I have hope in tomorrow that I will learn from my mistakes of yesterday. I have hope that I have learned my lesson to honor and love myself so I may roam this earth as a free spirit. But what does that mean to be free and how do I know what I need?
There are so many acronyms for hope that I came across recently that coincides with last week’s blog post, I had COVID, about erasing shame and guilt from our emotional bank. The responses from last week’s post were so positive and I realized that as I shared my experiences three things happened. One, I realized that I was not alone. Two, others healed by knowing that they are not alone, and three, we freed ourselves from the burden of hiding.
So here’s another confession. I used to work really hard and give so much of myself so that other people would like me. I never asked for anything in return except their love and friendship. Now that may sound very altruistic, but the challenge is that I neglected my needs. I was also trying to earn something that should be freely given. Love does not have a price and should never have to be earned.
Think of it this way, do your children, whether they are human or animal, have to “earn” your love or will you love them unconditionally always? You will always love them. They do not have to do anything to earn your love or at least they shouldn’t have to. Yet, back in my teens, twenties, and thirties, I felt that love had to be earned. Honestly, I felt like everything had to be earned. Nothing should ever just be given to you. This made me work harder and harder and neglect my innate needs even more. If you have ever owned your own business, you may understand what I am talking about that you give and give and give of yourself in order for your business to succeed. We also do this with jobs so we don’t lose them and with spouses, children, volunteer opportunities, and even our friends and family members. It’s very easy to let the world and life determine our actions and ignore our needs.
In last week’s blog post, I had COVID, I mentioned that we must be true to ourselves and stop hiding. When we do this, we free ourselves from the cage others have put us in. Well, we can also put ourselves in a cage of I have to in order for this to happen mentality. Once again, God’s message is that you Have to be true to yourself. Don’t neglect yourself. What do you need?
I was talking with a friend last week whose parents are needing more care. She and her brother are going over daily to assist them. Her parents do not want outside help to come in. She wanted to respect her parent’s wishes to stay at home, but she also knew that she and her brother could not sustain the level of care they needed without damaging their own health. She also acknowledged that she wanted to have quality time with her parents and enjoy being in their company rather than using their last time bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, and running errands for them. When she said this to her parents, they understood that she loved them so much that she wanted to be with them and enjoy them. How beautiful! She respected herself and was still able to show her love for her parents. May her story give you hope, hearing other people’s experiences, that you, too, can find harmony.
Remember that you never have to earn love and love will never be taken away from you. True love will always be there. No matter how upset I get at anyone, I will always love them. Be your best friend. Love yourself. Have hope. Listen to other people’s stories and know that you are not alone, you are not selfish, and you should never feel shameful or guilty for taking care of yourself. I love you and I always will no matter what. Pastor T.D. Jakes once said, “Date Yourself”. So go on a date with yourself and get to know who you are and what your needs are. Have a great time!
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Stretch: We are going to intertwine our arms into eagle’s pose from yoga. I recommend doing this in sitting.
- Extend both arms straight out in front of you,
- crisscross them so your right arm is under the left,
- bend your elbows,
- touch your fingertips of your right hand to your left palm,
- reach your arms slightly upward.
You can rest your arms on a high counter and hold this stretch as you feel the spread in your wings letting you fly free. Note as well that you do not have to do this pose in its entirety. Stop at any of the steps above and hold that pose. Listen to your body and honor what you need and are able to do. No forcing! Don’t forget to repeat this with the left arm under the right.
Exercise: Grab your theraband, or stretchy band. Activate your core. Hold your arms straight out in front of you and stretch the band horizontally 10x making sure to breathe as you are doing this. Now, hold the theraband in a vertical position with your thumbs facing upward and stretch the band 10x. Do this twice, once with the right on top and then the left hand on top. Only stretch the band to your tolerance making sure you do not overdo it. That’s the theme of the week. Respect your limits and needs.
Habitual Change: Have you worn your shoes out? Check your soles. If they are worn down on one side, it may be time to go shoe shopping. ( : Worn-down shoes alter the neutral alignment of your body because your feet are not flat on the floor. So new shoes really do make a difference and are important, not just for fashion. I also recommend rotating shoes frequently to decrease the wear and tear on shoes. Then they last longer.
Perspective enlightenment: I love myself most. Do not feel guilty saying this! Love yourself most!
Journaling option: If you are doing something that is wearing you out physically or emotionally, stop and ask yourself, how can I make this better? How can I be true to myself?
This week’s blog post once again goes wonderfully with week 4 of the Voyage to HEAL: Vows of Armor. Please listen to this meditation or purchase this week. The mediation is a progressive muscle relaxation that can really show you where you are holding tight that you may not have known. You can also purchase the Inner Peace Meditation CD or start your full on-line Voyage to HEAL. Click here to visit the store.
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL