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Wherever you are on your path of self-actualization
Now that the weather has turned colder, it’s time to get ready for winter. On a deeper level, this is an opportunity to start preparing for hibernation, or the “dream-time” as I like to call it in my spiritual practice. This is the time when we start to go inward, literally and figuratively, to examine who we are, where we are and why we’re here.
This morning I was engaged with one of my more superficial fall rituals – swapping out my summer clothes for my warmer clothes – yet it always provides me an opportunity to reflect. As I was washing my tank tops and linen pants, I came across a few halter tops that I remember buying specifically to please my most recent ex-boyfriend. To him, despite all of my positive attributes, I was not sexy enough for him plus he had a particular obsession with women in halter tops. As I held them in my hand, I realized that I have never worn them since we broke up. In fact, I would never have purchased them in the first place, if he didn’t harp on me to dress sexier.
I then began to reflect on how else I sacrificed my Self just to secure the attentions of romantic partners. Like the one time a boyfriend told me he would prefer me better if I had really short hair. I then had my curls all chopped off. Or the time this same boyfriend said that I would look better as a blonde (this was before I went completely grey). I then promptly had my hair dyed blonde, which destroyed my scalp and, coupled with my short-cropped hair, made me look like Flash Gordon.
This is all cosmetic stuff, I know, but the point is that I allowed myself to feel that I was not good enough. To maintain their attention and affection, I had to change. These actions were symptomatic of my lack of self-esteem. And over time, my unacknowledged resentment built up until my reactions to people who commented on my looks became venomous.
I mention this because all of my inner work these past five years has been about reclaiming myself. About stepping into my own power, and not sacrificing myself just because a romantic partner says so. This sacrifice is very prevalent in women in general — I see it quite frequently and is the primary reason why I always include self-esteem work in all of my coaching programs. Where, in your own life, could you be more accepting of yourself? Are you honoring your own path and being true to yourself?
On the flip side, I also see people demanding that their partners change in one way or another. It’s one of the biggest traps people fall into -thinking that if the partner could only embody this attribute or look a certain way, then that partner would measure up to standards and they would be happy. This is why my coaching programs help people focus on themselves, rather than trying to change others. We empower ourselves when we shift attention away from how others live, and place our awareness on our own lives. How can you let go of wanting to change others? What would happen if you were at peace with how things are right now? When we take the time to look within, it becomes easier to stay centered in who we are and accept, no matter what the path, that we are all essentially the same.
I hope that you too will get to this place of reclaiming.