Swans on a stream at a hazy dawn

"That's the risk you take if you change: that people you've been involved with won't like the new you. But other people who do will come along."
- Lisa Alther
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"There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them."
- Phyliss Bottome
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"If I had to live my life all over again, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time."
- Nadine Stair

  A dove and its reflection in a calm pool

Finding Ourselves

We all have hang-ups, guilt and doubts about ourselves and how we are living our lives. Finding Ourselves is where I want to help you see inside yourself. Each time I will pick a topic that I see that many of you are asking about, doing or don't understand. I want to teach you why this behavior is happening, what brings it on, what is behind the behavior and how you might find positive ways to handle your lack of control, your frustration, pain and confusion.

Remember your 'behaviors' are 'symptoms' not causes. I want you to remember no matter what you are doing, have done or are thinking of doing it is not your 'fault', because you learned how to react. This is not 'you'. But now you are growing up and you are responsible for all of your actions and the consequences they bring. And you will, no matter what you think, pay for your actions one way or another. Learn how to make your consequences work for you so you can be and get what you want. You can have so much power over your life it is amazing; the difference in a winner and a loser is how you see and act on your behavior.

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Topic Number 1 of How Not To Be A Victim

Being a victim to your illness, disability or anything that you feel has control over your life is your greatest disease and enemy. I learned as long as I turned outward for any of my answers to my self and my situation, any time I turned my life over to someone elses philosophy or way of thinking I was doomed to fail. All these self help books and tapes are useless to find your truth and to heal you. If they werent then the whole country would be well and there would never be an need for any kind of medicine or treatment again and with some of these self help books you would never die either. And if you did die it was because you didnt believe enough to get well. I always remember Wayne Dyer saying that he wondered what was going to happen to these people who never got sick and lived by all these rules and regulations. Yet they got old anyway and were in the hospital dying and were asked what are you dying of and they would say nothing. We all die and you will never convince me that a child or a baby deserves to be ill or dying or disabled. That they did anything that they were in control of or had unfinished business to take of first before they would heal. Or that they wanted to be ill or disabled. The answers to all our lives and our health process lies within only each of us for only our life. Your body has a brain and a voice it will never lie to you and it is talking to you all the time. We just have to learn how to listen. All the answers to any of your life issues and the truths for your life, live inside of you already we just have to learn how to reach in and tap our resources. These are the arts and knowledge we need to gain so that we can find our truths not make someone elses truth ours. It wont ever work. This is not just for ill or disabled people this is for everyone. We all have a victim living inside of us because we were all treated like a victim as a child. Just look at the intimidation of your height when you stand looking up to an adult and then when they tell you to do something or not to do something or they do something to you. Well we all get intimated. Then there is the first word we learn NO that definitely teaches us intimidation. Society has placed all kinds of limits on us to keep us in order so it is natural for us not to usually question authority figures. This places us in a submission role which is what being a victim is. It is trusting something outside of ourselves to tell us what is reality and what is not reality. But when you open your mind and get outside of your box way of thinking you see there is no one reality that speaks for us all. We are all so different. I think of us each like the colors in a rainbow. It takes all of those colors to make up the beauty of a rainbow and how dull this world would be if we all look and acted the same way and if everything was only black or white, no gray areas. To question is a gift given to us by God, it is what makes us unique creatures on this planet. With questions comes responsibility to be honorable to the answer. That is why many people dont want to look or question then they might have to do something about it. But when your life becomes overwhelming and out of control for whatever reason you either start challenging your black and white way of thinking or you follow the reality of society and go from authority to authority all your life to find out what you should do next. Or you take back your power and start looking inside yourself for your definitions to your reality and the answers to your life and start taking responsibility for you and your life. Then you will see everything change. You will get a power that runs through every part of your life. If feels right so easy so natural and you feel good about what you think, feel and do. I see this happen all the time and it becomes obvious when the person has what I call gotten it the light goes on inside of them. They are no longer in the dark and just following the tribal way of thinking. They make choices and they consult their inner being and their life just works no matter what comes their way. You can see they dont get ruffled or out of sorts. There is a calm, a peace that radiates from them and you want it but dont know what it is or how to get it. When things go wrong in their life it doesnt seem as bad as when someone who is looking outside themselves for the answers is grasping wanting to know what happened and why, blaming everyone around them, or worse God. Because the answers to your life are unique to only you and they can only be found inside of you. These answer people and self-help answers feed off of fear and people being victims. The only ones to profit are the authors of these different claims. Once you stop being a victim and take back your power and start controlling your life and your illness or disability, then you can refer to books and tapes for information that you would like to add to help you. These can be an added part of your own personal health model or plan that you have developed from what you have learned from your mind and body to work for you. But no one formula that says believe in and do what I tell you and states that if you follow their plan you will get well or not die. None of these types of claims are going to make you well or save your life.
