Loving Myself by Nancy Nester
Throughout various times of life, I am aware that I have taken on the ‘victim’ mentality – a role I felt at the time was deserved. It was like a badge to be worn by anyone victimized by fate, bad genes, poor image, insecurity, fear, victim to rude or emotionally out of control people, etc..
YET – I now ask myself: SELF: WHAT’S NOT TO BE HAPPY ABOUT ?
At this stage of my life I am happy – happier than I have probably ever been.
I look great for my age. I feel younger than my age. My health is great.
I have lots of opportunities every day.
I love my work. I love to travel.
I am in relationship with a man who loves and supports me.
I live in a home surrounded by lush woods in a quiet place on earth that is safe – Eden.
I have good and healthy food to eat and water to drink.
I have the ability to make money to pay my bills.
I have great and beautiful children and grandchildren who are all – healthy and happy !!!
I live in a free country and have a safe vehicle to transport me.
I am HAPPY – deliriously happy.
I am SO blessed in my life.
I LOVE my Life.
There is no room for rigid thinking, for every cell in my body responds to this happiness.
I know in the truth of my being that THIS is the space where God lives. In Joy. In Happiness. In Love.
I wrote that page on one of the many days when I have truly felt enormously blessed.
I wrote it quickly - before I could slip back into the victim role due to not having enough time, or too much work, or not enough love, or too much anger, or separation from someone I loved, or feeling like there was anything missing in my life …
I wrote it and hung it on the wall where I would see it every day. Just to remind myself of how my own past thoughts have indeed formed the energy and caused all the emotions inside me.
This awareness did not come easy, nor did it come swiftly for I am now nearer to the other side of the mountain and can attest that age does not guarantee wisdom – in all matters concerning the heart. After all, isn’t it our heart that gives the emotion to us based on what our brain is thinking?
It was early in my childhood when it began, and the thoughts lingered for years: I felt that I did not fit in. I felt different than most of my family members. I did not belong with a critical, rigid thinking and fearful mother. I did belong with an always forgiving and always loving father. I did not belong with siblings who were judgmental or jealous. I did belong with a younger sister who was more open than the rest of my family.
Then I slowly came to realize, after careful consideration and much examination – that my thoughts were always feeding me information that was conflicting.
I would be in love, yet the relationship was not happy. There was conflict. So it must not be meant to continue and I must go and find someone else in order to be happy. I would be in a job doing work that I loved, yet I felt unappreciated and overworked and thus – not happy. So I must go and find another job that would bring me happiness.
Despite the always present voice inside my head that gave me encouragement, there were years that I spent in minor depression and in the full victimization of ‘poor me’. When my two younger sons died at early ages from congenital diseases (one at 2 weeks and one at 2 years), I argued with life, yelled at God and told the voice to just ‘shut up’. I closed the door on everyone and everything and on myself as well.
Yet again, I was literally forced to open the door of my own mind. There would be times when I felt I was locked in a small room and could not get out. I would push and push on the door to get out – not realizing that the door to freedom was right before me. All I had to do was open it inward, to that within part of myself.
I am a healer. Within this role, I have tried to assist others and help them compensate for their own ‘victim’ mentality for years. All that got me was more frustration, anger, bitterness and again – unhappiness. Yet in my mind, all I was trying to do was help others be happy so they could find their smile again.
A dear friend told me that I was wasting my time and my energy trying to 'fix' those I loved because after all ‘they are not broken’. She was so right. It just took me a while to figure that out. See, my brain said that if they would just let go of the way they were holding onto something, or look at it with a different perspective – then they would be happier. Like my own journey into realizing that the door opens inward, everyone else must also find their own way out of the space they are in. I could not 'do it' for then,
And so I continue looking at myself, for only by doing that can I help myself and others. There have been times when I have had these same types of revelations – that my thoughts are creating my own situation and thus, my reality. I have successfully taught workshops and classes suggesting that ‘thoughts become things we live with every day’. Isn’t that ironic! Others would thank me for the words of wisdom and tools to help themselves. Yet I could still be challenged by the actions and words of others that would quickly remove me from my point of center. It seemed easy for me to get off balance by the energy of others.
There is so much truth and fact and wisdom in examining the thoughts we think are real inside our head. There are so many ways in which that can be put into practice in everyday life. For me, the challenge came when there was a sudden, screaming-in-my-face, out-of-control individual, challenging my every feeling, reminding me that I was flawed. My instincts kicked in and I would find myself defending words or actions that never needed defending – all to fix the situation and bring calmness back into perspective.
Old habitual thinking is easy to retrieve, making it easy to return to the familiar space of sadness, looking at what I felt was an unknown future. It was easy for me to apply the questions after the fact – yet what good did that do me then? How could I un-do what had happened? That thinking led me nowhere and into nothing – just more thinking. When I calmed down and the dynamics around me went away, I could extract the answer that nothing that had been said was true - it was only the dynamics and emotions of the moment. Even that revelation did not help my wounded feelings, and it still did not help me figure out what course of action was before me.
