As many of you know, I am really, really hard on myself.
From the moment I wake up I am thinking about all the things I need to do today, and I often find myself going to bed saying that I didn't do enough. I've always felt like I've had a big purpose in this lifetime, and I constantly feel the weight of that on my shoulders. Funny enough I feel that pressure coming from both my personality and programming, and also from my Higher Self and inner calling. I feel the pressure of 'being the perfect woman', nails done, hair done, clean house, having my mental and emotional shit together, be successful. That has all been 'taught; to me. But I also feel the pressure that comes from what I can only attribute to unseen forces and a Plan far bigger than myself. And as an entrepreneur I am constantly encouraged for my 'drive'. But is passion for personal development and 'being better' the same thing? I used to think so, but I don't anymore.
Walking a spiritual path was an easy choice for me because I saw that with it came a lifetime of self-reflection and personal development. In fact, I respond far better to receiving criticism than I do to compliments. However, my path with the Mystery School has continued to show me that it is not about 'finding' myself, but rather letting go of the lies and programming that have created a personality that is not my True Self. These teachings went against my belief that you have to 'work hard' for your success. The Modern Mystery School spoke often about flow, and truth be told I never understood how flow played a role in anything. If I wanted something in my life, I had accepted as truth that it had to be hard.
Perhaps in the beginning of my spiritual path it resonated with my inner calling, but my negative ego used that desire against me at the same time by nurturing my incessant need to cut myself down, and 'make myself better'. (Fun fact, the negative ego will use your greatest strengths and gifts against you if you’re not aware of it. The ego can only aggravate you where you have an attachment to it.) For most of us, when we enter the Mystery School we are broken in some way. This is an important part of growth. I have spent 10 years healing and serving in the light, and I have worked through a lot of my darkness. I felt like I was always working through something. But now, my path has come to a smooth, easy patch, and I find that far more uncomfortable than the wretched uphill climb in a torrential downpour. I am being taught patience, and grace, and ease. And I am being shown that I manifest far better when I am kind and gentle with myself.
SO WHY DO I FIND IT SO MUCH HARDER FOR LIFE TO BE EASY AND IN FLOW THAN TO BE CHALLENGING?
I don't feel that I am alone in this thought process. My parents generation was one unlike any other, where you had over-educated baby boomers entering the workforce. Too many people, with not enough jobs. My parents generation HAD to make work their #1 priority or they couldn't put food on the table. To keep their jobs they needed to put in long hours, and overtime, because if they didn't someone else would. And as a result, my generation came to think that working far too hard was the norm.
But as the lessons in my life now center around self love and acceptance, I am forced to look at things differently. And I invite you to ask yourself this...
Imagine that you could never change a thing about yourself ever again. Imagine that who you are today is EXACTLY the person that you will be forever. The goal is to accept yourself exactly as you are. Could you do it?
I've spent my daily meditations working with just this concept. In meditation I find the parts of myself that I don't love, and I look at them. And I say to myself, "Well Sarah, it is what it is. You are gonna be like this forever. So you better just accept it and move on. There's no changing it. So if the people in your life don't accept that, then there's nothing that you can do about it."
When you find something about yourself that you don't like you,
A) Accept it because (in this scenario) you'll never change it, and
B) Come up with all the reasons why this is a good thing.
For example, I am highly sensitive and have experienced a lot of abuse. I often care too much and take things personally. So, in this scenario, I imagine that I can never change. I sit with that until I can accept it. Then I work on accepting myself. Then I think about all the good things that come from being sensitive. I care deeply for others. I am sensitive to other people and their feelings. I understand where people are coming from. I am not violent or aggressive, etc. I think of as many as I can. From finding acceptance of things I am trying to change, they flow into a better state with ease. It’s the most bizarre thing. I ultimately get the result I want, but through flow, not force.
I find that meditation is an effective way to focus on my inner dialogue. I am often frustrated and agitated in meditation, and emotions come up, because it brings up what I don't like to look at, but by the end of the session, I have softened and have new clarity.
Forcing your way through a brick wall may not be the most effective way to get around it. Similarly, hating things about yourself, and creating internal anxiety and stress, is not a lasting way to change. (And it certainly isn’t enjoyable.)
CHEEZ ALERT! Living a life in a pursuit of happiness is probably the least fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. Who delivers happiness in my life, I do. I am doing all these things on the outside in hopes that I’ll finally make myself proud and give myself happiness. By my work with acceptance I am realizing that the happiness I’ve always wanted is already in me, and I can give myself as much as I want as often as I want.
I spoke with my Guide today. She reminded me about self acceptance once again (this is a piece I struggle with personally). She reminded me that I really AM doing a great job. As she says these words to me, I feel my shoulders soften and the knot in my stomach to relax. I realize that these aren’t words that I use often to myself. So I will keep working on acceptance, I will keep allowing flow into my life, and I will start to give genuine compliments to myself
Acceptance is not about giving up, or letting go of the desire to be better. You won’t stop achieving everything you’re achieving if you stop the daily self criticism. It is an easier way to get everything you dream of. You could spend all this time and money to look a certain way, or you could just love the person you are. Nothing actually changed about you, but your perspective changed. Acceptance is about acknowledging the God within, It is about honesty and compassion. And ultimately, it’s about love.
Acceptance is so much harder to knocking down a wall. Once you knock down one wall, there’s always another wall to knock down. But acceptance, well, there’s no task to distract you. It’s just you.