You Are Magnificent

It’s all too easy in life to miss the forest for the trees, especially when we’ve made a lot of mistakes.

This piece was inspired by a dear group of personal growth students who were having a difficult time seeing themselves clearly.  I wrote two versions, one for the women and one for the men.  I hope it helps you to see yourself more clearly too.

–Holly

I want to tell you about a woman that I know:

She has faced devastating situations that have brought her to her knees.  Yet she has always stood back up again.  Sometimes it took her weeks or months; other times it took years – but she always stood back up, brushed herself off and continued moving forward.

She has experienced times in her life when the true way was wholly lost.  Yet she didn’t curl up and die, she didn’t quit.  She kept reaching for answers, she kept reaching for help and was courageous enough to find it, no matter how far or long the search took.

This woman knows pain.  She knows betrayal.  She knows abandonment.  She knows rejection.  She knows humiliation.  And yet she still loves, she still cares.

This woman, in her search for truth, has discovered things about herself that were very, very difficult to look at.  While that would have stopped the search for many right there, she has continued to look at herself with a determination to learn how to forgive and accept herself… no matter what.

This woman is not perfect, far from it.  She has made mistakes, some of them irreversible.  She has hurt people.  She has caused others pain.  She has hurt herself.  She has caused herself pain.  But she doesn’t let that define her.  Oh sometimes she thinks that that’s all she is – the hurt and pain, the failures, but if that were really true, she would have quit long ago.  Some part of her knows the truth and that part keeps her moving forward, sometimes slowly, sometimes with great resistance and fear, but always moving forward.

She has gotten lost many, many times in her search.  She has repeated patterns over and over again, even when she knew they were destructive.  She has wept with tears of loneliness and her heart has ached in utter despair.  Yet she has kept going.

What is it in this woman, that she could experience all this and not give up?  That despite all the pain and terror and rage, she continues to love and care – she continues to search?  Why didn’t she quit long ago?  She had reason to, she would have even been justified given what she’s experienced.  But she hasn’t given up and she won’t, no matter what happens because… she is magnificent.  She is magnificent.

She doesn’t see that about herself yet because she has been so focused on the darkness within herself.  But the darkness is but a tiny, tiny speck on an infinite canvass of light.

Yes, she is magnificent.  If you look at her life, you can see it quite clearly.  It’s not in what has happened, it’s in how she has courageously responded.  Ever searching, ever willing.

Yes, I know a woman.  She is magnificent.  And that woman… is you.


I want to tell you about a man that I know:

He has faced devastating situations that have brought him to his knees.  Yet he has always stood back up again.  Sometimes it took him weeks or months; other times it took years – but he always stood back up, brushed himself off and continued moving forward.

He has experienced times in his life when the true way was wholly lost.  Yet he didn’t curl up and die, he didn’t quit.  He kept reaching for answers, he kept reaching for help and was courageous enough to find it, no matter how far or long the search took.

This man knows pain.  He knows betrayal.  He knows abandonment.  He knows rejection.  He knows humiliation.  And yet he still loves, he still cares.

This man, in his search for truth, has discovered things about himself that were very, very difficult to look at.  While that would have stopped the search for many right there, he has continued to look at himself with a determination to learn how to forgive and accept himself… no matter what.

This man is not perfect, far from it.  He has made mistakes, some of them irreversible.  He has hurt people.  He has caused others pain.  He has hurt himself.  He has caused himself pain.  But he doesn’t let that define him.  Oh sometimes he thinks that that’s all he is – the hurt and pain, the failures, but if that were really true, he would have quit long ago.  Some part of him knows the truth and that part keeps him moving forward, sometimes slowly, sometimes with great resistance and fear, but always moving forward.

He has gotten lost many, many times in his search.  He has repeated patterns over and over again, even when he knew they were destructive.  He has wept with tears of loneliness and his heart has ached in utter despair.  Yet he has kept going.

What is it in this man, that he could experience all this and not give up?  That despite all the pain and terror and rage, he continues to love and care – he continues to search?  Why didn’t he quit long ago?  He had reason to, he would have even been justified given what he’s experienced.  But he hasn’t given up and he won’t, no matter what happens because… he is magnificent.  He is magnificent.

He doesn’t see that about himself yet because he has been so focused on the darkness within himself.  But the darkness is but a tiny, tiny speck on an infinite canvass of light.

Yes, he is magnificent.  If you look at his life, you can see it quite clearly.  It’s not in what has happened, it’s in how he has courageously responded.  Ever searching, ever willing.

Yes, I know a man.  He is magnificent.  And that man… is you.

You Are Breathtakingly Beautiful

You are breathtakingly beautiful.

