The Illusion of the Offended
By Lori Lines
In today’s mass media culture, we are often flooded by a current of opinions, reflections, and perspectives. Go on any social media platform right now, and your feed will be awash with the statuses of celebrities, politicians, friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances far removed, like your brother’s high school girlfriend or someone in your spouse’s softball league; Do you genuinely need their political opinion?
Many, if not most, of these opinions or responses could be left unsaid. Still, once they are presented to the masses, they will surely offend someone. And, inevitably, someone’s offense will offend someone else. Then, the original poster may apologize, and either someone will find an issue with the tone of the apology or the motivation to apologize in the first place.
Don’t Take it Personally
People tend to take it personally when they see or hear something offensive. People will say, “that is offensive!” But what they feel is, “you have offended me!” They confuse their personal feelings with the feeling of being personally targeted. When the truth is, it is rarely personal.
We’ve begun with social media as an example—such as the off-the-cuff quip about a foolish politician. It is easier, at least for some, to take a step back and realize that despite feeling personally offended, the comment was not personal. Yet, what of the family member who reacts to your disinterest in having children by saying, “no family is complete without kids,” or the co-worker who assumes that “you don’t mind filling in for me because it’s not like anyone needs you”? These instances could be a little harder to distance oneself from. However, the family member may be unconsciously voicing their desire for children. Or the co-worker could be envisioning what it would be like if they had no children.
Be the Observer
To see things as they are, as opposed to how your ego, trauma, or conditioning has framed them, is to question the underlying intention of the offensive behavior, speech, or situation. Depending on your approach, it can be a fascinating exploration, like reflecting on a piece of artwork; Why did the artist use that color, put the brush stroke there, or paint that person or object? In other words, why did that person say those words, use that tone, choose that action, or express those emotions? When you look at an “offense” as something outside of yourself, it is easier to observe it objectively and create distance from it emotionally.
When observing the offense instead of internalizing it, you can see beyond the ego mask and witness someone’s wounds and trauma. Take, for instance, the friend that has nothing good to say about your partner, “you shouldn’t trust him,” “he isn’t good for you,” or “he’s going to let you down”; instead of being offended, imagine how she must have been let down by her partners or possibly family or friends, that would cause her to say such disheartening things. With enough consciousness and willingness, you will soon see how offensive behaviors and comments often call for a generous dose of love and compassion!
Rise Above or Go Under
People who cannot override their trauma, ego, or conditioning remain easily offended. When we are easily offended, we get stuck in a vicious cycle of offense after offense until we program ourselves to seek reasons to be offended. Moving through life in a perpetual state of frustration, anger, hurt, disappointment, and angst won’t make unpleasant people, offensive words, or rude behavior any less likely or less objectionable; It will only lower your vibration, pollute your thoughts, and destabilize your emotions.
Worse still, people who get stuck in the victim stance end up forfeiting their power and sovereign authority. They identify as victims and view themselves as vulnerable, helpless, and doomed. So, what is the solution? The only way out of this cycle is to look within.
Never Stop Questioning
An impersonal perspective towards being offended helps us see that these offenses are where wounds are, whether they belong to the “offender” or the “offended.” When we witness the pain of others, we can cast the light of love and compassion on them. When we acknowledge our own trauma, we must reclaim our power and accountability. The first step is to ask what is being revealed, what needs to be recognized, and what requires healing.
To question creates possibility; to remain offended is limiting, pulling down your mood, vibration, and perspective until you are trapped in a prison of your own creation. You instantly lift your temperament, raise your vibration, and gain a higher, more objective perspective when you are willing to ask the right questions. Such as how I can show this person or myself more love, embrace forgiveness, and find the acceptance to move on.
The Most Important Questions
Ask yourself what this world would look like if nothing offended anyone. People who were intentionally distasteful or rude would get no response to fuel their behavior and instead be forced to examine their actions. Everyone else would enjoy a world of conscious thought, healing discourse, harmony, and compassion.
Of course, each of us must do our part to create a world of love, unity, and peace. It begins the next time you feel offended; ask yourself a crucial question, how can you make the world a better place by choosing to see the world as a better place?
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
Are you an Empath?
Pick up on other people’s moods and emotions? Whether you can observe the slightest change in their disposition or get the sense that you absorb their emotional state and take it on as your own.
Lose yourself in your relationship with someone else? This may be by trying to “heal” or take care of them, appease them, or “strengthen” the bond your share.
Experience sudden shifts of emotion or panic when you are in public? Such as window shopping with friends in a mall and suddenly experiencing a dizzying urge to run as far away as possible.
Get told that you really “get” people or have a profoundly comforting energy? You may be the one everyone turns to for advice or the shoulder everyone cries on.
Suffer physical or emotional sympathy pains for loved ones and strangers alike? For example, experiencing painful jabs watching violence on tv or shedding a tear at a loved one’s sadness.
Get strong hunches or vibes about people? You may know immediately if someone is lying, genuine, or afraid. Or have you experienced an instant distaste or affection for someone you just met?
Feel love for people or pets so deeply it hurts? Perhaps you have felt love for someone or something that you think can’t be contained in your heart and experienced the ache of its expansiveness.
Have the urge to help and heal every person and animal in need? Perhaps, you get overwhelmed that you can’t do more or by the healing mission you feel you have received.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, if you answered yes to most or all these points, you are very likely an empath!
What is an Empath?
Surely, you have heard the term empath before, especially if you are one. However, much like “energy,” “grounding,” or “manifestation,” empath has become a term that is widely used but not always well understood. A derivative of empathy, being an empath is often viewed very favorably, like a superpower. However, when the term was coined, it was synonymous with being an “emotional sponge,” hinting at the many pitfalls of being an empath.
Empathic abilities can result from, and contribute to, a porous energy field. So, while it can be viewed as the gift of emotional intuition, helping empaths navigate and heal, in some cases, the world, it can also create a self-perpetuating cycle of poor energetic and relational boundaries, leaving empaths vulnerable to the people they often so desperately want to comfort and heal.
Empaths have a gift; It is the gift of reading people and their emotions to intuitively understand others’ intentions, strengths, and weaknesses. This enables them to navigate the world with an inner knowing that can be used to their benefit. They can also identify the wounded and vulnerable, providing comfort and love as the empath feels called.
Do you know who else has an intuitive understanding of others’ intentions, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses, enabling them to navigate the world with an inner knowing that can be used to their own benefit? Narcissists! They can also identify the wounded and vulnerable, but with disparate results.
What Is a Narcissist?
We’ve all encountered or perhaps gotten up close and personal with a narcissist by dating, being related to, or possibly working with them. Narcissists can be identified by:
Their over-inflated sense of importance. Such as the aunt who is “exhausted” from doing “everything” for the family during the holidays but wouldn’t have it any other way. Or the friend who monopolizes the conversation every Brunch Sunday.
A sense of entitlement. Like, the co-worker who feels childless people should give them their sick days or the parent who feels you should drop everything because they need you “now.”
The belief that the rules don’t apply to them. For example, the arrogant jerk at the grocery store who thinks he can just cut in the line.
An obsession with envy and admiration. These are the people that think everyone is jealous of them and want to be like them. For instance, the social media addict who obsesses over followers, “stalkers,” likes, “haters,” and “wannabes.”
Their preoccupation with success, influence, youth, beauty, and adoration. These people fight aging tooth and nail, put on airs about their financial success and power, and often act very out of touch with the “everyman.”
Their lack of compassion, empathy, and genuine connections. This is often due to exploiting people and having shallow, self-centered conversations. These people tend to explain their lack of meaningful relationships by emphasizing their high status or distinction because they are only understood by a select and chosen few.
The benefits of moving through the world from the narcissistic perspective are that they always prioritize and meet their own needs, never shrink from the spotlight because they feel lesser than others, and don’t relegate themselves to the masses. They make their own way!
Two Sides of the Same Coin
We may think it is easy to point out and separate narcissists from empaths. However, it is not so clear-cut. Being empathic, like being narcissistic, exists on a spectrum. We can all be somewhat selfish at times and empathetic at others. What’s more, sometimes being an empath is a matter of unhealthy coping, such as a trauma response, and being narcissistic is a matter of healthy coping, such as eschewing social norms for individual freedom and happiness. There is no clear villain and victim, villain and victor, or victim and victor. The unenlightened empath and the unenlightened narcissist form a toxic cycle in which they both exploit and enable. Take this scenario, for example:
In this scenario, who is exploiting whom? The truth is that they are both exploiting each other and harming themselves by feeding into this vicious cycle propelled by triggers and trauma responses.
