Feb 042021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I have always loved the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, and have done my best to live by its wisdom. I especially love the paragraph, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” To me, this means treating myself kindly, loving myself and taking care of my needs, because I have worth by just being here.

Whenever I am tempted into some decision or behavior that isn’t for my well being, I pause. I ask myself questions like the following:

  • Is it going to contribute to my self-respect or erode it?
  • Do I need it or want it?
  • Does the behavior or decision support my goals?
  • Will the temptation be worth it, or will I regret it later on?

It’s not easy, but most of the time, I choose to avoid the lure of temptation and support my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. (Full disclosure: I sometimes stay up too late at night watching a television program and regret it in the morning.)

Needs vs. Wants

Are you treating yourself well and addressing what you need for health and well being? Many people confuse taking care of their needs with indulging in what they want. Your wants may be old habits or ways of reacting. For instance, there’s a part of you that wants to eat that entire bag of chocolate candy, even though it’s bad for your health. The chocolate isn’t something you  need, it’s something you want. Giving into a chocolate binge is a short term tactic to satisfy a craving. The gratification lasts for only for a few minutes, and isn’t worth the risk of weight gain, cavities or self-reproach afterwards.

Instead, healthy eating habits are long term strategies to treat yourself kindly. You show yourself love by eating fruits, vegetables, protein and getting enough exercise. These are behaviors that are necessary for a healthy and happy life. They build self-respect and self-esteem. With self-love, you take actions that may make you uncomfortable, but you know will eventually bring you what you ultimately need and desire.

Your Relationships Improve

When you show up for your well being, you demonstrate that you value yourself. Your relationship with yourself improves because you think better of who you are. This attitude translates to your relationships with other people. Because you have self-love, you love others more deeply and have more to give to them.

As you treat yourself with care, you attract others who also treat you that way. If they don’t respect you, your sense of self-worth causes you to recognize they don’t belong in your orbit. This realization includes friends, clients and customers. Set boundaries and take actions to appropriately protect yourself against those who can’t appreciate you the way you deserve.

Forgiving Yourself

Treating yourself kindly also means to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. They were simply learning exercises. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. But all too often, we chastise ourselves for infractions for far longer than we should. This can create a cycle of self-abuse that drags you down and keeps you stuck in the past. Systemic self-criticism also leads to other negative decisions that shred your love of yourself.  

Instead, once you learn the message a mistake has for you, any guilt from it has no further purpose. You don’t have to castigate yourself after you’ve made amends and set an intention not to repeat the error. Be gentle with yourself. Accept that you’re human and grow from the experience.

Demonstrate Your Love of Yourself

Self-love isn’t just a warm feeling about yourself. It also includes “a wholesome discipline,” as the poem says. When you demonstrate caring for yourself with actions, you prove how much you appreciate yourself. Treating yourself in a kind, gentle and loving way, and one that supports your worth, allows you to thrive and to fulfill your potential.

Affirmation:

The Universe recognizes my worth, because It put me here. I now accept my value and treat myself with respect. If I’ve made a mistake, I learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I attend to my needs, and support my health and well being. When I love myself, it translates into better decisions and actions.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Encourage Positive Actions.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Sparks of Insight

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Jul 132020
 
Sparks of Insight

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” –  Thomas S. Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry

Forgiving and then forgetting means that you don’t learn from the situation. You have no memory to warn you if the same situation is happening again. To best honor yourself, you can forgive the person, but remember their offense. This way, if you begin to notice a pattern, you can then decide what you need to do from a stronger position.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 302020
 
Sparks of Insight

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you welcome an offender back into your life. That may be the worst thing you could do for yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t absolve a person of the responsibility of what they’ve done and they might not have changed. Forgiving simply means you’re letting go of your anger against the person. When you can truly wish them the best, then you know you’ve forgiven them.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 152020
 
Sparks of Insight

“I know that forgiveness releases me from the past. I forgive myself for past mistakes and forgive those who have done me harm. When I can’t forgive someone, I give the situation to God and let God forgive them through me.”