Years ago I was in a crisis that was consuming my life.  I had exhausted all the coping mechanisms I knew and none of them were working.  In an attempt to escape my emotions, I went for a very long run, but as quick as I stopped all the emotional and mental pain returned.  I didn’t know what to do so I went inside and sat down on the floor next to my bed.  After a few minutes I remembered that a therapist had suggested that I journal about my feelings so I pulled out some paper and a pen.  But my mind was a complete blank – it was like I was too close to what was happening to me to even write about it.

I sat there for several more minutes fighting back the tears.  I didn’t want to start crying again because it felt like that was all I was doing and it didn’t seem to be helping.  Then something strange happened.  I felt a calmness come over me.  Everything in the room became very still and quiet.  I began to feel a deep sense of peace.  Then I heard something inside my head as clear as a bell.  Although I was stunned, I wrote it down:

You are breathtakingly beautiful.
Yes, you. YOU.

Take a deep breath and know that everything is okay. Everything.
There’s nothing to worry about. Nothing.
It will all work out.
It always does.

It doesn’t matter what you do,
how much you achieve,
who you impress, what you own.
It simply doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that you are loved more than you can possibly begin to imagine.
And that love is real.
Forever.
Without change.
You can depend on it.

Let some of that love in by simply breathing.
With every breath you are experiencing what you are so desperately looking for out there.
That’s not where it exists.

It’s here.
Right now.
Right here.
In you.
YOU.

So stop looking.  🙂

That was the moment my crisis began to shift.  I’d always believed that I could get through anything as long as I knew that I wasn’t alone, but I had no idea that in truth, I was never alone.

–Holly

Believing We Can Create What We Want

When we honestly believe we can create what we want, it makes it much easier to let go of what isn’t working in our life.

What we feed our attention to grows.  When we don’t think we can create what we want, we will often keep trying to fix something that in our heart we know we need to release.  For example, let’s say we’re in a romantic relationship that isn’t working despite our best efforts to change it.  Rather than letting this relationship go and learning whatever we need to learn to create a better one, we often keep struggling and suffering, trying to force something that is never going to happen because deep down we don’t believe we can do any better.

Or perhaps we’re in a dead end job without any possibility of promotion in our company. Rather than getting our resume together and taking whatever steps we need to take to secure a better job, we often keep trying to force the issue, continuing to feel frustrated and perhaps even unappreciated because again, deep down we don’t believe we can do any better.

Not believing we can do any better – not believing we can create what we want – results in continuously feeding our attention to what isn’t working, which makes it grow, along with whatever suffering and misery we’re experiencing with it.  But we can change this at any time, no matter how long it’s been going on or how entrenched or powerless we’ve felt.  Bottom line, we are holding a faulty belief, a faulty belief that is driving our action or inaction. A faulty belief that says that we can’t do any better, that we can’t create what we want.

But beliefs are just opinions held with conviction. They’re not truths with a capital “t” and often they aren’t even ours – they were given to us by the authority figures we had growing up.  This means that we can change what we believe at any time.  It’s in our hands.  It’s our choice and only our choice what we choose to believe now.  So how do we change what we believe?  One very powerful method:

  1. Recognize and own that we’ve been holding a faulty belief. In this case, “I can’t create what I want” or “I can’t do any better”.
  2. Let it be okay that we’ve held this faulty belief – we’re human and we’re here to learn. We’re not supposed to have all the answers. There will be times in our lives, for the rest of our lives, when we’ll do things that aren’t in our best interest and that’s okay. That’s exactly as it should be. Life is about learning, not perfection; perfection has no soul in it.
  3. Choose what we would rather believe. In this case: “I can create what I want” or “I can do better” (whichever we prefer or select them both).
  4. Then think about three past experiences in our life that support this new belief. In this case, remember three times in our life when we wanted something and we created it for ourself or when we “did better”. Detail these experiences, really let them come alive.
  5. Feed this new belief with our attention by 1.) Keeping these three experiences alive by remembering them frequently and owning, “Yes, I did that!” 2.) Writing the new belief on several post its and then placing them wherever we’ll see them frequently. Each time we see our new belief, pause and really feel it, including what’s possible now – feel the inspiration, the happiness, the hope, the enthusiasm.
  6. Begin “acting as if” this new belief is real for us right now. Contemplate: what actions would a person take if they knew that they could create what they wanted? If they knew that they could do better?
  7. Take these actions, beginning with the easiest ones first.

We truly can create what we want.  We truly can do better.  And we’ve already done it many times – everyone has.  We just need to believe that when it comes to the things that aren’t working in our life.  To stop feeding them our attention and instead focus on what we want to create, to focus on how we want to do better.  And we deserve it – we deserve the very best that life has to offer just because we breathe.

–Holly