The Subtle Ways We Harm Ourselves

“Every choice either enhances your spirit or diminishes it.” – Caroline Myss

We can universally agree that certain activities are harmful to us.  Activities such as eating a box of doughnuts (by ourselves), smoking cigarettes and avoiding physical activity to binge watch Netflix on a regular basis. Few people would push back on the unhealthy nature of these choices.

But the truth is we engage in harmful behaviors on a daily basis that can have effects just as severe.  Granted they happen on the subtle realms and we don’t see immediate damage to our physical bodies but over time, the emotional and spiritual ways we betray ourselves do impact the quality of our lives and can eventually result in dis *ease.

Recently, I’ve been more aware of these situations showing up. I completed my primary life lesson over the summer and was waiting for my higher self to take on a new energy as part of my Soul’s agenda for this life. And when I connected with ‘Self -Worth’, I knew that would open the flood gates to the millions of ways that can show up.  To be completely transparent, I’ve been working on self-worth for as long as I can remember!

It seems such a challenging aspect of the human experience to come to appreciate our inherent value when the illusion of separation desperately works to plant deep seeds of not enough-ness in us.

I sensed, however, that this lesson was going to take me deeper into the subtle ways I give my power away, hide my light to make others more comfortable, allow my boundaries to be crossed, and compromise who I am.

And was I ever right about that! Every day when interacting with others we come across situations where we feel we have to navigate how to stay in integrity with ourselves.  Integrity meaning the state of being whole and undivided. How often do things happen where you feel divided within yourself and you don’t know how to proceed? You want to speak up but you also don’t want to create conflict or make another person uncomfortable (even when they clearly didn’t have that concern with you!)

I frequently remind myself that “Integrity asks not what others think of you but what you think of yourself.”

Having been raised in a family where being nice was taught a more worthy value than speaking one’s truth or expressing one’s emotional reality, I learned to be nice despite the ways situations would disturb me on the inside.  And being a very sensitive person, they disturbed me a great deal.

So for the past few months, I made a commitment to observe the ‘opportunities from the universe’ where I am challenged to speak up, challenged to share my emotional truth and stay firmly rooted in my light despite the circumstances around me. This was a great exercise for me to become more aware of the insidious ways I compromise myself for the sake of being nice and kind.

What I observed?

I didn’t have to wait long for a situation to show up. Now, I am completely aware that the individuals in our lives are the actors in our play and what is demonstrated to us is operating within our consciousness or we wouldn’t be experiencing it. They are merely a channel for that energy to be expressed.

As a person who is committed to light work on our planet, I love the transformational work I do and I have a lot of passion for studying consciousness and working towards my own process of awakening.  That being said, I sometimes encounter individuals who seem off put by my Pollyanna energy.  In separate situations, I observed people engage in back handed comments that were meant to jab at me for being too bright a light, too positive and to push against (their perception) of my being too perfect.  One comment was “Other people are working on their control issues, lack of flexibility, etc.…I’m sure there isn’t anything that you’re working on.”

Another comment was “You just know everything don’t you.” Of course it was followed by an “I’m just kidding”.  And no, she wasn’t ‘just kidding’ with that comment or the three other ones she made previous to it.

I observed the challenge with a family member who for years has been actively engaged in ‘withholding’ as a not so effective coping mechanism.  Literally when this person is in my home there is no acknowledgment of my presence. There was never a disagreement, they simply didn’t want a parent to get remarried and because they didn’t ‘choose’ me being in their life, they don’t feel the need to engage with me.

And there they were. Ample opportunities all around me for stepping deeper into self-worth when being presented with criticism.

The truth is when we are in alignment with our purpose and doing our work in the world, not everyone will respect the amount of space we take up. For those who struggle with their own empowerment and sense of purpose, seeing others shine is just a reminder of their limitations.

We perceive and then we project.

Allowing ourselves to be the landing spot for someone else’s projection IS NOT a choice that enhances our spirit.  It is doing harm to ourselves. 

We can speak up…we can stand powerfully in our light and push back when another’s words or actions encourage us to compromise our sense of wholeness.  We can express how it affects us emotionally and honor our sense of worth.

And that is a choice that enhances our spirit.

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