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Continuing the Journey to Self-Healing

Oktubre 10, 2010

How well do you know YOU? I mean, really know your SELF? My guess is, like me, not much or not enough. In fact, like me, you might also be thinking that the journey of being human is knowing and experiencing oneself as a human being. A being that seems to be not of this earth but seems to be of this earth as a human. Confusing? Well it is, that’s why to find clarity in life we continuously need to search for answers.

So as I slowly move towards self-healing, I found myself asking the fundamental questions once again — WHO AM I? WHAT IS MY LIFE’S PURPOSE? You see, in this ever-evolving journey we are never who we seem to be. In fact, the moment we cling on to a certain identity we get stuck. Especially if everything else is zooming past us, changing in the blink of an eye. Roles get muddled. Careers, relationships and finances come and go. Yesterday is only seconds away from today. It’s quite difficult to be who you were yesterday, when today has already changed so much. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or that we need to catch up or be a chameleon. What I’m saying is, with the speed by which the world moves, have we been able to stop and ask the important questions? Or are we just lost, floating and spinning out-of-control?

I don’t know about you, but I know I am quite lost. Back in August, I fell into the Abyss. I fell deep and hard. I’m just slowly learning to climb back up. Slowly. This is one of the painful lessons I’ve come to accept. I’ve avoided and gone around the darkness for far too long. No more. I needed to come face-to-face with my Self, to encounter myself deeply, and accept all that I am with love. Everyday in the last two months I continue to be shocked and surprised at what I discover, what I find about myself. The support of my family and friends are indispensable, with conversations that I will forever treasure. Silence, meditations and prayers — phenomenal! Books and articles on spirituality, self-help, enneagram, temperaments have helped tremendously.

One such book I’ve recently got a hold of is “Creating Optimism: A Proven, 7-Step Program for Overcoming Depression based on the Popular Uplift Program” by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry. I haven’t finished reading the book and only on the first part, or first step of the entire program but I am blown-away by what they have shared. The authors combine scientific studies, their personal experience of chronic depression and experience with the patients or clients in their Uplift Program –an unconventional method culled from their own search for personal healing. I’m not planning to copy-paste here everything that they’ve written in that book because it would be too much and I can’t select specifics — one needs to read the book in its entirety, because it is quite complete in it’s approach.

There were things that struck me though, one is what they said about the mismatch between us and the world we live in today, that we are hunter-gatherers trying to cope with the fast evolution and rapid technological advancement of today. Families have suffered so much, especially the nuclear family trying to fend for itself when it is still in need of community, of communal life. I deeply resonate with this, seeing the impact in the families here in the Philippines –with migration and overseas workers, with children left behind by parents who both need to work in order to “survive”, with the television as the new nanny, and so much more. They also went on to explain other concepts necessary to understand depression, from the different methods used to the influences both biological and social.

At this point I am working on identifying and defeating my Inner Saboteur. It’s quite interesting that this is one of the initial steps necessary to overcome depression as it was what I’ve encountered at the bottom of my personal deep dive, confronting how I’ve created my own problems and sabotaged my own happiness, again and again. I’m way past the blame game and stopped looking for people, situations and relationships to blame for what I have become, for my problems, for “programming” the way I think, feel and act. I recognize that blaming people is just a vicious cycle that may even lead me to continue down the spiral of self-defeating and self-destructing behaviors. But, I also recognize the need to identify the root cause of my problems, identifying the voices that have helped create my Inner Saboteur. To identify in order to dis-identify.

What I’ve discovered is that my program (and most likely yours, too), created in early childhood then reinforced all through my life, is a smorgasbord of wrong beliefs that I’ve owned from my experience with significant adults. The sabotaging voice inside my head is a combination of the constant negative criticism, feeling of unworthiness and pressure to excel, abuse (physical and emotional), failure or inability to fulfill my dreams, conditional love (punishment and reward), money madness and materialism (and so many other things that I’m still unearthing) out of my experience in childhood with my mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, teachers, nannies, older cousins; although mostly from my parents (because they were the closest and the most significant relationship in my young life). Again, I don’t blame them because they have also been programmed by the significant adults in their lives and by our entire society.

Obviously, I’ve got a lot of reprogramming to do. Especially, since the inner saboteur is masterful at deception and manipulation, I have to see how my habitual patterns show up in daily life. Doing the exercises is quite surprising, I realized that everyday the choices I make from the moment I wake up to the time I sleep is part of the programming. In order to defeat the program, I have to be vigilant at doing things that counter the program. For example, I have to watch how I criticize myself and others, then change this habitual pattern into encouragement and support, or even just to find ways to say things gently and without judgment.

