The Art of Feminine Presence 5 week course, that I have been attending, finished last night. I found it a wonderful way to connect with some lovely ladies and to focus on my femininity.
From talking with the other ladies, everyone seemed to have different experiences of the course and come away with different outcomes – all of them positive.
For me, one outcome was a greater ability to love myself, despite what others might say to me.
I know that despite the old saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”, we all have a tendency to accept negative opinions about ourselves from others.
I once heard Cheryl Richardson give a speech when she was talking about her book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care. She related a story about when she was going from one-on-one coaching to workshops for groups of people. She had asked the people at her first workshop to provide a review, and had become very upset when one of the participants had given her a really bad review. Her coach at the time asked her how many good reviews she got, and she told him about 89, but when he asked her what they said, she told him she couldn’t remember. She only remembered the bad review, which she had replayed over and over in her head.
She had taken onboard what one mean-spirited person had told her about herself, and disregarded the vast majority of reviews which sang her praises.
Most of us have similar reactions to others’ opinions.
Yet, what I realised today is that the negative opinions of others needn’t hurt our feelings at all. We have no reason at all to believe anyone else’s opinions.
Say you are listening to politicians talking about their opponents in the run-up to an election. You wouldn’t necessarily believe the negatives they say about the others, would you? You would do your own research, and make your own decisions about them, wouldn’t you?
However, when we hear negative opinions about ourselves, we tend to go through our research, not based on the truth, but based on the negative opinions which we have heard in the past. What we sometimes forget is that those earlier negative opinions were probably coming from the same person we just heard it from.
We could compare that to the scenario where Politician A has said that Politician B is a bigot. When we do our research we find that Politician A has said the same thing about Politician B five times previously, and make a decision that therefore it must be true, rather than researching other sources.
Even though politicians may consciously malign their opponents with untruths, often those who state negative untruths about us, or push our buttons in other more subtle ways, are doing so unconsciously. They forget the golden rule: to treat others as they wish to be treated. Instead they treat others as they have been treated in the past.
Most of us started recording the negative opinions about ourselves when we were children, and often those opinions came from our parents. Unconsciously, our parents convinced us of our limitations, and we forgot the programming with which we came into this world, from which we knew that we were limitless. We changed our program to one of limitation and powerlessness.
When we receive negative opinions as adults, our research into our archived recordings from our childhood may reinforce those negative opinions. As we take on board these new negative opinions, we either try to deflect them with anger, or we allow them to drag us down, often into depression.
What I discovered today is that there is another way to deal with negative opinions, and that is not to let them in. I realised that, when we know of our awesome power, of our divinity, of our limitlessness, we have no reason to accept those negative opinions.
If we see ourselves as a beautiful ball of light, glowing incessantly, and powered from our divine source, negativity just slides off. Instead of deflecting with anger or allowing the negativity to drag us down, we can continue to radiate light to that person and everyone else.
If the negative opinion has come from someone who we have allowed to push our buttons in the past, they will be used to a certain reaction from us. That reaction reinforces the same unconscious behaviour in them. However, when we start to react differently – not becoming angry or upset, but responding with love, we start to notice their behaviour will change along with ours.
We not only begin to change our own programming, we begin to change the programming of others. We begin to create that snowball of love which grows and grows, and rolls out to cover the world.
When we are offered negative opinions from others, instead of going to our archived recordings of untruths for reinforcement, we need to go to our real source of truth – our connection with the divine. That source will always tell you the truth about yourself: that you are a much-loved child of God, that you have unlimited power, and unlimited potential, and that you can be, do, and have whatever you desire.
When you come to learn this truth, you can truly love yourself, and from that position of loving yourself, you can share your love with everyone on the planet.
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