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Love Yourself

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“You are special. Accept that about yourself, and you will begin to understand there is true power in your uniqueness.”- from Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

I am creating a page called Love Yourself. And right now, that is all that it is.

I was actually looking for a way to create a resource to stop bullying, any sort of technique or process that I thought could work. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, it is sadly kind of the natural order of things. Link to my previous post, Bullied.

I started to look around to see if there were any techniques to stop bullying. But after decades, the same worn advice seems to be what everyone is doling out: “Tell an adult.” “If you see something, say something.”

Oh wait, that second one is from Homeland Security.

And telling an adult won’t PREVENT it, which would be the total ultimate awesome solution to the pain of so many crying out in the night. (I have been there. I have written the bad poetry to prove it.)

But what if we could make it irrelevant? What if it didn’t matter what others said about you, because you had confidence in yourself, so that you could be the best person you could be?

Just imagine!

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

That is kind of how I barnstormed (wait, brainstormed) into this whole “Love Yourself” idea. What if we stopped worrying so much about external factors* and instead worked on our insides? What if we stopped trying to paint our faces to look perfect on the outside when we are crying on the inside? What if we stopped using our credit card at Lowe’s to build a house that we don’t even like, just to keep up appearances for the outside world?

What I’m getting at is that bad stuff will always happen, lots of it, in many different ways, shapes, and forms.

But we could be better prepared for all of it, bullying included, if our insides were healed first.

I have to think that there would be less war and more peace if people loved themselves more than their money or land or resources.

There would be less celebrities too. Why worship a Kim Kardashian or a Tom Brady when you can worship YOURSELF?

There are a million ways what I am saying could be misinterpreted. But if you wake up in the morning and hate yourself, (you will know that feeling if you do) that is what needs to change.

“I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.”
– Johnny Depp

You might think of this as being cocky or vain, vain being one of the seven deadly sins (I Googled it). But if we are supposed to be made in God’s image, shouldn’t we be happy with the self we live in? Our body, inside and out, our spirit, our gifts?

I am talking very vaguely here. But that is because it could be referred to as many different things. “Love Yourself” means to know who you truly are and what makes you happy. Yes, sometimes we all have to go to a job we aren’t happy about. But if it truly makes you “I-can’t-sleep-at-night, I-can’t-eat, I-can’t-remember-happiness” sick, then that is you not listening to that special spot inside you.

Do you call it your heart?

Your common sense?

Your conscience?

Your spirit?

Your life force?

Your guts?

I don’t care what you call it. But you need to learn that it is there and how to listen to it. Some of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make in life are easier when you listen to it.

I know it is hard. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed this concept until I was like, 38 years old. But maybe if we started young, taught this to our children, it could become a movement.

I want anyone who wants pink hair to have it.

I want anyone who wants a nose piercing to have it.

I want EVERYONE to STOP WANTING and START BEING.

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

I know many people (myself included) who walk around with bad attitudes about absolutely everything because they are not being who they really need to be. There is a voice inside you that yearns to speak. There is a spirit in you that is trying to bust out.

Heck, I had this Love Yourself cause burning inside of me on Monday. What did I do? I chose to go to work. I should have stayed home. I think I could have gotten more out of expressing my thoughts while they were fresh than what little I can buy with my paycheck. But, I went the road of least resistance. WE ALL DO.

Am I saying we should all quit our jobs? Well, no. But we do need to be conscious of where our destinies are pointing us.

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
– Bob Moawad

Maybe it is just me that has trouble listening to my inner voice. Maybe other people get there by meditation or whatever.

But I have to retrain EVERY THOUGHT to be more positive, more loving, less judgmental—of myself AND others. It is a lot of work, but I think, in the end, it may be worth it. I hope maybe you will too.

The awesome Heather Hildenbrand gave a speech at Utopia Con 2016 called “The Audacity of Self-Love”. I wish it was on YouTube, or that I had taken better notes. But, well, I was too moved to jot down anything more than an outline. I was already pondering such ideas, and she just reinforced that.

Some of Heather’s statements: “Judgement is the consequence of trying to break out of the mold… Liking yourself is a rebellious act… Be audacious enough at loving yourself that other people see it.”

