To find inspiration for day two of the seven day Your Turn Challenge, I randomly opened Marion Woodman’s Coming Home to Myself and this quote showed up.
Living by principles is not living your own life.
It took me by surprise. Made me gasp, in fact.
As recently as 7 years ago, I would never have believed this idea. Principles above everything else, right?
Nope. Here’s how living by principles backfired:
I decided that divorce was not an option and stayed miserably married for 17 years.
The principle or belief that this third marriage (dare I admit this?) was the end of the road and that enough was enough, nailed my feet to the floor and had me accept the unacceptable.
I did actually scold myself, just like that. “Enough is enough,” I said to myself in my most shaming voice.
Now why is this important?
How often do you discount the things that are wrong in your life?
The situations, the people that don’t feel good – how do you make them okay over the longterm?
Notice how you ignore that internal punch that hurts your solar plexus in the presence of certain people, when you don’t get treated well.
When you do that, when you step over your feelings and tolerate what’s unacceptable, you step over your heart, your soul, your very Being.
This is dangerous territory for people with compulsive behaviours.
Before you know it, three chocolate bars are down your throat.
When you push away what you feel or what triggers emotions and don’t ask what needs adjusting or changing, you are in jeopardy.
And this is true for anyone, compulsive or not.
The Privilege of Finding Yourself
Though an uptake of focusing on body image, food or other compulsive behaviours are great indicators of emotional and soul distress, it doesn’t mean that you have to give into them or numb.
If you don’t mute emotions, you get the privilege of finding out who you are, what you really care about, and creating a fulfilling and authentic life.
Just because society has you thinking that overworking is the norm doesn’t mean that this is right. It’s not a principle that is conducive to health, for example.
If you can’t give yourself even 15 minutes to sit still, to reflect and simply BE, and if doing so would make all the difference to your state of mind and spirit, then something is wrong.
What we learned is not who we are.[Tweet “What we learned is not who we are. “]
If we pay attention, we can get mindful and notice that we are not okay with working unconsciously, not okay about not feeding our souls.
And if your soul is not fed, no amount of food, starvation or thinness will give you what you require.
Who made society King anyway?
Now I can hear the retorts. We have to put up with some things. True.
Yet, I ask you to get curious about the choices you do have – to set boundaries, to say No instead of Yes, and to ask for what you need.
You just don’t like to implement these choices, because people are used to you behaving a certain way, and they don’t like change.
They particularly don’t like your new boundaries, most likely.
But disliking the taking of new action on your own behalf doesn’t mean you don’t have choices.
It just means you need some courage and commitment.
Clearly, sometimes you need help to come up with new strategies and choices, or a champion so you stay strong and courageous. We can’t do life alone.
Take back your power and get on a return journey to yourself. You can do this. And the rewards are nothing short of breathtaking.
Over to You
How has living by principles, rather by your own truth, ever backfired on you?
What are you ignoring in your life that doesn’t feel right to your soul? What would your life be like if this situation changed?
Write to me. I love your comments and will respond.
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Bottom photo credit: Chris Potako / Foter / CC BY
© Miriam Linderman 2015