When Your Good Life Makes Others Feel Guilty

I’ve been seeing a lot of those posts on Facebook, where a person apologizes for loving their life too loudly, and reassures everyone that it’s not actually perfect. They explain that they tend to focus on the good for their own benefit, but then they might rattle off all the things that suck to assure others that they are not trying to make anyone feel guilty.

I’m torn on this.

I understand the intention. I know none of us wants to portray something that isn’t realistic. And I know we want to be mindful of how our actions affect another human being. But is bringing our mindfulness practice, our personal growth, our spiritual awareness, or joy, or our embodiment of love down a level really helping anyone (ourselves included)?

You all know I share the depths of my soul, my emotional tornados, and my process through it all quite freely. You know I’m all about emotional honesty (when it’s coupled with emotional maturity and taking accountability for one’s own feelings).

But not as a means to ensure the world knows I don’t have it “too good”.

Neither you nor I am responsible for another person’s feelings. That doesn’t mean we aren’t accountable for our actions, or emotional patterns in our life, or how our actions may impact the world. It just means that it’s not our job to ensure someone else does or doesn’t feel something.

That’s an impossible for job for anyone but the owner of those emotions.

If someone accuses you of “making them” feel guilty, it’s simply not true. YOU aren’t the one making them feel guilty. Their own thoughts, their own comparisons, their own desires or choices are inspiring their own emotions. You could be a total ace, the next Patron Saint of the Internet, with your heart totally in the right place and a deep desire to heal the world, and someone could still accuse you of being an a-hole. It doesn’t have much to do with you, except that you happened to be in the right place and the right time to bump against their sore spots.

Sweet, beautiful, mindful, conscious soul who is trying hard to focus on the positive, spread love, and speak kindly in all things….don’t apologize for your healthy state of being. Don’t apologize for making conscious choices that lead you to wonderful things. Don’t apologize for working so diligently on your own growth. Don’t apologize for shining light into the world. Even when that light inadvertently shines on an aspect of something someone’s been working hard to avoid.

Don’t feel guilty that others are made uncomfortable by good things.

Feel compassion.

Don’t apologize for something that is none of your business.

Send them love.

Don’t change what you’re doing or try to convince them “my life sucks too”.

Keep yourself focused on your own inner work; not theirs.

Feel compassion.

P.S. You know The Library? Well, it’s expanding soon to include all my products and the price will expand with it. But if you jump on it now, you’ll get all the future updates for no extra cost. Cuz I’m all about the sweet deal. šŸ˜‰

Thoughts on Parenting for Show

If you haven’t read it already, this commentary on the public humiliation of children that has become so prevalent in the social media age of parenting is well worth reading and absorbing.

Public shaming is awful and is nothing less than societally sanctioned parental bullying. Especially harmful to the young people against whom it is used as a weapon, the ramifications will resonate throughout their lives. They arenā€™t as tough as we pretend we are. (Read the whole thing here.)

In addition to what is so eloquently said there, I think it’s important to examine why so many parents feel the need to “parent publicly”.

Is it to “prove ourselves”? To save face? To feel validated? To make a statement to others? None of these puts our real focus on showing up in our children’s lives (both for their struggles and their wins).

Interestingly, many parents I know will recoil at the public humiliation talked about above but don’t see the ways they themselves “parent publicly” in regards to the “good stuff”, not examining what drives their motivation to invite the whole world into their private lives and celebrations (anything from bragging to posting photos of a child’s personal life).

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all of it is inherently bad. Just that we need to question it in order to parent with intention and mindfulness (and our full presence).

My questions to myself for several years have been “Why am I sharing this? Does this honor my son? Does this hold sacred our own relationship? Or is this done for my own ego’s satisfaction?”

You might have noticed that I don’t share a lot about my parenting anymore. Because the challenges deserve to be honored privately, and the beautiful moments deserve to be treated with sacredness. Unless I have his permission to share, and I know my sharing is not being done from my own ego – which let’s face it, isn’t often šŸ˜‰ – I simply don’t share it.

Because parenting is a RELATIONSHIP, not a show to put on for others.

Organic Wisdom: Asking Forgiveness for What We Didn’t Do

203 / 365 - Let the right ones in and the right ones go

You don’t have to be wrong to ask for forgiveness. You just have to want to set things right.

These words came to me the other day and I’ve been sitting with them since, not sure how to share them, but feeling the nudge to.

I think it’s a challenging concept to embrace, to ask for forgiveness when we don’t feel at fault.

It’s humbling. And sometimes humbling feels like humiliating. Lowly.

As though we’re somehow making ourselves smaller.

And it can, when we choose to feel it that way.

When we choose to make forgiveness about who’s right and who’s wrong and who owes who what.

But that feels less like forgiveness and more like shame to me.

Shame calls one right and the other wrong.

Shame points out mistakes and imperfections and demands amends be made for our humanness.

That is NOT what I’m talking about.

That kind of forgiveness is bullshit in my mind.

In my heart, forgiveness feels like intention – making clear our intention and realigning ourselves with it.

I’m intrigued with the Huna Process of Ho’oponopono, in which it says that each of us is responsible for what we see, but not to blame for it. Asking forgiveness is an integral part of creating healing, growth or connection in our world.

When something isn’t my responsibility I’m removed from it, even above it when my ego comes into play.

But by asking for forgiveness…forgiveness that my words were misheard, forgiveness that there was a misunderstanding, forgiveness that I didn’t co-create connection or compassion, forgiveness that my intention to see others in joy was not created by my actions…I place myself within the realm of “I can help with this.”

Not to be confused with “It’s all my fault.”

And the world could use more of us saying, “I can help with this.”

P.S. Happy Full Moon! We’re up in the mountains with our new caravan-ing tribe! Plenty more on that to come!

Photo Source

Real Women and the Lies We Live (Video)

I almost didn’t share this video.

I had made it quickly because it started pouring out of me and my audio and video wouldn’t sync.

But that’s not why I almost didn’t share it.

I almost didn’t share it because my entire life I’ve been shamed for my body type, taught to feel less than other women or self-conscious or care too deeply about what others thought of my body.

Taught to be wary of going to the bathroom too soon after I ate because someone would derisively accuse me of being bulemic.

Taught to wear nothing above the knees out of fear that someone would comment on my thin legs.

So after this video came pouring out of me, I began to waver.

“Maybe I shouldn’t.”

“Maybe I’ll offend someone.”

“Who am I to talk about body image?”

It took a sweet woman speaking up a couple days ago on this very issue that reminded me that I’m accepting that Body Shame we’ve all been taught.

And you know what I say to shame?

Fuck that.

So here it is: My Truth on “real women” and the lives we are taught to believe and that we continue to live out, even when we think we’re not.

Or view it on YouTube.

Here’s to real women everywhere:

The ones who love with all their heart…

And look shame and fear in the face and give it the finger.

Who look in the mirror and stand in awe of the beauty that shines within them…

And takes that light into the world and lights up the darkness.

The women who sees beauty in all women, even the ones who are lost or in pain or are blind to beauty themselves.

The women hold hands not grudges.

Who can lift up another without feeling put down.

Who share Wisdom and Truth, instead of rumors and lies.

The women who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

And who fiercely protect that vulnerable strength in others.

We are all real women.

Regardless of size or shape or color or background or beliefs…

Regardless of whether we’re in touch with our own inner Self or not.

Regardless of whether we’re in our own power or in our own pain.

We’re all real women making our way through the same messy world, doing the best we can with the tools we have, learning and growing.

And when we see that, when we step into our own strength, and we empower others to step into theirs…

That’s when the world will change.