Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Another Post on Gratitude

One of the things I've been thinking about this morning is how grateful I am. And not for the reasons one might think. Yes, I am grateful for my new baby, whom I love dearly. I am grateful for my family, my husband, my job, all of the things outside of myself that I feel God has given.

I feel like I've been a gift through years of mistakes, rebirth, the trials of being a new wife, a new employee and finally, a new mother/stepmother. I've learned from my two stepdaughters and I've grown a tremendous amount because of them. And what I was thinking this morning was that being a new mom, in addition to being a stepmom, has given me a confidence in myself that I've never had before. And for that, I am grateful. 

The reason I feel this new confidence is that I've had to tap into an intuition that I wasn't even sure I had. As I've mentioned in my previous posts, there is so much information/misinformation out there for new moms. There are all kinds of books and their information seems to be completely opposite of each other. One of the things I really struggled with early on was trying to figure out what choice to make. I was tired of making decisions and not really knowing if it was the right one. So I eventually just went with the initial one. If I felt a strong urge to go one way, that's what I did, trusting that I somehow intrinsically know what is right. And sometimes, the decision I made wasn't right, but the world didn't end, and that has helped me gain confidence in myself. 

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and we were discussing a person's fear of being who they are to others. I think of this quote from Marianne Williamson:

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
― Marianne WilliamsonA Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

We were discussing teaching yoga. As a new teacher, I feel like we sometimes do the basics because we're afraid of being rejected. I'm just going to go through the asanas, and leave anything questionable out because someone might not like it and that would be bad. I so had this fear! Once I started teaching yoga after a short maternity leave, I felt a strong urge from within that told me to go ahead and add the things that I like about yoga in my class. I was nervous because I was afraid of rejection. What if someone doesn't like it? what if I offend them? But I just let go and trusted that inner voice. I trusted that gut feeling, and after class, I got a lot of positive feedback. So I did again. And the feedback was positive... again. And I did it again, and the feedback was positive.... yet again. The same result that I got from trusting myself as a mother, was happening in other areas of my life. 

I started to think about why we have this fear in the first place. There has been so much controversy recently about comments made in the news regarding certain situations, and the result has been polarizing. One of the things that I like to do is read the comments section on articles, any articles. It doesn't even have to be a political article, or a parenting article. Sometimes, I read one about fashion, or a sports team, and the comments are outrageous! People get so offended so easily, it's no wonder I'm afraid to express my opinion. 

1) For whatever reason, when someone gets offended, they respond by hitting below the belt
2) It seems as if that person does not believe in that exact way, they are somehow a flawed human that is going to be punished in life

Why would a reaction be that strong? I believe it's out of fear. Fear that the other person might actually be right and if that's the case, then I'm wrong. And I can't be wrong because then the world will crumble and I will die. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but isn't that where our fears come from usually? Fear of pain or death? What I've noticed is that the more confident I am, not only in my convictions, but also in my ability to make mistakes, the less I care about the opinion of others.I'm able to consider another perspective without feeling threatened. I've realized that there is always more than one way to view something. And sometimes, that way may be better and I just haven't thought of it before. And that's ok. I can change my mind, or I don't have to change my mind. it's my choice and I don't have to spend my life trying to prove to others that I'm right and they're wrong. I can just allow them to be. That gives me so much relief. I can spend more time in the present moment. 

Healthy discussion is a good thing. How can one grow without facing adversity? We cannot. It's through hearing all different sides, I'm able to see the truth, and what the truth represents for me. I'm not perfect at all, and I'm writing this because this has been my struggle for the past decade, probably longer. I've always felt the need to be right in the situation. Because I was afraid. That's why I'm grateful, because I've found my own voice and I trust myself. I accept myself for who I am, the good, the bad and the ugly. It allows me to be wrong sometimes. I can't wait to see what else I'm going to learn through life. I feel like it keeps getting better as I get older. 

Merry Christmas!!