Three Steps to Overcoming Self-Attacking Beliefs: An Authentic Life is Not a Linear Process
by: Tama J. Kieves
Recently a client of mine was sick of “having faith” while it seemed she slogged towards her dream in thick molasses. “I just want to get there now,” she screeched, scoffing at all her previous progress. I felt sad. This wasn’t the combustible kind of frustration that would help her take constructive bold action. Rather it seemed like she was stomping on all the flowers in the garden, breaking the china in her house, ripping up poems and short stories, and screaming about the mess. “Put down the machete,” I said. “You will never grow by cutting yourself down.” And we began to talk about timing.
Maybe you’ve noticed this already, but giving birth to an authentic life is not a linear process. It’s a jumbled, jubilant, mystical one. And it has its own timing. The timing is there for our benefit. We can’t see this through furious eyes. But patience lends us curious eyes. And curious eyes will often see meaning, mercy, and majesty.
If you can’t make a change, then change your attitude about where you are. There are times to leave abusive situations or make abrupt changes. But those times have a life of their own and propel you into action. I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about the times when you feel stuck and aren’t propelled to move. Then it’s time to move from the inside-out, through love and forbearance. You’ve probably heard that “what you resist, persists.” Well, here’s my addition: What you embrace, yields grace.
On this path, we do not move forward by condemning our present lives. Maturation does not spring from lack, but from abundance. I move forward when I am spilling with love, not when I am desperate, furious and pounding my fists.
My edgy ego wants to slam the pedal to the floor and speed into the next part of life. But my soul is a sane and caring being that gently puts the brakes on, shreds the map, shrouds me in fog, and waits until I learn the mysteries of this moment. “There is much to love in this moment,” she whispers, “and you cannot move on, until you move in to the moment and miracle before you.”
So how do you embrace a seemingly imperfect life? You decide over and over and over again, not to attack it. Remind yourself, the timing is here for my benefit. This moment is here for my benefit. I often ask myself, “If I knew I was exactly on track, what would I be focusing on right now in order to be ready for what was to come?” That usually prompts me to take the positive actions I can take right now—and busies me with something other than watching how someone 10 years younger than me seems to have it all together.
If you want to work on embracing your current circumstances–watch out for these three self-attacking beliefs:
1) “I must be doing something wrong”
Many of us look at circumstances in our lives as some kind of indictment that we’re doing something wrong. The eternal inner blamer mutters, “Somehow if I were different things would have come through.” According to this insane adviser, everything mirrors our deficiency. It never occurs to this wounded self that the Universe is demonstrating proficiency.
When I was writing This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love, I harassed myself for taking years to complete the manuscript. Why couldn’t I write faster? Why did my chapters emerge like stalactites? Was I defective or somehow sabotaging myself? When I finally published THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love, I saw things differently. I witnessed the economy’s abrupt change and massive layoffs which suddenly created a new and sizeable market of individuals looking to create the work they love. “You had angels holding you back the whole time,” remarks a dear friend and in retrospect I see the impersonal perfection of the timing. I wasn’t writing too slowly. I was right on the fast track to grace.
2) “I’ll be stuck here forever”
Another reason we will not embrace our lives is because we think that accepting is condoning or resigning. We think that if we stop fighting our lives, we will settle into them like concrete and be stuck forever.
Tell the dreary fatalistic voice in your head to stop being so melodramatic. You are here in this moment. This is not the rest of your life. This situation is a stepping stone. It’s not set in stone. Nothing in life remains static. Please show up with love in this moment, because love changes everything.
I had a client who was afraid that if she showed up and loved her job (which she wanted to leave) that somehow she’d get seduced into staying. Instead, she found that she wasn’t as angry all the time and she felt more connected to her co-workers. This gave her more peace of mind and energy. Soon she found that she was being more creative in her free time and within two months, she serendipitously found a way to leave her career and move to a different city and begin to pursue her heart’s desire. “When I hated my job, I felt paralyzed and stuck,” she says. “But somehow giving positive energy to my job freed up my energy and helped me move on.”
3) “This situation is holding me back”
No situation is holding us back. But we may hold ourselves back by rejecting our present circumstances and blocking our natural flow.
I remember feeling like my client at different times, wanting so badly to move into the next part of my life, spitting with wildness. “I’m done,” I’d yell to no one in particular. I was furious at myself for not being able to create the circumstances I wanted. “I’m done,” I’d scream again. “I’m done with this.” But if I am still in a situation, then clearly I am not yet done with it. Some very intelligent part of me wants or needs to be here. This situation provides a benefit or allows me to grow in some vital way. I am trying to tug the fruit off the vine. And as I tear at the unripe, I tear myself up in the process. A true state of readiness radiates fullness, not impatience.
These days when I’m in that space, I have to gently entice myself to look for where I might not be showing up fully in the situation. Where am I not in my strength and what could I do differently? It’s often the case that when I bring all of my strength to a situation, it transforms into a new situation.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving your love and acceptance to your present circumstances. Bless the ground upon which you stand–and it becomes holy ground. Embracing your life makes you strong, centered, and focused and helps you grow inevitably into your next rightful expression. St Catherine of Siena said that “All the way to heaven is heaven.” I suspect she did not feel delayed on her journey.
May you trust the mysterious, beautiful timing of your journey.
About The Author
Copyright 2007 Tama J. Kieves, All rights reserved.
Tama J. Kieves is the best-selling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love/How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All! She is also a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their creative dreams. Learn more about Tama’s workshops and coaching or sign up to receive FREE monthly inspiration and tools for your creative life journey at http://www.AwakeningArtistry.com.
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