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Archive for June, 2013

sad woman pic

Today was one of those days.

I was going through some things. I was wrestling with myself internally, stressing over some financial issues. Wondering when my career is going to take off…when all the hard work is going to pay off….

Sigh.

I’m an Aries-very impatient. Looking at the 3 dollars currently in my checking account makes me even more impatient.

Part of the “Idomewed” way of life includes days like today. In our marraige to ourselves, life is great but everyday ain’t a honeymoon. These days or moments are the true test-just like any relationship.

“Idomewed” is a marraige to ourselves. It is about saying “Yes!” to ourselves (especially when life seems to be saying “NO!”)

As I shared in an earlier blog post, we must be our own best friend-and there is never a more needed time for a best bud than a day when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

Even the closest of people in your life fall short in being there in some way. Maybe they’re caught up in their own stuff. Or they love you but they can’t relate to what you’re going through right now.

Whatever it is, the best friend you need most is YOU.

You need that pep talk that only you can give to yourself.

I needed a pep talk today…I needed a “I believe in you!” today….and I needed a “shoulder to cry on” today….

And then, at the end of the day, I needed a “motivation speech to keep me focused on my goals” friend.

All that has to come from me, not someone else.

Only I can pull myself out of a funk.

Only I can dig inside to find my true feelings.

Only I can be gut-level honest with myself about what the root of my feelings are.

Only I can kick myself in the butt to get moving on what to do about it.

For many years I struggled with depression-deep depression. I did not know how to work things out internally when life got hard. I was naturally tough, but I never developed that life skill on how to maintain a positive attitude when things in the present situation weren’t positve. I didn’t know how to navigate my emotions and not get stuck in them.

With an “Idomewed” mentality I am committed to myself for good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer…I’m not just tolerating myself but embracing myself. And that’s what it’s all about.

Sigh.

Which also means embracing my problems and issues.

On days like today when life feels overwhelming, there is a solid place within myself now that I didn’t have before. I know deep down things will manifest. Whatever is in the way can be moved.

But most important of all, I have me…and you have you.

Until we meet again,
Idomewed.

X0X0 Helen X0X0

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cat lion image for self-esteem

Personal responsibility?

Ugh.

Most people hate that phrase. They shut down and start defending or deflecting. If you say they need to take personal responsibility you’re:

Insensitive. Judgmental. Arrogant. Harsh.

I used to feel that way, too. When hearing about owning my life circumstances, I would gather my friends around (who were in the same crappy situation as me) so we could stew in the “people haven’t walked a mile in my shoes” pot together. A little “self-pity” soup with a justification sandwich on the side…

Until I changed. Until Idomewed.

There is no IdomeWed without Idomeown. No Idomewed without Idometake-personal-responsibility. No Idomewed without Idomelove, honor and obey myself.

No one can exist in the realm of “idomewed” without putting up a magnifying glass up to themselves first. Actually, Idomewed is a conscious state of being where self-examination is an everyday practice, just like brushing your teeth or eating.

This is something the human ego fights against. Most people resist going inside and asking the tough critical questions of themselves, such as:

Why did I behave that way?

If I knew this person didn’t love me, why did I stay in the relationship so long?

Or:

Why is it people always enjoy being around me?

What is it about me that attracts the same kinds of people, be it at my job, romantically, friendship-wise, etc.?

Why do I love to gamble so much? (MOM) ….What does that say about me?

The list is unending, but the point is self-examination of the good and the bad. We especially have to take a hard look at the things about us or about our lives that we don’t like-not to criticize (blame) but to see what the diagnosis is (personal responisibility).

Here’s the jewel, so pay attention:

Most people don’t take personal responsibility because they confuse personal responsibility with blame.

Yes.

What is the difference?

Personal responsibility is embracing yourself (Idomewed). It is accepting and loving yourself no matter how much you messed up. It means not judging yourself. It means not criticizing yourself.

self blame

Blame, on the other hand, is just that: self-criticism. You tell yourself you were stupid. Dumb. Incapable. Untrustworthy. Weak-and most devastating of all…a victim. When you are a victim of your circumstances, hope is lost. Blaming others or yourself is a deflection from owning up to the choices we’ve made in life. When a bad relationship ends, instead of owning our part in it, we lament about how we gave everything to this person and they took advantage of us. When we get laid off we fail to realize that it wasn’t just that the corporation we worked for is the devil incarnate-WE hated that job and deep down wanted to start that business we always dreamed of having anyway.

See, when we blame, we are telling the universe that we are weak and not powerful beings. Religion is built on this theory, where we are the powerless peons who need some kind of cosmic savior to rescue us from ourselves and carry the consequences for our actions.(AHEM-JESUS!)

But love for self is unconditional, so NO bad choice or situation can undo that. We’ve already said “I do” to ourselves!

responsibility

But when we take personal responsibility, we’re saying we can carry our own weight. We are bigger than our circumstances-good or bad. We are empowered, which means no way will we even CONSIDER giving our power away to another person, group or entity.

Our personal power is our most precious resource. The power of CHOICE is always ours-always.

One more thing before we go…

Oftentimes we get defensive when someone tells us to take personal responsibility for our lives because we are so hard on ourselves already. We are our biggest critic. Our own worst enemy. I’ve heard it said that if we told another person the things we tell ourselves we’d be arrested for verbal and psychological abuse.
You wouldn’t say some of the things you tell yourself to your worst enemy. Me included.

