When your adult-self is trying to "fit in" it's often because you haven't yet learned who you are and the value of being you. When you know who you are, you set standards and boundaries you are unwilling to allow others to undermine. You are mindful of your time because you know if you don't manage your time, others will manage it for you. You say what's on your mind because you know your suggestions have merit but you are also open-minded to what others think and say. You understand that every healthy relationship is reciprocal and you deserve to be heard, seen and valued.
Understanding that your inner child is still very much a part of you, if he or she is still holding on to those feelings and beliefs about what it felt like not to fit in you may find yourself going out of your way to give more than you have to give. You may allow others to dictate how you spend your time (this often shows up when you feel obligated to volunteer for something) or you become an "over-giver" giving to others and not having enough to fill your own wants and needs. You spend more than you can easily afford to keep up with friends and neighbors which then wreaks havoc on your financial status. You spend time and money at the gym or on products that promise to defy the aging process. You join in on the local gossip about another person or event because you desperately want others to know you are knowledgeable with what's going on in the world, your town, your neighborhood or your family.
What if you simply stop trying to fit in? What kind of peace of mind would you be able to enjoy if you weren't constantly trying to be everything for everyone else and started being everything you need for you? Would you have more time for yourself and the people who are most important to you? Would you feel less obligated to show up the way others expect you to show up?
Can you do that? Or is your inner child still holding on to those feelings and beliefs about the importance of fitting in?
Have you been trying to fit in for so long that you don't know what true freedom feels like just to be you? Do you want to be able to share your dreams, thoughts and hopes without feeling judged by others? What would your life be like without being shackled to the demands of others?
You have the power to change your present day experiences when you learn to let go of past experiences that are still demanding your time, energy and focus.
Letting go does not mean giving up; letting go means giving yourself the freedom to show yourself and others who you are and what you're capable of. All this can be yours when you stop trying to fit in!
Because of those secrets, I grew up feeling inferior to my cousins, aunts and uncles.
I was a young girl the last time I’d been in that house, and I was enjoying the opportunity to laugh and talk about the fun times we shared together in that house like the “secret passage” that connected my cousin's closet to the closet in my aunt and uncle’s bedroom and how we used to go between the bedrooms without the knowledge of our parents (or at least we believed they didn’t know)!
Rarely do childhood memories turn out the way we remember them, especially when we get the opportunity to visit them as our adult self. I remember feeling a twinge of disappointment when I discovered that our secret passage was less of a secret passage and more like an unfinished wall.
As we sat together in the attic, going through what felt like the millionth box, I opened a box that was full of letters, documents, birth certificates, cards, and newspaper clippings. It was all there, pieces of documented family history that revealed the lives of our family members in ways the three of us had never heard before. Proof of births, deaths, affairs, illegitimate children and even manslaughter. This information was not part of any childhood memory the three of us had ever heard of before that day.
As we sat there, dumbfounded, trying to make sense of the written and documented proof we were holding in our hands, all we could do was stare at each other!
The truth of what we'd just learned hit me like a bolt of lightning and I blurted out, "Wow, this is proof that I was never inferior to the rest of you because you had awful secrets just like me. The only difference is, you didn't know about them until now! I should write a book about this and title it Secrets in the Attic." My cousin replied, “no one would ever believe it, you’d have to write it as a book of fiction because no one is going to believe this stuff!”
By the time we left the house that day, our eyes had been opened to the fact that most of what we thought we’d known about our parents, family members and even who we'd been taught we are, had been based on lies, half-truths, innuendos, secrets and misleading information.
As we were each lost in our own thoughts about what we'd learned, I started wondering, “if our family memories can no longer be relied on, how does that affect the basis of who we believe we are and how do we come to terms with the people who told us those lies, half-truths, innuendos, secrets and misleading information?"
Have you ever asked yourself where your beliefs come from about who you are, what you're capable of or what you deserve to have? What limiting beliefs could you free yourself from and how would it change your life?
