By Stephanie Kato, Metaphysical Intuitive Healer
“Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.” Baltasar Gracian
“Unhappiness is the hunger pain for change…” Kari Hohne
Why do we strive to improve ourselves?
Regardless of race, religion, gender or sex, people are not that different from one another. We all want to be happy. We all want to love and be loved. Happiness goals vary among people. Some want financial success for security and to increase their status in the world. Others want contentment in their relationships for their offspring, families, friends, business associates, others in the world and themselves. Many people want good health–mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Whatever instigates the need for happiness one thing remains…human beings desire happy and meaningful lives.
How do we create daily happiness and contentment?
So much of life is out of our control, and for some people this creates anxiety. I like to accept certain realities instead of living with the illusions of our fantasies. We cannot control how another person thinks or behaves. We cannot control the outcome of certain aspects of our lives. Attempts to control what we cannot contribute to frustration, disappointment, and physical issues. Accepting what is within our control and what is not frees us and allows us to embrace more joy and contentment. Often, a shift in perspective is all we need to create happiness. Let’s focus on aspects of life that we can control.
Here are a few examples:
Opening our hearts and sharing love with each other isn’t always easy. We must first begin with ourselves. Self-love and self-compassion are the core requirements for happiness and peace. Many people do not show themselves loving kindness so naturally self-judgment, self-criticism, and self-destruction rules our lives.
We can heal past traumatic experiences so they no longer create
emotional pain and physical dysfunction in our present lives.
To live happy and peaceful lives, we must address and master four main concepts to attain the joy we seek:
Daily Mindfulness Living
Before embarking on a soul’s journey of self-healing, we must begin with a present mind. Human beings avoid feeling their emotions (because some are painful) through distractions. This is true today more than ever with the distracting technology all around us. When uncomfortable feelings arise, we grab our phones and peruse social media. We manage internal anxiety by controlling external circumstances (including other people). We take part in addictive experiences to avoid feeling our feelings, and we succeed this way, but only temporarily. The only way we monitor our current beliefs (and shift those that no longer serve us) is to be present with what our minds present as truth. We must question these beliefs to determine when change is needed. The most profound change is to own our responsibilities in our relationships and our lives.
Taking Full Responsibility
It is virtually impossible to find joy and live freely if we are unwilling to admit our part in every interaction of our lives. To know one’s true self, we must go under the protective layers we’ve carefully built up through denial and justification. I have compassion for these layers because we learned how to cope with pain and trauma in our childhoods, though it becomes disruptive and destructive if we continue coping this way as adults. We cannot enjoy the sweet candy until we unwrap the wrapper. Getting to the root of discomfort in our lives requires us to heal our past and awaken to our truth. Truth looks different for every person. The one thing we all have in common is this:
Every single person on the planet deserves love and peace.
Its absence shows a lack of self-love and worthiness.
The upside to owning our part is we become free. When we accept we cannot control other people, we feel free. When we admit truths to ourselves no matter how uncomfortable we feel, we let go of guilt, shame and worthlessness and become free. Taking responsibility for our emotions instead of hiding from them we connect to ourselves in such meaningful ways and this frees us.
Letting Go of Victim Mentality
Do you know someone who lives their life as a victim; either doing for others and then complaining about it or constantly sharing experiences of how others treat them badly or disrespectfully? This personality type rarely owns their responsibility for what shows up in their life…it’s always about what someone else does to them. A common thread amongst victims is their perpetual unhappiness. Without taking responsibility, we live as victims and there is absolutely no power in victimhood. (Some use the illusion of power to control others.)
Although some of us experienced abuse and trauma in our past, living with victim mentality will not bring the happy and peaceful lives we desire. What will? Acknowledging the emotional and physical pain we went through, accessing and releasing the unresolved issues stored in the body, and grieving the experiences we wanted but never received. (If it is uncomfortable and unpleasant to admit you have victim mentality, realize that acknowledgment is the first step to freedom.) This step asks us to look at our own expectations. Since we cannot control other’s behaviors it benefits us to remove our expectations of others and ourselves. Suppose we expect someone to behave as we determine they should. When they fall short of this expectation (which they invariably will), we feel disappointed and slip into victim mentality believing others are intentionally causing our pain.
I understand that many people survived scary and lonely childhoods. For those who experienced trauma and abuse as children, I advocate healing the young, vulnerable parts of themselves that carry unworthiness, and shows up most often as relationship and money issues. Romantic relationships mirror the unresolved issues within. If we carry distrust (because of betrayal or mistreatment from parents) or anger and resentment from our past, current relationships touch emotional wounds so they might surface for healing. Without acknowledging our victim mentality, we miss the healing opportunity our relationships offer by giving us the choice to move past the pain or stay where we are. For those courageous enough to heal their vulnerable selves, they will learn it is the most profound and meaningful internal healing they can embark on. Since imperfect caretakers raised each of us, everyone would benefit from inner child healing work, not just those with abuse in their history.
Healing Our Vulnerable Selves
The number one trait we need to heal the wounded part of us is: trust. We must trust ourselves so we can begin to trust others. Without a willingness to trust, we do not feel emotional or physical safety in the world. Therefore, trust is vital and can help us find joy and heal our hearts:
Not only can we heal our past and live a life of peace, joy, and love, but everything we need to do so lives within each of us. Aided by our experiences with others we can use what triggers us to take responsibility for what belongs to us, help us avoid victim mentality, heal the young and vulnerable aspect of ourselves and learn to live with daily mindfulness so we continue to create the lives we desire and deserve.
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