My own work teaches simple techniques that help one love themselves. So why was it working most of the time and not the rest of the time? Because I did not believe that I loved myself. I did not believe that I deserved to have true happiness. Thought I did – thought I was doing a pretty good job of deserving everything that came my way.
Yet there was a subconscious program inside that still said: nope, you don’t. I had to go deep within my mind, question my own beliefs and find when it all began. It all went back to my own self-worth and whether or not I was good enough. What sponges we are as children – believing everything that we are told. Quan Yin worked within me to bring the old thought into reality so it could be examined – I found it to have no truth. It was such an AHA! moment. It helped me recognize and accept that the words of others are just that – the words of others. They are not my words, have no truth for me and all those times when I accepted their words as truth – I was denying my original nature and not loving myself.
I have come to believe – I have come to know – that the Oneness that exists in all creation is a unified consciousness of peace, joy and unconditional love and compassion. There were times when I prayed, called out for God to help. I would do that from a space of need, of conflict, of desperation and of fear. It took years for me to realize that the Oneness of all that IS – resides within the vibration of that peace, joy and unconditional love and compassion. It does not resonate with conflict, desperation and fear. So, I remained invisible as I was outside that perfect vibration.
Only when I would come into alignment with the awareness of that vibration did my thoughts create a newer reality. Only when I come into the space of peace, joy and unconditional love and compassion can I be happy – for myself, about myself and to myself. That can radiate and give hope to others. Then (as I have taught others for years), they will have the choice to change themselves. For after all, we can’t change, modify or alter anyone else. We can only change ourselves.
It’s been said that we teach what we most need to learn – how true is that for me! Quan Yin – my mother, would prod me, scold me and always forgive me. How could I be unhappy with her presence within me? And the tide would turn and I would again find joy and peace and feel empowered within myself.
Just as suddenly, my reactive self would call back an old emotion, an old issue and I would falter into sadness, fear and unhappiness. Again I would feel the victim of out-of-control emotional conflict.
How dumb was that?
From this new-found (and old-found) space of joy, I can look at myself (isn’t hind-sight wonderful?) and know that it was my own thoughts that were creating this conflict I felt within myself. Since I believed I was in conflict – I was!. Since I believed there was sadness, there was! Since I was hearing cruel and mean words and believed them to be true, they held the energy to hurt me. I began to question every thought. I began to read and I began to study and consult my mother Quan Yin for guidance. It seems like this journey has been in and out of my life – literally years for me to come to this place and this realization.
So - What’s not to be happy about? My life is somewhat better than others on this planet, my health is great and my opportunities are plentiful. The richness in my life deserves to be praised. It deserves to be written about so I can re-read it – so I won’t fall victim to that ‘poor me’ syndrome that has stalked me those times past.
This may sound similar to you, for there are billions like me with everything to feel blessed about, and still unhappy about their life. Perhaps just reading this will give you the hope to examine your own thoughts, the things you believe in this moment. It’s a matter of claiming your power and returning to your own original nature.
Right now, this happiness I have is contagious and I want to share it with as many people as I can. It would be great if reading this story would help even just one person to change from where they are to happiness, knowing there is always the freedom to just BE. The life you choose really is only one thought away, one smile away.
LOVING YOURSELF FIRST
There are many books that have been written about loving yourself. Yet it still appears most people don’t know how or haven’t come to that place of loving the self first. For many of us in my generation, it comes from our upbringing: our parents taught us that to think of ourselves first was selfish. We were chastised to always think of the other person first and place our own self, our needs, our desires and our wishes last.
Their generation came from the previous generation dictating that suffering was being like God – embracing the suffering of Christ. So we grew up thinking that putting others first and suffering ourselves to be last was the way to live life in the right or God-like way.
Thankfully I see there are many who have realized this to be foolish, and not in keeping with the peace, joy and unconditional love and compassion of God. If we were made in the image and likeness of God, then we are God made mortal. I know – that could be called blasphemy. Yet, just think about it. Why is loving ourselves selfish? Why is it so hard? When I teach, I always relate this analogy:
When we are in a plane, the steward/stewardess instructs us that if the oxygen level within the plane gets low, a mask will drop down in front of us. We are to place that mask over our own face first – then proceed to help anyone else.
Now once again, I begin loving myself in each moment. Accepting with compassion all the things I don’t like about myself – and holding the good feelings and vibrations within me so that I believe that I love myself, that I deserve, that I have the freedom to BE exactly who I am.
Here’s the simple technique that you can use yourself. It will help you change your thinking and perceptions about yourself and your world within three days:
You can find lots of other information on our website. I wish you all the best. Do this now – don’t wait for tomorrow. Do this for yourself in this moment – you deserve to be happy.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to comment on this writing, I would love to hear from you.
Rev. Dr. Nancy A. Nester
"Beware of your thoughts as they become your words. Beware of your words as they become your actions. Beware of your actions as they become your habits. Beware of your habits as they become your fate." (Zen)
More about fear, change and the factors in life are written about in my newest book: The Independent Self - available in print/eBook and digital download from this website, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble booksellers and Apple.