Claiming Permission

It’s one of my most favorite quotes:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission”–by Eleanor Roosevelt.  So often I hear its message in my thoughts, and it quickly reminds me that I am the driver of my own destiny.  Meaning–together with Spirit and the Universal Flow–I choose how to live my life.

All too often people see this statement as choosing what your life will be–and for some that’s the case for sure.  But for many of us, this really means we are choosing how to BE in our lives, in our space, in the family into which we were born, the talents and gifts we have been given.  It doesn’t always mean that we can choose to become something we are clearly not…only that we can make peace with all that we so perfectly ARE.  This strays a bit from my original thoughts in beginning this post, so let me move us back toward that path. 

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”  Really contemplate this statement for a moment.  The promise of self-esteem present in this Universal truth shared with us through our former first lady isn’t–as Caroline Myss would say–“playground self-esteem.”  The kind in which we project a sort of “bullying” self-esteem to let people know they had better not mess with us–“or else.”  “No one can make you feel inferior” is remiss without the latter half of the quote:  “without your permission.”  Stepping into this space of honoring yourself as who you are is about recognizing the inherent ability to CHOOSE as Divinely gifted to each of us.

We can choose whether or not to allow another human being to make us feel “less than”–for in reality that feeling comes from within.  Causing that other person to stop what they are doing won’t always produce the result we ultimately seek–an authentic sense of being present to who we are.  They could stop their “bullying” and still we may walk away feeling less than.  Because it’s a belief that lives within us.

So what to do?  How then DO we prevent ourselves from feeling inferior to another?  Stop putting yourself down.  Begin to see yourself as all that you are–no more and no less than another.  Own the fullness of your presence, in all its beauty as well as all its ugliness.  Consider this:  someone does tell you how much ugliness you carry within, how unkind, judging, selfish or prideful you can be.  If you’ve already seen this space within yourself, acknowledged that it can be so (we are ALL human after all)–there’s no power given to that individual for pointing it out to you.  You’ve already seen, acknowledged, owned and embraced it as part of yourself.  And so–you are able to “hold center”–to maintain the stamina of your soul, your presence, your authentic self–in spite of whatever “they” say or do.  For you have looked honestly into the core of who you are, and seen the full picture of yourself.  Not as good, not as bad.  As YOU.

The same holds true on the side of someone telling us how amazing we or our particular gift or talent is.  For so many, that creates a sense of inferiority out of the fear that others will believe us to be better than they are, and so distance themselves from us.  It seems so ridiculous, doesn’t it?   That we would lessen ourselves to meet another where they are.  In each scenario, it’s the same thing holding us in place–our own perceptions, judgments and beliefs.  THESE are what make us feel inferior.

Not only is the message to not give your power to another; but take it one step further, encompassing only you:  do not diminish your own power.  Hold within you the permission–the OWNERSHIP of who you are.  See yourself through eyes of loving grace, compassion and dignity.  Learn where your integrity lies…and where its absence is clearly shown to you.  And step into empowering those places you feel yourself lacking.  For as much as no one can truly make you feel inferior–here’s the companion reality–no one can give you the empowerment you seek.  Each of these falls to our own self.

How do we connect to self-esteem?  Where do we find the answers of what truly inspires us, drives us, draws us closer into the call of our Divine spirit?  You know this, my friends….already you know where to look, where to listen for the answers to these questions and all matters of the soul.  We have only to be still long enough to receive….to hear…the whispers of the heart…..

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Beyond Our Own Belief

“What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.”  ~Oprah, Master Class~

Can you find in your life where this has proven true?  It goes along with having our prayers “answered.”  What we expect to be the answer isn’t always what the Universe lovingly holds for us.  And yet, sometimes we’re so sure we KNOW how something’s supposed to turn out. 

As I’m contemplating this quote by Oprah that I love so much, I’m reminded of my own marriage.  At the age of 20, I was sure I knew what I wanted in a partner.  A few years into our marriage, I was equally as sure I didn’t have it!  We embarked on a rocky road that lasted for some time, albeit through some very good ups and not-so-great downs. 

About five years ago I realized what is so true in so many ways in our lives:  God gave me what I needed, and what my HEART wanted.  He intended for me to have a partner who is loving, committed, patient, compassionate–and yes, as strong and determined as I can be.  All of what I thought I was missing those early years was surface, the “niceties” if you will.  When this whole time, the qualities that matter most were always here for me.  I just wasn’t grown enough, open enough and healed enough to receive them. 

