There was a point in my life 7 years ago when my husband told me he couldn’t help me. We had just gotten married. We had just moved to a new country. And we had just had our first child.
I was looking at him to save me. From the cold weather, from the terrible job I had, from the volatile relationship I had with myself, from the belonging I couldn’t find in anything or in anywhere.
I wanted him to tell me everything was going to be ok and that he would move us to another country – that he would help me love myself – that he would support me if I wanted to quit my job – that I belonged to him and I could count on that fact forever.
But even as he stumbled with his words, slipping in and out of his mother tongue so he could express what he was trying to say…the words ” I can’t help you. I will never be able to truly help you, Sez” came out like an iron bar to the heart.
For months after, I considered leaving him. Despite the enormous love we had for each other, we were so very different…and I was so very reliant.
I considered how much of myself I had placed upon him to make me happy and when his love was in jeopardy; any love for myself also vanished.
My heart broke into a million pieces that day. Not because I discovered my husband was not able to help me – but because I realized that I had no idea how to help myself.
I literally had no idea how to love myself – how to care for my deeper needs – how to connect to my own intuition – how to rely on my inner power – how to see myself first – because I had no idea who I was.
It might have come from the many years of nomadic living, the cross-cultural heritage, the rootlessness of my entire life – but that too would be blaming my situation and not taking responsibility for the life I live.
What was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had turned out to be one of the most valuable steps I have taken on my spiritual path.
I suddenly woke up to the absolute powerlessness I had over my life.
I was entirely reliant on conditions. My happiness was reliant on the weather. My worthiness was reliant on social media. My self-love was reliant on my husband. My success was defined by society’s expectations. Do you know the feeling? When everything OUTSIDE of you affects the INSIDE of you.
But what I learned is that everything external is superficial. Our world is transient. Our conditions just that – variable. As much as we love others, they too, are changeable. And the weather? Well, what can we expect from something entirely out of our control? Because the truth is everything ‘out there’ is out of our control…
But what is within our control, is within us.
Fast forward an enormous amount of self-growth through immense amounts of pain – and here I stand, finally able to give myself everything I’ve ever wanted. And my husband and I have the best relationship we’ve ever had. Supportive and stable. Expressive and honest. Freeing.
You cannot ask for freedom. You cannot ask for love. You cannot ask for validation. These are all already who you are and in coming back to yourself, you know yourself.
Be your own best friend is not a superficial saying. It is the fundamental roots for infallible joy. Keep seeking to validate yourself from the outside in and you will always be left feeling like nothing is ever enough.
HOW TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
1. Learn to take responsibility for everything in your life
Nothing can be achieved in life when there is blame. Even the hardships and the situations you’d rather not be in are your own responsibility to rise above. Take responsibility for your life and see how much power you have to forgive, to love and nurture not only yourself but others around you. See how much power there comes from stepping back away from the drama ‘out there’ and how quiet, calm and restful it is within you. And see how much you are truly seen when you see yourself first! (Listen to this 5-minute poem I wrote about waiting for someone to see you before you see yourself)
2. Learn to be present to your pain
You cannot step into your own power if pain and suffering have control over you. The greatest way to dissolve emotional pain is to simply become present to it. Acknowledge your emotional body every day by checking in with yourself through mindfulness or meditation. (Listen to an emotional healing meditation here) Sometimes to heal a wound is to learn how to live WITH it, better. This means that when you feel like you can’t ‘just let it go’ – you need to ask yourself, “What can I offer myself today that will lighten this load?” or “How can I see this differently just for today?” This means you have the power to decide how the pain affects you and not the other way around.
3. Keep Meditating
If you do not already have a practice, consider meditation as the soul’s intravenous system. Your connection to the world around you and to yourself depends on your ability to quieten down the external noise and come back to what’s most essential in life. Meditation is detachment from all that keeps you living on the superficial and surface of life. By strengthening your connection to your source, you are able to step back into the ‘witness’ of who you really are. Being the witness gives you wisdom but without the drama. It gives you power without the ego. It gives you freedom without striving. Keep meditating and experiencing with different kinds of meditation. After all, it is an experiential practice and not a theory.
4. Learn to trust yourself
Do you trust yourself to make the right decisions and to lead your life to where you want to go? Learning to trust yourself means placing your life in your own hands, knowing that is where it is best navigated from.
Intuition can be found in many simple ways. When you find resonance with a certain song, some poetry, words, or even smells and images, you are really seeing yourself in your environment. Resonance is the key to your spiritual path as it gives you direction back to yourself and what sits ‘right’ within you. Look at your life so far and consider how many decisions were based on intuition, seeing how well those events turned out in comparison to when you had to make a decision based on fear.
5. Learn to live from Heart
Your Heart is your power. Your mind the opposite. Learn what it feels like to live in your heart-centre by connecting to it through mindfulness and meditation. Gratitude is essential for living more connected to your heart, so keep up the daily practice of being present with your gratitude. Slowly directing your life towards the things that make you happier is the greatest act of self-care you can offer yourself. Stop caring what others think of how you should live your life and what success should look like. Make your own path and dedicate your life to walking it. (listen to the ‘Soul’s Siren’ podcast about following your Heart’s calling here)
6. Keep asking yourself what your deeper needs are
When you find yourself seeking through social media, through others, through your environment for a sense of happiness, turn toward yourself and ask what your deeper need it? (Listen to “Choosing nourishment over comfort” meditation). Learning to nourish yourself over comforting yourself is true self-empowerment because you learn to offer yourself your deeper needs rather than satisfying your immediate needs. Delayed gratification will become your ultimate source of sustainable joy because you will learn how to invest in yourself and not merely pat yourself on the back
7. You are what you seek
Remember in every search you are seeking a homecoming, a way back to yourself, a way of knowing yourself deeper.
Want peace? Let go of the noise. You are already calm and centred.
Want love? Let go of the fear. You are already the embodiment of Love.
Want healing? Let go of all that keeps you identified with pain. You are whole.
Want worthiness? Let go of other’s expectations. You are worth itself.
Want success? Let go of distraction. All success comes from your natural ability to focus.
You do not need to ‘do’ anything to attain what you already are.
You are everything you need to be. You have everything you need. There is nothing out there that can offer you the vastness wisdom that already lies within you. Connect to it. That is your power – and where the power of the universe lies. It’s all within you.