How do we define ourselves? What sets us apart from everybody else? What makes us the same? Definitions of self change over time as we accumulate new information and alter our perceptions each and every moment.
And yet, are we limiting ourselves by defining ourselves? Are we limiting the way we see ourselves and each other by putting everyone into categories? By putting everything into boxes? How do you define yourself? How do other people see you? Who are we and who do we want to become?
We are often happier when we are undefined. When we are just allowed to be who we are, we’re happy. Definitions put us into boxes of prescribed notions of how we should act, who we should be, and how we should think and feel. Integrity is defined as being honest or being whole, depending on how you use it.
Are you being who you say you are, truly? No matter how you define yourself, are you true to yourself? Or are you constantly changing yourself depending on the company around you or the situation you are in? Are you a chameleon or do you put the real you out there?
We all struggle with integrity. We all struggle with being who we are. We want to fit in and we want to be loved for who we are. We’ve set expectations on how we should be loved and so we’ve defined the love we wish to receive in a particular way in return.
Once we realize our definitions on what it means to love, what it means to be loved, and what it means to be happy, we can see what is working for us and what is not working for us. Is that the way you want to continue to live your life?
I knew I had to change certain things about the way I perceived myself. All of my definitions of self were based on what I thought other people thought and believed. I thought I had to shave my legs to be accepted (which didn’t prove to be true after shaving my legs at the one-year mark and still freaking out what people thought of me).
I thought I needed to wear a bra and dress up all the time to be loved by the opposite sex (which was also proven to be false as I had a loving, supportive boyfriend for 8 years with and without a bra and whether I was wearing sweatpants or a two-hundred-dollar dress). I put all my limiting definitions of self into a box and I couldn’t see outside that box, even though I was still loved for having fuzzy legs and just being open and honest with myself.
Definitions are the stories we’ve made up. Are they your definitions or are they someone else’s? Did you know that there was a time before the dictionary and thesaurus were created in which people spelled things the way they wanted to, and people talked the way they were brought up to talk like, and yet society still functioned?
We’ve put all these labels on what is the right thing to do: the right way to spell a word, the right way to dress, the right way to act in public, the right way to talk. No one fits perfectly into that box.
Who are you? And I mean the real you, behind the mask, beneath the facade of the human shell we call a body, beyond all the labels you and society have given yourself and your body? Only you can answer that. I can’t tell you who you are or who you should be. Just like no one else can tell me who I am.
So What? Who Cares?
So, who are you beyond all the ideas, beliefs, and stories you have created around your body? We get to work backwards, and continue to work backwards, until we have the answer. Where did you get this idea about yourself?
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact answer, but answers will still come to mind. Maybe you remembered an ad you saw on T.V. as a kid watching cartoons, or maybe it was something your parents said. Who are you? Why do you think the way you do? Why do you do the things you do?
And yet, the answers don’t really matter. Okay, so your mom told you that you were stupid and you would never amount to anything in your life. So what? Who cares?
Maybe your teacher said you should never speak in public because you have no idea what you are talking about. So what? Who cares? Maybe your ex-partner broke up with you to be with someone younger than you. So what? Who cares?
Do you care? Are you allowing yourself to be defined by someone else’s thought? By someone else’s opinion of themselves that they have projected upon you? Are you allowing someone else’s story to be the story you tell about yourself?
We’ve been conditioned to care what people think. We’ve been conditioned to believe that there is only one right way to be and that we have to work hard to be that one thing. The human body is not “wrong.” What we believe is not “wrong.”
We shame ourselves more than other people shame us. We keep ourselves in a line we’ve defined and stick to walking that line as our entire life. Can you change your definition of self? Can you not care what other people think of you? Can you not care what happens to you? Yes, you can, but do you want to.
That person has hairy legs. So what? Who cares? That person is wearing pajamas in the store. So what? Who cares? That woman isn’t wearing makeup. So what? Who cares?
You can choose to change your beliefs. You can choose to not be affected by what other people think of you, or what you think of yourself. You can say “I don’t believe that anymore.” You are free to believe something new, especially about yourself.