The Power Lies Within
The solution? Stop giving power away to others! When giving away the power to heal or wound, we immediately feed into a cycle of victim and abuser or used and user. In this context, there is no differentiation between “empath” and “narcissist.” Both individuals have unconsciously voided all boundaries of personhood and accountability.
We all have the potential to abuse or be abused, no matter what end of the spectrum we are on. The only way to eliminate the potential for abuse is to become aware and make conscious personal choices. We cannot force anyone to change; we can only choose to strengthen our integrity and manifest our intentions, no one else’s. Ultimately, when we awaken to find ourselves in the role of either the abuser or abused, the only place to look is within.
Two Sides of the Mirror
Whether the empath or the narcissist seeks to heal and end exploitation, the only reason to look to the other is to see what is being reflected back. What does the empath see in the narcissist that feeds their need to sacrifice and submit? What does the narcissist see in the empath that triggers them to demand and deplete? And, above all, how can they nourish or silence this deep-seated hunger, finding stillness, healing, and wholeness from within?
Asking what inner work remains to be done, shadows remain uncovered, and needs remain un-self-fulfilled should always be the primary focus! To the empath, the narcissist is the mirror, and to the narcissist, the empath is the mirror; The mirror reflects how they need to acknowledge their trauma, accept accountability, and awaken to their power to shape their destiny. Is it time to take a long hard look in the mirror?
In Love and Truth,
The In-Between Times
By Lori Lines
Moving through life can feel a lot like traveling in a car. Stressful times are like traffic, hectic yet inert – a lot is going on, but not a lot of progress is being made. Sometimes, we tool around as we would doing errands, from one minor milestone to another - working, socializing, a little growth here, a lesson or two there. There are long drives, through scenic landscapes, like the journey from high school to university or dating to marriage. Then, there are drives along an endless grey landscape of highways and byways, infinite twists and turns with no end in sight, leaving you feeling lost and directionless. These are life’s “in-between times.”
Different Shades of Grey
The in-between times are often neither light nor dark but rather grey. The absence of anything definitively positive or truly negative is its own kind of loss. It is the discomfort of numbness, like the pressure you feel when a limb falls asleep. It is the pain of feeling hollow, unalive, and unseen.
It has a gradual onset. As you go about your day-to-day, life starts to lose its color; as the saturation slowly drains, everything fades to grey. Confusion begins to set in as one day runs into the next, with nothing to differentiate it. You ask yourself if every day is the same, where are you going, and how are you supposed to get there? Frustration will begin to build, giving way to anger. Soon, the dull ache of the grey becomes a crushing weight.
The Shadow of Great Opportunity
We’ve all seen it, and many of us have experienced it. A life not fully lived becomes a heavy burden. People begin to feel like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain every day for eternity, never getting ahead. Often to help deaden the pain, people distract themselves with shopping, drinking, serial dating, and eating. This often results in chronic feelings of anxiety and depression.
The remedy? Knowing that the in-between times are just that, a state of transition between what was and what will be. It is not some Divinely ordained punishment, the result of a past misstep, or an erroneous twist of fate. This is not oppression; this is opportunity! You are breaking away from what was. The stillness is creating space for what will be. Even though you feel your foundation is crumbling, it is actually the stirring of a fertile new path.
Chaos Vs. Cataclysmic Change
Change is hard; it takes hard work, persistence, and patience. Change can happen so slowly that you question if any progress is even being made. Change means saying no when you could say, “whatever, why not.” Change can also be cataclysmic, requiring tenacity and grit. It can happen so quickly that you question how it happened at all, and it can mean saying yes when you could say, “why should I?” Throughout change, we learn, we fail, learn some more, grow, release, cling, accept, and surrender.
On the other hand,
Now ask yourself, are the in-between times made of chaos or cataclysmic change?