What God intended for me went far beyond anything I could have imagined when I began this relationship journey.  I couldn’t have known, and yet I was so sure I did.  For a bit I was cross with the “powers that be” for putting me in a relationship that offered NONE of what I wanted.  What on earth had happened?

It’s amazing to me now, from here, to look back and remember that feeling.  But what is so much greater than that feeling is the *knowing inside of me that the Universe gave me the best possible partner, filling each of us with a Divine Love to carry our marriage through the most difficult of times.  For here’s what’s true:  there is no human love that could have fulfilled such a tall order. 

I am so very blessed.  And while much of this seems about my marriage and my own journey, it’s truly about what is possible and how we fool ourselves.  I was in some ways very ignorant to something so much greater than me.  Indeed, I couldn’t have known.  For so long I believed that God wasn’t listening, wasn’t answering, wasn’t there.  And yet, all through the most difficult of our struggles, Divine Presence was the “glue” that held us together.  For that was in no way of ourselves. 

I heard someone say the other day about writing his autobiography that we learn things about ourselves as we write, the Divine inspiration comes through the process.  And I’ve just learned something–well, I’m sure I *knew it, but I’ve just learned a new language for it.  Thinking about how this relates to the whispers of our hearts, I realize it wasn’t my heart’s whispers that cried at night when I felt so unhappy and empty inside.  For yes, the heart whispers are our heart and soul speaking to us.  The unhappiness I felt–that was the pain, the space of my heart that required healing crying out to ME.  It wasn’t about my husband at all.  I couldn’t hear those whispers, the pain was too great and had to be lovingly healed.

The journey of self and Spirit amazes me always.  We have so much to learn, and so many places in which to surrender what we think is true.  For behind the scenes and indeed–beyond the veil–there is a greater Force at work.  She is the Divine essence of Love.  She is always with us, even when we believe it to be otherwise.  We have only to surrender our hurt, our pride, our desire to hold onto pain…and let it all go.  For in its place lives a beautiful, loving embrace of what is true. 

And so my friends, know this:  wherever it is in your life you feel your prayers are unanswered, your wishes unheard and your deepest desires discarded–THAT is where Spirit is working the most on your behalf.  She holds a space in which exactly what you long for is already available to you, waiting for you to know, to be present and to be able to acknowledge it without judgment and old wounds getting in your way.  Wherever you are in this process, call on Spirit to whisper her Love into the space of your heart in a way that allows you to move forward.  Some of us are in the healing process in a very direct and deep way, creating shifts of change in our lives that are long overdue.  Others of us presently move with the Flow and feel the next step of our journey unfolding. 

However you find yourself today….whatever is your truth in this moment…..Divine Love is ever with you.  She forever lives in the whispers of your heart…..and will hold space for you to meet her there……

Castles in the Sand

Listening to the waves make their way onto the sand washing away anything in their path, and then retreat again, it’s easy to imagine the castles that are or were once built along the shore.  Some take a great deal of time to build their sculpture-quality castle, securing a strong foundation and adding the finest of details.  Others may build quickly crafted walls, with very little garnish.  In either case, the waves will come and the castles will fall.  Even when built far up on the shoreline, eventually the water prevails and the shore returns to its natural state.

Isn’t this true for us, too?  Are we not the castles in the sand?  We can craft or create whatever we wish in our lives.  It may stand tall for many, many years.  Or it may fall at the first hint of a rolling wave.

Consider this from the perspective of what you wish to create as your reality.  Wayne Dyer says “What’s true in the morning, has become a lie in the afternoon.”  What we feel is important today, this week, this year – at this exact moment – is always prone to change.  Think back to a time in your life when you can from this vantage point confidently say “I’m not the same person I was then.”  This is the transformation of life.  We do not stay the same, nor are we meant to do so.

We are given the sands of the shore on which to sculpt the desires of our hearts.  And we are also given the grace of the waves to wash away what no longer serves us.  Still, it remains true at the end of the day – every grain of sand that once stood as our castle continues to be part of us and contribute to the whole of who we are.  Although the castles may be washed away, the sand is still the sand and can be used to build yet again.

Now, take this concept and apply it to your life TODAY.  Build the castle you desire….and allow the one that is crumbling to take its place back in the sands of time.  Nothing is lost, for the potential of the builder is ever-present.  You are the builder.  You are the creator of your own destiny.  Gather your tools and begin to create what you most desire.  This is a new year, 2011 – embrace it and allow your truth to unfold.

And as you know, my friends…..the way to your desires and the truth of who you are….is through the whispers of your heart.