Our Obsessions Cause Us More Lonliness

Understanding our personal obsessions is an important aspect of overcoming our personal inability for acceptance. Sometimes, when I am in a dark place, I obsess over things that I can’t control. One second I am pacing around the kitchen looking for the spatula and the next I am overworking my body thinking it is going to make me a better dancer. Today when I was in dance class, I had a real epiphany. I had gotten to dance an hour early and started working on my stretches and crunches. I then did a pro-cheerleader dance class and then stayed for another contemporary class. In the middle of stretching for my contemporary class, something came over me and I felt myself becoming light-headed. “What is going on,” I thought to myself. I calmly and diligently started listening to what my body was telling me.

“I am tired,” I heard my body say. “You’re overworking me and you need to let me cool down,” it repeated back to me.

I typically have a tendency to want to be the best. To want to strive, work and exacerbate myself in order to feel more entitled to my personal ability to showcase my talents. However, I started listening to my body. I stopped doing crunches, and I just laid on the floor to catch my breath. Did I feel shame? Did I feel inadequate? Possibly. However, my body was thankful. I could feel the life-force energy coming back into the tips of my fingers, and I knew that I was doing the right thing.

I feel like there are so many times in our lives when we forget to listen to our bodies and do the right thing. 

Sometimes, my ego disallows me from doing the right thing and I can even be hurtful to others. For a long time, I never quite grasped the concept of hurting others. I think it was because I was living my life from a locus of control that ensured my personal safety and disregarded the personal safety of others. I think that is because, for a long time, I felt that other people were not safe. However, I tend to have an obsessive nature. I tend to obsess about the things that I cannot control a lot and it causes me a great deal of anxiety, worry, and self-destructive behavior. But now I have the ability to stop myself. I have the ability to trust others and see that they might be hurting more. And when I am able to sense their personal pain, hurt and agitation – it allows me to accept them for who they are. Every relationship is essentially a two-way street. No matter what people tell you. If someone is doing something mean to you, then they’re hurting – no, ifs, and’s or buts. It is the truth: hurt people, hurt people. And that is why understanding why hurt people lash out is the first step to staying safe. And what I mean by safe is understanding their words, thoughts and actions do not define who you are. Do not let the pain of another person imprint on you, and do not let the actions of someone who has hurt you allow yourself to feel less about your capability, integrity, and personal resiliency.

We have to accept the choices that people make. We cannot dwell on the past and smoother ourselves with unnecessary pain. Letting go and accepting a person’s choice is the greatest, most noble act of love there is.

Obsessive love is not real love. And your body will tell you. Your body tells you everytime you have anxiety or fear. You can feel it by the rate of your heart, the sweat in your palms or your newly disoriented perception of reality. Every time, we’re obsessing to gain something we have no control over, we’re losing control over ourselves. We’re acting in the opposite of love. We are reacting with fear.

 

 

IMG_1194-1.JPGIMG_1195.JPGIMG_1196.JPGpaige swanson

 

Being Kind to Yourself Results in Happiness

“Kindness has a beautiful way of reaching down into a weary heart and making it shine like the sun”

Whenever I think about this quote, I always seem to imagine it regarding the amount of kindness I subject onto other individuals. It is my life-long work to be a kind individual to all of those around me. How do I do this? I begin by giving things to those in need, listening to the best of my abilities and excluding judgement from my everyday thoughts. However, that is not always so easily managed in my day-to-day life, and I believe it is because of this reason alone.

I am not always kind to myself.

In fact, sometimes, I am downright cruel to myself. I don’t see the beauty, love and magic that is given to me by the grace of God. Somedays, I am pitiful. I am shallow, arrogant and I truly believe the world revolves around me. I create episodic dramas that give me a sense of meaning beyond the meaninglessness I may be feeling in that time – because if it isn’t about me, then what’s the point?

However, that is exactly that point. It isn’t about me.

It isn’t about me.

Nothing is truly about me and I am insignificant, but that isn’t a scary or depressing revelation.  Ironically, as you’re probably reading this from my social media platform, I was thinking about social media today and the irrelevance it actually plays in my life. As I was driving to work, listening to Spa & Spa on Spotify – one of my favorite stations to help distract from the heaping amount of traffic I experience on the way to work, and reminds me to remain conscious of my normal impulse to violently flick individuals off in the middle of the interstate – it dawned on me. I could delete all of my social media channels, and  I would carry on living a completely ordinary and probably sufficient life.

No – I couldn’t do that.

How else would I get my daily dose of validation and assurance from other individuals? If I didn’t get over 20 likes of me holding my dog with the title, “He is the cutest puppy in the world.”

Because the more I perceive people in agreement with my belief that I do, in fact, have ‘the cutest puppy in the world.’ The more I truly start to believe that I am the owner of the cutest puppy in the world.

I, Paige Swanson, literally have the cutest puppy in the world. And that must mean I am worth something to someone.

However, my self-worth shouldn’t be defined by the expectations and judgements of others. Even worse, it appears that I become subconsciously addicted to this external need for validation.

Alright, if I can be the special dog owner of ‘the cutest puppy in the world,’ what magically conjured sense of entitlement can I proclaim today?

Cheese – I am the master of cheese. Just look at me with my 100+ Facebook likes.

Self-worth should be found internally

Self-worth should be found internally by a real natural love for who I am. My sense of belonging should begin and end with my utter appreciation for me. That brings me back to kindness.

If I don’t appropriate my sense of self from who I am deep down within. I will never be kind because I will never learn what it truly means to be kind to myself.

I am and will be a phony-  masquerading in sheep’s cloth, when in reality, I am a wolf desperately and carnivorously seeking the approval from other individuals to quench my self-indulging hunger one more day. Practicing self-compassion for your current position in life, whether content or trying to improve, is where self-kindness begins.

Accepting your current value socially and economically is, for me, the first steps to widening my view on others. This leaves me with this last quote:

Happiness is the result of my decision to be happy. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. In other words, happiness is a feeling I tap into, not an outcome of events. I can be happy without changing anything in my life except my relationship to my own thinking. I decide to be happy and commit myself to making happiness my state of mind, rather than relying on a set of circumstances to do it for me. Richard Carlson 

The totality of happiness belongs in the deep awareness and understanding that we should be kind, not just to others (this is a given) but to ourselves. Because when we stop seeking approval and validation from an outside source that smells of rotten desperation. We can stop thinking about ourselves just for one day and begin thinking about the humbled needs of others.

Now if I could just get off social media….

How Saving Our Inner Child Can be the First Step to Healing

I remember the day I fully became human, on that day,  I realized I was no longer a child. For, being a child is unlike being an adult in every way. I think it was a slow progression really; the day I stopped being a child. However, it wasn’t really something I ever noticed. It was comparably like hair that grows. Every 3 to 6 months, my childhood would  slowly escape me but I couldn’t feel it. And everyday went on like the same day just in different ways.

Can you really lose childhood like a jewel lost in the night? All those long childhood afternoons spent in wondrous splendor vanished so completely – and why?Photo on 3-19-16 at 12.13 PM

The truth is we never stop being children, for it is the innocent child in us that is an authentic representation of who we really are. To lose yourself, in its entirety, is to stop loving the child within and to compromise valuable parts of who we are for the intrinsic desire to belong. Living from a place of worthiness and compassion is being in touch with the child that once stared at the sky in wonder and awe. That crouched barefoot in the mud and dug up worms and millipedes asking the simple questions over and over again: what can this be? Youth is not a sliver of time that is compounded into our physical beings, yet it feels that way. The world tells you to grow up and get a job, to work hard like your parents and to make it in the American dream. While little by little you face the saddening consequences of forgetting you were born a child, you are a child and you will always remain a child. We try to mask our hearts like they cannot tell we love them and all the while we’re compromising, everyday, who we are. It is this slow forgetful process that causes us to feel pain, to hate and to create vengeance and anger in this world. It is why we become open wounds waiting and hoping for someone to love us again. And through each new wound that emerges we hide away- we numb, we eat and we try to forget the slow blood thinning pain.

As we get older, unfortunately, every time we’re in touch with the experience of suffering, we unconsciously believe we can’t bear it, and we stuff our feelings and memories deep down into the crevasses of our mind. All the while, your heart and your inner child is pleading and begging you for the attention it deserves: “Hey! she yells, ‘pay attention to me.’ We believe that forgetting the child who was once full of energy and playful spirit will stop the pain of our self-compromise.

It’s time to evolve! It’s time to grow up. I am too busy to take care of this… All the while, the inner child is crying for attention and we continue to run away because we’re scarred of our own suffering.

Slowly we cannot feel and we can hardly see and feel compassion for others, but our inner child is in us and she is saying you need me and I need you. However, it is by rescuing the child within us that we begin to live again. It is by finally seeing and acknowledging our childhood wounds and our own self-compromise that we’re inspired to live more in-tune, authentic lives. By reaching out an acknowledging the hurt inner child, not only do we save ourselves, but we save our relationships, our experiences and friendships.

Building Trust and Open Communication in Your Relationship 

 

    I want to start off writing this article saying, “I am by no means an enlightened individual.” I think moving forward, I should go about rephrasing that message to this, “I am constantly on a journey of trying to achieve self-actualization or enlightenment. A destination, I believe, which has no real arrival.” I don’t write this to displace my credibility in writing about these subject matters; however, to respectfully acknowledge I am here for the same reasons you are. To build, foster and learn how to trust. To build sturdy relationships using the most reliant materials known to man. What psychologist, David Richo, author of the novel, “Daring To Trust,” entitles the 5 A’s of Trust: Attention, Affection, Appreciation and Allowing. I think the truth is we all want to experience long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships that bring out the best in us and help us grow. Many people believe meeting their soul-mate or life-partner to be a simple process. One that is seemingly effortless, paved with a slick road and no up-hill battles. That has certainly not been the case for me. What I’ve realized is your “soulmate,” I use this term loosely for its ambiguous nature and widely placed connotations of impracticality (For the purpose of this article, we will use the word “person.” Meeting your person), is a inner reflector of all of your deepest and darkest fears. They’re very much like a mirror. Reflecting back to you the things inside you have abandoned due to fear of facing the darkest parts of yourself. They allow you to see who you really are. They remove your mask and expose the child buried beneath the hard exterior you have built so diligently for years and years. To convey this concept accurately psychologists use the word “transference.” Transference is the triggering of psychological issues of the disempowering fear we felt in childhood. That is why relationships seem to be so much harder to maintain versus friendships. The emotional depth we reach with our friends do not trigger as many unhealed wounds. Our intimate relationships always activate early life issues and issues that have not been healed.

According to Richo, the foundation for any positive and healthy adult relationship is to develop lasting trust. In fact, Richo, believes that the majority of couples communication problems is really a fundamental problem grounded in trust. Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve ever been able to trust. That could be because of the fact I have experienced trauma and betrayal throughout the development of my early adolescence into adulthood. I think I trust my dog though. That’s an unconditional bond forever unbreakable, but I can’t keep living my life only relying on the companionship of animals. We were brought into this world to connect with each other. To deeply and intimately connect to other individuals so bearing the hardships of life do not seem so demanding and daunting. I think the first step to trust I’ve acknowledged is learning how to trust myself. I cannot discount my own emotional identity. The moment we begin to trust ourselves is the moment we begin to see a little more clearly. The moment you begin to trust yourself is the moment you’ll begin to love yourself. As apart of being ready for love, you must love yourself. You need to be happy and fulfilled before you’re ready for love. If you’re not, you’ll constantly be falling into a needy mindset and desire to use your relationship to fill an emotional void.

