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Baring My Soul

Self-love and acceptance is a Universal problem.  It is the underscore of the challenges and struggles we have in our lives.  It is what causes us to be so hard on ourselves.

I recently came face to face with having to acknowledge that there were still parts of myself I did not love and accept, and these parts were causing me to continue the cycle of self-doubt, and self-criticism.  It wasn’t that I was consciously suppressing these feelings, because the truth is that I truly was feeling great about myself and my life.  I’ve done a lot of work on becoming the person I know and want to be, and I felt good about that.

BUT now there was no denying that I was coming to a whole new level and layer of loving and accepting myself at a deeper level.  Upon this realization it didn’t take long to recognize where I was still over-analyzing and questioning myself.  As frustrating as it was to admit this to myself (and now to you), it was equalling as liberating.  I was finally giving myself permission to feel the emotions that I was keeping at bay.

For some reason my perfectionism was continuing to seep through and make me believe that I should be better.  This took on a whole new meaning for me with what I now do for a living.  I recognized the shame, guilt, and disappointment I had in myself for even having some of the thoughts and feelings I had.  Because of that, I never really allowed myself to feel them.

BUT the time for that finally came…and I’m going to share with you the roller coaster of emotion that I went through as I began to accept these feelings and thoughts.  As I was going through it, I began to document what was going through my mind.

If you’ve ever taken one of my courses, or read any of my articles you may have come across me talking about seeing the “Bigger Picture.”  To me the bigger picture is about seeing things from a broader perspective so that we can understand ourselves and others, as well as become self-aware enough so that when things arise we can see that they are happening for a reason.

Well, I’m good at seeing the “Bigger Picture”…great at it in fact.  This is a blessing…BUT what I was also beginning to see was that it was causing me to not allow myself to feel certain emotions in the moment.  Because I could always see where another person was coming from or why something crappy was happening, I was really good at reframing the situation so that I could come from a place of understanding and compassion.

In most cases, I truly did feel good about seeing the bigger picture, and it really helped me to process things.  However, what started happening for me was that past pains were starting to surface.  Once again, I knew why it was happening…it was time to deal with them and release them, BUT I was using my reframing to skim over what was really needed.

I needed to feel it.  I needed to be okay with being “less than perfect” in my words, my thoughts, my feelings, and even my actions.  I needed to show my cracks and flaws so that I could begin to accept those parts of myself as well.

I’ve decided to copy excerpts of  what I wrote  from my journal, because although it’s not articulate and concise, I really did let out all my frustrations, doubts and questions…and in doing so I truly felt a lifting of the heaviness:

Many times when I was around authority figures or “experts’ I would value what they told me over what my own intuition was telling me.  I often allowed myself to feel like a little girl who was lost and didn’t know right from wrong; that I was somehow bad, and needed to be told the “right way”; that I needed to be told what I “should” be doing, or “shouldn’t” be saying.  This led me to over-think and over-analyze the things I said and did.  It was exhausting…it still can be exhausting.  My fear of not being liked was so strong and I questioned and doubted things after the fact…even though they were said or done with good intentions.  What if they took it the wrong way?  Maybe I should be more clear?  What if my reactions weren’t “spiritual” and inline with the new me that I have grown into?  I’ll be judged and doubted in my work.  

Where’s the balance of feeling what I’m feeling and seeing the bigger picture?  My feelings are wrong.  I shouldn’t judge; I shouldn’t have anger; I shouldn’t be frustrated with someone else’s actions…or lack thereof.  I know better.  I see the bigger picture.  They come from a place of pain and unknowing and lack of self-love.  Where’s my compassion?

Ok, the real question is, where is the compassion for myself?  Yes, we are human.  We have many less than “ideal” thoughts and moments.  It happens.  It’s  unintentional.  What matters is what you do next with those thoughts and moments; how you handle it after you become aware of it.

Those “weak” moments made me feel I didn’t do enough work on myself.  How broken am I?  What am I missing?  I felt shame for not having risen above the ego-mind; shame for not fully loving myself; shame and embarrassment for people possibly having seen through that and judging my lack of awareness.  

