Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rebuilding My Life from Within

Today is Sunday, February 2, 2014.

Someone posted this message on Facebook, and I thought it was great advice, so I'd like to share it here, since I feel that I'm in the process of rebuilding my life as a retiree.

How to Begin: Rebuilding Life from Within

Love yourself, unconditionally.

This means stop imposing conditions on your own lovability.  If you can't love yourself, then you can't imagine anyone else loving you, either.  Conditions start with the word "if" or "when," such as "if I were smarter," or "when I get out of debt."  You have to love yourself, warts and all. That doesn't mean you have to love your bad qualities.  It does mean that you see them as red flags, places where you want to improve yourself.  We're all in the process of improving ourselves.  Loving ourselves simply means accepting who we are and going from there, not pretending to be someone else, not comparing ourselves with others, and recognizing that this earthly lifetime is a God-given chance to grow and make changes.  

This is a process that I'm still working on, but I can say I've definitely made some improvements.  I guess it doesn't do any good to be impatient.  Everything happens in God's time.
Release your bottled up emotions.

Anger, grief, worry, regret, guilt, fear, and jealousy must be exposed, recognized, felt and released.  Negative emotions are simply messages to us that something needs to be fixed.  It helps if you can figure out what the original cause was, even if it is a past-life event, mainly to answer the question "why."   Negative emotions are related, at their core, to basic survival, alerting us to danger.  Nowadays, we seldom face true physical danger, but the ego sees danger even in non-physical aspects of our lives: for the ego, being exposed to ridicule is classed as danger, for example.

I'm working on this one, too.  Recently I wrote in this blog a series of posts about memories of my decade spent living in Japan.  That was a definite release, and I feel much lighter because of it.  There are other things to release, and they will come out in time.  The thing for me to remember is not to bottle up any more emotions in the present, so as not to add to the ones that I'm busy releasing from the past.
Make time for long walks, alone.

I don't do a lot of walking, yet, but I do spend quite a bit of time alone, and for me, writing is a great way of sorting my thoughts.  This blog and the other one I write daily on Wordpress have been very helpful in this regard. Most people don't spend enough time alone.  I have the opposite problem.  I probably spend a little too much time by myself.  I have recognized, however, that I tend to get my energy from the silence, rather than from other people, so in whatever new life I am building, I will definitely build in some precious "alone time" each day.

The point of spending time alone is to consciously schedule time in your life to think deeply about yourself, work through possible solutions to problems, let your mind unwind, and reflect on your life in general.  
Avoid living beyond your means.

This is particularly good advice, because some elements of change always seem to cost money.  The point, mainly, is not to get into debt, which will impede your progress, no matter what you decide to do.  Paying back debt sometimes seems like taking two steps back for every one forward.  

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to start getting out of debt five years before I retired, and that the day I retired, I owed nothing to anyone, except for ongoing rent and utilities.  I have a strict debt limit now, one that I have imposed on myself, with the cooperation of my credit card company and my bank.  Everyone's situation is different, but your debt limit is an amount that you think you can pay back completely within two to six months, if you have to.   

Nurture your inner strength.

Think of your positive qualities.  List them, if you need to.  How can you nurture those qualities?  One way is through prayer, meditation, contemplation, and journaling.  That should be part of the time that you spend alone, mentioned above.  Besides the inner qualities that you have already learned to manifest, know that you have many other positive qualities, latent within yourself that are waiting for a situation in which you can bring them out.  Know also that you have all the help you need from non-physical sources, whether you term it God, angels, a spirit guide, a Higher Power, or the Universe.  This help comes to you when you expect it and listen for it.  It may come in the form of a nudge to do or not do something, a few words from a friend or a stranger, a song on the radio, or something you hear on TV.  It might also come as a message encoded in a roadside sign, a vanity license plate, or a message painted on the side of a vehicle.  You never know.

Nurturing my positive qualities is something I'm getting pretty good at.  I just have to continue to be vigilant and ready at a moment's notice to recognize and act on any messages that I get.  (Note: Sometimes, "acting on" a message simply means to check it out carefully.  I don't do anything rash, and neither should you.)
Stop apologizing for being you.

This one sounds a lot like loving myself unconditionally, but I think that it specifically goes to my self-talk, things I say to myself in my head.  Everybody has that voice inside that is constantly narrating, explaining, supposing, accusing, criticizing, scolding, and berating us for things both real and imagined.  

Part of the trick to putting this little voice back inside its cage is learning to meditate or contemplate, something I know how to do pretty well.  What's important for me right now is to remember that meditation is one of those "use it or lose it" skills that have to be honed constantly. 
Surround yourself with positive people.

This one I've been pretty successful with, especially now that I'm retired.  I have a slew of online friends who are amazing, and I've learned that it's better to just quietly break ties with people who are negative or quarrelsome.  Not only are my friends positive, they are also supportive and helpful.  They are generous with their time when I need someone to chat with, and they are willing to be honest, but constructive when they give me advice.  My friends in general are the type who don't press advice on me unless I ask for it, and they recognize that there are some things I just have to do for myself, in my own way.  Most importantly, my friends tell me they love me, daily.  
Embrace your situation, whatever it may be. 

This is what I'm doing, right now.  This whole experiment with the two daily blogs has been a chance to look deeply into my situation, not only the current conditions, but also the causes from the past.  I have learned a great deal about my role in my present situation, and in doing so, I have also got an idea of what I will need to do now in order to effect changes for the future.  :-)

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