Not everyone will have an experience of family secrets being revealed but every belief our adult-self has is based on something we were taught, experienced or intuited as children. All beliefs about who we are, both negative and positive, are formed between the ages of birth to twelve years of age. How much of what we believe about our childhood can be relied on as the truth for the choices we make as adults?
As an adult, childhood memories can invoke something you’re trying to live up to or wish had never happened. Either way, we can’t go back and undo the past, or can we? If you think about it, the mind is like the attic of our life, full of outdated junk we no longer need but often hold onto because we have difficulty letting it go.
What are the secrets in your attic? Are there beliefs your mind is holding onto that, if you let them go, could free you from the pain, struggle and challenges your adult-self is experiencing? Would "NOW" be the right time for you to let go of your limiting beliefs? Only you have the power to hold onto your limiting beliefs and only you have the power to let them go.
Remember, Life Is All About Choices!
I'll never forget the first time someone told me I am brilliant, talented and compassionate; because that was not my truth. That was not how I saw myself when I looked in the mirror or introduced myself to strangers. If I could not see the brilliance, talent or compassion within me, how could I believe anyone who was saying those words to me?
I've come to realize my life is an expansion of who I am and who I've always been. The truth is, you don't know what you don't know. If someone tells you something that seems so far beyond what you believe to be true, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to believe it's possible.
How could I possibly believe an older version of myself, telling me everything I've experienced has laid the groundwork to teach others because I feel compassion for what they've gone through or because they're going through something similar? How could that be true when I believed my value was based on my traumatic, hurtful, shameful, and degrading experiences?
I believe when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I also believe we have many teachers but don't always recognize them for what they're here to teach us. An abusive parent can teach us we have no value, or that we will one day have the power to break the cycle of abuse. The person who victimizes us can teach us we are a victim or that being victimized does not make us a victim. The marriage that ended in divorce can teach us we failed or that we are now expanding into a higher understanding of who we are and what's possible in our life. The empty bank account can teach us that lack in any form is a reflection of how we feel about our self-worth and as our self-worth increases, so will our level of abundance and prosperity.
The question then becomes, "what is your truth?" Do you believe yourself to be gorgeous, talented, fabulous and worthy of all the abundance and prosperity the Universe has to offer or do you believe yourself to be unworthy?
When I was quite possibly at the lowest point of my life, my truth about who I believed I was, was making my life miserable. It wasn't until I chose to question what I believed to be true, that I could begin to see it was possible there might be some truth to what others could see in me. As my understanding of what I believed to be true shifted from unworthy to worthy, people and opportunities began to show up. There were people who guided me to write and publish my books, asked to feature me in their magazine, assisted me with my website, and even asked me to speak to their audiences or groups. Before I knew it, people were asking me, to teach them my process to understand their own truth. People could feel my compassion for what they were going through. My belief in their ability to choose a different truth about who they believe they are and what they're capable of was something they were ready to be true about their own life!
There is one truth I believe that exists for everyone, you will never know what's so special about who you are and what you're qualified to do until and unless you're willing to understand why you believe what you believe and why you choose to make it your truth. Only then can you ask yourself, "is that true or have I made it my truth based on past experiences?"
Remember, it's not what someone says to you that matters, it's what you believe about what they say.
When you truly know yourself, your truth will be based on a foundation that you really are that special and qualified to live an abundant and prosperous life!
He thought about it but didn’t have an answer so I asked him if he was up for a new adventure; walking to Disneyland instead of driving.
He got excited when he thought of it in terms of an adventure so we started walking.
During our walk, I would point out certain things to look at along the way and asked him if he’d ever noticed these things when we were in the car.
As he started to catch on to what he was experiencing, he’d say, “ Grammy, look at this. When did they put this here? What do you think this is? Can I touch this? Let’s get a stick and poke it to see what’s underneath!”
We talked about the adventure of our walk. He’d asked if it was dumb to walk because we could get there so much faster if we drove. I pointed out all the fun things he’d miss if we had driven and as young as he was, I could tell he understood that both driving and walking was a way to get from here to there but the adventure was about what happened along the way!