LOVE YOURSELF

Then in July 2016, I drew this. Out of thin air, for no reason. I was at a public chalk art event and I asked myself, “What message do I want to send to everyone around me?”

I don’t know what this may grow into, but I am excited to find out. More excited than I have been about anything since I decided to write a book. Or when I decided to publish said book. But to be honest, neither of those were really a decision, just as this wasn’t. I am listening to my gut. And it feels damn good.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Washington Thurman

* I know this is impossible to stop completely, but it should count toward less weight on the scale of importance in our lives.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Spring: Time for Self-Improvement

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Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?
–Caroline Myss

I seem to be having a bit of a mid-life crisis. But, “You are not that old!”, you say? Well, thank you. And the people in my family don’t live to be very old, so, I kinda am.

I decided I needed some self-improvement in my life.

All at the same time, I started:

1. Taking St. John’s Wort supplements to balance my mood.
2. Reading a book called Warrior Goddess Training by HeatherAsh Amara
3. Reading a book called Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild

I think I forgot to add caffeine...

Mood Enhancers: I think I forgot to add the caffeine…

I read the books at the same time because although Rothschild’s book is based in Christianity and Amara’s book is based in Shamanism, they cover similar territory.

Self Talk, Soul Talk explains that even if you are only calling yourself an “idiot” silently in your own head, you will eventually begin to believe it. Part One of her book helps you to identify the bad thoughts in your “thought closet” as she refers to it. OK. Check. Lots of badness in there.

Part Two of her book is broken into seven things that you should tell your soul. Her section on “hope” explained it in a way I don’t think I have ever thought of it before. I underlined passages as I read, and the book might work better that way for me. To go back and just review key passages, instead of trying to make sense of a whole chapter at a time. This isn’t a bash against her book or writing style, it is the fight in me trying to resist change.

Warrior Goddess Training was more interesting to me because the information was being presented to me in a new way. While I have never attended a Sunday church service regularly, I have grown up for decades in the USA where I have been surrounded by Christian ideals every day that I have always failed to fully understand. Warrior Goddess Training is based on ancient Toltec tradition. The book is divided into ten lessons where you find your True Warrior Goddess self by accepting how you are instead of feeling bad about it. “Our deepest healing occurs when we learn to be our own best friend, companion, and cheerleader,” Amara writes.

Amara discusses how there are three parts to yourself: your judge self, your victim self, and your Warrior Goddess self, who sometimes just has to tell the other two to shut the f’ up. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.) There was an activity in the book where the reader was asked to rewrite the old stories from your past that you keep telling yourself, but that are no longer true. I found that exercise pretty helpful.

“When you open your heart to yourself, quirks and all, you change the world.”
–HeatherAsh Amara, Warrior Goddess Training

Both books lost me when they tried to tie their ideas to a religious/ideological framework. Rothschild used tiny phrases from the Bible to illustrate her points. While they were nice, I am always skeptical if you can’t even cite an entire sentence to illustrate your thoughts. It is easy to take things out of context that way. That is how all the political ads words on TV come election time.

While I liked the positive sentiments in both books, at the end of the day they both didn’t sit right with me. Self Talk, Soul Talk says to me that I have no control over my life, because it is all God’s plan. In Warrior Goddess Training, it states: A Warrior Goddess does not try to control life or even understand it. Our job is to consciously choose what we are aligning with and then let go…

I must be a control freak, because if I can’t have control of my life, then why am I here on this planet at all? And it goes against what I believe about the Law of Attraction, that you can bring the things you want to you. I have lived and seen that for myself. Not always, but enough to believe.

So, I now know what good stuff I should be putting into my mind and heart, but I still haven’t changed my thought processes to make those things my default. I also haven’t cleaned out the old junky stuff that is bothering me. I think I would benefit from reading the books again, individually. Maybe then the information would sink in better.

I think, overall, the St. John’s Wort has been most effective. Mostly because I can’t remember to change my thinking many times a day, but I can remember to take a pill three times a day. And, you know, there is always the placebo effect…

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