I AM ENOUGH!

Morrie Schwartz

I think a lot of people beat up on themselves, punish themselves emotionally because they’re “not good enough” or they haven’t done enough. They berate themselves for not living up to their own or somebody else’s expectations or for not having taken a different route in life or for not getting better grades in school or a better job . . . . Once you get into that state of mind, you continue to be mean to yourself and hurt yourself in ways you may not even be aware of. It’s very important to be kind and loving to yourself. You’re the only self you’ve got, so to speak. Befriend yourself in the same way you feel compassionate and gentle with other people. If you practice the principles of grieving, accepting, and forgiving yourself, you will be making a start in that direction. Morrie Schwartz

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It is so easy to find fault with ourselves. Many of us have a PhD in Self Incrimination and Degradation. We could’ve, should’ve and would’ve ourselves into self hatred and loathing. And in so doing, we mark ourselves as losers in the game of life. This sense of not being good enough can affect us mentally, spiritually and even physically. In the same way that emotional stress and worry can cause ulcers, medicine can now demonstrate that there is a direct connection between how we think about ourselves and our overall physical health. Auto-immune diseases, heart disease, and even cancers have been shown to have a psychological component. And once we let ourselves slide into the abyss of self-deprecation, the challenge to rise out of it is formidable.

I’ve heard from a young age that ‘to err is human.’ and it’s true. I cannot be right 100% of the time. It’s impossible. There’s no way that I can know all of the variables that create perfection. It’s important to give yourself a break. You can’t do it all and you can’t win every time; you really are only human. One my favourite definitions of success reminds me I only need pick myself up off the ground one more time than I’ve fallen in order to finish the hike. So forgive yourself. Give yourself a pass on this one, stand up and move forward.

Expectations are not results.

Every scientist tests a new theory with experiments. Sometimes the results confirm the expectations of the scientist, and sometimes they disprove the theory. I’ve learned to plan for the best outcome and at the same time keep myself aware that my expectations may not materialize. If something didn’t work out as expected, that is a reflection of the process, not on me personally. And then I can change what I’m doing because I know that the last way didn’t cut it. Would we still be in the dark if Thomas Edison stopped his light bulb experiments at 9,999 attempts?

I am enough!”

I have this written on my washroom mirror. It is a reminder that I am fine, just the way I am. I am not the work I do or the people I know. I don’t need anything else today. The mirror artistry is a powerful suggestion from Marisa Peer, a hypnotherapist from Britain. Much of her teaching is based on the truth that many people mistakenly believe that they fall short in some way or other. “I am enough” is a reminder to me that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone else or even to myself. Yes, “I am enough“, just as I am!

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Saying it once, isn’t sufficient. We have to say it over and over to reinforce this new belief and to destroy the old tracks that say otherwise. These recorded tracks that have been in place for decades don’t rewrite themselves overnight; scratch the record enough and it can never be played again. That’s why we need the constant reminder to reinforce this new attitude because we all, despite the challenges of the day, deserve a break. And a greater sense of self-worth can do a great deal to maintain and help heal us physically, mentally and spiritually. Enough with the regrets. We can give ourselves the benefit of any doubt.

Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. You really are Enough!

A Forever Change

I receive daily emails from several sources that focus on self development, further education and spiritual growth. Some I read religiously. Others I only check out if the excerpt sounds interesting. Many titles begin with promises of renewal and change. Others list a certain number of steps or items for success in whatever they are promising, should you follow them. I know that there are many ways of changing one’s self to achieve greater success and achievement in as many aspects of our lives. But I feel that many of these articles fail in mentioning one important point: in order to take on a “better version of yourself”, you must also be willing to let go of the old version.

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Most of us lead very busy and full lives. We’re working, looking after our children and families, doing household chores, all of which keep us alive, though not always living a life we would like to live. It’s easy to fall under the spell of ‘Three Ways to Simplify Your Day’, or ‘Finding Peace and Contentment in the Fury’. We pick and choose what is offered and try some of these suggestions in our lives. However, a month or so later we’re back doing things the old way because these suggestions just wouldn’t work in our lives. Or so we think.

I have learned over the past years that if I wish to move forward in my life, I have to let go of the old: there just isn’t room for the newer version of ‘Tim’ if the old one is still around. It’s easy to say but not easy to do. You see, I kind of like the old version. I am used to it. I know how I react to things. I know that it takes time to get used to new stuff but I am too entrenched in the old self to really give the 2.0 version of me a chance. As a result I tell myself that this ‘didn’t work’, or it’s ‘not for me.’ But that’s not really true. It like I am trying to implement a new operation system in my computer while still running the old software: it won’t work.

