Growing pains

18 03 2011





In stead of climbing the carreer ladder, I have been given the opportunity to climb the spiritual ladder. It didn’t net me a wonderful position, a great salary, or outside validation. What it did bring me however is priceless. From being an insecure young woman with a death wish, I went to being a self-assured woman who intensely loves life and believes she is worthy of all she has to offer. No matter what else will happen in my life, there will be no bigger accomplisment than this. Everything else will flow from this.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And it IS! But, it isn’t the whole story. See, paradigm shifts happen in an instant. Old thought patterns and behaviors, on the other hand, have to be replaced by new thought patterns and new behaviors. And this takes time. So here I am, with this radically new image of myself and the world at large, and thought patterns and behaviors that don’t match it, yet. These are growing pains.Have you ever watched a baby trying to execute a new idea and not being able to do it yet. Have you seen its frustration build with every failed attempt? Have you seen it get angry with frustration? Yes? Then you know where I am. 

I know without a doubt that wonderful things are happening and will happen, because I feel worthy of all I have to offer. And yet, my most practiced belief still is that wonderful things, read carreer and financial success, need to happen for me to be worthy. This creates an enormous tension within me, because the harder my old self tries to make things work, the more my wise self revolts and insists on doing nothing, which in return leads to a renewed zeal from my old self. After one and a half day of fierce resistance and the potentially catastrophic consequences it yielded, I’ve come to the brilliant conclusion that resistance is futile. So this is my plan: I’m going to do nothing. I’m going to sit still and do nothing. My old self won’t like this one bit and create an internal havoc of which I cannot predict the proportions yet, but it sure as hell won’t be a picnic. And that’s fine with me, I’ll just sit still and do nothing. I will love my old self. I will hold it and cherish it as you do a hysterically crying baby, until it wears itself out and falls asleep peacefully. I will just love myself until the message sinks in: I love myself unconditionally, no matter how much of a meltdown I have, I will see the perfection in me. I am perfect as I am. 




On letting go

1 11 2007

These last weeks, I have been confronted with traits I don’t particularly value in people I do love dearly. It was eating me. How could I let them see they were on a road to nowhere? How could I let them see the world differently. Basically, I wanted to solve their problems. Until I discovered there is nothing I can do to solve this problem. There is no problem to begin with. Nothing has to be solved. This problem exists only in my mind. I have to let go of a wrong and right way of doing things.  Albeit I see they have so much more potential than they’re showing and would want their lives to be better, I have to let go of how I think people should react to life. I have to remember that even if they don’t see it themselves, they are still great. But most of all, I need to recognize these notions of good and bad exist only in my head.

Seek, and you will find

25 10 2007

Have you ever experienced all the pieces falling into place? To me, it’s what I live for. Feeling my perception shift. Knowing I’m about to take a quantum leap. Knowing the world will be different when I get to the next level. There is a sense of anticipation. I do not know what to expect, but I know my life will change in ways I cannot  begin to imagine. I’ve learned it will be a change for the better.
It always starts with feelings of restlessness, like I’m out of sync with me. Things are changing and I cannot yet pinpoint how. I start noticing things I never noticed before, sensing connections I do not yet understand and finally it all comes together.
This is my lifelong quest: hunting for answers I do not yet understand to obtain a goal I cannot yet imagine. It’s about finding my holy grail. I have to prove myself worthy of finding it. I have to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually before it will be revealed to me. More than anything I believe that when I seek, I will find.

What’s the point?

23 10 2007

Yesterday, I was listening to an interview. All I could think was, He’s missing the point. Then it hit me. He was actually making the opposite point, which to me was not a valid point. Our basic paradigm was completely different. My first impulse was to stop listening, but after some deliberation I decided I would keep listening. Not prove him wrong, but to learn from him.
My brain is scanning the world to find proof for my beliefs. As does anyone’s brain. There are as many realities as there are people. This doesn’t mean everyone is right, but it does mean each reality is just as valid as the next. 
I decided I did not want to dismiss what he was offering, solely because his brain is looking for different proof. By validating his reality, I was able to see the point he was making. I was able to learn from his wisdom. His view on life has not changed my core beliefs, but trying to understand his reality has broadened my horizon.

on becoming an optimist

9 10 2007

We all have beliefs about life. Our perception is constantly scanning our environment gathering evidence to prove our beliefs are right. This is how pessimists and optimists can view a similar experience oppositely. Their outlook on life is completely different. A pessimist believes there is a negative side to everything. An optimist believes good things can come from bad experiences. A pessimist could too, if (s)he’s willing to find a positive side to everything.

No wild-goose chase

21 09 2007

I believe it makes a huge difference if you’re being called a ‘stupid cow’ or a ‘genius’ on a daily basis.  How can you not believe these words if you hear them over and over again. It becomes a part of you, literally marks your personality. Knowing this, I made a conscious choice to speak to my baby in positive phrases only, from birth on. I thought I was doing rather well…Only, I had forgotten one little detail. As it seems my method was not fool proof, there was a loop hole I had not thought of. Nor did I see it, until it was pointed out to me. What I had completely overlooked, was one very crucial point: I lead by example. And there I wasn’t doing too well. Whenever I was making a sandwich and took the butter out of the fridge, but forgot the cheese, getting dressed and came downstairs realising I didn’t put on my shoes, sitting in my car and noticed my sunglasses weren’t in my bag, I would call myself ‘goose’. I said this over a zillion times a day. I said it so often, I didn’t notice it anymore. It had become a bad habit. A potentially dangerous habit, that is. Had I not caught it early on, it would have raised my daughter instead of me. It would have taught my daughter it is ok to belittle yourself, despite al my efforts. And that is not ok with me. Ever since, I’m on a goose chase. Every moment of the day, I try to lovingly eliminate geese from my vocabulary.

What makes sense to me

20 09 2007

I know christians as well as atheists who stick to their principles with ardour. They have taken a stand and will not budge. Not when there’s evidence pointing in the other direction, not when an inner voice whispers there might be an other side to their truth. It is their way or the highway.
I was one of them. I was afraid to see the evidence and to hear that inner voice, because I feared my life would collapse if the foundation was taken away.  It did, but under the remnants I discovered another foundation. I discovered me.
The real me doesn’t know for sure if there is a higher power, what it is like or if it affects my life. What I know is that I feel it’s presence in everything. Maybe, my mind is playing tricks on me. I don’t care. It may not be logical, but it makes sense to me to believe I am a spiritual being having a human experience, to believe I am part of something bigger, to believe the journey continues after this life. I may not believe everything that is written in the scriptures, but it makes sense to me that a higher power cannot be captured by human vocabulary. You may think I’m fooling myself. You may think I’m no true believer. Maybe.
I ask you to consider that your beliefs are … well… beliefs, that whatever you believe, you have chosen to believe. So, until this great Mystery is solved,  I choose to believe what makes sense to me. I listen to my heart and follow that inner voice …

Don’t cheat yourself out of a choice

18 09 2007

“I’m a woman, I should be able to bear children.” I heard a woman say who is physically unable to have children naturally or through IVF. I am deeply sorry for her, not only because she cannot fulfil a lifelong dream, but also because she is not willing to let go of that dream. She feels cheated by nature, by God and she’s angry about it. I can understand that. She believes giving birth is her birthright. She cannot accept this is beyond her call. She is fighting a fight she cannot win and is depending her happiness on something she cannot control.
In everything, she sees reminders of the children she should have. She says she feels stuck. I am not surprised and am afraid she will for the rest of her lifeif she doesn’t drop the ‘shoulds’. Been there, done that. Different subject, same should. I can tell her it’s a dead-end. Instead, I have learned to see my life as it is, to change the things I can change and accept those I cannot. I have learned that in some circumstances, my power lies in how I cope with them. I have learned that choosing a different perspective changes the way I feel about them. I have learned this choice is my birthright. I have chosen to count my blessings, become pregnant with hope and have given birth to happiness. With all my heart, I hope she will too.

Reality is superceded by our limited perceptions

15 09 2007

‘Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvres in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battlship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, “Light, bearing on the starboard bow.”
“Is it steady or moving astern?” the captain called out.
Lookout replied, “Steady, captain,” which meant we were on a collision course with that ship.
The captain then called to the signalman, “Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you to change course 20 degrees.”
Back came a signal, “Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees.”
The captain said, “Send, I’m a captain, change course 20 degrees.”
“I’m a seaman second class,” came the reply. “You had better change course 20 degrees”
By that time, the captain was furious. He spat out, “Send, I’m a battleship. Change course 20 degrees.”
Back came the flashing light, “I’m a lighthouse.”
We changed course. ”

Frank Koch – Proceedings, the magazine of the Naval Institute
as cited in The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

Breaking the spell

13 09 2007

This week, a friend came by my house unexpectedly. It was a mess. He walked through my living room a few times, sighing with relief. He was so happy my house could be a pigsty too. I felt horrible. As my friend was celebrating the mess in my living room, I was doing my utter best to convince him this was not normal. Everything would be normal within an hour, clean and tidy. Although he clearly felt more at ease with me now he knew I was only human, I was trying hard to uphold this image he had had of me. I was under the spell of perfection.

For most of my life, I’ve been under it’s magic charm. I was led to believe that if people got to know the real me, they would not love me. So I desperately tried to live up to this self-created picture perfect image. Up to the point where I could not separate myself from the image I had created. I was all tangled up. I had to learn I could not please every one, had to learn I did not want to live up to everyone’s expectations. The best I could do was doing my best at being me. In doing so, I somehow have broken the spell and slowly have got to be me again. But sometimes I stumble upon a part of me that is still living under that vicious spell called perfection. When I spot it, I look my demon in the eye and murmur my counter spell over and over again: perfection is boring, perfection is boring, perfection is boring, perfection is…