Anthony is a grown man with a daughter of his own now. I often think of those adventures with Anthony when I’m traveling from here to there. When I’m walking, I remind myself to be mindful of what’s in front of me and not to make the walk about going out and getting back but what I experience along the way!
Mindfulness is possible in the car as well; instead of always listening to music to pass the time, I ride in silence and notice what’s outside my window.
When I’m working at my desk, I make time to step away and be mindful of my body; what does it need? Food, stretching, water, a change of scenery?
We always have an opportunity to practice mindfulness but our self-talk often has a way of talking us out of it with thoughts like, “you have a deadline, you promised you’d do this today, people are counting on you, if you don’t finish, people will think you’re lazy and slacked off!”
Mindfulness is impossible when we’re more concerned what others will think of us than what we think of ourselves.
If this article has come into your awareness, I'd love to know how this message has inspired you to make time for mindfulness in your life!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
I want you to be proud of me and I want you to see my value.
I really am trying so hard to be what you want me to be but when I compare myself to how others look, talk, walk, dress, eat, and read, I know you still think I’m inadequate.
Maybe if you talked nicer to me!
Maybe if you told me you love me more often!
Maybe if you told me I’m just as important, beautiful, talented, creative and successful as those other people you’re always noticing, I might feel better about myself.
What else can I do? I’m desperate to feel loved, nurtured, safe and taken care of.
What else can I do to make you understand that I matter? How do I make you understand that I am enough? Why can’t you notice the special qualities that I have? Why aren’t I good enough for you?
I’m not sure what else I can do; you say you love me but this doesn’t feel like love.
I don’t even think you’re listening to me most of the time. You smile, you put on a good show in front of other people, but when we’re alone, I feel so inadequate, so meaningless, so unimportant.
Do I need to lose weight, get a different job, or change my hairstyle? Would that make you prouder of me? Is that what it’ll take to finally feel like you love me?
I don't know why I bother talking to you, I know you’re not listening, I know nothing is going to change and I know you don’t have any answers for me.
You never have answers for me because these conversations always turn out the same; I’m always begging you to love me but I don't like the way you make me feel. Talking to you never changes anything because you’re only a reflection in my mirror.
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
Am I ready to accept how fabulous, talented, gifted, creative, and powerful I am?
WOW, sometimes it can feel like a lot of pressure to say "yes" to my greatness because I used to believe it's a sure sign that I'm being arrogant!
That can be fearful, thinking others might accuse me of being arrogant because sometimes I forget the only person's opinion of me that matters is mine!
Every choice I make is based on a feeling of love or fear. Since the only thing that exists is love, I know fear is not real. So if fear isn’t real, what does it mean when I feel fear?
Feeling fear, is my mind’s way of asking me a question, and the question is, “are you sure you really want this?”
Some fear is meant to keep me safe, so fear will ask the question, “Do you want to walk down this dark alley late at night knowing there might be danger ahead?”
Fear is my mind's way of letting me know I'm moving towards a change in my outer world or a shift in my thinking. Because I'm thinking of making this change, my emotions are on high alert and what feels like fear is merely a question, coming from a place of love, wanting me to do whatever it takes to believe it’s safe to accept the abundance coming my way.
When my answer is yes, but I feel the fear, I hesitate, because fear doesn’t FEEL good. Of course, this is ego’s purpose; to stop me from moving forward, from leveling up, because that’s ego’s job; it thinks it’s keeping me safe by staying where I am. Fear is my mind’s way of asking me to be very sure about what I'm saying, ”yes” to.
Moving forward, leveling up, that's where I want to be. I want more of those paying clients, I want that bigger bank balance, I want that comfortable home, I want that healthier body, I want those loving relationships, I want that higher spiritual consciousness, but I don’t always stop to really think about the question fear is asking me because I usually feel it before I understand it!
Now that I understand fear, I know the feeling of fear is my intuition, letting me know I'm being given the opportunity to be more of who I am. Accepting more of who I am keeps me out of a lack mindset and into an abundant mindset. Knowing this gives me the confidence to understand that fear is an opportunity to shift my paradigm. Either way, I know fear is giving me the opportunity to make empowering choices in my life because now, I understand fear!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei