Protecting Yourself by Liking Yourself

Stepping Into

Stepping Into

I often wonder what pushes us forward in life. What transforms us? What stimulates our movement from an abusive relationship or toxic behaviors (by others or those we lay upon ourselves)?

And I think it begins with one thought inside of us – we begin to like ourselves. We begin to like ourselves enough to say “No” to things that hurt, belittle, injure, or limit us.

This initial liking may be but a small sliver, but it is enough for the magic to begin. It begins to serve as a reference for what will and what will not be allowed in our lives.

And in this liking of ourselves, we establish a sense of value within ourselves. And like anything of value, we begin to understand that we are worth protecting. So we leave harmful situations or if we can not leave, we begin to take measure both big and small to protect our value.

I do this in many ways throughout my life. The jewelry I wear and the colors I wear each day have symbolic meaning to me. No one else needs to know that if I am wearing yellow that I am working on the third chakra and my sense of self.

I also set up animal totems all throughout my home. Until recently, I had been on a reptilian trend (try finding that in a home decorating magazine 🙂 ). If you ever need to call up protective energy in your life, reptiles will show you the way. I also have statues of Kali in a windows facing outwards to protect against negative thoughts and energy.

Energetically, the possibilities are endless in how we may bolster our spirits and protect the energy we encounter. Jewelry, colors, totems, figurines may all speak to us in their unique qay.

Finally this thinking lead to the creation of the little figure up top. It’s supposed to be a hedgehog. I know nothing about hedgehogs, other than they began showing up in my dreams.

I looked up hedgehog symbolism and was confronted with a picture of one and a quote by Martha Graham – “You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”

I was struck by this quote. We are unique and we have something to fulfill- which extends way beyond any limitations and control brought on by others or limitations we put upon ourselves by harmful behaviors and thoughts.

As I read further, hedgehogs are associated with the spanning rays of the sun. (it made me think of my image. I always create first and then learn what the image may symbolize). But the hedgehog is a nocturnal creature.

I liked this image. We often represent much more strength and power then we ever give ourselves credit for. If the tiny little hedgehog can live in the night and still represent the sun in its unique way, then certainly you and I can find it within ourselves to find our own unique representation of life.

“Like yourself” – that is the message I get from all of this. I see a little hedgehog in the image, colorfully displayed, heading with some uncertainty to the overwhelming rays of light. And I would like to say, “You are going to be o.k.”

Well, There goes the Vocabulary… (Why you may not be able to find the words)

Kim's Coat of Arms (if she had one)

Kim’s Coat of Arms (if she had one)

Keep writing. Keep thinking. Keep growing. The words will come. Let them appear on your pallet, even those you feel are “unworthy”. There are only 3 primary colors and yet we end up with a breath-taking spectrum. Even the most simple, basic words can lend themselves to a world of beauty

The blank page is a writer’s pallet. It becomes the place to mix, match and manipulate the colors of writing- the chosen words.

The “right” word for an author has an almost tangible feel to it. It symbolically rolls through the fingertips and rolls off the tongue and mind. Even readers detect when the choice of words are particularly apt. We tend to label this as being “poetic” whether or not the writing appeared in anything even resembling a poem.

But what happens when the words you so seek can not be found?

This happening is not uncommon, but there are times, I believe, in which a very specific reason may exist for you being unable to find the correct words.

I have always liked the image of the chakra system. Chakras are 7 primary energy centers (there are more) in the body, beginning in the pelvic area and ending on the top of the head. Each chakra is associated with a certain energy dynamic.

I believe each chakra in addition to having its own energy also has its own vocabulary. And this is where word selection can fly out the window.

If one is dealing with the 7th chakra, spirituality, it is almost easy to write of the universal sense of love and light. Ditto for the fourth or heart chakra. When you are in that space, love, romance, compassion, rose-tinted glasses leap off the page.

What happens though when you are trying to write and create from a weakened chakra state. Lately, I have been reading many books about emotional abuse. Abuse in any form is a first chakra issue. When you see yourself on the page of a book dealing with emotional abuse, you are knocked for a loop. You begin to feel you do not know or trust your life (first chakra issue).

And this is what can happen, when you try to create from a place of injury or distortion, you will not be able to find the vocabulary to say what you mean.

For example, the first chakra is centered on such basic issues, I find when I think of writing or speaking about this, my vocabulary becomes very basic and black and white. Things are right or they are wrong. I mention the word “fight” a lot, as in “I am fighting for my emotional survival.” The issue of survival creeps onto the page. Things appear with very sharp borders- I can vs. I can not. I will not vs. I will. There are few gray areas and little subtlety in the first chakra. It is either survive or die trying, symbolically.

So I will look at myself and my journal during these times and think “This is horrible. I can’t even express myself clearly.” Of course, I can not. The issues are base in nature and my vocabulary reflects this.

In fact, when one is dealing with abuse and first chakra issues, we need blunt, un-nuanced words. It is very dangerous in such a situation to be taking flights of fancy into the 7th chakra of “Isn’t everything just love and light?”.

It is not only on the written page that this loss of vocabulary may occur. When one is struggling with issues, coming to a new awareness, and trying to express new feelings and thoughts, it can be very, very easy to end up being judged. People will say, “Well, you are not making sense.” or “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

If this happens with verbal or written communication, do not give it a second thought. Do not judge yourself. You are creating a new life and sometimes it takes a little time for a new vocabulary to emerge. So, you may stutter. You may speak or write and say, “Well, that is not exactly what I mean, but I hope you understand what I am saying.”

You may even read your own blog, as I am doing today, and think “Ugh. I am not even sure if I am making sense but I don’t know what else to do.”

You may want to repeat yourself again and again, as you try out new combinations. You may want to have the “same” conversation several times- trying out new words and thoughts.

This is perfectly o.k.! Creating art and writing are continual processes, not puctuated moments.

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