Trusting the Process
But how can you really be sure that what you are going through is progressive and not chaos to deleterious effect? You can’t. You can never be sure unless you put one foot in front of the other, gathering understanding and wisdom and leaving behind unserving energies and emotional baggage as you go. You’ll never know unless you are willing to trust the process. Still…chances are, if you are ready to take the trust and fall into the embrace of the universe, you will be caught in a net of purpose and possibility on the way down while a new existence is being rebuilt around and within you.
The Importance of Surrender
Once you can surrender to the process and let go of what was, you can witness the miraculous take place in your life! You will find alignment with your new personhood, reality, and existence, taking each step as it is made known to you. There will be no need to rush; putting one foot in front of the other along this path of rebirth and discovery will be a pleasure in itself as you revel in the purpose and potential that is revealed to you.
And really, that is all it takes to arrive at your destination; whatever you and the Divine have co-created it to be – you’ll get there. Whether you realize it at the time or not, every delay, rush, loss, gain, pain, triumph, misunderstanding, or lesson you experience during the in-between times prepares you for the ultimate destination, enlightenment!
In love and truth,
When Shadow Comes to Light
By Lori Lines
What is shadow work, and how do you do it?
Therapists, coaches, influencers, and daytime tv hosts – everyone is talking about shadow work. It can be a buzzword to get likes, presume sagacity, or establish a pseudo-guru status. However, shadow work is more than a hashtag; it is a profound tool for meaningful healing, trauma recovery, relationship rehab, and self-actualization.
Fundamentally, shadow work is a healing journey of personal reclamation and soulful integration. It is the recovery of lost parts of the self that have fallen into the obscurity of the unconscious – the shadow self.
Meeting The Shadow Self
Id, Ego, Superego, Inner Child, Higher Self, Lower Self, Mask Self, Conscious Mind, Unconscious Mind, Subconscious Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Shadow Self…
There are many aspects and labels for states of being and aspects of personhood. The shadow self relates to all aspects of the self that do not respond to the ego ideal and become unconscious with time. Despite the ego and shadow, conscious and unconscious, or shadow and light becoming disjointed, they are still part of the same soul, resulting in dis-ease from a fractured spirit. This is painful because it is not a natural state!
Each lifetime we arrive as an integrated soul, ready to learn, grow, and enlighten. Yet, over time and across interactions, we are conditioned to view certain aspects of ourselves as unacceptable and unlovable. These internalized beliefs, often established by what triggers the shadows of others, such as parents, define the shadows self. We refuse to acknowledge and accept these shadows as a defense mechanism to avoid dissonance resulting from shame, guilt, and self-loathing.
The Darkest Shadow
It is important to remember that the shadow self isn’t bad; we are only conditioned to believe it is “bad.” There may be gifts and talents repressed by the shadow self because we were mocked or punished for them, like the creative mind of a daydreamer or a little boy’s love of dance. What is actually “bad” are the harmful effects of denying who we genuinely are. Self-denial leads to disconnection from the higher self, Source, the destiny they co-created, and the path of enlightenment it leads to.
As a result of this unnatural, disconnected state of being, intrapersonal issues arise, such as
Emotional Triggers such as anxiety, depression, anger
Emptiness and lack of personal fulfillment
Lack of life purpose
Self-harm, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, overworking, etc.
The harmful effects do not happen in a vacuum, extending beyond our inner being into our interpersonal experience. These challenges include
Toxic relationship patterns – domestic violence, infidelity
Jealousy and envy
Being overcritical due to projection
Alienation and loneliness
Unhealthy or lack of boundaries – co-dependence, defensiveness
Ultimately, we can’t be or give our best, or even better, selves if we cannot first be our whole selves.
Coming to the Light
Shadow work isn’t all love and light, nor doom and gloom. Recovering “unlovable” parts of who you are can be painful, jarring, and disorienting, but it is also profoundly freeing, healing, and empowering. It doesn’t take years and years of probing deep within the depths of your soul to experience the transformative power. Some people successfully embark on and accomplish a solitary journey of soul retrieval. Because shadow work can be facilitated by practices that override the conscious mind, like hypnotherapy, art therapy, and shamanic healing, some people seek therapists, counselors, or Shamans. But shadow work doesn’t take degrees, certifications, crystals, herbs, or leatherbound journals.
