This week I made an important discovery:
The more we tolerate self-love, the less we tolerate abuse.
And the opposite is true too of course, the more we tolerate abuse, the less we tolerate self-love.
This became very clear to me when I had 5 of my grandchildren over for the weekend.
I had them for a whole 48 hours and they ranged from 11 down to 8.
I noticed that they were much more comfortable with all forms of abuse than with shows of love.
Self-love was pretty much a foreign concept.
There you go… it only takes a few short years to become allergic to our true nature and to forget who we are at our core which is unconditional love.
By the time we are 7 or 8 we have already gone into a deep sleep. We may never wake up, causing us lots of pain and suffering.
By age 8 we are convinced we are fundamentally flawed; there is something wrong with us, we need to cover up, we need to hide our true feelings, we need to stuff our emotions.
At 10 we are pros at it.
We are doing this unconsciously all the time.
This slows down our energy flow because all these stuffed emotions get stuck in our tissues.
If we’re lucky we don’t have any aches and pains till we are 40, but by then, our internal stress buckets are well and truly overflowing.
We have been abusing ourselves for 3 decades by then.
If you don’t believe me, check the statistics.
50% of marriages end up in divorce.
80% of businesses fail. Warren Buffett said, “Until you manage your emotions, don’t expect to manage your money!” I think Warren Buffet is worth 82 US billion. He reads 8 hours per day or 500 pages per day. Could reading and investing in yourself be a form of self-love?
30% of Americans are on some form of antidepressant medication.
70% of Americans are overweight.
These are symptoms of abuse, not self-love.
We’ve got it all backwards. We haven’t been taught emotional intelligence.
We have been taught to be ‘rational’, to ‘think’ and to ignore our feelings.
Yet our un- investigated thoughts cause us the most suffering.
So how can we do it differently?
By truly listening to ourselves.
Initially it is going to hurt a lot.
Like any muscle you haven’t trained, it is going to resist.
Acknowledge that some damage was done somewhere along the line.
You might have wasted good years of your life, acting out of character and not being true to yourself. Always being polite or politically correct instead of being authentic.
Perhaps you married the wrong person.
Or you invested in the wrong career.
Or your uncle/cousin/family friend abused you and you stuffed it away, pretending it didn’t happen.
Most of us act from two fundamental fears: I am not good enough and I am not lovable.
We are always busy distracting ourselves so we don’t have to experience our fears, hurts, sadness or anger, shame or guilt.
Pretending everything is perfect, but bleeding on the inside.
Back to my grandchildren.
By the end of day one, I was sick of the name-calling and the teasing (normal kids play, Peter would say, but I wasn’t happy).
I sat them around the kitchen table, got them to look each other in the eye and call each other all the names and swearwords that they had ever wished to say but had never been allowed to.
I was giving them exactly 5 minutes to drop all pretense.
Before long they were into it… Screaming at each other at the top of their voices.
For good measure I gave them a few pillows to punch as well, and after 5 minutes the storm had blown over…. And Bobbi informed me happily that this had been the BEST THERAPY session ever.
Unfortunately Ethan, the oldest, had refused to join in. I guess he thought it was rude and inappropriate to name call each other out loud.
No sooner had the kids gone outside when 3 of them came racing back to tell me that now Ethan was calling them rude names while they were jumping on the trampoline.
This was a good lesson.
If you don’t empty your anger buckets in an intelligent or safe way, you are going to trip up in your relationships.
It’s going to spill over somewhere sometime, usually when you least want it.
We had another screaming session the next morning after breakfast.
This time Ethan was comfortable letting out all his ‘ugly’ emotions.
They had exactly 5 minutes to let it all out. It’s good to give our unconscious mind a time frame because it loves order.
The screaming session was followed by morning tea.
While they were munching contently, I told them how deeply and utterly I loved each one of them and how special they were in their own way.
There was a stunned and uncomfortable silence.
That’s when I had my AHA:
How easy we tolerate or are accustomed to abuse, and yet when it comes to accepting an expression of love, we almost have an allergic reaction.
Thankfully I had another practice up my sleeve.
I got them to close their eyes, and put their hands on their hearts and take a deep breath.
This immediately changes the chemistry of the body for the next 6 hours.
We feel calm and peaceful.
And that is because our hearts generate 1000x more electromagnetic energy than our brains.
It is the most powerful organ in our body.
When we are a foetus, our hearts are formed before our brain.
Our hearts are the core of our being: the truth of who we really are, which is unconditional love or universal love, or infinite intelligence.
Just because we don’t feel it anymore doesn’t mean that we have changed at our core.
Our core is always there, waiting for us to re-discover it.
Unfortunately once we are over 25, it becomes harder and harder for us to learn new tricks. We often don’t return to our hearts unless we experience suffering.
I don’t want that for my grandchildren.
I want them to be able to drop into their hearts at will and to feel less tolerant of abuse and more tolerant of true love.
They will remember that they are NEVER not connected (from their hearts or true Source).
Our hearts can’t lie.
This truth machine beats around 100,000 times per day, 40 million times a year. Each beat is a reminder that we are love and that we are unconditionally loved, now and forever.
The final exercise I suggest to increase your tolerance to self-love is to write down all the negative emotions you have in you right now. Then write: ” I love myself for feeling…. (whatever the negative emotion is).
Read this out while you look at yourself in the mirror.
How easy or hard is this for you?
Be like my grandkids and don’t hold back!
On the other side of this exercise is freedom and peace, which is something we all long for.
Let me know what your experiences are this week.
Lots of love, Grada
PS: if you are really stuck and haven’t felt any emotions or happiness for a while, book yourself in for a session with me so you can enjoy greater ease and joy now, not later. You deserve it!
Call my team on 64283007.