Today I’d like to share with you a guest post from Sheri Sutherland. This is an enlightening look at self awareness, self care, and self forgiveness.
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Winning At Life’s Game Of Musical Chairs
Do you ever feel like no matter how much you try to change, things just stay the same? I felt like that for decades…it sucked!
If you aren’t doing all the right things, at the right time, in the right way, it can feel like a never ending cycle of musical chairs, where you are always the last woman standing. What a recipe for disaster!
Self-Knowledge Is The Starting Point
After years of working my way through life’s blocks and negative patterns, I realized it all starts with me. I have to be kind and considerate to myself. I have to love myself unconditionally. I have to know myself intimately. And, most importantly, I have to pay attention to the bullshit stories I tell myself and make sure I replace them with the truth (with a positive spin wherever possible!)
Knowing ourselves sounds so easy, but it is actually quite a painful process in the beginning – we have to confront all the horrible things we have ever done or said, in order to forgive ourselves and come to understand why we did those things, what our triggers are, and how to stop repeating those same tired patterns. That can be really uncomfortable, as it forces us to look ourselves in the eye, and confront the times we sucked.
Changing That Which We Don’t Like – And Forgiving For The Stuff We Can’t Change
When I started my journey, I went really slowly, as I was doing it on my own, and I got to know all of my flaws and all the stuff I wanted to keep hidden from everyone. As I came to realizations, I integrated changes in my life that allowed me to stop doing those same behaviors that were hurting me. Each time, my life improved! I read a ton of books on psychology and mindset, and tried to apply their teachings to my life as much as possible.
While I was doing my work on myself, I came to realize that I was also carrying around a lot of anger and disappointment about the others in my life who created some of the drama and damage I was healing. So, I added a practice of forgiveness to my daily life. I practiced release techniques to clear my mind and my soul of any toxic residues that were lingering, and I found that the more I released my anger and hurt, the more self love I was able to practice! I had accidentally created a positive feedback loop, which if you haven’t experienced yet, I hope you do at some point, because it feels freaking COOL! Forgiving others meant I was more deeply able to forgive myself, and the more I forgave myself, the more forgiveness I had in my heart for others – a true win-win situation!
My favorite book during this period was definitely Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – it gave me the courage to find my voice and end an unhappy marriage.
Self Compassion Is The Key To Making Life Work Well
The next step in my journey was really working on how to create space for a relationship – my first “how to date again after my divorce” book was Screwing the Rules by Laurel House, and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s supposed to be a relationship book, but I found it talked so powerfully about continuing my work of finding me, and loving myself, that I really just kept going deeper and deeper into my soul, cleansing and healing all the crap, and creating my best self. I also started to look at how to use the knowledge and gifts I had, to help others find their best lives too. Then, I discovered You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, and I was hooked on life coaching from that moment on.
I discovered, along my journey, that the way I talked to myself was downright mean. I was my own harshest critic, and I seemed to hate myself! I spent a lot of years working on that negative internal voice, replacing her with a more positive, hope filled one that left me feeling more upbeat and loved than the miserable shrew I had lived with for all those years before. I love to let my inner voice ramble now, because I know she is going to say so many nice things about me!
The more positive words I poured into my own ears, the more my life changed in a good way – I was creating even more of a positive feedback loop, and I loved the way it made my whole world light up.
Taking Our Time And Allowing Things To Happen As They Will
Fast forward a few years, and I found I did rush into that next romantic relationship a bit too fast, despite thinking I was ready – he wasn’t quite right for me, and our communication styles didn’t mesh well. I wanted to be with someone so badly, that I forgot to really make sure they would be the right person for me – I leaped and then looked. It taught me that I really do need to honor myself and make sure that I come first in any relationship I venture into in the future – but not in a bad way.
I learned a lot from that relationship – I learned so much about what my boundaries are, and how to react when someone pushes them. I feel like it was meant to be, that I would discover my child like wonder of the universe and learn to be a light in the world from being with him. No such thing as a mistake when you choose to learn the lessons from the things life brings to you!
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish!
Remember how we are supposed to put our oxygen mask on first, before we help others, or else we all might die? It’s the same principle in any relationship – if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, no one else will take care of us either! We need to show up in any relationship demanding that we be given an equal voice. Not a louder voice, not a me-first voice. Just an equal voice. We matter. When we are able to articulate our needs, we are more likely to attract others who are able to respect us, and are able to articulate their needs too. This goes for every relationship we have, not just romantic ones. If we don’t respect and honour ourselves, no one else will either. That’s how it works. You may find someone who likes taking care of broken birds (there are a few of them around), but do you want to be a broken bird? Do you want to take a chance on them leaving you when you find your self?
How To Create A Life You Can Be Proud Of
So, what are your key takeaways from my ramblings here? Know yourself powerfully and deeply. Know why and how you do the things you do. Change what you can, and let go of what you can’t. Forgiveness is indeed key. Loving yourself is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. Don’t rush the universe. And….put your oxygen mask on first!
Don’t stress about the guy – if you are happy with yourself and your life, he is an added bonus, not a necessity. There are some good ones out there, we just have to find that one weirdo who matches our weirdness, and we are all set.
Sending you love and light – Sheri
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Author’s Bio: Hi, I’m Sheri Sutherland, and I’m the Tranquility Mentor and Calmness Guide at Tranquility Soul Spa. Through working to overcome my own struggles with stress and anxiety, I realized my passion is a soul centered life calling which includes Reiki, meditation and wellness coaching. I love helping women who are where I was create new spiritual and emotional lives for themselves using the best recipe for them.