What Message Do You Want People to Know, Believe, or Feel About Themselves?

There is an old adage that says, ‘hurt people hurt people’. We’ve all experienced the truth of this message. Probably as both the giver and receiver at different points.

It’s also true that seen people see people. Supported people support people. Loved people love people. And as people, we get to choose the kind of world we want to create. Do we want to contribute to a world of hurt? Or start building a world of compassion, support, and love?

It might seem like a very simplistic way of seeing things. I know it’s not black and white. But I also believe that if we’re going to create a better world, we’ve got to engage in it with a self-aware naivety. The kind that gives us a chance of doing a bit better.

In the penultimate part of Serenity in the Trenches we are exploring the messages people wish others knew, believed, or felt about themselves. As a way to subvert the general message that underpins a lot of our modern world – that we are not enough, we are broken, and others are out to get what we wish we could have.

Hurt people hurt people. Fear breeds fear. Hate begets hate.

Message in a Bottle

Opening Doors

What message do you want people to feel, know, or believe?

This is a question that holds so many interesting keys to doors we tend to keep locked. I absolutely loved hearing the responses to it because they are full of grace, hope, and compassion. And yet, so often these things are missing in the way we interact with others, and within ourselves.

The world will only change if we allow ourselves to be changed. We can’t expect peace ‘out there’ if we’re fighting a constant war in our minds. This is a war that stems from beliefs about ourselves, about our value, our worth, and our place in the world. We are encouraged to fight for significance and belonging. And we forget to remember that belonging happens when we let go of the drive to control everything, destroy other people, and prove ourselves.

‘You are enough’

Let that message sink into the depths of your being. You are enough.

“Do you really feel like you’re enough or do you feel like there’s something missing and you’re on a frantic search to find it? And sometimes the search isn’t even that frantic. It’s more subtle. A sense there’s something missing.

Like there’s a hole in the soul. Then we go out and try to fill that hole with externals. These usually look something like people’s approval, accomplishment, status. What kind of car do I drive? What kind of house do I live in? Or how do I look?” – Carina Nickerson

What would it mean to be enough? As you are. Where you are. With what you have.

As we close out another decade, this is the message to carry forward into the New Year. To put an end to our endless pursuit of more. It will bring inner peace to ourselves, and inject grace into our relationships with one another. Living a life of ‘enough’ lies at the heart of our ability to survive on this planet as a species.

It doesn’t mean going without. You don’t need to reject ambition, growth, or hope for change. But it’s a complete transformation of the relationship you have with those externals. Removing the power of anything outside of yourself to provide justification for your innate value as a human.

When we start living from a place of ‘enough’, we find the freedom and clarity to know what truly matters…and what truly doesn’t matter (hint, it’s all that stuff we pursue with the belief it will ‘complete’ us…)

You ARE Complete

Have you ever searched for a person or thing to ‘complete’ you? This drives us on an insatiable pursuit of imperfect things, believing that they hold the secret to us become ‘whole’. Embrace instead, the truth that you are complete in your incompleteness. You are whole in your hole-iness. No person, object, or experience will bring you to that magical (and non-existing) destination of completion.

Happiness Is NOT The Goal

Happiness is a fleeting emotional experience. It’s not a state of being. Like pleasure, it doesn’t outlast its existence. And requires a backdrop of non-happiness in order to carry any weight. Again we search in all the wrong places for happiness. Placing unfair expectations on experiences, holidays, and people, to ‘make us happy’. And when they fail, we blame them, and search for a better alternative.

What if we rejected the pursuit of happiness? How much more joyful would our lives be?

You Have Some Seriously Strong and Gentle Power

“Our minds shape every experience, every interaction, every choice, every relationship we’ll ever have. They shape our communities and the planet itself, and yet we run them mostly on autopilot and quickly get stuck in very limiting, blinkered and often damaging, painful ways of seeing and behaving. And our minds simply aren’t as reliable or as helpful as we think they are – there’s a lot going on in there which needs looking at and challenging, gently, skilfully and kindly, but none of us are really taught how to do that well.” – Josie George

There is an ever growing pool of research indicating that the ‘logical’ part of our brain is not as trustworthy as it appears. Learning how to listen to the thoughts, and understand what we mean when we talk about the ‘self’, will change so much of our reality – both for us as individuals, and as a collective.

I hope that some of the messages in this episode land with you at the right time. Especially during this time of year when there can be strains on relationships and energy levels.

Watch it on YouTube:

Over to You

I’d love to hear your own response to this question. If you could share just one message, what would you want people to know, believe, or feel about themselves? Share your response in the comments below, or send me an email.

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