Shadow work requires an open awareness of what has been hidden and a willingness to welcome it into the light. You neither forsake the light nor eradicate the shadow. There may always be aspects of yourself you are uncomfortable sharing or acknowledging, just as there will be aspects you want to put front and center. The goal of integration is awareness, acceptance, and allowing- awareness of both your shadow and light, accepting them both equally, and allowing the authentic experience of both.
The Shadow is the Greatest Teacher
There are many paths along the shadow work journey. It is your soul; therefore, you know best how to retrieve the aspects that make it whole. Still, the following past-present-future perspective should offer some illuminating guidance for every step of your journey.
Review – Take an inventory of your life thus far; journal prompts can be very helpful in this respect. Examine your childhood, relationship history, personal accomplishments, and regrets. As you do inventory, take note of any recurring themes and patterns.
Accept – Understand that you may experience some discomforting revelations and recover painful memories. Accept that what is done cannot be changed, but by acknowledging it, you can change your future!
Observe –Practice being the watchful observer, taking a non-judgmental, unemotional look at your reactions and responses. Pay particular attention to your emotional triggers. Remember, not all triggers flare immediately. A midday occurrence in the office may come to a head in the evening during an interaction with a spouse.
Question – Once you have gained insight as the watchful observer, identify any patterns that arise. Question the who, what, when, and why surrounding an emotional trigger. Next, explore where; At what point in my life did this trigger start? Finally, how does this connect to my shadow?
Allow – Integrating the conscious self with the unconscious self is a process. All aspects of the shadow won’t reveal themselves at once, nor does unlearning conditioning happen overnight. Change and healing are not linear; trust that your shadow will reveal itself at a pace that honors your greatest good and highest purpose. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Honor – You may not love or even like all you discover as your awareness expands. No matter what you face, try to honor your shadow self, even if you aren’t ready to embrace it. Shadow work is a journey of awareness. The more awareness you gain, the more fully embodied you are as a conscious being sovereign over your personhood and path. Only in your fullness and with agency and authority can you live your destiny and follow your fate – your authentic and unique path to ascension and the brilliance of enlightenment.
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
Despite what we thought after our first childhood or teenage experience with unrequited love, rejection won’t kill you! Yes, the blend of shame, self-loathing, loss, and alienation can make rejection extremely painful, but the only thing that may die as a result is the ego’s comparative compulsions. We’ve all been rejected in our lives, and we have lived to tell the harrowing tale- but does rejection always have to be so painful, profound, or personal?
The Truth is a Double-Edged Sword
You see, rejection is a double-edged sword. It is manifested interpersonally (between two people) but is often an intrapersonal (within oneself) expression and experience. This double-edged sword is usually wielded by those who are triggered by ego comparison, but they are blindly swinging with no personal vendetta.
For example, the “mean girl” who gets laughed at for her reading skills and, in turn, won’t let the student with straight A’s sit with the group at lunch. Or the colleague who is used to being the boss’s “go-to-guy” and starts belittling the new employee who has also garnered the boss’s favor. In these cases, the people whose egos are threatened don’t have interpersonal issues with those they reject; they are indiscriminately lashing out at the discomforting ego comparison.
How is rejection a double-edged sword? When we are on the receiving end of its blade, it can cut to the core of an ego wound, and when we are brave enough to examine this wound, we can genuinely heal, gaining self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-worth. For example, the student who, at their parent’s urging, applies and is rejected by all the schools they reached out to discovers their true passion is culinary arts. Or the man seeking love who is in a depressing cycle of romantic rejection and finally realizes he is not ready for love until he heals his codependent tendencies.