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What does work for me is letting go of the old, trusting in the process of change. I stop trying to put great expectations on the results and just enjoy the journey. When I first got into recovery everything was new, enticing and also overwhelming. I learned that I had to look at myself differently, as a person in recovery. I had to let go of my former version for the newer one in, get used to it, live with it and get comfortable with it. Hanging around in a bar with my old drinking buddies would not have kept me on the straight and narrow. I had to let go of the me I knew to make room for a new me that was emerging. Putting your dirty clothes back on after taking a shower, you’re still going to smell. Recovery wouldn’t work if I was holding onto my old self while trying get comfortable in my new skin. And I had to trust that the process I was going through would work for me as it had for literally millions of other folks, but only if I gave it an honest chance. And to do that, I had to say good-bye to the ‘me’ I was, and welcome the new whoever that might be.

Change is only possible when we make room for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small thing such as changing your bedtime, or a life shifting change in profession. We have to let go. We must let go. Otherwise we are bound to fail. Ensure a successful transition to the newest version of ‘You’! Move forward and leave the old behind. Say good-bye to who you were to make a ‘forever’ change.

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A Very Persistent Illusion

Is it a fact or is it a belief? The more I seek and delve deeper into the world around me, the more I realize that most of what I think I know are not facts but beliefs. Things in this world are not as they seem. I am not what I seem. As Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” What I thought were facts are, I am discovering, nicely packaged theories that work for a time, but which are only an approximations. They are not facts. They are not the truth. All of this reinforces my need to be flexible and not close the door on any subject.

I was taught that North and South America’s native population all came across Beringia, the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska some 13,000 years ago. Recent archaeological study, combined with radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis now proves that homo sapiens were present in the Americas up to 130,000 years ago . I was taught in high school that the number of brain cells that we have as an adult will only decrease as we age. That has also been proven to be false. Neurogenesis is our ability to form new brain cells throughout life. Coupled with neuroplasticity, the ability to form new brain restructure and reorganize nerve pathways means that we can always grow and learn. And I was taught that Antarctica was ‘discovered’ in 1820, yet the the Piri Reis Map of 1513 clearly shows its existence. Theories, it seems, come with an expiration date.

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” Herbert Spencer

I came across this quote a number of years ago. It’s a reminder to me that if I believe I have the ‘truth’, then I close my mind to any future discoveries. It’s a reminder of what institutions like the Catholic Church did when it persecuted Copernicus and Galileo because their new discoveries did not fit with their view biblical of the ‘facts’. It’s a reminder that I don’t have all of the answers and that I may never have them. And it’s a reminder to stay away from any dogmatic ‘fact’. The ‘facts’, as illustrated above, can change.

So maybe some of the new theories about life and humanity, past and future, are the new truths for today. Perhaps our world really is a simulation or a type of holographic projection. Perhaps light-speed travel is possible. Are there parallel universes? Who knows. As long as I am open to the possibility, then I have a chance of finding the new ‘facts’ of tomorrow. With a closed mind, I’ll never have a chance.

I have been using this extra ‘time’ I have on my hands to investigate many things, past, present and future. One video on YouTube leads me to a book which, in turn leads me to another discovery, a podcast or series. There is so much out there that I didn’t know about the world around us, our reality. Some of these things have lead me to try new things. I learned how to make my own yogurt (easy) and sour dough starter (relatively easy) and to work out again (I ache all over right now). I’ve taken a one week, self-guided retreat. I subscribed to a 50 day introduction to meditation (on day 48 today).

The world we live in is as wide or as narrow as I decide to make it. More than ever, I have found that the further I dig into something, even something I think I know a lot about, I discover how little I really know. This reality, illusion or otherwise, contains of lifetime of awe and wonder. I am grateful that I have the time to discover it.

Suggested Links:

Piri Reis Map A 16th century map based upon earlier, now lost maps.

America Before, by Graham Hancock. Hancock’s book about pre Clovis civilization in the Americas. There’s also a link to an entertaining lecture he gave on this topic.

Becoming Supernatural, By Joe Dispenza. Brain-heart link with consciousness.

Matt D’Avella, on YouTube. He’s the latest guy I’ve been following.