So what? Who cares? Use these questions as another tool when your mind starts to run amok thinking of all the elaborate definitions and stories you created about a person, place, or thing.
Ok, so John doesn’t like me because I like turtles and he is more of a dolphin fan. So what? Who cares? Katherine won’t go out with me because she wants to date someone taller. So what? Who cares? Keep asking, keep wondering, keep figuring out who you are and who you want to be, and just be that.
Don’t worry about what is going on around you. You have to be okay with yourself; because that is theone person you are stuck with your entire life. It is your head, those are your thoughts, so choose which ones you want to believe from this moment on and get okay with the rest.
-Excerpt from "The Fuzzy Leg Experiment: How I Grew to Love Myself in Two Years"
by Elizabeth Crooks
Sanity is Subjective
If I had to pick one gem of advice that I have received in my life to share with you, this would be it: “Embrace your Crazy.” We are all unique. There is no such thing as normal or normality.
Normal is a social construct; it is made-up concept by someone who wanted to be the poster child for normal. We all have our definitions of what it means to be normal, and what it means to be crazy.
We judge our craziness. We judge our uniqueness. We appear crazy to other people because we don’t fit into their box they’ve defined as “sanity.” What is normal for you is not normal for someone else.
I believe it is healthy to question your own sanity at times. In fact, I believe it is entirely healthy to question your sanity all the time. When we think someone is crazy, we are actually thinking they are wrong in some way.
When we think we’re doing something crazy, why do we think it is crazy? Is it not normal? By whose definition is it not normal? Happiness is subjective. Sanity is subjective. Life is subjective. Figure out your own definition of what it means to be normal and what it means to fall outside the definition of normal.
If humans were meant to have the same experience, we would all look the same, we would all act the same, and we would all think the same. But we don’t, and we are not the same. So, embrace your crazy, or not. Find your happy place, or not.
Can you get okay with it? So what? Who cares? There is no one way to be happy, just like there is no one way to be normal. Find what works for you and do it that way.
I love the analogy that life is just a story, and not because I am a writer or anything, but because I truly believe in this now. Life has all aspects of a story: characters, themes, plot twists, foreshadowing futures, flashbacks to the past, separate chapters, and new editions written over time.
We continuously write and re-write the story of our life in every moment. Who am I now? The trick is to become a conscious writer of your story by taking back your power and control over what influences you and your subconscious mind in everything that you do.
I was more concerned about other people’s stories for the longest time that I forgot about my own story. I focused on what I saw other people had that I didn’t have. I focused on what kind of life they were having and neglected my own. I was judging my own story by comparing it to everyone else’s story.
We each have our story, and sometimes those stories overlap, but we have control over what we write for ourselves. What makes one person happy can make another person sad. What makes one person angry can make another laugh.
What is the story you are creating for yourself? Why do you do the things you do? You can edit your story at any time, in the moment, as you are living it.
If there is one thing I have learned that has truly showed me the power of self-love is that of honor and honoring yourself. I discovered I wasn’t living the life I wanted, at least not entirely.
Sure I was happy. I was in love. I am still in love. I love my parents, I love my family, I love my ex-partner, I love my friends, and I love myself. But was I truly happy for me; my goals, my dreams, my aspirations. Was I happy with the lessons I was here to learn and grow from?
I allowed myself to stagnate. I allowed myself to stop growing. I never went backwards but I was afraid of going forwards. All of my leaps I have made over the years to overcome my fears, whether physically or mentally, have brought me to a place where I am more conscious of everything that I do. And the more conscious I am, the less I feel like hating myself or putting my energy towards things I don’t want to do anymore.
Once you figure out the story you’ve been telling yourself all this time, you can choose to change it for the better. Awareness leads to conscious decisions. Make up a new story that serves you better. Make up a new story that supports you. You are making up the story of your life in every moment.
Are you a good person? Do you feel amazing? There is no right or wrong except in the story you have created in your mind. Your worthiness or lack thereof, is a story. Your confidence or lack thereof, is a story.