Power is the Ability to Achieve Purpose
The truth is that rejection isn’t all bad; it can also be rather beautiful, purposeful, and powerful when you think about it. Sometimes rejection is a Divine gift of protection or postponement for something better. For example, the woman who desperately wants the man she is casually dating to commit. But Spirit has other plans, and instead, he rejects her. She is heartbroken over the abandonment. What she doesn’t realize is that he is a narcissist who would have emotionally abused her, but Spirit wouldn’t allow it; this woman’s destiny is to meet her soulmate six months later…
Rejection may also be a Divine intervention to steer us towards our greatest good and highest purpose- the ultimate path of ascension. Imagine a new graduate getting rejected for all the teaching jobs in his area. So, he journeys abroad and takes a teaching job in China. He learns about Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reiki, and QI Jong in his spare time and discovers his purpose as a holistic energy healer. Sometimes the slammed door of rejection is a necessary redirection!
Just as we must learn to accept our own rejection, we must be willing to reject others when circumstances call for it. Many people struggle with dispensing rejection because of their experience and emotions towards receiving it. When we view being rejected as personal, it can trigger thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, shame, abandonment, loneliness, inferiority, and ridicule. This makes it difficult for someone, with any modicum of compassion, to dole this pain out to anyone else- understandably!
However, when we understand that rejection is intrapersonal and rarely interpersonal, malicious, or targeted, we can use rejection as a healing tool, enabling us to protect ourselves and our boundaries. What’s more, when we are comfortable rejecting who and what is not meant for us, doesn’t, or no longer serve our purpose, we are better able to accept and move on after being rebuffed, allowing us to process, learn, and progress quicker and with greater ease.
Rejection is Divine Redirection
In all these ways, rejection can be a powerful and painless tool for
Ending Ego Comparisons
Depending on your point of view, rejection can become a key to unlocking a better you, a better path, and a better future. What changes it from a weapon into a key? Quite simply, how you perceive it. How you feel about rejection plays an influential role regarding how much you can benefit from it, whether on the giving or receiving end.
A willingness to see rejection for what it truly is, be it a lesson, opportunity, Divine protection, or emotional intervention, can create opportunities for growth, empowerment, evolution, and abundance.
Often, when rejection closes a door, it is because it no longer leads anywhere; honor rejection as a doorway to the path of enlightenment and ascension!
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
The Power of Words
Think back to a time when someone gave you heartfelt praise, “great job,” “impressive,” or “way to go”! Were you filled with pride, a sense of appreciation, or the satisfaction of accomplishment? Alternatively, can you remember when someone diminished your efforts or harshly criticized you? “I’m disappointed in you?” “Is that the best you could’ve done?” What emotions did that stir within you? How did it make you feel?
Words can hurt, or they can heal. Some wield words as weapons striking out to cause injury. Others carelessly toss words around, unconsciously letting them fall where they may. And there are those sacred moments when we use our words like a soothing balm to comfort the pain of others. Words have power. Yet like a sword, they cut both ways.
“Main Character Energy”
A new term for an old mindset, main character energy, can refer to someone who sees themselves as the main character across circumstances, with others playing supporting roles. This type of worldview is dangerous because things can become deeply personal! A neighbor not saying hello, leads to a whirlwind of theories about how we have offended them. A warm moment between coworkers becomes fodder for a passionate attraction they supposedly feel for us. And an offhanded remark or inconsiderate putdown becomes a profound affront to us, shaking the foundation of our self-esteem.
The reason for someone’s words may be a poor night’s sleep, the fact that you remind them of a selfish ex or demanding parent, or they may not even have intended it the way you perceived it. They may have a blunt way of communicating, or something may have been lost in translation due to text or email. It often has very little to do with us when someone says something offensive… or does it?
Seeing Things as We Are
Anaïs Nin once said, “we don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.” And that is why despite the words of others often having very little to do with us, our perception and response ultimately have everything to do with us. Therefore, it is essential to recognize when we feel offended so that we can identify our triggers, mitigate our defensiveness, and use the moment to awaken instead of agonize.
We might feel shameful, sorrowful, or fearful when we are offended. Some people become indignant, full of rage, or vengeful. These are all defense mechanisms the ego-self employs to protect itself from being wounded or triggered. And fundamentally, defense mechanisms are a means of rejecting and denying something that may or may not be true but, nevertheless, disrupts our sense of self and worth. So, be mindful when you feel yourself shutting down or lashing out!
Your Trigger, Your Responsibility
Once we can recognize when we are offended, we soon discover that when someone’s words are offensive, it is often because they poked around an old unhealed wound. It is essential to identify these triggers to strengthen ourselves against future pain and offense and heal past traumas and emotional blockages.
