I grew up with a lot of misperceptions and beliefs that were more damaging than useful. I thought I was being raised to believe that I was never supposed to question anything, and that I was to believe absolutely everything I was told. It became an enduring habit. I became a people-pleaser, and it stunted my personal growth. I was very black and white. Extremism was common in my mind and in my life. It was very limiting and caused me not to grow, to continuously judge and criticize myself and others, and to constantly compare my strengths to the perceived weaknesses of others in order to feed my starving ego. Anytime I tried to step out of this box I was shamed and guilted into submission, (ironically by myself and my own beliefs and perceptions of what I thought others wanted from me,) until it became a habitual way of thinking, speaking, and living. It worked well for me until I moved away from home and into the real world. At that point, it was no longer useful, and eventually, I needed to learn new beliefs and new ways of operating in the world.
I LEARNED IT IS HEPFUL TO LEARN TO BE RESPECTFULLY DEFIANT!
It is helpful NOT to believe everything we are told, and NOT to believe everything we think.
It is incredibly beneficial for us to learn to practice questioning everything. We will wonder in awe at the growth this brings, and the things learned and experienced because of it.
It is a useful practice to continuously expose ourselves to new experiences. When we go on adventures and consistently choose to have the greatest experiences available to us, growth and expansion are the natural result.
“KEEP WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND DISCARD THE REST.”
We can choose, AT ANY TIME, to no longer remain in personal, chosen ignorance. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is pain. Instead, we can choose to learn all we can about everything! We can practice taking it all in and experiencing all of it. Experimentation is an excellent teacher. This is one way we live life to the fullest.
I have found it useful to experiment with EVERYTHING, and to choose to keep what works for me.
We can choose to create a beautiful life of color and joy, or continue to live in a black and white world, with a grey, abysmal, limited existence.
Sometimes, within our perceived weaknesses, we discover our greatest strengths. I used to get so frustrated with my middle son, Drake. He would question everything. He was incredibly persistent and asked, what I thought, were far too many questions. I used to become agitated and tried to manipulate and control him into silence with my anger. I’m so grateful he never allowed me to squash his defiant spirit. It has become an incredible and beneficial strength for him, and has taught me to think differently about being respectfully defiant.
We can learn to be empathetic, accepting, forgiving, and generous. We can become better and better at choosing kindness and love over bitterness and hatred. We can learn to make friends with everyone possible, remembering that everyone has something to teach us.
Today’s challenge to myself: Today I will be, love, appreciate, and accept myself. I will remember I am perfect the way I am, right now. I will remember that I am a work in progress, and that I always will be, and as I continue to learn how to and practice just being, I will be more fully accessing the greatness within. I will not judge myself so harshly, and I will quiet the unkind voice in my mind during the process. Today I will choose to be respectfully, beautifully, and unapologetically defiant. I will live a life of color, choosing to no longer be so black and white.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our realities.