What have you done lately to nurture yourself, enhance your creativity and honor your soul? When we neglect ourselves in the mad rush to make a living, take care of business and raise our families, we die a little with each passing day.
A thousand daily deaths can lead to a barren life starved for affection and love. And yet we don't understand. Our partner loves us, our children need us, our friends are there for us and our employer counts on us. We are loved and needed we defiantly state. So we continue our frantic pace and fill up our lives with busyness.
Our faces, with well-applied make-up, mask the pain of our souls that lie waiting for us to discover what real beauty is. Until we touch the beauty of our souls and live from our own heartfelt inspiration, we live with a profound sadness and longing.
Some women desperately search their entire lives to find a cure for such emptiness. The quest for a man, success and eternal youth override the longing of their souls.
Obsession with Perfection
Our obsession with our physical appearance has reached epidemic proportions. Women seem more dissatisfied with their bodies than they were even two or three decades ago. Some types of plastic surgery on any number of body parts can be performed on our lunch hours. It's time to ask, "What in the world are we teaching our daughters?"
And why the impossible quest for perfection? Why do we mold and reshape our faces and bodies? Do we do it to appear younger, to keep our jobs, to attract a lover or to feel better about ourselves?
How long can we feel good about ourselves when we seek artificial means to make our lives work? How long can we feel good when we value our appearance more than ourselves?
Why can't we say "no" to societal pressure to conform to impossible beauty standards? What will we lose? Why does the risk seem so high?
Searching for the Fountain of Youth
We could choose to grow old gracefully. When enough join the chorus it will change. But we are caught in the glamour of the external world in search of the eternal fountain of youth. We are under the influence of the opinions of others and afraid to rock the boat. So again and again we give our power away and by doing so, give our permission to be taken for granted, used and exploited.
In other words we play the role of the victim -- an all too familiar role for women to play. Over and over we play this role as it is handed down from generation to generation. Regardless of where and how we play it out, our complacency blinds us to its often-subtle disguise.
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Victim State of Mind
From a victim state-of-mind we become needy. Neediness is a form of negative dependency that brings up all kinds of negative emotions such as resentment, jealousy, and anger. Not knowing how to nurture ourselves and take care of ourselves emotionally, we depend on others to do so. When they fail to do so, we rage. And oddly enough, even when they do so, we rage even more.
Why? Because we know deep inside that our emotional health is not dependent on others, but ourselves. We know that our strength to move beyond the victim state comes from within. Deep inside we know that absolutely no one can have power over us unless we allow it.
Yet we make excuses for the abusive people in our lives. We blame ourselves for their insensitive and harmful behavior. We take care of others at our own expense. We stay in destructive relationships out of convenience. And the cycle perpetuates itself over and over.
From neediness to rage, these are the collective deep wounds of women. Only truth will soften the edges of our pain. Only learning how to honor ourselves will heal our sorrow.
Taking Good Care of Ourselves
If we are so good at taking care of others, then why is it so hard to take good care of ourselves? Perhaps we haven't been taking such good care of others. I can feel the caregivers of the world -- overworked, overtired, underpaid and rarely acknowledged, glaring at me with vengeance.
When we take care of ourselves first, then we can give freely and generously of ourselves without resentment. With our own needs met through self-acknowledgment we can lovingly help others. However, the very thought of putting ourselves first usually produces major guilt. How dare we?
Get over it. Take good care of yourself. Show the world how much you value you. Learn to say no. Set healthy boundaries. Protect yourself. Tell the truth. Be honest with yourself. Live your life with integrity. Take care of your emotional, mental and physical well being. Take care of your finances. Acknowledge your feelings. Trust your intuition. Follow your heart. Honor your creativity.
Victims and Bullies: A Symbiotic Pair
Easy to suggest and write, but not always easy to do, for where there's a victim, there's a bully not far behind. When you've been beaten up enough, you begin to believe you're damaged. And when you start to believe that lie, you beat up on yourself. The bully can be long gone, but the script is still read, in fact memorized all too well.
It takes conviction to rewrite the script. It takes courage to prove to ourselves that we're intelligent, talented and valuable. It takes perseverance to nurture our dreams to fruition.
What Will Be My Legacy?
And in our solitary moments we realize what is possible. Not only can we forge beyond the past, we must. So when you lose your confidence and it all seems to fall apart and the journey is too damn long and you're too tired to care anymore, ask yourself, "What will be my legacy?"
Stop. Pray. Ask for strength and the wisdom to understand your true identity. Look past appearances and stop comparing yourself to others. Reconnect with your spiritual essence.You will become stronger, more powerful, more confident and desirable. There is nothing more appealing and sensual than pure love and joy.
Allow divine feminine energy to flow through you as a healing force. Be filled with its grace and let it overflow into the world. This energy when used consciously is a powerful force. It has been dormant for too long, buried deep within our souls. Let it rise and stand. Allow it to join forces with the masculine energy of the world in order to create and give birth to your vision. It will temper, teach, heal, and balance. When both forces, at long last, stand side-by-side, we will then experience true equality. We will then know that our journey has been worthwhile.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Wisteria Productions. Copyright 2001.
The Power of Constructive Love: How to Live Your Dreams...
by Susan Ann Darley.
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About the Author
Susan Ann Darley is the author of The Art of Becoming Visible, which offers practical marketing tools to artists and is a direct result of The Art of Becoming Visible classes she taught for five years. She is also the author of The Power of Constructive Love. She specializes in helping people use and market their talents through creativity coaching and writing and she also coaches businesses. She offers a complimentary coaching session by phone. Visit her website at http://alzati-leadershipcoaching.com/