance can oftentimes lead to long term suffering when it comes to denying our feelings and needs.
Let's talk about the saying "fake it til you make it." Though I'm sure this saying is useful at times to encourage us to stick to whatever we're doing until it becomes easier, this works better if your soul agrees with whatever you were trying to "fake" in the first place. Oftentimes, we can mimic anything short term. However, if it's not in alignment with our soul's purpose, it may not be a sustainable long term venture and we are likely to suffer to some degree until we honor that piece.
What sticks longer, is when it feels right to begin with. And sometimes, it may have felt right at first, but now it doesn't. That's okay too! Whatever we are involved in, whether we are happy about it or not, can become more tolerable when we allow more parts of ourselves to be there throughout the process; noticing, allowing and exploring what comes up non-judgmentally - disappointments, joys, frustrations and all.
Honor joy. Sometimes we skip over this emotion. When you feel even a hint of joy, give yourself permission to really feel it. This simple practice waters the seeds of joy in your heart and builds momentum for you to experience more joy in other situations.
Oftentimes when we start something new and uncomfortable feelings are being triggered inside, we have the opportunity to examine our internal world on a deeper level. Why? Because these are the times when our sh*t may be coming up - all our unhealed wounds, baggage, beliefs about how we should and shouldn't be, why we aren't good enough, how someone can do it better, how we don't deserve to take up space or express ourselves because it's "selfish."
We may avoid certain experiences because we fear what it means about us if we fail. The negative stories we have about ourselves can surface and threaten who we are and our sense of worth. "I'm not worthy," "I don't belong," "There's something wrong with me," "I'm unlovable" are some core beliefs I've witnessed and helped to unravel from my clients' stories. These unexposed places inside are usually our most tender. They have the highest walls as well as the most sophisticated, high-voltage, security and defense systems in place to keep intruders out.
Honor the protector in you, for she/he may have helped you in the past and/or currently helps you now.
It can take time to identify and challenge the stories we tell ourselves. The painful emotion of shame may be attached to this process as well as tough armor put up around being and feeling certain ways. We may have developed defense mechanisms to protect us from harsh messages we received from our family, society or culture. The externally prescribed way of how an individual becomes successful and happy in our society can contradict what we, inside, are moved to explore in our own life. This dissonance can ultimately move us further away from what would make us feel truly alive. The killing of one's spirit is a slow and painfully invalidating death. Why? Because we always know deep down who we are. However, we can sometimes allow what everybody else thinks we should be doing to matter more, to the point where we stop listening and trusting what's coming from our spirit. For more information on how to live your truth, check out my blog: How to Live Your Truth.
Honor yourself for showing up even when its hard. Also honor yourself when you need to take a break and perhaps let go of control over the situation. Both are normal parts of the ongoing learning life process.
Whereas in our past, there may have been valid reasons for us to react aggressively to protect our physical or emotional boundaries, there may now be a bit more room to trust that we will be able to properly discern the people and experiences we allow into our lives. For more information on how anger can be a helpful teacher and how to create healthy boundaries, check out my blogs: Listen to Your Anger and Building Healthy Boundaries.
Honor when you need help. Find a safe place to deconstruct and re-examine whether the stories you tell yourself are true. This can be done with the help of a therapist.
What to do next. Here are some tips to help you honor where you're at and move forward:
1. Acknowledge how you truly feel and accept reality for what it is. Allow space for anger, sadness, disappointment, and fear. If there isn't anything you can physically do about your circumstance right now, at least acknowledge how you feel about it. Accept and expect the situation to be what it is until you can find a way out.
2. Make space for gratitude and hope. At least once a day, find 2 things to be grateful for and remember that the nature of all things is that they are impermanent. All things end at some point with opportunities for new things to start.
3. Act like you chose it. Oftentimes, we can dis-empower ourselves more by sitting in the frequency of feeling wronged or victimized. Shift this energy by acting like you chose this experience to help you evolve and become stronger. Believe that you are the co-creator of your life, nothing is a mistake and life happens for you versus the belief that life happens to you.
4. Feel how you would feel if everything was how you wanted it. One tool that can get you closer to a goal is to visualize all the details about achieving it. The next level to visualization is to actually feel (emotionally and physically) how it would feel to be where you want to be.
5. Surrender, seek help and allow support. It's okay to not be okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help from a therapist, wisdom teacher, life-coach, energy healer, priest, rabbi, yoga retreat, acupuncturist or other forms of self-exploration and healing. Acknowledging that you need help is a huge step in allowing support, being open to what healing could look like and moving forward.
Life is a unfinished painting. Trying new colors, textures and styles are all part of the process. This is how we learn what feels good, what doesn't, when to press harder and perhaps when to ease up, because we're about to break the easel. Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad - it just is. Giving yourself space to feel and honor where you're at takes practice and can be one of the most loving things you learn to do for yourself. Be gentle and know that the more you validate yourself, the more you are proving to yourself that your feelings matter - you matter. Trust the process and trust yourself to do what you need to do. I support you!