According to ShyamSpace.com, the word Gyaan means: “Fully integrated knowledge of the Self; the vision of Oneness; awareness of the Self as the only reality.”
Everyday Gyaan means all that stuff (above) every day, right?
In that spirit, I was invited to share a few ideas about my personal journey toward loving myself with you here today. Thank you, Corinne, for the opportunity!
In the past I’ve had a hard time learning to love myself. It still sometimes feels like a tremendous challenge. I often feel self-conscious and inadequate. I think many people feel that way — perhaps you do, too.
For example, a couple days ago, I ran into a business colleague who had invited me repeatedly to collaborate with her, but then she would not return my messages or follow through on our plans. I felt like I was getting mixed signals from her, so when she started to make excuses again for not getting back to me, and she suggested we get together, I said, “Never mind – I can’t stand to wonder what’s going on with you anymore since you constantly don’t do what you say you’re going to do – good luck!” She quickly became very upset and the next thing I know she and her ‘business manager’ are calling me “mean” and accusing me of “appalling behavior” in a public forum.
Suddenly I flash back to ‘Baby Linda’ and I hear my parents screaming at me, “If you weren’t such a damn, mean, little, brat then we wouldn’t have to spank you all the time! Don’t you dare talk back to me! What is wrong with you?! You are disgusting!”
I feel shame, which is the opposite of self-love. I feel embarrassed. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fix my broken self so I can get along with ‘normal’ people.
The next morning, a friend sends me this message, “Linda, straight forwardness is rare…some people like to touch the nose the other way around.” I tell him I’m not quite sure of what he’s saying and he assures me he is supporting my forthright form of self-expression, unlike some people who think I am “mean”.
Another friend says, “What’s with that hostile guy who attacked you the other night, anyway? Holy aggressive!” I realize she believes my behavior was perfectly appropriate under the circumstances, and she’s as confused by my attacker’s actions as I am.
This morning, yet another friend congratulates me on having a “good BS meter”. She shares this link to a video about the power of vulnerability and authenticity which she says reminds her of me. (you can watch it here)
I suddenly realize I’m completely surrounded by supportive people I admire, who love me just the way I am. Really? I’m not an appalling b****? Who knew? I’m starting to believe it, too!
When people are repelled by my actions it doesn’t mean they’re bad or I’m bad. It mostly means that those are not the best people for me to hang around with. That’s fine, because it leaves more time and energy for me to bask in the love and appreciation of people who share my values and think I’m cool, which nurtures my own self-love.
Today I’m learning to love myself by living an authentic life based on the integrity of my personal beliefs with the understanding that some people will be attracted to who I am and some people won’t. Nonetheless I’m okay. with who I am. That’s my current, fully-integrated, loving reality. What’s yours? Please share your wisdom in the comments below.
The author is Linda Lee of Dangerous Linda who I’m proud to call my friend. Linda is a professional storyteller and a fantastic artist. I love her tell-it-like-it-is approach to relationships. Linda is a fun person to know, but she’s also deeply spiritual and very wise. I would urge you to read her blog which really stirs you to think.
Thank you, Linda for being you and being here!