Forgiveness cuts you from hanging onto the past, freeing you for a brighter future. Forgiving yourself and others is a healing balm, but sometimes you simply can’t find the ability to forgive. The offense might have been too great, or you’re still too angry. In that case, let God work through you. God can see the true essence of the other person and has already forgiven their faults. This makes it easier for you to detach from the situation, which makes it easier to free yourself.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 082020
 
Sparks of Insight

People mistakenly think that to forgive a person, they have to excuse the event, too. Nothing could be further from the truth. The individual acted in a particular way that hurt you, and that is their responsibility. In your mind, separate the person from their mistake. Because their action isn’t what you’re forgiving. You’re letting go of your anger, resentment and grudge against the person. And you’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it so it doesn’t continue to poison you. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jul 042019
 

Peace

Don’t Like Meditation? Try This Instead
Many studies show that Mindfulness Meditation can improve concentration, creativity and give you a new perspective on finding solutions. But people shy away from meditation, either because they don’t have the time or they’re intimidated by the idea. You don’t have to find a quiet space and empty your mind to have the benefits of meditation. This simple exercise can allow you to get the benefits and fit into your day.

6 Myths and 6 Truths About Perfectionism
Unfortunately, many cultures encourage a toxic view that perfectionism is beneficial. It doesn’t help you to be or do better. You’ll never be able to reach that impossibly high standard. And failing that creates a sense of shame. Stop chasing after perfectionism and understand the uncomfortable truths about it.

119 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happier
We all strive to be happy, but sometimes we fall short of that goal. It doesn’t mean it’s unreachable. It just means you need to implement some new strategies. This article has investigated research on the subject and brought together tested ways you can incorporate into your life. It covers 9 different areas of your life that you can address.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

As a vision strategist, speaker, coach, and hypnotherapist, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and businesswomen who feel stuck to get a clear vision, focus on strategies, and gain control so they’re able to
accelerate to the next level of their business. Sign up for her FREE guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jun 202019
 

Woman with outstretched arms

How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide)
Forgiveness doesn’t give the offender a pass for what they’ve done. The process isn’t for their benefit, it’s for yours. When you carry around that pain and anger, the only person it’s hurting is you. But it’s hard to let it go. Here’s a map on how to do that and free yourself from the past.

7 Ways To Start To Value Yourself
Making yourself a priority is not selfish. Doing so makes sure that you have the energy to then help others. When you make yourself important to yourself, your life and relationships improve. Caring for yourself ripples into all other areas of your life.

How Mindfulness Can Reshape Negative Thought Patterns
Most of the thoughts you have are from the past, ones you’ve had before. Many of them are negative messages you received or developed when you were younger. They repeat, trying to convince you that they’re valid and important, when they’re not. Mindfulness can short-circuit those thoughts and allow you to make a different choice.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review – Forgiving the Unforgivable

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Oct 042016
 

Forgiving the Unforgivable: Overcoming the Bitter Legacy of Intimate Wounds by Beverly Flanigan, M.S.S.W.

If you’ve ever been hurt by someone close to you, past or present, and need some help in dealing with it and getting to forgiveness, this book is for you. Not only does the author walk you through the journey of recognizing and acknowledging the injury, assigning responsibility, and describing the steps a person goes through along the way, but she also includes many exercises and tools to handle all of these phases.

When we’re wounded by someone close to us in a way that betrays the foundation of the relationship, then we feel like our world has been turned upside down. It forces us to re-evaluate our beliefs, and who we are. Our sense of stability and safety has been violated. To be able to heal from this, we have to examine the injury and its consequences.

As spiritual people, many of us believe that we have to take responsibility for everything that happens to us. That’s true to a certain extent. But we can’t control another person’s feelings and actions. So we need to assign responsibility to who actually, consciously and with intent, harmed us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean pardoning the other person. It’s letting go of the anger, empowering ourselves to move on, and recognizing that the wound has changed who we are. We set them free and ourselves free.

Forgiveness is a process of healing, not an eraser of hurt. This comprehensive book explains how to move through that process successfully and grow from it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart