Live your best life …
Whose standards are you living by? Are those standards adding to your life or making you cringe? Are you pressuring yourself to perform?
In my blogs, entitled, Love, What’s it all About? and Truth, I wrote about personal qualities as inner wealth and the benefits that come from appreciating them. In the blog about Selflessness v Selfishness, I touched on assessing the value of each quality and how that action plays out in your life. In this blog, I am taking the investigation of quality assessment one step further.
Most people are brought up with a system of values. Very early on, we learn our moral code; what is acceptable , what is not; our social behaviour is shaped according to our culture and we accept a certain way of behaviour as the “norm”. Those people who see themselves meeting the requirements of the “norm”, may see themselves as operating within the system. Those people who cannot or do not choose to ‘meet the norm’ have difficulty. They are not a ‘good fit’ for society (or so it would seem). They have trouble operating within the system and may feel angry, disenchanted and be looking for someone to blame for their situation. A similar model may be operating in your consciousness where qualities deemed ‘not good enough’ are causing pain, anxiety or anger.
Let us consider the following example. Annabel has assessed her qualities as follows:
If Annabel adheres to a standard of 60% as the ‘norm’ then she will see herself as lacking in Patience, Honesty, Compassion and Attention. She will feel good about her level of Generosity, Cooperation and Adventurousness.
However, if Annabel, considered that 30% was a valid standard, then she would have enough Patience, Honesty, Generosity, Cooperation and Adventurousness. Which scenario would be most supportive of Annabel? Which scenario would release Annabel from pressure to perform and place the decision making back into her hands?
Consider having some fun with the standards line – lower it or drop it all together! ( Now there’s a radical thought) You will find an abundance of qualities, big ones and little ones; heaps of power and capability; more than you could ever use!!!! How does that make you feel when every bit of your inner wealth is seen as an asset? Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you lived your life from this place. Are you smiling just a little bit?
Now, raise the standard line really high. How do you feel about yourself now?
Hopefully, this exercise will help you identify the artificiality of standards.
It may be time to examine the validity of former assumptions about the ‘norm’ and all those ‘should’ statements that are floating about in our heads.
Jack’s story (name changed)
Jack hated Maths. He only attempted the Maths problems that were easy to do. He ignored the rest; was restless in class; often angry and was reprimanded for his ‘big mouth’. When I asked Jack to rate his Maths ability, he gave himself 2%. The image that represented his Maths ability was a fish out of water, struggling on dry land. It had blood coming out of its mouth and faeces from its anus. He said, “It has shit itself and it’s bleeding.” He identified with this image because that was how he felt about Maths. Jack’s task was to give attention and appreciation to ‘fishy’. Some two weeks later, Jack assessed ‘fishy’ to be at 50% and was feeling better about himself and Maths. When Jack realised that he had been managing on 2% of Maths ability, he was both shocked and impressed. According to him, he should have been an abject failure at Maths but he wasn’t. He gained a new respect for himself and his Maths ability.
Those qualities deemed ‘not enough’ are contributing to your life whether you appreciate them or not. However, they are often not valued, sometimes even reviled and punished for not being ‘enough’. How often have you heard people berate themselves and call themselves ‘stupid’ because they did not perform a task at a particular level?
I am asking you to notice how you treat the things you value and contrast that with your attitude to the things you value less. The process of recovering your self worth requires that you value and care for ALL the qualities you already have. Every time you add value to a quality, there is a positive result. The only way you will know if this is true for you, is to try it out and observe the results. This is not an exercise in swaggering or of puffed up importance but of genuine care and attention for your qualities.
Valuing the amount of a quality, just as it is, is a ‘here and now’ activity. It means that you are living in the present moment and the present moment is where your power resides. You do not have to strain and strive to be ‘ better ‘ at some time in the future.
I would encourage you to cultivate the ability to value what is present because it is a powerful key to a more contented life.
As you become more honest with yourself, your consciousness will accurately report the status of your qualities. The good news is that as you focus on the qualities you have (your inner wealth) they keep growing. With regular attention (love and appreciation) your qualities will thrive and you will be able to completely trust your assessment of where you’re at. When you give from qualities that have REAL VALUE to you, the experience is richer for all concerned.
Remember, the next time you are about to whack yourself about the ears for not having enough of a quality……STOP…….. and appreciate what you already have.
Be kind to yourself