Well I wondered how long it would take me to change the steps to contentment. Apparently it took 3 months. The second step about not knowing what others were thinking just never sat right with me. I mean, it’s true, but it doesn’t seem like it belongs with the other steps. It’s like on Sesame Street when they play “One of these things is not like the others”. I’m not really changing them, just combining some things and expanding others. It’s still the same general idea, just a little tweaked. Gotta keep you on your toes!
So in today’s blog I’m just going to focus on the improved steps 1 and 2. I’ve changed them in the menu bar too.
- Step 1 – Own it. Whenever you have any problem that’s upsetting you, no matter how big or how small, you have to start with taking responsibility for your own feelings. Even if whatever happened to you is completely out of your control and not your fault, you still have to own your feelings and reaction to it. Please don’t think that it’s your fault when bad things happen. That’s not at all what I’m saying. You’re not responsible for what happens to you – you’re responsible for how you react to it. And however you react is not wrong. It’s ok if you’re mad or sad or scared or upset. That’s sure not wrong. Those things are normal. We need to feel those things so that we can work on ourselves. But you won’t be content when that happens. And when you aren’t content it’s because whatever happened brought out some deep fear in you. Let me say that again. If you’re feeling anything but peace, then some of your way, down, deep fears are coming out. Not your “I’m afraid of snakes fears” but your way, down, I don’t want to tell anybody (including myself) – fears. The only way to get rid of them is to face them head on. You have to really go deep inside yourself to find out what’s bothering you. It probably won’t be what you think it is and it probably won’t be pretty – but you have to face it – if you want peace in your life. And you don’t just have to face it once, you have to do it over and over and over again. The bigger the fear, the more you have to battle it. Which takes us right into step 2
- Step 2 – Uncover Your Real Fear, and Let it Go So the new step 2 could be part of step 1, but it deserves its own number. Once we accept that how we react to something is our responsibility then we have to decide if this reaction brings us closer to our inside self (our soul) or does it take us further away? It’s easy to answer this. If you’re feeling upset or bad in any way, it’s taking you away from your inside self. If you’re content, it’s moving you closer. So let’s say you stub your toe. It hurts. For some people it stops right there. They just say “Yikes that hurt” and they go on. For other people, it causes more than pain. It ticks them off. Why? Same stubbed toe. Why are some people mad at that? Because way down deep in their mind, some very ignored fear was stirred up. It could be that hurting their toe reminded them of when their older brother used to beat on them and they felt unloved and alone. It could be anything. It’s for them to uncover and it’s not fun to do. It’s much easier to just say “I’m mad because I stubbed my toe” than it is to say “I’m mad because my dad used to belittle me and make me feel worthless”. So how do you dig down to that fear? How do we know it’s not just “I’m mad that I stubbed my toe”? We have to ask ourselves tough questions and answer them honestly. Let me give you an example of my own.
If you read my blog, you probably know by now that I don’t like my job. It’s not the job that’s really upsetting me (even though I would love to blame it on that). Here’s, I how get to the root of what’s bothering me: I start with – I don’t like my job. Then I ask myself “Why”? Because I don’t like the drive and I don’t like being away from home. “Why”? Because I want to spend more time with my grandkids and kids. I don’t want to be gone at work all day when I could be with them. “Why do you have to be with them so much?” Because I love them. “Not good enough”. Because I feel like I will be a bad mom and grandma if I’m not. “Why does that bother you”? Because I’m afraid they won’t love me. I’m afraid they’ll need me and I won’t be there. Or worse, I’m afraid that they won’t need me. Ok! Now we’re cooking! It’s not so much that I don’t like my job, it’s that it keeps me from my family and I’m afraid that they won’t love me if I’m not there for them. I’m really afraid of not being loved and needed. It has nothing to do with the job. So while my outside self is telling me that I don’t like my job, my inside self (soul) is telling me that I’m afraid of feeling unloved and unneeded. Isn’t that cool? That’s what you have to do when you work through what’s really scaring you. You have to keep going deeper until you hit the bottom of it. That’s when I can release it. I just say “I release my fear of not being loved and needed to you God” and a little tiny piece of that fear will be taken away. If I had said “I release my dislike for my job” nothing would happen because that’s not my fear. I have to get at what’s scaring me and coming out as my dislike for my job. Hard work. But it needs to be done if I want contentment in my life. And I do.
Every single time that we get upset about something, it’s our inside self (our soul) trying to get our outside self to come closer. When our inside self and our outside self come together as one, then we won’t have any fears and we will be completely at peace all the time. No matter what happens, we will be at peace. The world could go even more insane and we would be at peace. That’s what heaven is. It’s inside of us. Heaven is not out there somewhere. It’s right inside of us living in our inside self (our soul). Wouldn’t it be nice to live in heaven while we’re on earth! Great as that would be, we tend to shove down and ignore our inside self. We’re ignoring heaven. Every time we do what our outside self wants and ignore what our inside self is saying, we’re pushing heaven away from us. Crazy thought. I do it all the time.
I think we only really have 2 feelings, the rest are just offshoots of those 2. You’re either content or you’re afraid of something. That’s it. One or the other. If you’re mad, that’s a fear coming out. If you’re sad, that’s a fear coming out. If you’re lonely, that’s a fear coming out. You get the picture. If you’re feeling bad for any reason, a fear is coming out. You have to figure out what that fear is, own it and then release it to God. Let Him figure out how to fix it. You don’t have to worry about that part. It’s ok to feel mad or sad or lonely or whatever. Sometimes it just can’t be helped. But you need to look at the deeper fear that’s coming out. What is that? Are you afraid to be left alone? Are you afraid that people won’t like you? Are you afraid that you don’t have control of something? What are you really afraid of? Own it, know it, and release it. Of course, there’s always a catch with everything. When you release it, it’s probably not really gone. Just a little hunk of it gets destroyed. You still have that big ol’ hulking fear lurking in the back of your mind. But, the more it gets brought out in you, the more you can wack a hunk off of it. That’s why, if you really take notice of your true fears whenever you get upset about something, you will start to see a pattern. It’s your Spirit trying to help you get rid of that fear mountain you have growing in you. I’m trying to be grateful whenever my fear of not fitting in rears its ugly head, because then I get to wack another hunk off of that. If I do it enough, one day it will be gone. I might be 97 by then, but it will be gone!
I’ll update steps 3 and 4 in the next blog. I’m sure you will be sitting on pins and needles waiting for that!
So, let me know what you think about this. I would love to know your thoughts. If you have a question or if you’re having trouble with something, let me know. We can work through the steps together! Getting through this life is just people helping people.
Wishing you all the peace in the world,