Have you ever stopped and looked at your life and thought, “my God, how did I get here?” I’ve done it more times than I can count. You wake up one day and look around, and well, sometimes you cry. Done that too. It might be something small, or it might be that you are so far off track in every area of your life that you don’t know where to begin to make changes to get back on track.
Off the Self-Love Track
How do we manage to get ourselves so far away from self-love sometimes? So far away from what we want and deserve. Or even just a little off track. We can certainly get highly distracted. It’s normal really. But every time we do, it’s an opportunity to check in. To reassess things. To learn from it. And to get yourself back on track.
So how does this happen that we get off track? Oh so many ways. I like to think of my dog when he sees a squirrel. He loses himself completely. Forgets about me, what we’re doing, that he’s on a leash – it all goes out the window. Getting him back on track can be challenging. That’s how we can be with our own self-love and self-worth sometimes. You are going along taking great care of yourself, working on your self-love in all the areas of your life, and suddenly….oh he’s so cute! You know all the warning signs are there, and your gut says don’t do it, but he’s flirting with you and you like him. Then suddenly you are involved in something you shouldn’t be. A relationship that takes your self-love and drags it through the dirt.
It can happen in every area of your life. What about those times you go shopping, things get out of control, and you totally destroy that budget you had? What savings account? You just spent it. You knew in your gut you shouldn’t be doing this, but you did it anyway. This is part of self-love – you need to take care of yourself financially. Spending yourself into debt is not self-love.
It can be a lot more major for you too. I personally woke up in my new apartment one day last fall, and while I was grateful for my life and all I had, I also felt defeated. I am 50 years old and living in an apartment alone with my dogs. This is not where I expected to be at this point in my life. I had wanted a wonderful husband who I’m head over heels in love with, a home, and land, and the financial freedom and security to pay for all of it. How did I end up here? How do I get there? Sigh. Sometimes you can feel off track with your entire life! But again, I think in these moments the Universe is inspiring us to want more, and to love ourselves enough to reach for it.
Awareness and Self-Compassion
Or it could be more minor and less drastic in terms of impact. I know I’ve had this a lot with creating and developing my own business. When things aren’t moving along as you want them to. When no one responds or ‘likes’ what you are creating. If it all feels in vain. Your self-esteem comes crashing down sometimes. You start to question if it’s all worth it. Does anyone really read this stuff? Am I making a difference or just spinning my wheels (in my wheelhouse of course – LOL)? Your self-love and self-esteem can take a hit sometimes and it’s up to you to pick yourself up and keep going. To follow your own compass and your own dreams, and of course the signs the Universe sends you. I think sometimes we get caught up in our own head when the Universe is busy inspiring us to keep going.
I have a lifetime of examples of this, even very recently in my life, when I wound up in tears of frustration with myself and my life. It happens. The important part is that when it does, we need to be lovingly compassionate with ourselves. Yes, we need to pick ourselves up and start again, but we need to realize that EVERYONE has these times. Some may have an all-out emotional breakdown, while others may just see something more clearly (and unemotionally) and take immediate action to change it. Everyone deals with things differently. It’s all part of our own growth toward self-love.
Faith and Focus
The key, I believe, is faith and focus. And a strong sense of self-worth and self-love to get you there. If you know yourself well enough to know who you are and what you want, you can find your focus, or your dreams and desires. If you love yourself you will feel worthy of it, and move toward that, ignoring the distractions around you (squirrel!!). You need to keep your eye on the prize so-to-speak, and have faith that you will get there. This all takes time though, and patience with yourself.
When you do get side-tracked or frustrated – let yourself get emotional. I think we need to work through it that way. But then pick yourself up and come up with a new plan. So if you realize you are in the wrong relationship and not happy – feel it, write about it, talk about it to friends if you need to – but then come up with a plan to get out. To move on. Intimidating as times like this can be, if we don’t honor ourselves and do what we know is the right thing in our heart, the Universe can’t bring us all the good stuff we are meant to have.
Allow the Universe to Deliver all the Good You Deserve
Truly as I’ve let go of bad situations in my life, I’m always blown away by how the Universe brings me something amazingly better! It’s when we stubbornly hold on to what isn’t working (and we know in our gut we need to change) that things only get worse. My perfect example of this is a story I’ve told before. I was in a job that made me miserable – I mean I hated the job in every way. I stuck it out for 1.5 years in that job. And during that time lots of other bad things happened to me too – like breaking my foot, my dogs were both diagnosed with CHF, and so much more. Life was quite miserable for me while I was in that job – in every way. And then one day, I was laid off.
