I asked the I Ching:
“What can I do to have courage and strength?”
The answer was so powerful that I had to write it down in my journal so I could internalize it, and I also wanted to type it up on my blog to share it with you, because it’s just good advice in general.
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It is time to eliminate bad habits and behaviors and free yourself from relationships and situations that drag you down. Deliverance requires inner resolution and perseverance. You alone can save yourself. No one else can do it for you. But if you stay the course, people who undermine your self-worth or have an unhealthy influence in your life will see that you cannot be taken advantage of and they will withdraw of their own accord.
“Delivering yourself” means treating yourself with respect and developing a positive attitude toward who you are and what you do. Deliverance requires a narrative of redemption. It means believing in a vision of yourself and in a story of your life in which things can get better. If you hold fast to this vision and make this story your story, your life will indeed improve.
By believing in yourself and becoming committed to your deliverance, you will no longer attract harmful people, and you will no longer get yourself entangled in unhealthy behaviors and difficult circumstances that you could have avoided.
Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change
I need to stay focused on this message, because I need courage and strength in order to stay on the right path. After a lifetime of approval seeking and people pleasing, I finally know what it’s like to be free, but there are still backsliding and self-sabotaging habits that I need to be aware of. Only I can save myself.
Being honest with myself and taking the third way.
Sometimes the best thing to do is stand up for yourself. Part of being a good person is being your own person. Whatever fears you may face is ultimately worth it to be free.
I haven’t solved all of the problems of life. I haven’t gotten rid of anxiety, worry, and fear. But I can face all of those things on equal footing now.
I’m grateful for the clarity that makes my life feel real. I don’t have to apologize for existing. I honor my creator when I love myself.
I have found that in being true to myself, compromise is compromising, and it is a weakness. I know when I’ve compromised myself, and that is always the greatest source of regret. It’s when you let yourself down that hurts the most.
I’ve strengthened my inner strength by not letting myself down, being my own best friend, and supporting myself, no matter how difficult it was at first.
My self-worth used to come from other people and external things, and it felt nearly impossible to unplug from that, but it is possible, and for me, the only way to live happily.
Approval-seeking and people-pleasing is an emotional addiction, and the only way out (that I’ve found) is to become hooked on your own soul.
Today, I’m as free as the day I was born. I feel innocent and pure. Not because I’m doing anything, but because I’ve chosen to be uncompromisingly true to myself.
After finding the freedom I was looking for, not just physically but emotionally, I realize that the adventure has only just begun. Not only do I wish to enjoy this new found freedom, but I also want to give something back; to be a light for others. Maybe I’m not completely out of the woods yet, but perhaps the woods aren’t something to be afraid of, and I can come and go as I please.
It’s a nice day, and a warm winter. I go about my daily routines like a castaway who’s been returned to civilization. Everything feels new, yet familiar at the same time.
I’m not running away from my feelings anymore, mainly because I’ve grown weary of doing that, and because it doesn’t work. The disowned parts of myself have been patiently waiting for my return. To do the things I’m meant to do is like being reborn as another person.
I find myself writing from the parking lot of another gas station after spending the night at my mom’s. What warms my heart is having self-confidence, which makes life feel so much better. Whatever happens on the outside, I’m OK on the inside.
As I learn more about being an INFP, I see that not wanting to be trapped is a big concern. That’s another way of saying I want to be free, and the truth is that we’re all born free (no matter what anyone else says). So what do I do about it?
What I do is take one step at a time, knowing in my heart that no one and nothing binds me. Sometimes all I can do is breathe, take a step back, and start over.
I paid for and submitted my apartment application today, and if I’m approved, I’ll move-in next month. In any case, I attempted to talk with my dad this morning, but he’s angry that I spoke my mind yesterday, so I see that it really is time for me to leave the shop. There’ve been times when I’ve done something and felt bad about it afterwards, but this isn’t one of them.
I can remember important milestones over the past year in which I stood up to my dad and spoke honestly and sincerely, and I’m proud of myself for doing it. The challenges of living at the shop makes other things easier by comparison, so I appreciate being able to grow from the experience. Ultimately, everything’s working out the way it’s supposed to.
I’m ready to have my own place, and live my own life. The thing about approval-seeking, or people-pleasing, or whatever you want to call it, is that you truly have to face up to it and get through it. I feel free now.