Realizing these things now, I can’t help but think about the young people like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and “stars” both international and local who went through the same problems and more –magnified and distorted by media. I feel compassion for what they went through and continue to go through. At the same time, again I am truly amazed by the gift of spirit, humility and talents exhibited by Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, and our very own Charice Pempengco. I can imagine the strong foundation that their families and loved ones have provided to help them remain grounded and level-headed as they continue to reach for their dreams, share themselves and inspire other young people.

This leads me to another crucial thing in my life right now: my purpose. Really figuring out what I love to do, what makes me truly happy and inspired. All through my life I’ve done things to rebel against my parents and authority figures, to prove something to people, to please others, to make myself seen and acknowledged, to be worthy. I’ve had rare occasions where I was able to just do and be happy with what I do. As I delve deeper into myself, untangling my knotted perspectives and identities, I also rediscover my passion devoid of any ulterior motive or agenda other than to just be me, love myself and be happy!

Oh and one important advise from the book is to enlist the support of family and friends, people who can help me arrest my inner saboteur, without reinforcing them. Funny how I got to have a great conversation with my brother yesterday (who’s really been there for me throughout this journey) and he’s offered to support me even without me asking. How great is that!

In this whole ordeal (which I do believe was Amazing Grace), I’ve gotten closer to my family, gotten to know myself more, slowly finding and rekindling my true passion. Authenticity, Creativity and Integrity –here I come! Rock and Roll! And, thanking the heavens in advance for all the wonderful blessings coming my way…slowly but surely.

I’ve still got a long way to go but this time I feel more empowered as I continue on my journey towards self-healing. It’s exciting to feel this way now with the first step in the program, I can see more empowered steps soon. One sure step at a time!

And, just now as I’m writing this — I got news of a great opportunity (and possibility for work) from my dad! I’m not jumping in as quickly (especially since I’m still in the process of getting to the root of my passion) but I know that it’s the Universe responding to my open heart! Wow! (and my brother cheering me on…”positive! positive!”)

5 mga puna leave one →
  1. valeriefouquette permalink
    Oktubre 10, 2010 12:58 umaga

    Sounds like you’re “waking up” from a long spiritual sleep. Try to enjoy the experience. It can be exciting if you don’t get caught in fear and the confusion your mind will create as you try to figure out something that is not of the mind, but of the heart.

    I was in your shoes several years ago and looking back, the journey was exciting – and continues to be. Blessings as you continue.

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Enero 3, 2011 1:47 hapon

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the affirmation. I’ve had moments of waking up, which started when I was around 25. During that time, I remember opening up my heart (after years of having it shut tight to avoid pain), and then, I began to wonder about my purpose in life. And I guess, when you start being awake to the process, you can’t go back and pretend it doesn’t exist. What made this recent experience different is that I finally allowed my heart to open fully and albeit painfully, went ahead and dove into the dark places. Now, it feels like I’m on the other side and it truly feels amazing. I am filled with love. And, this time, taking everything in, and moving one step at a time…but definitely excited for what comes next!

      Blessings of light and love to you too.

  2. Enero 17, 2011 1:54 umaga

    If you’re interested, I write about the waking up experience through poetry and comment. You can access my blog at vfouquette’s blog called Wake Up! here in WordPress. It may help you feel like you’re not alone – which you aren’t, of course. Now that I feel awake, sometimes I wonder “what’s next?” because it feels like there are no limits any more. In the meantime, I write. 🙂

  3. Enero 17, 2011 1:59 umaga

    By the way, you don’t need a purpose – just to be, explore and experience may be enough. Purpose implies a “should” which is often the genesis of imbalance. Spirit’s joy is in being and since we are spirit also, that’s where we consistently find joy. It’s my challenge to just be – while living in a busy world. Imagine if we all just enjoyed being here – what a difference there would be.

    In honor of our journeys – Valerie

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Enero 17, 2011 11:50 hapon

      Hi Valerie. =) I visited your site…looks great! Have yet to stay longer and browse your writing and poetry though, which I will sometime soon. It’s quite interesting what you say about purpose. I’m in-between at this point, I agree and quite not agree in a way. To just be is wonderful and challenging at the same time, but isn’t that in itself a purpose? “To” something for me is a purpose. The should and the must are things that throw me off balance too, so I use them to check myself these days…when I do or act in a way that comes from shoulds and musts, then I know I’m getting too choleric again and not centered. Usually that means I probably entertained some doubts and fears. Waking up for me is really about watching myself with acceptance and love, and choosing coming from that place. And again, that in itself is my purpose. ;p

      In honor of our journeys, indeed! Keep in touch…

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