We are the creators of our own realities. Really ask yourself: why do you do the things you do? What is the story I am making up about myself or another person? About a situation? Are you doing something for yourself or another person? What story are you creating?
Everyone is living their own story. My way is my reality. Respect everyone’s reality as being the right one for them in that moment. Everybody is right, according to their own definitions, experiences and belief systems.
Everyone is getting the experience they chose, whether conscious or not. And either way that experience is perfect for them. There is no right or wrong. In order to say my reality is right, I have to believe that everyone else’s is wrong. Respect comes with understanding that everyone has their own story to play out.
Expand your views of the world by just paying attention to the stories you see happening around you. What is that person showing you? What is that experience telling you?
There is no need to impose on another person’s story, their reality. Share your story with them but don’t impose. Everyone is on their own journey, and we all have our paths to walk.
Changing Your Story:
Begin by noticing your patterns. We all have patterns of behavior and thought that we’ve learned over time. Make a list, use an expansion grid or whatever tools you feel comfortable using.
Take a moment to notice where your thoughts are out of alignment with your feelings. Depression is often our minds telling us a series of stories (that we are not enough, that we are alone) and those stories don’t match up to what we feel we want.
Take your power back and choose to stop the thought train that no longer serves you. That’s ridiculous. Thank you for sharing. Just remember not to come from judgment, shame, blame, guilt or anger.
Thoughts are thoughts, can you get okay with the thoughts you’ve had throughout your life? Can you get okay with making a new thought?
Once you know what you’re working with in regards to your thoughts, beliefs and the stories you’ve created, you can start throwing out the fluff: all the things that no longer serve your best interest. Expel the energy of your old life, your old story by getting okay and letting it go. Once we shed some light on our thoughts, beliefs, programs, and stories, we can use that light to transform those thoughts, beliefs, programs, and stories.
You have to make a choice. Take the responsibility for your life back or not, it is up to you. It isn’t an easy decision. It took me two years to fully understand it and to incorporate it into my own life.
Our patterns don’t have to keep repeating. Recognize your patterns, your themes, the things you keep doing over and over again. These things keep happening because they just want to be noticed. They want you to understand they are there. Once you acknowledge the loops you have been stuck in, the loops naturally unwind for you.
You can say “no, I don’t want that in my world anymore.” You are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to change your story.
We are the masters of our own reality. We are in charge of what we think, what we choose to believe, and how we live our lives. All skills take time to master. And the mind is no different. We all want easy. We have a lot going on in our lives at any given moment. We want change right now.
Figure out how your mind works first, and then incorporate little hacks to change your system and your programming faster. When you know how your brain works, how you operate, you can re-write the coding and you can upgrade or optimize the system.
The mind is just an elaborate computer. It is a complex and powerful computer, but it is malleable. It evolves as we grow and evolve along our journey. We stay the same or we grow, and the brain is no different.
What story do you have about the world around you? What story do you have about how life works? Listen to all the stories you tell yourself. When you know your story you can change the tone, the theme, the list of characters, the plot…everything. We are all authors. We are all writers. Our book is our life.
So what are you choosing to say about it?
Lot's going on at LnL Awakening. For those who have been keeping an eye on the website, you'll notice a few things missing and new things popping up. I am re-working the website slowly but surely. Some pages are hidden while they are being updated for the moment. New stuff coming too! We just released the first 5 books in the coloring series: Color In A New Habit. Book 6 is in the works...I am finishing up the last pages and getting it together within the week. After this I am going in a new direction book-wise and project-wise.
Thank you for your patience with the changes happening here at LnL!! Getting ready some free eBooks and setting up a self-guided learning system for various topics to assist all on their journeys at this time. And I want to start jumping into doing videos to assist even more people! Lot's to do and I am super excited to offer more and more. Love you all! Keep checking back for the new to pop in at any moment this October!
I like to assist others on their journey to awakening by sharing what I have come to understand about the nature of the universe. Thank you for your support by reading this blog. We expand our own knowledge, our own truth, by reading and researching many different ideas to find the ones we resonate with and incorporate into our own truth. Find your truth and live it.