When I stopped listening to these people and all the brain washing, I took back my life and my power. When I started searching inside myself for my answers that were unique to my life and what I needed THEN I started on the road to recovery and acceptance. THEN my illnesses became a part of who MaryAnne is. MaryAnne was no longer defined by her illnesses nor did her illnesses make up who MaryAnne was. Now MaryAnne is much much more. I am so glad that I had the vision and listened to myself to know how to turn inside. My life was out of control and I was on a one way trip to either die or be a victim to the medical system and dependent on medication to be my life. My whole life revolved around my illnesses and my being disabled. To be a victim is to be self-absorbed and to live totally inside your illnesses and your disabilities.
The more you focus on yourself the more of a victim you become without even knowing it is happening. It is so acceptable in our society that I get blamed now for not really being ill by many people and much less empathy and understanding. I look like I am normal. I act like I can do what normal people can do because I keep my symptoms and my pain hidden now. I dont make everyone else suffer for my situation by walking bent over, or showing how much pain I am in nor do I make sure everyone knows that I am hurting and suffering. I think back and I use to do this constantly because I really do hurt bad and have every right to walk bent over because walking is a killer for me. I dont talk about my situation or complain about what I dont have or can not do or how alone and how hard my life is. Why? None of that ever made me feel any better or changed my physical condition. In fact it made everything worse. Because I was living and giving in to every part of my pain and disabilities, my body and mind were listening to this negative validation and believing it. I thought about why I did that and think I have the reason figured out. When I was a victim to my illnesses and disabilities, I did not have a positive healthy self inside to believe in. A self that believed in her capabilities to control her pain and even cure some of her symptoms and illnesses. Rather, I had no power over my life and had turned it over to my illnesses and the sick role way of thinking which is very validated by the medical profession, society and alternative medicine. I walked with a shuffle stooped over, tearful with a painful grimace on my face. I was constantly out of breath and had to stop and sit every few minutes. I could almost do nothing for myself and I had to let everyone see that I was so ill and in so much pain. Why, I needed validation outside myself because I wasnt getting any validation from inside of me. I had given my life away and when you give your life away for any reason you then need external everything, validation, confirmation, affirmation all the ations you can think of. BUT when you get a strong self inside and your power back, your power is all the energy that lives within you, then you dont need any validation or acceptance from outside yourself. You can share your life with others and give what you wish to give but no longer do you need it to survive or to make you who you are. You no longer need confirmation stating who you are, what is wrong with you or to prove that anything is wrong with you or that your life is difficult and that you are no longer normal. You become a self-reliant, self-thinking, self-determining, loving person. You become a person who is now capable of giving out instead of giving in. Everything that you allow to help you with your quest for being as healthy, mentally and physically, as possible as self-reliant as possible, I call all those things Complementary help. Because they only help me with my internal self-determined journey towards becoming myself, which lives inside of me and is just waiting for me to find my way back to it. I am in control of my destiny and the self-fulfillment of my life. See we all have lost ourselves through trauma, childhood, whatever touched our lives and took us away from ourselves but we are still in there just shut out by all these things that took us away. Our life journey is to find our way back to ourselves. We become afraid to turn to ourselves anymore or to believe in ourselves. We are taught through school, church, commercials, work and society to find everything outside of ourselves and we loose our self-determination and we become what we are taught to become moving further and further away from ourselves. Hopefully someday we will all realize that there is a true self, living within us. We all have experienced that voice inside that has told us to do or not to do something and it saved us from something terrible. That is the voice of yourself that lives inside. We just have to find our way back to trusting that voice and listening to it. This is what we call in therapy giving yourself a voice, once you do then you dont need to carry your illness or disability around as a badge nor do you need to show it as your cross to bear. We all have our cross to bear it is how we carry our cross that determines what happens to us. Your voice is what gives you your power back and once you have that you can no longer be a victim of your body, your mind, your wife, husband, job, society, whatever. Then your whole world will change and only for the better. You will find peace and love and true happiness that can never again be taken away from you. Because it is not found outside of you therefore it can not be taken away. It lives within you, it is you, so you are safe, free and able to live your life completely, knowing that you can trust everything that is going on inside of you. You can trust your decisions and be able to make clear choices that will be right for you and your life. It is the most freeing and wonderfully alive feeling to know who you are and to completely trust your inner self. To no longer run from yourself, over compensate by being a workaholic, an over achiever, focused on anything or anyone but yourself yet only being focused on yourself because you are living in constant fear and pain. Think what it would be like to be at peace with your whole life and yourself with no more fears. To have the ability to make positive choices for yourself and know that you make all decisions with love and consideration for yourself and everyone else in your life. To know that you can do and be whatever you want to be without having to loose yourself in the process. To know that no matter what comes your way you will be able to handle it no matter what the outcome. Not to need to have the perfect body, the best looks, the best clothes, more money, drugs, alcohol, many lovers to affirm that you are desirable, to be popular, always running, always having to prove something, always competing for more and fighting to stay on top. Too good to be true maybe that is why we dont try. Maybe we cant trust that it will happen and there is an awful lot of pain to go through to get there especially with no guarantee or examples. Besides it is not popular so why would we think it would work. You dont read about it or hear about it in mainstream America. It is not the taught way in this society. Maybe that is why we look for how to find the answers to our lives only trusting those things outside of ourselves, at least you know what you are going to get from those things. But it is true, I know many people who are on the journey or who are living this way. I am going to give you examples and stories of people who have done it or who are working towards this truth. Stories of those people who have taken the journey and overcome great odds and are living proof of what is possible for and to all of us.

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