Laid off?!? What?!? It was such a shock. I cried for an hour. But then I realized I wouldn’t ever have to do that job again, and I jumped up and danced around and laughed and laughed! I thanked God. I’d been brought to my knees in the true climax of this situation – what most would have seen as the worst thing that could happen – but I saw it suddenly for what it was. I could have fallen apart. I could have been devastated. But I saw the light.
I was being shown it was time. And I was SO ready for a change. I was ready to turn this ship around and set sail in the right direction – finally! I embraced that. While I didn’t know what was next, I immediately had faith – the Universe was like, “enough already!”, and it was time to move forward. I got the best job of my career 3 months later.
Don’t Ignore the Signs or Your Gut
Don’t wait though to get pushed out of what you shouldn’t be doing. Don’t wait to hit rock bottom. And definitely don’t wait for bankruptcy, illness, abuse, misery…..or whatever awful stuff you attract into your life with your bad choices going against yourself, your gut feelings and your best interest. Pay attention. Follow the signs. Everything is here to teach you. Don’t lose the lessons. Really, it’s time to wake up and take notice. These might be your biggest steps toward self-love and faith that you can have a better life. Follow the signs.
The Purpose of Life
The bottom line here is that, I believe, life is about growing and learning. That we didn’t come here to have a flowery perfect existence. We came here to learn. To see the differences between good and bad. To find yourself and your creator in your heart, and have faith in ourselves and the Universe.
I personally believe that we live many lifetimes of learning these lessons – maybe hundreds or thousands of lifetimes. And it’s up to us to find our self-love and our faith through it all. Through all the darkness in our lives. All the hardships. We learn. We grow. And we move forward when we take in the lessons, when we follow our gut and our guidance, and when we do things that honor who we really are and our own happiness.
Self-Sacrifice is not Self-Love
I think where people get confused here is in self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice in your day-to-day life will be a hard lesson for you in the long run. People will use you, manipulate you, take advantage of your selflessness. While some may still see this as honorable, it’s really a recipe for getting kicked around and used, and the Universe doesn’t want that for you either. Plus, we tend to lose ourselves completely and don’t even know who we are or what we want when all we do is sacrifice for others. It’s about self-love and compassion, both for yourself and others. Self-respect, respect of others, and kindness in general. It’s about following the signs the Universe is giving you too.
What you don’t see is that self-sacrifice and staying in that unhealthy job or relationship that you feel stuck in or feel like you can’t let them down – well while you are also missing out on the better job or relationship the Universe is trying to bring you – you are also keeping that person or business from the better relationship or employee (who loves the job) that they deserve as well! Or for that matter, they may just need to learn certain lessons by having you leave them. I think we tend to forget about that part! You are also doing everyone else a disservice by staying where you don’t belong, or sacrificing yourself when those people aren’t learning the lessons they came here to learn by losing you.
Follow Your Gut for Everyone’s Sake
I hope this makes sense. What I’m trying to say though is that when you feel in your gut something isn’t right for you, it’s also not right for the ones you are impacting. So for example, if you don’t feel you are in the best and happiest relationship for you, and your gut tells you it’s time to go. If you don’t go for whatever reason, here’s what you are likely holding up…..
Your significant other may have their soulmate waiting for them somewhere – but they are tied up in your relationship. You may have a soulmate waiting for you somewhere – but you are tied up in your relationship. There may be great things ahead for you in other areas of your life (and for your partner too), but neither of you can see it clearly because you’re so focused on the relationship and all the issues. In the long run you will both be happier and following your own hearts and dreams. What are you waiting for?
Learning to Listen
While I am encouraging you to follow the signs, follow your gut, and always follow your heart – you have to do it when you are ready. Honestly, some of the biggest things I needed to change, and saw the signs of, took me years to act on. And often the Universe had to do it for me in some drastic way. While I appreciated that – it made me realize that I wasn’t following the signs or my own feelings. I was self-sacrificing, had low self-worth, and very little self-love during those times. It’s all helped me to see things more clearly, find that deep love and compassion for myself, and to follow my own heart…in a more timely manner. I know now that I have my own internal compass, and that is what I follow. Over time, and with self-love, you learn to listen.
A book you may like is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.