Why People Don’t Follow Their Dreams

I came out to meditate and reflect on the transition I am making right now. The last couple of weeks have been one of the most transformative moments of my life. When it comes to a position of financial stability, I had that, but what I was doing was unfulfilling. So, I am starting all over, and jumping into an industry I am unfamiliar with, leaving everything I once thought I wanted, and it is all quite unsettling.

Understandably, I have been feeling heavy in my heart and head, not exactly expressed by anything specifically, but just a conflict of sorts. At the same time, I am calm and at peace with my decisions, It’s an interesting blend of energy.

Humans have emotions and these emotions are powerful. They can prevent us from living out our dreams. And the strongest emotion is that of FEAR. There is truly only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: The fear of failure. But going out and meditating by the river today I watched the river and I learned something.

A river is forever ongoing, its nature is to run continuously, and without ceasing. The river might face disturbances in the form of rocks, boulders, or the edges of the land that serve as guides to keep the river on its path. When the river confronts those barriers, it becomes tumultuous and unsettled. Powerful. This agitation continues until the river has passed the barriers and then it returns to be calm, it’s natural state. Throughout its journey to its destination, which will be something larger than itself (a bay, ocean, or lake), the river will meet with many barriers in different forms. It will become agitated, but it will then pass and return to tranquility. But most importantly, the river never ceases to continue on its path of destiny. It is destined to become something grander than it currently is.

It’s the law of the World. Humans are part of nature, part of creation, and we all deal with change in similar ways. We become unsettled and agitated, but nature understands this is part of life and fulfilling our destinies. Rivers do not cease to run, and trees do not cease to grow. They do not fear failure. They adapt and they conform. Fear of failing is usually more significant than the failure itself. But I would much rather live my life as I dream, free and with a sense of high, than to live a life formed by fear and never truly living. Therefore, failing by default.

Mastering Self-Love, Is It Possible?

I wish I could tell you that there was a secret to having high self-love over-night, or a straight forward fool-proof approach on how to develop it.. but there isn’t. Nothing of that sort. What I do have for you guys is a self-proved method on how to accomplish self-love, having gone through trial and error and over years finally having a good sense of how I have achieved the love I currently have for myself. Which is A LOT 🙂💖.

How Not Loving Ourselves Affects More Than Just US.

First, lets back track and take a glimpse at how I was and how I viewed people back when I had little to no love for myself. My inner distaste for myself manifested in my inability to care about others and be genuine. I was a completely different person to who I am today. I was a shitty person simply stated. How?

Due to my lack of self-love I was always trying to make myself better by putting others down in my mind. I used to always compare myself to others and say “okay I’m better than her because I have a better figure”, or “I’m working harder”, or “I have a better job”, or this or that. Honestly regardless of whether female of male I was VERY competitive. But in an extremely unhealthy way. It was an obsessive reaction to whenever I felt intimidated, and it was a vicious cycle.

The other thing I needed was validation from others. I felt insecure (another reflection of low self-love) and needed to hear from others how amazing, beautiful, sexy and wanted I was. So what did I do? I did just as anyone hungry for this validation would do and I shared pictures on my social media that prompted these responses.

That’s right, I did that. I would post pictures of me with little clothing online, was obsessed with my appearance and weight and I would entertain guys I wasn’t even interested in .. to what avail? .. well, the feedback of validation would flood in daily and I felt AMAZING. What I eventually saw though, was that those highs were temporary.. and SO EMPTY. I was being told all of these things by people who truly didn’t care about me, and at the end of the night all I had were empty words from people who didn’t care about Laurie, mounted on top of the stomach wrenching realization that I didn’t either. I was proving that to myself every day. And I was tired of feeling that way.

So I started making changes, and in the beginning those changes were small. The first thing I did was acknowledge that I had a PROBLEM and then I recognized how toxic this was for myself.

I then started reflecting asking myself, do you really have to be the best? Is that even logical? There are 1 billion people on this planet, are you going to make yourself go through this comparison every single time you encounter someone who has a lot going for them? How reasonable is that?

I then decided to place myself in a different position because this whole “that person’s awesomeness sucks and is making me feel bad” nonsense had nothing to do with the other person, and everything to do with me, and I recognized that. So I did a 180 in my thought pattern and decided to
replace those emotions with feeling HAPPY for that person. Instead of trying to put them down I decided to feel proud of that person because whatever they had accomplished they had accomplished because of the hard work that they put in, and they themselves deserve acknowledgment for that! Just like I too wanted acknowledgment for myself! Because if you think about it, isn’t that fair? This other person, whoever it is, is where they are in life because they worked at it- good for them! Lets celebrate that, just like we all want to also have our moments of self-celebration. Don’t just expect to receive it, give it too. And give it genuinely.

I also sat with the thought in my mind of who am I to judge others for what they do, or even don’t do? Like seriously, who am I to state or determine an opinion on someone else who is entirely independent and separate from what I do in my life? Did I have that RIGHT? No.. I absolutely did not.
Truth is, you should not feel your opinions on others hold any ground just like you should live knowing that in the same way the opinions of others don’t hold ground in your life!!

This improved my ability to have genuine relationships with people because I was no longer in a constant competitive state with others. I could be genuinely happy for the achievements of others and although the thoughts of self doubt and insecurity arose, it AT LEAST was now something I had to deal with personally and I didn’t allow it to influence my relationships with others (as much).

So, that’s the first part of working out the consequences that low-self love has on relationships. Now, to tap into figuring out our inner demons that CAUSE the low self-love.

Mastering Self-Love, It’s Possible.

As you continue to read I want you to open your mind to the concepts I am going to introduce and know that developing love for yourself is an ongoing process, it’s a messy process with emotional and mental setbacks but done right you will set yourself up each time for a stronger comeback.

So here goes …

There is really no secret on how to have self-love. I feel that people beat themselves up for feeling bad inside, for feeling insecure, doubtful and fearful, as if this is not normal and instead they view it as a weakness. I’m telling you right now that these emotions are 10000% normal and NO MATTER how rich, enlightened, old, intelligent you are, those thoughts and feelings will ALWAYS come up. Find peace in that. Now that does not mean we say “alright, the hell with it then! I give up!”

Your mind is always going to try to tear you down, you will never be entirely free of the negativity of your mind. Everybody deals with it, the difference is how they deal with it.

A lack of love for yourself just means that you have allowed those demons in your mind to make you believe things that aren’t true. You have entertained the negativity, maybe even contributed by fueling the fire. For example, you see a person who seems to have their life together and your mind immediately reacts with the thought “they’re better than you”. You either respond with “dang, they’re better than me, plus they look so great and happy” (entertaining/fueling) or you respond with “umm no, GOOD for them, but I’m amazing and I am doing what is best for me in MY life” (Mind SHUT DOWN).

YOU get to choose how you respond, and the outcome of how you FEEL about yourself will be an immediate reflection of the decision you made.

If you choose to believe your inner demons and act in COMFORMITY to those thoughts, you are now your own devil’s advocate. You’ve IDENTIFIED with the negative thought instead of placing yourself in a position where you ACKNOWLEDGE it and say “nope, that’s not true and NOT for me- bye Felicia!”

The reason why this can be “messy” is because it requires being self-aware of when those thoughts come up and committing to rejecting them with self-empowering words. Your own words will not negate the negative thought 100% of the time, but keep at it. Continue to reject the inner negativity and you WILL get better at it. It is an ongoing process, remember. As you go on your love and value in yourself will increase because you have conquered your mind, and no longer allow it to tear you down.T

ARE YOU LETTING PAIN RUN YOUR LIFE?

Last night I went to the sauna at my gym to meditate for 30 minutes. I started listening to the audio book “The Untethered Soul” (an absolute gem of a book btw) and I found myself on chapter 9 where it talked about the presence of an inner thorn that causes pain that many choose to protect and shelter in order to reduce any pain instead of ripping it out and removing the SOURCE of these inner conflictions.

This took me back to a time before I had discovered my inner thorn when I was still running from the pain that I felt deep within. I recall one specific night when my boyfriend at the time told me that his parents had talked to him about me and that they felt for me.. they said that when I laughed they could sense that it wasn’t genuine. They told him they could FEEL the pain I tried to hide behind my laughter.

That conversation hit me hard, it brought up the harsh reality of my situation in that moment. I was always trying to convince myself that I was fine, that I was strong and nothing could tear me down. But the truth was that I was broken. Still. I had allowed the pain I felt within from experiences the years prior to accumulate so vastly that it began to manifest in my every day life. The truth was that I was unhappy and tired of feeling so much guilt, shame, and low self-worth.
But I didn’t know how to change it.

I had never really worked on releasing the negative energy and pain that I felt within, I would always try to shelter it instead. When I felt lonely I would distract myself with work, or friends to not feel lonely. When I felt unloved I would date guys to simply feel as if I was being cared about. When I felt useless I would create a new goal for myself to accomplish and used that as validation of my self-worth. You see, this was all in an attempt to shelter and suppress my pain. I was not looking into WHY I felt lonely, unloved or useless.. because facing those facts would have been too painful. This is why I found myself in a position that night when I realized that even though I had fooled myself all that time into believing I was okay.. I was the ONLY ONE I was fooling.

Although it took some time for me to turn my self-awareness into self-recreation, I did eventually get to the point where I realized that I could in fact take full control of how I was feeling. Previously, I had no idea how powerful the mind could be and how I could learn to master it. About a year later, I began to really dedicate myself to figuring out my emotions and thought patterns and I learned the secret of how to remove this inner thorn from within myself instead of always trying to shelter it by running away from anything that could hurt me. There are some key points that serve as fundamentals and here I’ll share those gems with you:

  1. Honesty. I had to allow myself to be completely vulnerable and utterly honest with MYSELF. All along I was telling myself I was fine, I was filling voids in my life with fake friends, busy work, dates, ANYTHING to not be left alone with my emotions. I had to face my inner demons and see everything for what it was; a lot of fear and PAIN. I acknowledged it, and then I…
  2. Embraced it. Instead of running away from the pain that I was afraid to feel.. I seeked it. I was hungry for it. I was fed up of living in constant internal turmoil overwhelmed by my own emotional burdens. When I finally found all the inner painful demons I had suppressed deep within me..  I then decided I was OKAY with it. This was when the growth happened. I no longer was in a position of helplessness or defeat. I was in a position of strength, because I chose to be aware of what was causing me pain, embracing it and then deciding for myself whether I identified with those emotions or that lifestyle or whether IT DID NOT SERVE ME.
  3. Release. Once I was able to be honest with myself about my emotions, and my momentary weakness; once I decided that it was okay that I was in a position of struggle in my life; Once I decided that I did not want to feel worthless, ashamed, nor guilty any longer.. I began the process of releasing those negative energies and thought patterns. I took a stance in that moment and said “I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY, I WILL NOT BE THE CAUSE OF MY OWN DEFEAT”.

These 3 steps are the foundation of a continuous journey I entered which allowed me to ultimately let go of the weight my past experiences had on me and also, allowed me to continuously control my emotions with events that occurred in my present life. This ability to confront my pain, embrace it and then release it, allowed me to deal with troubling events in my life with so much more strength and in a constant tranquil state of mind. I no longer lived in fear, stress or doubt. Those emotions no longer controlled my life. I was able to free myself and live a fuller life without the mental strain due to the skills I develop by doing the above. Because it is a skill, it is something that you must constantly have present and consistently practice. You will not be successful on your first attempt, but with every attempt you will feel your internal pain, doubts, fears and all negative energies begin to release their hold on you. Be patient with yourself and continue to practice.

The advice I give you all I used myself on a daily basis. I dedicated the time because I trusted that I would come out at the end in a better position in my life. It was the foundation of a beautiful and enlightening journey of spiritual growth and emotional healing and mental strength. I hope these tools help the rest of you to begin your own journey to conquer your own internal demons because remember.. you DESERVE to be genuinely happy, free from pain that controls your life.