Oh trust me…I knew.  I knew my heart and head were in battle…and that sometimes my head was winning.  I knew these were all symptoms of not feeding my soul needs.  I even knew what I needed to do in order to feed my soul…but I wasn’t doing it.  For some reason I was letting my mind win, and I felt bad for letting it win.  I felt unevolved and unaware and unenlightened for even viewing it as a battle.

I was afraid others would think I’d taken “steps back” in my journey; that I wasn’t progressing.  I was afraid they wouldn’t see all the changes and progress that I made; for the many ways I do now love myself more than ever before.  This was just a nudge in the direction of embracing more of myself.  Will others see that or judge me?

The layers of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-deprecation seemed endless.  Where does it stop?  How deep are these wounds?  Where the hell did I get these wounds?  I had (and have) a great life…what’s the deal?  Why am I still disowning parts of myself?  Better question yet, what are all the parts?

I know better than to place blame.  We are all creators of our own lives.  But I’m angry damn it!  Who is responsible?  Why do I now have to pick up the pieces of my seemingly shattered soul?

I thought I completely released all facades of myself…and yet I find another.  This one feels scarier to let go of.  I mean, I’m “spiritual” now, so how bad would it look to admit that not all my thoughts are “spiritual”?  That in fact I’ve even given myself permission to have non-spiritual thoughts and words so that I could let someone else feel that I understand what they are going through.  Because I do understand…but at the same time I also see the bigger picture.  Well, that’s just annoying to others.  I don’t want to be annoying; I want to be liked.

I know I need to speak my truth, but not everyone likes what they hear.  That scares me.  I want people to like what they hear.  Not only for my own validation, but because I have such a strong desire to bring awareness.  If I’m silent, nothing can change.  But am I the one to say it?  Is it my place?

I finally now trust my intuition and the messages I receive, both for myself and others… I feel strong in that.  But a new layer of self-trust is rising.  Trusting myself to speak my truth in integrity…and being okay when not all others agree.

Even in writing this, I feel myself loving and accepting myself more and more.  A shift is happening.

I was so attached to the worry of others judging me, but the real problem lie in the fact that I so harshly judged myself.  We often feel like we are the only ones who may think and feel this way, but as I already mentioned, this is a Universal problem…and I would like to shed light on it, so that we can all begin to be a lot gentler with ourselves.

Self-love and acceptance isn’t all or nothing.  Over time I’ve come to love and embrace myself more and more.  With each step I take toward accepting parts of myself and discovering who I really am, I grow more confident, content, and fulfilled.  But it is an on-going process.  For many of us we’ve disowned and disconnected from many parts of ourselves, so the journey back to wholeness will take commitment, awareness, and time.  

Whatever form your lack of self-love takes, you can begin to change it through understanding and awareness of how you came to be so hard on yourself in the first place.  This is the key to heal.

I finally came to the realization I had it wrong…self-love and acceptance and being my true self wasn’t about changing myself so that I could love myself;  being my true self was about accepting my imperfections and not having to overhaul everything I am to feel good about myself.  It’s about loving myself, faults and all, as I learn to grow to become more of who I am.

So my secret’s out of the bag…I’m not perfect; I’m still flawed.  Gasp!  And I’m okay with that (most of the time…it’s still an evolution).  Are you?

My story isn’t unique, and the reason I am willing to bare my soul is because I know my biggest ah-ah moments have been when others were willing to share theirs.

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

Loving and accepting ourselves is a choice. Period.  Happiness is a choice. Period.

The path of our lives is based on the series of choices we have made along the way.  If we are not happy with it, it once again boils down to choice.

For many years I felt stuck; that my life was happening by chance.  I made excuses for why it couldn’t be changed.  In certain moments I grovelled in tears of self pity.

For me the monumental shift in my life came when I began to listen to the whispers of my inner voice.  At first it was a complete stranger to me, but it was insistent enough that eventually I knew I had to listen.  It took time to build a stable trust with it, but with each step my confidence grew.  I no longer listened to the opinions of what others, including society, thought was best for me.

All these choices lead me to living a life that is not without some ups and downs, but is one that always feels meaningful, fulfilled, and purposeful.  And I wouldn’t change if for the world.

What are some choices you may need to make?

