So often we fight against where we are right now, Why? Because it’s not good enough, we’re not happy with it, we want to be somewhere else, further on, we want to be more. More advanced, more achieved. When where we are is not good enough, we’re declaring that we ourselves are not good enough. We are giving ourselves a promise of potential love based on being someone better than who we are now.
Wanting to improve is of course natural, and healthy, but when we believe antagonising ourselves is the way to progress and we berate ourselves into better behaviour or guilt trip ourselves over our actions or lack thereof, we are practicing conditional love.
Is this effective? Maybe it was once….short-term. Like that time you finished a project in record timing pulling coffee infused all-nighters, or lost 10lbs in 3 weeks with gruelling workouts and juice cleanses or when you bullied yourself into sobriety using shame and guilt as control tactics.
Often, we punish ourselves into good behaviour, we call ourselves nasty names, lazy, fat, useless, expecting it to encourage us to “do the necessary”. Maybe this worked for us in the past. However the results of the actions we take in such instances are never sustainable, primarily because we chastise ourselves into action. We override our intuition, our emotional and physical needs, we have to in order to comply to the terms we have set ourselves. This becomes far to painful, emotionally and or physically to continue or maintain long term. However we recall this is as our recipe to success, the way we achieved something we wanted, failing to notice that the results were short-term.
When we try to recreate these actions, our beings have memories of the previous experience. At surface level we tend to remember the results. However our being remembers the full experience, the disconnection, the pain it took to reach the results, subconsciously we go into resistance towards repeating these actions in an effort to protect ourselves from more suffering. We fail to recreate the results and berate ourselves further for this failure.
Furthermore, when we fight against where we are right now we are abandoning ourselves in the current moment. We are shunning an aspect of ourselves, this is where the real pain comes from. When we deny an aspect of ourselves we are refusing to love ourselves fully. We are saying no, I’m not ok, I cannot accept this about myself, when in reality this is the part of us that needs love the most. It’s relatively easy to love ourselves when we’re on top, when all is going well or to love the part of us that is generous or funny, caring or compassionate. We can all get on that love train. But how about loving that parts of you that are scarred, bruised, ugly, unwanted. By loving what is unwanted, we come to understand what is wanted, making room for these desires to unfold. When we show the unfavourable aspects of our being love, then we become whole and ironically these unwanted sides of us either cease to be, or don’t seem to matter so much. Why? Because we’ve ended the fight, we’ve ceased resisting. The struggle, pain and hurt is in our self-rejection, where resistance resides. Self-rejection is affliction to our soul who knows no judgement and longs to seek unity within us.
How to Overcome these Self-Improvement Challenges:
- Let go of the judgement you hold towards the aspects of yourself that you dislike
- Remind yourself that you can love these parts of you without them being ideal
- Remind yourself that this is where you are now, accepting this does not mean succumbing to never moving forward or never changing, acceptance is not giving up on something. Acceptance allows what is, it simply means that this is you today, and you today deserves love today, your love
- Remind yourself you don’t need to be perfect
- Speak kindly to the unwanted parts of you, this is to show ourselves unconditional love. The thoughts we think and the words we speak aloud have a huge impact on how we feel. Speak to yourself as you would to a friend dealing with the same issue, be that guilt, regret or rejection of a part of themselves.
- Remind yourself that you are already enough!
Love with conditions is bribery, real love…just loves.
Photo Credit: Julie de Waroquier, Thank you Julie.
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