Our Scars Tell Our Story

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

None of us are perfect, but we are all beautiful.

Have you ever messed something up so bad that you didn’t think there was ever going to be a way to fix it? Maybe you made choices in your life that you thought were right at the time, only to find that they weren’t? Or you made blatant choices that you knew deep down were not right, but you didn’t care? Have you ever been in desperation? Have you ever felt that there was no way out of the pain that you were in? Have you ever hit the bottom of your soul, only to have the bottom drop even further? If not, I am surprised that you are even human.
As much as the isolation creeps in when we feel we have messed up, or failed in some way, the most painful part is that feeling of loneliness. That feeling of complete despair, as if we are the only one that has ever been through what we are going through. That feeling of hopelessness, and unworthiness can not only freeze us in our tracks, but can propel us to make even more bad decisions if we stay in the place of shame. Shame is an incredibly debilitating emotion, that serves no one. There is a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is necessary to our growth, because it is our barometer of right and wrong action, our conscience, or that still, small voice. Shame is what happens when we identify with the guilt as a description of who we are. It becomes our identity, our label, and we begin to live from this place of shame. If we begin to believe we are bad, or we are evil, then naturally our actions will follow that statement, thus perpetuating the cycle of behaviour that is hurting us and others in our midst.
I’m not implying that we all are walking around with guilt or shame all the time, but I would be surprised if you haven’t experienced either of these. I think it is one facet of being human, and a good place to start sorting out how to live truly awake, truly alive. Shackled by shame keeps us dead, keeps us living the lie we keep telling ourselves to who we are. Eventually we can forget that bright-eyed child we once were, who saw life through amazement and wonder. We forget that we are beautiful, scars and all. We didn’t know that in these moments of despair, we have the greatest opportunity to grow, and to heal. When we surrender to the absolute human-ness we possess, and know that everyone makes mistakes, of varying sizes and we will all make mistakes again. We will see the same old story come around for ourselves if we don’t seize the opportunity to know ourselves through these hardships.
Not only can these errors in our lives teach us about ourselves, bring us into our hearts, but the best part about it is that when we do learn and grow from our pain, we have an amazing gift to give someone else. Compassion. We let them know that they are not alone. What we have done has been done before, and someone has suffered as greatly as you are. Others have overcome the guilt and the shame and have become a success in their lives because of it. They have inspired and transformed those lives that were without hope.

So let’s let the light in. Let’s be courageous in our searching for the truth of ourselves. Let’s love ourselves and forgive ourselves of what we have done. Let’s not forget the past, but find a way to give it away. Let’s express with our unique creative voice what our story is. We all have one, and it is uniquely ours, scars and all.

How To Practice Contagious Kindness

Have you ever experimented with kindness? Have you ever chosen one morning that TODAY you would treat others exactly how you would want to be treated? When I am in a place of seeing what I can give to others, and how I may bring joy or happiness to them, my life changes. It is so easy when things get tough in this harsh world we live, to ask ourselves, “Why should I even bother?” or “what’s in it for me?” or “how am I going to GET what I need?”or “How am I going to be fulfilled and happy when all these obstacles keep interfering?”
I think many of us have had moments of feeling ON TOP OF THE WORLD, and yet end up falling in a big heap when the next mountain seems too big to climb. Usually when we have openings in our lives, we get the inspiration and motivation to start something, it’s fresh, new, exciting, and then comes the hard work. Oh yeah, work… I forgot that anything done well requires WORK. Even the thing that may be your truest talent still requires a great deal of work and perseverance than if you chose NOT to do it in the first place. If you choose not to do it, then there is NO RISK of failure, because you are choosing to stay invisible and safe… This is also called mediocrity. We ALL have abilities far beyond mediocrity!

For instance, falling in love is easy. We feel that it is exciting to be kind, loving, generous, open, when we first fall in love, and then comes the hard work of maintaining that love. When we see each others imperfections, we begin to realise that in order to STAY in this love, we have to accept the other as they are. We have to practice patience, kindness, and generosity, and we have to accept that at moments, we will be let down. This is life as a feeling, thinking spiritual being in a physical body, I accept that….

Being in the awareness of how our behaviours affect the world around us requires a constant open-hearted approach to life, which is easy to get out of our line of vision when we get too busy, feel let down, and become despondent.

So, maybe the question I want to ask is, why do we look at hard work as a bad thing?
We are designed to work hard, we are fit and capable, and in order for us to truly be generous with our gifts, then we owe it to ourselves and the rest of humanity to do a good job of respecting these gifts and seeing them come to their highest fruition. Isn’t that really what we want as an end result? We want to be really skilled, and really successful, and acknowledged for our gifts, don’t we? I do, and I don’t think that is a bad thing at all, it’s just that the hours of dedication, and the potholes along the way can sometimes make us feel that we really are NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and we stop believing in our gifts. We start to doubt. We lose our motivation and our inspiration.
Back to kindness and giving…. We not only need to remember to practice this kindness of spirit every single day to those around us known and unknown, but we also need to give this to ourselves. This will help us in those dark moments and in those trying times, to keep going. Remembering that with a strong conviction, and perseverance, anything is possible. in fact, everything is possible.
So, today, let’s begin.
1. Give generously of yourself in all areas of life.
2. Practice the art of LOVE everywhere.
3. Start looking at hard “work” as a good thing! (it’s where we get results!)
4. Remind yourself of the truest gifts you have, and practice them A LOT!
5. Ask for help when you need it! Others will benefit by you accepting their act of kindness and generosity, and it becomes a contagion!
6. Don’t be afraid of the obstacles along the way, everyone that has been successful in ANYTHING has had at least as many losses as wins. Trust me!
7. Share your triumphs and failures with others, so they too can find inspiration when they are having a struggle in their life. I promise that they will appreciate it, and who knows what new doors will open from this generous gift you are giving…

We are in one GIANT awesome life boat together, and we ALL are equipped with oars and preservers.

Let’s do this…