I had a client a few weeks ago tell me she felt like she was at the end of her rope. She said she felt everyday was a battle with herself. Her exact words were, "I feel like I'm living by the skin of my teeth. I don't trust myself to know how to live right anymore. It's like I'm going to fall into a hole and never get out". Yeah, there are times I hear some heavy stuff as a massage therapist. The sacred space I'm able to hold for people in my line of work is something I never take lightly. I never give unsolicited advice. That's not my job. As I begin my work, I simply listen and silently bless the person on my table. What I do know is they are so much more than their current problems! It's as if we fall asleep for a while and forget just how magnificent we are. Her follow-up question was, "What should I do?" I'm not a psycho therapist, nor a counselor, but I remember responding with telling her to try living by her lights, instead. And here's the thing...
What does that mean exactly?
She and I spoke openly for a few minutes about the mind/body connection, and because she asked me directly, I felt it was appropriate to share what I know personally about this subject. She was very eager to hear that it was possible to alleviate pain and stress in her body by realigning some of her thought processes. But what struck me the most was her statement, "I feel like I'm living by the skin of my teeth." That's a definite struggle, a constant strain. It actually made me think of the poster from years ago with the kitten hanging by it's claw and the words, "Hang In There, Baby" written at the bottom. Remember that one? That feels like survival mode, and that's not a comfortable way to live. If you're merely surviving instead of thriving, then that's not living at all.
But living by your lights, ahh...
Each and every one of us has an inexhaustible source of truth and guidance available to us. Tapping into it is a simple process, but one that requires trust in ourselves. But here's another thing dearies, trust is hard for people. We've made so many mistakes in our lives. We've really messed things up before. People let you down. A misplaced trust in someone or something can have far reaching effects. For some people it's absolutely devastating. The so-called mistakes in our life (and I'm a firm believer there are no mistakes, just missed opportunities for growth) are the guideposts that point us away from the thing that isn't in our best interest. If you've placed your trust in flimsy and transient things, and been repeatedly disappointed, it's very easy to not trust your instincts anymore. This is where we begin to doubt our own ability to create the life we want...and deserve.
Imagine accepting yourself, in all your imperfect glory, with open arms. I do this everyday! It's part of my self-care. People may have hurt us, people may have let us down, situations may have turned on us, but we, oh my, we are vicious on ourselves. No one beats us up like the punches we pull on our hearts and minds. Let's stop that. Please? Reestablishing a strong connection to our inner strength and wisdom comes a lot easier when we stop blaming ourselves, or anyone else for that matter, and begin to realize that everything we've ever been through can be used for positive change. This is the acceptance part. This is true self-love. This is the basis for a new life, or at least, an overhaul on the stagnant one we may be living.
There was a time when I didn't know how to live. I didn't know how to trust myself. I didn't know I held all the truth and wisdom and direction that I needed to get out of the mess I'd made of my little world. It was a process to break this mold, but what catapulted me the fastest into the life I now enjoy was the intentional practice of stopping the blame game, and accepting myself right where I was. Knowing I was already perfect in all my imperfection allowed me to take a deep breath and exhale a lot of self-doubt and negativity. I took a good look at all the things I felt I had done wrong, and I turned them around so that everything I had done before was viewed simply as a stepping stone on my own unique path. It's about choices and consequences, nothing more. We choose well, or we make a choice that forces us down the road to choose again, or stay stuck. This was when I began to view my life differently. This was when I began to trust myself once more. This was the beginning of my own personal healing.
And the client I had a few weeks ago? I saw her recently and she shared a list of all the things she felt she does well in life. I suggested she write down everything that she could consider an asset and a talent...all the little things, too. With her permission, I can tell you, she knows she is good at hugging. She can roll paint onto walls with lightening speed, and with no drips. She can make risotto like nobody's business. She can tap dance. She knows when someone is lying by the way they hold their eyes. She has x-ray vision when it comes to deciphering bullshit in most any situation. These are skills and I praised her for acknowledging them! Her list was just the beginning and I encouraged her to keep noticing all the times she relies on this innate "knowing". This is the light with which we can choose to live. It's not about survival, it's about thriving in mind and body. It's knowing you have what it takes to live a fearless and fulfilling life. But sometimes it takes things coming to a grinding halt just so we can get off the merry-go-round of self-defeatism. Sometimes it will take just a stopover. A regrouping. A quiet time in your day to get still and listen. Ask and you will get an answer. And if you don't right away, then stay in the moment and just accept you don't know what to do. Hang with that. It signals the Universe that you are open...ready...waiting. Be Empty. Not knowing is a sacred thing to experience. My most open and empty moments were the times I became filled-up with direction and guidance. There is no wrong way to learn and grow in this life. We learn through wisdom or we learn through pain. One takes longer, that's all. Never beat yourself up for this. Never.
Live by the light that resides in you. It's there, dearest. If you can't believe that right now, then believe me when I tell you this, because I couldn't write it if I hadn't lived it and seen it for myself. You possess everything you need to shine brightly in this world...and the world has need of you and your light! Imagine the power that could be harnessed if every man, woman, and child had a grasp of their own strength and courage and beauty! Think of all the lives that could be touched and blessed with this power! And this is not egotistical. This is humility. Accepting our innate gifts and spreading them among the people we come into contact with is how to live in true community with one another. That won't feel like survival, at all. That's not living by the skin of your teeth, that's living by your authentic truth. And when you hook into that which you were born to do, namely to birth your purpose into being, and then live it, you are supported with everything you need to shine in your life. Everything.
Well, I thank you for stopping by. I write when I feel moved to write, and from the heart, so take what you will and use it, or take nothing at all. I wish you peace and plenty and a true understanding of the light that resides within you. You're beautiful and powerful beyond measure!
Until next time...