When you know who you are, you don’t have to prove yourself. But if you don’t know who you are, others will define you.
Just because you’ve failed, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Just because you’ve messed up, doesn’t make you a mess up. Just because you’ve made a mistake, doesn’t make you a mistake.
I remember repeating these phrases often to some of my clients. Many of them made several mistakes in their lives, and because of those mistakes, they felt they could never live productive and healthy lives. Instead of seeing the possibilities that life held for them, they focused on the past, unable to release the negative images that plagued their minds. At first, I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t get on with their lives, but as I delved deeper, I realized that most of them listened to recordings of negative voices that had been with them for most of their lives. So instead of trying to put the new scripts on top of the old ones, we had to go back and rewrite the old scripts.
When the old scripts were rewritten, changes started to take place. These individuals realized they made mistakes, and they took responsibility for the mistakes they made. Once they did this, they forgave themselves, and in certain situations asked others to forgive them. After realizing they weren’t their mistakes, failures or disappointments, they were free to move on with new life scripts.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that you are not your mistakes and failures? Isn’t it grand to know that you can succeed in spite of your past? Isn’t it marvelous to know that you can be freed from your prison of guilt and shame?
If you’ve been captive to your past mistakes and failures, know that you have permission to be free. Rewrite those old scripts and develop new ones. Tell yourself that even though you made mistakes, those mistakes will no longer define you. If you can’t do it alone, get help. Just don’t allow the past to keep robbing from your present. You’re too valuable for that.
Sometimes, what is beyond our reach seems more appealing than what we have in our hands. Many married people eye single people, secretly wishing for those single days again, while many single people envy those who are married and beg to exchange places with their married counterparts. Some parents wish they didn’t have children, while those who can’t conceive beg to experience the miraculous wonder of childbirth. Some people hate their residence and wish to whisk from city to city or country to country, while those who dash from place to place wish for stability.
Interestingly, many people look at the lives of others and wish to mimic what they see. They examine their own lives and conclude that they are boring and monotonous. They yearn for something different, something exciting. They covet their neighbors’ lifestyles. They fret because they don’t have what they think their co-workers have. They peek over the fence of life and feel that the grass is greener on the other side.
Are you one of these individuals who loathe your life and wish to live in someone else’s shoes? Do you secretly envy the way others are living because you are frustrated with your life? Do you wish to be that famous movie star or that wealthy person you admire?
It’s easy to yearn to live someone else’s life when you don’t know the details of what made them who they are. It’s simple to want what someone else has when you don’t know what it cost him to obtain his possessions. It’s a piece of cake to envy someone else rather than find out what it takes to live your best life.
There’s nothing wrong with looking to others as role models or gleaning from others’ knowledge in order to improve; but when you begin to covet what other people have or who they are, you rob yourself of being the best self you can be. So if you find yourself wanting to live someone else’s life instead of your own, stop yourself. Then channel that same energy into finding out how to live your best life and be the best person that you can be.
Can you look in the mirror and say that you love yourself and really mean it? Can you accept yourself for who you are? Do you enjoy spending time with yourself? Do you engage in something on a regular basis to promote self-development? Do you take care of yourself?
At first glance, these questions may seem egotistical, but if you really examine them, they are not. These questions prompt an individual to take a good, long look at himself. It motivates him to slow down and determine how he really sees himself. There is a phrase of wisdom that spans eons. It says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I used to focus only on loving your neighbor until I examined the entire saying. I started wondering how people felt about themselves. I wanted to know whether people actually loved themselves.
As I studied human behaviors, I found that some people did not love themselves. Not only did they not love themselves, they didn’t like themselves. This let me know that they couldn’t truly follow this saying of loving others if they didn’t start with the basis of loving themselves.
One may ask, how does one know if he loves himself? If he looks at the way he treats his body, is that love? If he examines what he allows to linger in his mind, is that love? Would he consider the things he allows others to do to him to be love? Are the things he’s exposing himself to love?
If a person refuses to take care of himself, no one else will. If he refuses to set boundaries for himself, life will throw him anything. If he refuses to move in positive directions, negative forces will pull him downward.
Know that is not a crime to love yourself. Invest in yourself. Encourage yourself. Pamper yourself. Spend time with yourself. If you do these things in moderation, you’re more likely to be able to follow those words of wisdom and extend love to others as you shower love upon yourself.