Tag Archives: energy

Lie #28: I Don’t Belong

We all crave acceptance at some level. Sometimes it’s in a community or among peers. We may feel alienated from our friends or even from our families. I’ve heard the phrases: “I don’t have any real friends,” and “I have no family.” I think the lie in all of these scenarios is I don’t belong. I don’t belong to a family, to a community, to a group. Whether or not you actually have a family and a group to belong to, you may not feel like you do, and that’s what is important. We can look and behave like the people around us, but it’s essential to actually feel like we are connected to them through love and acceptance, whether or not we actually look and act like them. And it’s not necessarily about how they treat us. They can be kind and they can do everything to help us feel acceptance, and still we don’t completely feel it. That feeling needs to come from within.

I went to a conference yesterday, among like-minded people. On the surface, these people were part of my faith, my community, they were people who believed as I do, and yet as I sat among them in various classes, listening to them and agreeing with them, I began to get a headache. Deep down I was listening to voices that were telling me that I didn’t really belong there, that these were not my people, and I began to feel a sense of isolation. I looked around. I wore pretty much the same kinds of clothes as they did, my hair looked similar, my language was the same, and yet I felt apart from them. I even chose to sit apart, not really joining in, not really fully participating. I tried to figure out what was going on.

It wasn’t until the last class of the day, led by a woman known as the Drum Circle Goddess, that I began to formulate the lie that I had been believing. This woman, to lots of conservative people in my community, would seem “weird.” Not because of the way she dressed or because of the way she spoke or carried herself. Nothing about her appearance would make you look twice. But her class was about “healing vibrations.” Now, I am not new to energy, but this was something I had never experienced before, and it made me stop and wonder if I could accept a woman like this into my circle. The class began. There were drums, there was music, people were excited and involved, and I watched with fascination as this woman led the crowd in rearranging the chairs in the room so that there was a large empty area. I watched as they all formed a circle and beat the drums like a Native American prayer. And I found myself wanting to be involved. I felt the energy of what was happening and I liked it. I found my soul drawn to this circle and these people, and I joined them. And my headache disappeared and I finally understood. I am weird. I accept and embrace weirdness in others, but I don’t think until that moment that I had ever accepted it in myself.

So now I say, I am weird. Because weird is wonderful and healing. I enjoy the idea of doing what is different and offbeat. I belong with those who accept that about themselves. I rejoice in belonging with them. They are my family.

Because the truth is, you can’t really feel a sense of belonging and acceptance and connection until you can fully be yourself and accept who that really is. Who are you, really—down deep inside your soul? And do you love that person? Do you allow that person to flourish and thrive? Because that is the joy of being alive! Thank you, Drum Circle Goddess, for teaching me that.

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Lie #26: Guilt and Shame

“Shame is the emotional state we experience when we feel badly about who we are. Guilt is the emotional state we experience when we feel badly about what we’ve done.” (Dr George Simon, PhD)  I propose that neither are really productive forms of transformation. Many people believe that feeling guilt and shame helps them to change, to repent, to do something different. In reality, shame and guilt have some of the lowest energetic vibrations on the spectrum of feeling. (This article addresses some interesting experiments done about vibrational energy.) Feeling or encouraging guilt and shame not only lower the vibration of our body’s energy, they often get stored there. Once negative energy gets stored somewhere in our bodies, because we believe it has a place there, it begins to cause problems for us physically, without us even realizing it. Those emotions can then cause us to beat ourselves up, over and over, never really invoking change but just keeping us in a lower vibration.

Perhaps a more productive and positive way to motivate ourselves to change is to feel regret or remorse. The important thing is not to stay in a regretful place, but to recognize that we may have made a wrong choice and let the sadness or sorrow about that choice motivate us to do something different. Once you are motivated to change, once you have chosen to do something different, allowing yourself to accept a new pattern of behavior, there is no need to keep feeling the remorse. Allow yourself to believe that you’ve changed and that you don’t have to go back to where you were. I like how Elder Richard Scott put it in his talk entitled “The Path to Peace and Joy:”

“To you who have sincerely repented yet continue to feel the burden of guilt, realize that to continue to suffer for sins when there has been proper repentance and forgiveness of the Lord is prompted by the master of deceit. Lucifer will encourage you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts can hamper your progress. Thus he attempts to tie strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate you like a puppet to discourage personal achievement.

“I testify that Jesus Christ paid the price and will satisfy the demands of justice for all who are obedient to His teachings. Thus, full forgiveness is granted, and the distressing effects of sin need no longer persist in one’s life. Indeed, they cannot persist if one truly understands the meaning of Christ’s Atonement.

“When memory of past mistakes encroaches upon your mind, turn your thoughts to the Redeemer and to the miracle of forgiveness with the renewal that comes through Him. Your depression and suffering will be replaced by peace, joy, and gratitude for His love.”

No one belongs in a vibration of shame or guilt. I do not believe that God ever intended us to get stuck in those feelings, simply because they do not motivate us to change. They are not appropriate and they only cause us to feel bad about ourselves, and that is not a fun place to be. Let’s choose to change by feeling something else—something that will make us want to be better.

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