I’m conflicted about how I feel about the idea of manifesting. I think there is something to the notion that positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes, and I greatly believe in the power of focusing on gratitude. In the darkest periods of my life, I always had something to be grateful for, and my small sliver of gratitude pulled me through some bleak times because not everything was terrible at the same time.
But, here’s my concern. Some people are truly innocent victims, and their thoughts had nothing to do with something bad that happened to them. I fear that the idea of manifesting makes people who were victimized in some way feel blamed for something that wasn’t their fault.
For example, I think about victims of genocide or terrorist attacks and how their thoughts could not have possibly brought such terror upon them. Even if you think you don’t deserve good things, it does not give anybody the right to hurt you.
Right now, this quote from Wayne Dyer makes a lot of sense to me, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
When people are victimized in some way, it doesn’t mean they are victimized in every way. Those of us who were victimized in some regard have to find a way not to see every part of our life though that lens, and we have to find where our power is because nobody can take away all our power in every single way.
If you are reading this, it means you have survived what you have survived and that those who tried to destroy you did not succeed. If you are reading this, I hope you appreciate the immense strength and beauty that’s inside you right now because you are here. You made it this far. Keep going!
I hope you remember that if someone hurt you, your thoughts didn’t cause it. Your voice didn’t cause it. Your beauty didn’t cause it. You didn’t cause anybody to hurt you, and you didn’t deserve it. May you find and know your stunning power.
Last week, I found myself feeling something I wish I didn’t feel. It embarrassed me to admit to myself that I’m lonely. I’m not lonely all the time, but there are some days where loneliness feels like a dirty bar of soap in my chest, something unnatural, and slippery that I somehow swallowed that I wish wasn’t there.
Admitting that I’m lonely feels like weakness and failure. In my life, I’m the strong one, the one others depend on. I’m the one who helps others, not the one who gets helped or saved unless it’s by myself. I’m the one who makes the sacrifices and the one who takes the high road. But I am not always strong, and I have needs. I need to be okay with not being strong all the time, and I need to be okay with having needs of my very own.
Recently, I watched a video where someone quoted Carl Jung who said, “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
I am rich with amazing friends which makes me feel even more guilty for feeling lonely, so if Jung’s quote is true, what am I unable to communicate that is important to me?
I cannot be strong all the time. I have been meeting my own needs my whole life, and I’m tired. I miss physical affection, and this is a hard one to give to myself, so I decided to get a cat. I wish I was joking about that. Petting a cat is not the same as cuddling with a man.
I’m currently single, and I need to make peace with the fact that I have needs and yearnings, and not all of my needs can be met right now, and that’s okay. I need to trust that being lonely does not equal desperate. I need to trust myself. I need to trust that I won’t end up shopping in Target in skin tight leopard print pants and a scandalously low cut blouse in hopes of getting a scrap of attention in order to feel visible.
Being a few pounds higher than I want to be and not having a man doesn’t make me invisible or unimportant. It’s okay to have needs. It’s okay to feel lonely sometimes. It’s okay to get tired and get some rest. With that said, the first chance I get, I’m going to get a massage. Then I’m going to go home and pet my new cat.
Last week, I had my picture taken hoping to use the images for my website, and I hated them. I’ve come such a long way and have done so much healing work, yet when I got my pictures back. Regression. Many of the old voices that plagued me for years made a fierce comeback.
One evening after work, I met up with a young, bubbly photographer who was truly likable. She told me I looked pretty, and she took several pictures of me in front of a sparkly gold background and some outside. That day I felt tired, and I felt uncomfortable having my picture taken, but I thought it was all in my head, and I hoped that pictures would not reflect how I felt.
A few evenings later, I opened the email she sent with my photographs, and I was mortified. The next day, I ran miles at the track. The day after that, I ran more miles. My thighs hurt.
Right now I’m a little heavier than I’d like to be, and every part of it showed in these photographs. My first thought was that the images were a wakeup call, that I was kidding myself about the healthiness of my late night gluten free chips and salsa snacks. Okay. Got it. Run more. Eat less.
As the initial shock wears off, I remember that I do not want to measure my value and worth by how much I weigh. I know plenty of women who are not thin, and they are so beautiful. Why would I say things to myself that I would not say to them?
What are my goals? I like being strong. I like having muscles. I like eating foods that make me feel better not worse. I have a few food allergies, and some foods make me instantly look puffy and make my skin break out. My goal is not to be skinny. I used to be skinny, and I worked unnaturally hard to look that way, and I was more insecure then than I am now. I care much more about being healthy and strong.
As I look at the week ahead, what will I focus on? I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who love me as I am and who think I’m beautiful right now. Regardless of what the scale says, I will find some ways to be good to myself with good food and good words. I will not punish myself. Lastly, I give myself permission to have my pictures redone. It’s okay if I care about looking good in my pictures. Next time, I’ll get some more sleep, and I will think positive thoughts.
Being strong, doesn’t mean we have never failed, nor does it mean we have never been foolish. Being strong does not mean that we never give up.
Sometimes, we need to save our own lives by giving up people who hurt us. Sometimes, we must give up the hope that some unhealthy person we adore is going to be different this time. Most importantly, we need to give hoping that we can be someone we’re not.
I am a strong woman because I have failed. I have done foolish things. I have loved men who did not love me back. I am strong because I have not let any of these experiences make me bitter or unkind, and I am original. I don’t try to make anybody else feel small, nor do I copy others or pretend I’m feeling something I’m not.
No matter what detours or scenic routes your life has taken, you can still park your car in a beautiful, shady place, and let the conversations of little birds love you. You can do something kind for yourself right now. You don’t have to try to be original. You already are. Just be yourself. You are strong enough to feel all your feelings.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.