So when personal responsibility is brought up, we react emotionally. We feel misunderstood, judged, beat up on, mistreated. We mis-interpret taking self-responsiblity for it being OUR FAULT (Blame). There is a big difference. We associate FAULT with being a bad person, a screw-up, a loser..and the list goes on…

But taking personal responsibility isn’t about whose “fault” it is. It isn’t about who should be ridden with guilt. It’s a life skill. It must be learned and developed like a muscle. It means learning to look at yourself more neutrally instead of judging your self-worth based on the choices and decisions you’ve made, like the person you married, getting pregnant at 15, going to jail, cheating, lying or stealing…

Our choices are a reflection of our state of consciousness, not our self-value!!!

**Our self-worth has nothing to do with the things we DO!***

So own it. Be it…. Idomewed.

Peace and internal ease,
Helen

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Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The Five Love Languages” several years back. I recommend it to every human being on the planet.

Why? You ask.

Well, what does the world need?

Love.

What do YOU need?

You guessed it again-love.

The problem is that we have no idea what real love is. Our society breeds shallowness. What we call “love” is really “what can this person do for me?”

What this “love” is is performance-based (also referred to as conditional love). There are conditions on this so-called love.

It is based upon the “if-then” principle: If you do this then I will love you. If you get good grades, clean your room and behave quietly then you are loved.

IF you do everything I want you to do, if you make me happy, THEN I’ll love you….

But what is it that we’re missing here?

Idomewed, that’s what.

Idomewed is a mentality, lifestyle and conscious state of being that means authentic love, unconditionally presented at all times. This first starts with SELF. Truthfully, we don’t LOVE ourselves, we don’t HONOR ourselves, and we don’t OBEY our intuition, instincts and hunches. We are our own worst critics, we beat ourselves up constantly, we hate the way we look, the sound of our voice, the way our bodies don’t look like someone else’s- and even more horrifying is that we leave the personal responsiblity of our happiness, security and self-esteem to other people.

Idomewed happens when we take personal ownership of our own well-being. It happens when we do the internal work to heal from past wounds. It happens when we become INTROSPECTIVE and begin taking an honest look at ourselves. It happens when we take on the courageous and tedious task of digging through the emotional attic of our subconscious minds and identifying what mental programs are running our lives. It happens when we begin letting go of the external images and ideas presented to us by our family, friends, media and “powers that be” and redefining our own realities.

One of these external ideas that needs redefining is LOVE. What we know to be love is just a behavioral and mental pattern we are repeating. Our minds were imprinted with what we saw and interpreted to be love as young children-before we had the capacity to critically think for ourselves. Thus, we accepted the shallow, performance-based fast-food version of love as truth. Now we order potential partners like we’re at a drive-thru window at McDonald’s:

“I’d like a #2-no pickles please and extra ketchup.”

What this post is about is what I define as real love. First and foremost, it is about KNOWING SELF. Which leads us to….

TODAY’S QUESTION: What is YOUR love language? In other words, what is the way that you communicate love and feel loved by others?

Dr. Chapman breaks it down into five basic areas:

One: Physical Touch-love experienced through physical contact

Two: Quality time-love experienced through spending meaningful time together, i.e. phone conversations, going to the park, etc.

Three: Receiving gifts-love experienced through recieivng gifts and/or meeting material needs.

Four: Acts of Service-love experienced through actions to meet person’s needs.

and

Five: Words of Affirmation-love experienced through verbal appreciation and encouragement.

We all speak-and need to receive- these languages of love, it’s just a matter of how they rank in our internal priority list. Chapman calls your #1 language your primary language and #2 the secondary language. Just like with English or Spanish, we each speak a language of love. Even our pets do. The goal is to become fluent in all love languages.

The litmus test is how we express love to others. In other words, our primary love language is the one we express to others. How we love other people. It’s what makes us feel connected and appreciated by other people. Do you feel more connected and appreciated when someone gives you a compliment(Words of affirmation) or if they send you flowers(receiving gifts)? …If they ask you to go out to lunch (Quality time) or give you a ride home when your car breaks down(Acts of Service)?

As far as the litmus test, how do you show love to other people? Do you give them your undivided attention (Quality time) or do you offer to babysit their kids or house-sit for them when they’re out of town? (Acts of Service). Do you “give the shirt off your back” (receiving gifts) or do you offer kind words and verbal encouragement (Words of affirmation)? See, we do to others what we want done to us. We show affection to other people the way we want them to to show us affection.

Last but not least, remember that unconditional love is loving someone the way THEY understand it, aka their love language. It means you don’t judge yourself or the person you’re with because of how you/they are. Most relationships would change overnight if we would just get it through our thick skulls that you love people according to how THEY feel loved, not how YOU feel loved!!! This unconditional love means moving out of your comfort zone to step into someone else’s world and speak their dialect. It means being willing to meet their deepest needs. If your primary love language is Words of Affirmation but theirs is Acts of Service, don’t keep trying to force positive words,compliments and five-second calls at work just to say “I’m thinking of you.” They need you to DO things instead of just SAYING things. Maybe clean up, make them lunch for work, or ask them what they need help with.

This applies to Idomewed as well. If your primary love language is Quality Time, then stop trying to force yourself to always be out and about with other people. You need to spend some QT with yourself to feel happy and fulfilled (unless their primary language is QT too). Even so, your way of loving yourself requires time alone. As a primary QT myself, it is an interesting dichotomy. In my relationships with other people, spending time together is critical but so is my time alone.

So, to wrap things up here, if you know how you “speak love” and interpret love i.e. your love language, then you have entered the realm of real love, where you leave all the judgments at the door and accept others with all the good and the bad-after accepting yourself… for the same reason.

Until next time,
Keep living, loving, and learning…Idomewed!

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