To strengthen the acceptance-and-love-my-self muscle

                                          The illustration by Aaron Clode.
Honesty begins with ourselves. Not to satisfy those around us or society’s demands, but to give ourselves room to rest in our sacred space, the body. No matter what everyone around us thinks about the way we deal with the ups and downs of life, only we know what moves within our emotions and thoughts. For me personally, the key to a harmonious life lies in precisely creating a balance between everything that moves within me. I am notoriously against what is called “positivism”. It does not mean that I worship negativity, but I am convinced that we as humans are too different to benefit from a single model. What works for some doesn’t necessarily work for others. When we are depressed, anxious, and full of worries, it helps us very little to hear well-meaning advice like:
“You need to start thinking positively, stop being anxious,” or ” you worry too much.”
There is certainly something good in all that advice: a reminder that we should not forget that the good, bright and light emotions are also there and that we deserve to feel good.
Only we humans are not machines. Had we been created as machines, we would certainly have an on / off button controlling our entire system. In a human body, it takes more effort to turn off all our feelings, and if we manage what will we turn into? A robot working on autopilot? What will remain of the human in us?
Jennifer Witherspoon, a beautiful lady I met during my journey in South America, told me she loved being human just because of our ability to think and feel, whether it was good, light, happy, or painful and heavy emotions. The fact that we have the ability to feel is amazing, was her point.
Last autumn I worked at a primary school. During a game in the schoolyard, one of the girls fell and hurt herself. I tried to comfort her and noticed she was holding her breath. Most likely because of the pain she felt. I reminded her to breathe deeply with her stomach and told her how important it was to breathe. I made a point that when we are afraid or are in pain we usually forget to breath deep with our bellies.
Ironically, it belongs to the story that while she began to focus on her breath, her sweet friend came with these well-meaning words; “You must also remember to bite your teeth together. That is what my Mom and Dad say to me. ” The fact that parents can still in 2018 have a mindset like this in the upbringing of their children, turned me to a silent listener in the schoolyard. It is said that parents know the best for their children. I am firmly convinced that most parents love their children high above everything on earth, and of course, they want the best for their kids, but if parents just carry on with what they have been taught, without reflecting on it, then what? Is it still the best for the kids?
Imagine if children had been taught to explore their emotions at an early age. That we as adults could have given them this tool. Imagine if we were taught them how to become friends with their emotions and to allow them to feel the pain, anger, sadness, and jealousy, without defining them as good or unacceptable just to fit into the norms of society. I believe that if we were taught to explore our emotions, being curious about them, learn to express them without reacting to them, we might eventually create more quality in our lives.
Perhaps it would contribute to removing the feeling of shame, the grip it has on us and the unacceptable feelings.
During Christmas 2018 there was a lot of focus on loneliness in Norway. Several have expressed that loneliness is a shameful theme. Think, in addition to feeling lonely, also feeling shame? I think shame is very often associated with unacceptable feelings and thoughts. What do you think?
What we feel cannot be turned into a glowing gemstone of positivism overnight. What happens when we can’t do it? Are we beginning to blame ourselves for that? What good cause have self-reproach?
I have lived long enough to believe that no one else than myself has the key to my path, and my processes through life. I am convinced that once we realize that, we create our own fortune. No matter what everyone else may think.
My opinion is that there is a strength in the vulnerability. Of course, in the depths of all our emotional human layers resides vulnerability; and what happens if we dare to explore what lies behind the worry, anxiety, aggression and grief?
Last year exactly at this time I was busy preparing for my trip to South America. The dominant feeling throughout the preparation was fear. I had no idea that I had so much fear within me. Suffering panic attacks I was at times almost paralyzed. Fear ruled me. During that period, I knew only one thing. I was very tired of the imbalance I was feeling and longed after harmony in my emotional life. I clearly realized that I had no control over the external incidents in life, but I could do something about how I handled them. Since I was tired of being a captive of my own emotions, I decided to create balance. I defied anxiety and travelled. If I had not done that, I would have not discovered that all the different scenarios created by my fear were trapping me through my thoughts and feelings. Later I saw that none of the created scenarios ever happened. For what comes first, thoughts or feelings? That is the same question whether the hen comes first or the egg? For me, it was not important to know what came first or at last. I was just tired of all the bickering, and that is when I decided to start consciously strengthening the acceptance muscle. 
I always keep falling back on Wayne W. Dyerś book, “You see it when you believe it.” As he writes in his book, we have developed technology and our lives have become much easier than ever before, but we are still ruled by fear, hatred, jealousy and we still fight each other and have wars. Simply because there has not been much evolution on the emotional level. Imagine, if we had been taught to handle our emotions differently. Would we have been free from all the drama that unfolds among us, in and within ourselves? What would we use all our energy on?

How would it go with the film industry and all the movies that appeal to our feelings? What would movies be about when there was no drama? How could politicians rule without being able to split people? I have no idea since we are not yet there but one thing is for sure; If we listen to ourselves, we will probably find the key. There is no easy way or quick fix, but we have a muscle, like all our other muscles in the body and we need to train that muscle day by day and in every single moment. By accepting what comes up without judging, a new window might open. For me, the journey has ended in not denying painful emotions, but rather resting in them and see what reveals behind. It has been a kind of journey where I day by day, learn to strengthen another muscle: “Accept-without-judge-and-love-me-self-muscle”. I want to keep my vulnerability as human and actually see the strength in it. What about you? What are your reflections on what I write? Feel free to comment and share your experiences.

Before ending this blog post I want to share a fun story. Whatever you do, there are often different opinions about your decisions. Trust yourself and your path. Even it is hard and demanding.
With best wishes for humanity.
You can read this blog post in Norwegian here.

4 Comments on “To strengthen the acceptance-and-love-my-self muscle

  1. Pingback: Å styrke aksept-og-elske-meg-selv-muskelen  – People, Life, Politics And Bullshit

  2. Dear Parisa, it is so good to to hear your thoughts. It is taking me back to Calca and the Huachuma Wasi! It was such a blessing to get to know you and I look forward to seeing you in Norway someday! Peru is still lovely and seems to provide a great place for opening to our emotions and healing. I too felt lonely this Christmas and yes, people shouldn’t be shamed for their emotions, but rather encouraged, like you, to feel them. Otherwise, we stuff them down and it leads to what? A cover up through food, over eating, sex addictions and panic attacks as you said. I am just beginning to explore my emotions as you do. You asked me once if I thought that I was jealous. I replied, “I don’t know.” You see, I never allowed myself to explore these emotions that are considered “bad.” But just this week, I saw myself get jealous when a group of guests left Nidra Wasi to stay in a nearby house.One guest told me, “I don’t like change.” My inner child is afraid of change or of sharing people for fear that I will lose them. When I let myself feel the emotions, then I could soften into what I was learning, and to be gracious with the guests, who loved staying here. They weren’t rejecting me, they were just moving on to their next step. I haven’t “lost” them. I just had to give up some control. They are still in my life, inviting me on hikes. We will have a future connection. Thank you Parisa for your lovely insights. hugs, Jennifer

    Like

    • Sometimes I assume life is a playground and we have to play around it to discover, which spot we like, and under which circumstances we can evolve. Seeing our true emotions without judging them, being ashamed of them or trapped in them is the key to many rooms. Many times, easier said than done, but I guess that is what this play is about.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: