Sometimes I wonder why it’s so quick and easy for me to focus love onto others, but focusing that same love on myself feels foreign. It’s one of those unfamiliar things that I’m devoted to becoming familiar with. As I look upon myself with the same admiration, esteem, friendliness, and respect that I afford others, I feel at peace.
This post was a draft I saved three years ago and hadn’t looked at since. After re-reading it this morning, I thought it deserved to be published. I’m not even sure where I got the beautiful picture of the lions from (let me know and I’ll credit the photographer).
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This week, I wrote about living in good faith vs. self-deception. I practice living in good faith by being honest with myself, acknowledging what I’m thinking and feeling, writing down my thoughts and doing my best to clearly articulate them, rather than habitually passing judgment on myself, avoiding, suppressing, or running away from what I’m thinking and feeling. I believe this builds self-acceptance and self-trust, and it’s an ongoing process (as with most things that are important). If we lack integrity with ourselves, we will lack integrity with others.
Then I wrote about dealing with emotional flare ups, which is also part of living in good faith. I’ve been learning to accept that my emotions are a legitimate part of who I am, and that respecting them is important. Gentleness is a virtue, although this goes against certain ingrained habits I have that want to ignore or power through emotions I don’t like. This causes inner conflict, and I’d rather have inner peace. However, peace requires work and the courage to live in good faith.
When we practice self-honesty and self-acceptance, we can then move on to having self-empathy, which is a genuine ability to relate to ourselves as a true friend. All of this builds inner strength, which is needed in order to live on purpose.
My daily intention is to cut through all the BS (and there’s a lot of it) so that I’m aligned with my True Self, which is about being who I really am, and doing what I’m really here to do. That may sound like a serious way to live–and sometimes it is–but I think of it as being passionate, soulful, and truthful, which is, to me, a great way to live.
I got home from work last night and saw that my mom had taken out the trash in “my room.” I’m moving into my own place in a week, so I’m not too bothered by anything that happens while I’m staying with her. I’m actually quite appreciative and grateful, but I also felt like my personal space and privacy had been violated.
This incident affected my mood as I woke up this morning. After doing some daily self-improvement habits, I felt better and made peace – not with my mom – but with myself. Being clear about my values helped me to resolve inner conflict.
- Having a sense of purpose allowed me to put things into perspective (I’ve got bigger things to focus on).
- Being resilient helped me to improve my mood after (almost) waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
- Being self-reliant lets me know that I can work on having my own personal space (physically and emotionally).
How have you benefited from being clear about your most important values?
We all have things that we fear. I mean real fear; the kind that keeps you from changing for the better. This is something I’ve known for years, but in reality, I usually have to reach my threshold of pain before I decide to change.
As my self-confidence grows, I’m more appreciative of change; I even find myself enjoying it. Also, I tend to care less about what people think, especially after the fact. When you realize that life’s got so many interesting things to experience, and that everyone is essentially concerned mostly about themselves, then you can get on with living your life the way you want.
In whatever way you’re able to find inner peace, then that’s the right path. I think unhappy people lack inner peace. Sometimes it’s the discomfort of being around unhappy people that makes you realize, not only that you want to be happy, but that you deserve it.
I start my evening shift at work today, so now I’m able to do things in the morning, like wash clothes. As I was driving around, I thought of how emotions are like sub-personalities. I do better when I value my emotions, and see their worth.
I used to disown parts of myself, but now I respect my Self. I believe this self-unification is the best thing I can do for myself, and others. It feels meaningful.
When the diverse community within my psyche feels like they’re being heard, I feel better, and I do better. I suppose that’s inner peace. Life is more fun that way.
I’m sitting in the garage of the shop, freshly lit incense burning, vanilla coffee brewing, thinking about life. I read some old emails which brought momentary tears, then appreciation took its place. I’m better off mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially, in that I have a steady paycheck.
I’m learning a lot at my new job, and making friends. I’ve been thinking about moving into my own apartment for a while. I accept that I have distinct parts to my personality, and I’m happy that in general I feel inner peace (about these various parts).
The Life Areas operate synergistically. If one Area is stuck, another Area can help it along. What seems like individual fragments are held together by an invisible wholeness.
I was having lunch with my dad, and a realization came to me that if I wasn’t doing what I was now doing (living and working at the shop), I wouldn’t have been satisfied with myself. I told my dad what I’d just realized, and added that now that I have experienced what I’ve experienced, I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but instead of feeling anxious like I used to, I feel calm. I think I hesitated to admit this to myself because it seemed to devalue what I’ve experienced in the past, but the truth is that it adds to who I am.
It’s a beautiful day; work’s come in, and Shorty’s relaxing on my lap. I don’t have a Valentine, but I still enjoy flirting with the girls I meet. Aside from the visible outer changes, a big inner change is that the harsh self-judgments I used to dump on myself are gone.
Living with my dad has revealed my shadow. Laotians have a nickname that friends and family use, and ironically mine happens to be Shadow. Maybe I project the traits I try to keep hidden away onto others, and in knowing this, maybe I can use it to realize inner peace.