What does love inspire you to do?
I have done some crazy and questionable things in the name of love. Things that at the time seemed like such a good idea and under love’s spell, they even felt brilliant.
And then time passes. It might be a few days or a few decades, but at some point, in looking back at my brilliant ideas I cringe and think OMG! What was I thinking?!
Do you have a similar story? If so, you are not alone!
At an early age, our desire for love and acceptance is linked to our desire to learn and understand who we are. It drives us forward in search of experiences and people that will bring us clarity.
That desire is as fundamental and primal as our need to eat and sleep.
To know who we are, we must look inward. But most of us don’t. We are taught to look out. And so we develop a sense of ourselves based on what our community and the world deems acceptable, praiseworthy and loveable.
We learn to adopt ways of being and attitudes that we think will grant us acceptance and love.
Developing a strong sense of self is one of if not the greatest foundational pieces we can ever develop. It is from this place, for both ourselves and others that we establish boundaries, preferences and respect. We become familiar with the truth of who we are.
Your sense of self or lack thereof affects everything.
The ironic thing is that as babies, we have it; we are abundantly clear when we want to eat, sleep or be held. There is no question about when we are happy and when we aren’t and we aren’t in the least concerned about whether or not it’s appropriate.
That’s the good news. We actually innately know what we desire and who we are, even as an infant. Our work as an adult, is to reconnect with that from within, from our inner place that already knows.
So where do you begin? One of the best way’s I’ve discovered is to pay attention to how you make decisions.
Not long ago I couldn’t make a decision to save my life. And that included what clothes to buy (what if my husband didn’t like it?), what to make for dinner (what if so and so doesn’t eat fish?) or whether to buy plain white dishes or patterned ones. It was exhausting! My days were spent second guessing myself and trying to anticipate everything for everybody.
I started to control and micromanage everything and everyone around me. All because I didn’t trust myself.
Trust stems from knowing who you are. I had very little sense of self so I didn’t trust myself to make decisions and choices that were good for me.
If you have difficulty making decisions or are in the habit of asking for outside opinions/advice, I have a challenge for you:
For one week, refrain from asking anyone else for their opinion or input ~ about anything!
Taking this on accomplishes 2 things: 1) it brings awareness to just how often you seek outside opinions (aka approval) and 2) you begin to recognize what you desire, which leads to you actually trusting that you do know what’s best for you!
Now that’s inspiring!