However, I think the first step to trusting yourself is to trust your own personal distinctive intelligence. The intelligence is in-part an ability to decipher ‘intelligibly’ when you’re entitled to fully feel and examine your own emotions. Sometimes, in the onslaught of romantic love our judgement and critical processes become incredibly muddled like the quirky saying, “It’s as clear as mud.” To maintain your senses and remain rational in your investigation of your relationship, Richo, advises that you perform checks and audits on the way you’re feeling when you feel it. He advises not to push your feelings off to the side as if they’re impractical and don’t matter to your inner-psyche because then you’re not practicing self-love. Losing the opinion of a partner is far less dangerous than losing the opinion of yourself.

We can do this by constantly reality checking our feelings in a given situation. This is what reality checking looks like. Take out a piece of paper and write down answers to these 4 questions:
Name the Situation?

What are the Feelings? How Strong Are They?

What are my Beliefs Related to The Situation?

What are the Facts That Support This Belief?

Once you have examined and thoroughly investigated your current situation respond with statements of assertiveness versus aggression. This practice will help develop healthy, open communication between you and your partner. This is so important because honesty allows us to repair our relationships so that love can flourish.
Also, remember there is no birth of consciousness without pain. These ‘people’ are placed into your life so that you can see the inner-battles and struggles you have forgotten. They are literally calling you to wake up and make a change.
  

What does it mean to be a real woman?

What does it mean to be a real woman?

What Makes a Real Woman

“A woman must have thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and her expressions, or the word will be half-deserved.” – Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Darcy, one of America’s infamous literary romancers, seems to convey a simple truth in his estimation of what defines a woman. As he continues to address the powerful, elegance of such mysterious creatures. It is made sincerely aware that a real woman is a breed of her own. So much so, that the very air she breathes is made of a sweet and salty mixture that only those who believe in her can taste its flavor. Where there is a real woman there is magic.

However, in the societal context of the early 1900s’ there could be vast deliberation on the true understanding of what it means to be a woman.It seems that in this passage, the woman, Mr. Darcy, is describing is one who is- put simply- cultured, refined and elegant: in his description draws the illustration of a renaissance woman.

A renaissance woman can be many things. However, what a real woman does that sets her apart from all other women is: she embraces who she is. In today’s day-in-age, because women have grown into strong, desirable and sufficient individuals many possess the fear of losing the love of their male counter-parts. It seems women’s independence has sparked a cultural curse and many women have lost their power and forgotten what it means to be real women: feminine, mysterious, elegant and radiant goddesses.

So, here are the 5 things that make up a real woman:

  1. She has confidence

A real woman has confidence and believes with everything in who she truly is. She is not afraid to show up and be noticed. She doesn’t out of anticipation for what other’s will think of her try and fit in. Instead, a real woman, will naturally belong anywhere because she is comfortable in her own skin. She embraces who she is and trusts her intuition.

2. She inspires others

A real woman is so focused on loving herself that she inspires others to do the same. She is passionate, driven and possesses a fire within her soul that shines brightly on others. She inspires the people around her to be better whether it is through her dedication, patience, smile or humility.

3. She has direction and know-how

A real woman is direction oriented. She isn’t afraid of being herself and will aspire to great heights with our without the approval of others. She is determined, self-motivated and willing to go above and beyond that status-quo.  She devours knowledge and loves learning because it helps her grow. Because of her direction and general sense of well-being, she loves to apply the things she’s learned to her daily life.

4. She is care-free and grateful

Have you ever seen those women who radiate gratitude and peace from their pours? These are the women who are naturally beautiful and have a simple radiance that is indescribable. They just glow. That is because a real woman is care-free, easy-going and always down to embrace what is here and now. She believes in having a life plan, however, she also takes pride in enjoying the simple things in life and being grateful for the opportunities she has been presented with.

5. She is always kind

A real woman is always kind. She excels in feeling others pain and hardship and rejoices in their joys too. She feels the hardships of the world and always responds with generosity and kindness for individuals. In her spare time, when she is not pursuing her passions, she is giving back to her community and helping foster a better world.