Giving the Gift of Your True Self

by Debra Landwehr Engle

Years ago, one of my college roommates came to visit. We sat on my back porch to catch up on our lives, and she told me she’d been seeing a therapist about some early childhood issues.

One of the things her therapist told her created a miracle in her mind—a change in perception and a natural occurrence of love.

The therapist’s words were:

“You are a precious jewel. Treat yourself that way, and teach others to treat you that way, too.”

A precious jewel. This was stunning to both of us, since we’d both been divorced and were questioning how lovable we really were. The word “precious” would never have entered our minds. But now, here we were, presented with the radical idea that we had value and were worthy of being treasured.

giving-the-gift-of-your-true-self

When I think back, I realize how easy it is to forget that truth, especially if we’re used to questioning our own worth.

But it IS truth for all of us. No matter what we think of ourselves or what we’ve been through, we are all precious jewels. Children of God. Sparks of the Divine. Worthy of giving and receiving love without question.

Our entire lives depend on remembering this one simple truth. Remembering means living with joy, confidence, generosity and forgiveness.

Forgetting means living with anxiety, fear, scarcity and guilt.

So how can we remember?

Fortunately, there are many ways to support the precious jewel within.

For one woman I know, it means eliminating all negative self-talk. She works in a male-oriented industry and realized that, if she wanted to be free of female bashing from her co-workers, she had to start with her own thoughts about herself.

For another, it means practicing all the basics of good self-care, such as getting enough sleep, doing yoga and eating foods that are vibrant and alive. She also listens to her own intuition about the trajectory of her life rather than letting herself buy into other people’s expectations.

For me, it means periodically unplugging from beliefs that don’t serve me. I do this by asking for my fear-based thoughts to be healed, and by sitting down each morning to listen to my spirit guides.

But I also do a visualization that might be helpful for you, too. Here’s how it goes:

Picture yourself in front of an old-fashioned switchboard—the kind where you’re wearing a headset, manually unplugging and plugging in lines to connect phone calls.

Now imagine that the switchboard has dozens of beliefs that no longer serve you.

For instance, “At my age, I’m going to start having health problems.”

“No matter how hard I work, we never have enough.”

“Life is hard, and I’d better prepare for the worst.”

“Our family never gets along. The holidays are going to be a pain again this year.”

Now see yourself unplugging from those beliefs, literally pulling out the cords. Express thanks for the ways these beliefs have contributed to who you are today, but respectfully let go.

As you do this, know that you are effectively unplugging from your fear-based thoughts. You may feel an energetic shift when you disconnect.

Now see another switchboard with beliefs that you want to plug into and do the process in reverse.

“I don’t live my life like anyone else. I live it like me.”

“My physical body is vital and healthy.”

“I experience the abundant flow of the universe in all areas of my life.”

“I am a precious jewel, and I see the treasure in everyone I meet.”

When you’re finished, write down the beliefs you’ve adopted so you can affirm them every day. Then thank your guides and Spirit for supporting you.

The key is to do this and other spiritual practices daily so you continue to remember the truth, because your life literally depends on it.

Remember that the precious jewel you are is the best gift you can give yourself and the world this holiday season.

So be self-loving. Be merry. And most of all, be light.

Happy holidays!


Debra Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. You can find her on Facebook and at debraengle.com and at her Patheos.com blog “Everyday Miracles.”

Deb Engle's Books

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Is That Your Fear Talking?

Contrary to what you may have been taught, you’re not at the mercy of a dangerous world or your own negative self-talk. In fact, you can change your mind to see yourself—and the world—with a whole new perspective.

The first step is to become aware of thoughts that are based in fear. This takes practice, because they sometimes look and sound different than you might think.

Here are three common fear-based thoughts. When you hear yourself saying these statements to yourself or someone else, you can be sure your fear-based ego is doing the talking.

Is That Your Fear Talking

“What if I make a mistake?”

Just think of all the ways this ego thought impacts you. It could keep you from experiencing the most significant aspects of life: falling in love, having a family, starting a business, booking a trip, buying a house—even something as simple as ordering a menu item you’ve never had before.

If you give your power to this one thought, you can end up completely paralyzed.

The fear of making a mistake may disguise itself in different ways. For instance, it may look like the fear of being judged by others (or yourself).

It could be the fear of looking silly or being ashamed.

Or it could look like conformity to a family code that has always governed your behavior, maybe without your knowing it.

The truth is, we all make “mistakes” and take detours. Sometimes we have to regroup and chart a new course. And sometimes we find ourselves in a delicious new place that we wouldn’t have discovered if we had listened to our fear.

As you go through your day today, become aware any time this fear gets in your way, then ask yourself: “What would my life look like if I weren’t afraid of making a mistake?

What if I disappoint someone?

True story: I married my first husband out of a lot of fear—fear of being alone, of not being able to support myself, and of disappointing him.

This was not a good idea.

“What if I disappoint someone?” can cause chronic unhappiness by making us think we’re being noble or dependable…but at the cost of our own joy. It can mire us in “shoulds” and convince us that everyone else’s feelings are more important than our own.

The ego does this to make itself feel important and indispensable, but the truth is that you’re important and indispensable by being the unique and genuine child of God that you are, not by trying to please everyone around you.

Pay attention through the day and see if some form of “What if I disappoint someone?” shows up in your mind. If so, remember that you have the right to focus on what brings you joy—and do it even if it’s not what others might want or expect.

Remember: This is not a selfish act. In fact, it’s the most generous thing you can do. The more joy you have, the more you have to give

“I feel so guilty.”

There are LOTS of variations on this theme, including regret (“If only I could do it over again”) and beating yourself up over something from the past (“What was I thinking?”).

These feelings and thoughts are part of being human, of course. But mistakes aren’t meant to be lifelong burdens. If you allow your mind to go round and round, revisiting the same guilt feelings or regrets about the past, you’ll completely miss the gifts of life right now.

As you go through the day today, become aware any time your thoughts linger in guilt or regret.

Then ask yourself, “Is there anything I need to apologize for or any amends I need to make?” If so, take at least one step toward doing so today.

Equally important, be open to the idea that you may be carrying guilt over past mistakes that no longer matter to anyone else, or that you’ve long since been forgiven for. Be aware that the primary person who needs to forgive you is you.


Debra Landwehr Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and the forthcoming Let Your Spirit Guides Speak (Hampton Roads, September 2016). She is also a workshop facilitator, and regular blogger at Patheos. She is also a longtime teacher of A Course in Miracles and a widely traveled inspirational speaker. She lives in Des Moines, IA.

Deb Engle's Books

The Only Little Prayer You Need | Let Your Spirit Guides Speak