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

On several occasions I have been asked the question, “What happened that led to you making a change in your life?” Because we hear so many stories about people going through something traumatic which was the catalyst that led to change, many assume that is what needs to happen in order for dramatic change to
occur.

I can relate to this line of thinking, since at the beginning of my journey I fell into it as well. Through the books, seminars, courses, and conferences I attended, I would repeatedly hear vivid examples and stories of the immense struggle and adversity people went through that led to their “light bulb” moment. In reading and hearing all these stories, and knowing that I never went through even half the turmoil others endured, I actually started to become fearful that I had to go through some heartbreak and tragedy at some point in order to truly learn. I thought, “maybe it’s still on the way.” As silly as it sounds to me now, it seemed inevitable from everything I had been encountering up until that point.

I read and heard about countless people who had gone bankrupt, later to become millionaires, or about someone who had a severe illness which helped them understand what was truly important. I was concerned that only these unfortunate circumstances led to true knowledge and understanding. I clearly was starting to buy into the notion that struggle equates to value, however something about that just didn’t feel right.

Though these type of circumstances certainly do lead to evaluating the direction of ones life, that does not have to be the case…and wasn’t the case for me!

We do not have to hit “rock bottom” in order to realize the need to change. Feelings of discontent, purposelessness, being overwhelmed and over-scheduled are all indictors that something is out of balance and some self reflection may be called for. However, if we don’t listen to these initial warning signs, the messages that something needs to change will get louder and louder, so that eventually we have no choice but to listen.

Have you been receiving any “messages”?

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

Somewhere along the line we began to equate happiness with what we have.  Although at a conscious level, I believe most of us are aware that money and things aren’t the key to happiness, there is a part of us that still hooks into this notion.

The truth of this is easily evidenced by walking into any school or large group.  By simply looking around and observing, it’s very easy to pick up on what the latest trends are.  Once a trend is picked up it spreads like wild fire.

At some level by participating in these trends brings us a sense of belonging and value.  Believe me I get it.  I was never a trend follower in high school, but come University and being on my own, I easily fell prey to the idea if I was wearing a certain brand or carrying a certain backpack that I somehow fit in, and to me this was a reflection of my value.

Although this is changing, we still are living in a society that places a lot of value on money and status.  It is up to us as parents to teach our children where their true value lies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally opposed to brand names and trends.  I buy them myself from time to time.  But what needs to be evaluated is our reason behind WHY we buy them, and we also need to ask ourselves what this is reflecting to our children.

Happiness is knowing and loving who we are as we grow into our fullest potential.  To me this means understanding that we live in a physical world that allows us to enjoy all the material things, but it also means knowing how to stay connected and tapped into the spiritual world, which is where our intuition and guidance lie.

As our society stands now we still place a lot of emphasis on achieving, accomplishing and striving, and as we are learning and becoming more aware of, this paradigm no longer works.  It’s time to find a new way.

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

When others don’t do or say what we want them to do or say, our natural tendency is to try to change them.  We figure this is the solution.  If they just did what we wanted, we’d be so much happier.  Things would be so much easier.

Sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but this just isn’t the way it works.

Taking a simple example, I can tell you from experience that trying to change someone else’s behavior only causes more grief.  Driving with my husband used to mean an inevitable argument about his “road rage.”  It absolutely drove me nuts how worked up he’d get with the other drivers, and how frustrated he’d be if traffic was slow.

Because this isn’t something that I could understand, since I did not react the same way, it frustrated me that he allowed it to get him into such a negative state.  My frustration always led to me making some sort of comment, which always meant an escalation of the situation.

I was trying to get him to change, but giving it the same energy he was giving it…frustration.  All this accomplished was a whole lot more frustration.

Finally, I clued in and realized I was never going to change the situation with the approach I was taking.  It didn’t change anything, and all it did was make me feel even worse.  So, I finally I came to the realization that the only thing I had control over was my own reaction.  From that moment on I made the choice to no longer comment on his behavior.  Initially it really meant me biting my tongue, but eventually it got easier on my part.

I decided to no longer buy into his frustration and feel that my mood was dependent on how he was reacting.  And for those of you who understand how energy works, you will not be surprised to hear that by me not feeding the energy of frustration, my husband’s reactions to traffic also began to soften (okay with still an occasional flare up!).

So, the solution is never the need for them to change, but rather the need for you to adjust and understand your reactions and expectations.  Why does someone else need to change to make you happy?  What can you do about it instead?!

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

I used to be a “fence sitter.” I really didn’t have a strong opinion about anything. Certainly part of it was because I am pretty easy-going, BUT a larger portion of that was because I didn’t have the confidence to stand firm in my own beliefs.

I really hadn’t formed any of my own beliefs. I grew up believing what I was told by my parents, teachers, peers, society…I hadn’t yet developed my muscle in establishing my own set of beliefs that worked for me.

So, when one of those programmed beliefs were challenged, I felt I needed to fiercely defend it. They weren’t ever beliefs that I chose for myself, so why was I so eager to fight to be right? Because my belief system was being challenged. And whether consciously or not (okay…not) that was very unsettling.

I was being forced to possibly look at things another way, and I was so unaccustomed to doing that that it threw me off balance. It rattled my “safe” little world. So rather than having to go through the “trauma” of realizing there may be another way, it was “easier” to defend what is.

Eventually, as I began to own who I really was and began to soften to the idea that there may be another way, I also began to form my own beliefs based on what truly works for me. When this happened, the need to be right fell away. I no longer needed to be right, because I simply knew it was right for me. It didn’t matter if it was right for anyone else.

As my confidence grew, I didn’t fear being wrong. I didn’t fear it, because I realized there was no such thing as “wrong,” but only what works for each individual. Now that’s not to say that I don’t get passionate about what I believe and want to share it, BUT the difference is I don’t have a need for them to agree with me anymore.

So, that begs the question, would you rather be right or happy?!

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.

With the start of the school year also comes the start of evaluations for many sports that our children are involved in. Because of this I am hearing the buzz of a common theme. The wonder, the anticipation, the speculation, the expectations…and above all the stress. The ironic part? These aren’t the feelings of most the kids…these are the feelings of the parents.

I think all parents who have children involved in sports experience some of these feelings to one degree or another. It takes a lot of self-awareness on the part of the parent, as well as the child, to not get caught up in the intensity of emotions that can occur. However, we are human, and parenting from the ego can take a strong-hold and hold us prisoner if we are not in a place to recognize it.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I have a strong desire for parents to wake up to the appealing pull of the ego-mind, and recognize the effects it has on how we parent. I believe parents have a responsibility to acknowledge the role they play, and take ownership in how they parent. Part of this role involves us committing to understanding and allowing our children to be who they are. And this translates into how we truly value our children.

The truth of the matter is we can only value and accept our children to the degree that we value and accept ourselves.

It’s for this reason that we parent from the ego. If we don’t fully value and accept ourselves, we unconsciously pass these unhealed feelings onto our children, and use their accomplishments and achievements to stand as a symbol for our own value.

It’s all well and good if they end up where you had “hoped” they would, BUT ask yourself…what if they didn’t? How would you react? Would you have the same things to say? Would you feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment?

I hear the choir of rebuttals insisting that “we only want what’s best for them,” or “I’m happy as long as they try their best.” A true indictor of whether you are happy with them trying their best and not having an attachment to the results is your reaction if they don’t place where you had expected.

How would you react? What would you say to your child? Would you be hard on them? Would you place blame on the evaluation process or some external factor? Or would you be able to quickly adjust and make the best of what is?

Sports is an amazing platform to evaluate if we view our world through Tunnel Vision or from the Bigger Picture.

If you’ve asked yourself the above questions, and are willing to admit that parenting from the ego may creep in from time to time (believe me, you wouldn’t be alone)…and you’re ready to take some steps towards being a more open-minded, accepting, and soulful parent…while at the same time discover more about yourself, I’d like to share with you a program that will completely shift how you parent – The Soulful Parent: How to Nurture Your Child’s True Self and Set Their Stage for Growth, Success and Fulfillment.

This is a live event that starts Oct. 2nd. Stay tuned for the self study, and ecourse which are coming soon.

Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the The Integrity Code, and The Soulful Parent Programs. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills, experience, and intuition as a mother, teacher, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Entrepreneur to help guide moms to recover their true selves and their intuition, while at the same time learn how to parent so their children can do the same.