Some questions to ask once you have recognized that you are offended are…
When have I experienced this before?
Who or what do these feelings remind me of?
How did it make me feel then?
How does this trigger me to feel now?
How does this contradict how I perceive myself?
How does this affirm how I perceive myself?
Of course, these questions are just the beginning of learning to acknowledge, find the root of, accept, and heal triggers. Remember, a trigger isn’t a “bad” or shameful thing; it can be a powerful tool for self-exploration and personal growth!
Toxic or Tactful Defensiveness?
Just as triggers aren’t all “bad,” vulnerability isn’t all good. We are often encouraged to be receptive and open-hearted; Genuine has become synonymous with wearing our hearts on our sleeves. However, this, like most extremes, is not healthy. To swing too far on the spectrum, being totally “open” leaves us defenseless against those who would do us harm, destabilize our self-wroth, and compromise our sense of self. Too far in the opposite direction, we would be narrow-minded, emotionally detached, unable, and unwilling to change.
Ultimately, it is the difference between a blockage and a boundary. Boundaries are a matter of self-worth. Blockages stem from self-doubt. Toxic defensiveness is a cage, limiting our growth and keeping away everyone and everything that would challenge our limiting beliefs or lead to change. Tactful defensiveness creates a healthy boundary between you, others, and their opinion. It allows you to define who you are while adapting to who you are becoming.
How to Not Take Things Personally
Taking things personally can significantly impede our self-esteem, ability to communicate with others, and journey to enlightenment. How much more evolved would we all be if we took things a little less personally and chose to be responsive instead of reactive? Learning to do so is a practice; Each day, it is a moment-to-moment choice to move through life consciously, mindful of the grey areas between our perception, reality, and the perception of others. Practicing a CALM approach to life, you will soon discover the freedom of not taking things personally!
Confidence - Create a self-care routine and spiritual practice that nourishes self-worth and personal conviction.
Accountability – Non-judgementally, hold yourself accountable for your perceptions, reactions, growth, and healing.
Learn – Take a step back and explore what the “offense” has triggered for you and why. Be willing to learn more about what you need to heal.
Move On – Acceptance is a big part of the journey. Even if someone intended to harm you, accept that you cannot control others, only your response; Know when it is time to let go and move on.
In love and truth,
By Lori Lines
Think of the last time you selflessly gave of your time or resources. It could be helping a co-worker finish an overdue project, gifting a neighbor or friend, or taking time to plan an extra special evening for your partner. It felt good, didn’t it? When you do things for others, it boosts your self-esteem. You feel accomplished and perhaps skilled, and you reinforce your belief that you are ultimately a “good” person.
Kind acts boost self-esteem, which fluctuates, at times becoming very low and others soaring very high. Self-esteem is based on personal evaluations and, for some, comparisons to others. Like the ego-self, self-esteem is often fueled by how you feel you measure up to others. So, when we give to others, we feel good, in part because we feel someone else in our shoes may not do the same.
Constantly needing to reaffirm their virtue as a “good” person, some people give to a fault, neglecting their own needs and desires. People who do this often have poor boundaries and act from a place of trauma or heartache. Whether they were abandoned, betrayed, abused, or otherwise led to believe they were a “bad” person, they give to ease the ache of the wounds within them. Yet, due to the impermanent nature of self-esteem, they must give incessantly to try to keep a pervasive and painful lack of self-worth repressed.
That is an important distinction to make; self-esteem is not self-worth! Self-esteem is based on doing and feeling. Self-worth is based on being. It is unwavering and untouched by your latest loss or most recent gain. This more profound personal estimation is based on your intrinsic worth as a part of the delicately interwoven universal network and the collective unconscious. When you have self-worth, you innately know you are enough based solely on the unique role only you can play in unfolding the divine plan. Keeping this divine plan in mind is essential to understand how people who incessantly take compromise their own self-worth.
It feels great when people make time for you, going out of their way or taking from their resources to make your day easier or your life better. It tells you that you are a “good” person, and because you must somehow merit this behavior, you are a virtuous person. But, just like the flip side of the coin, due to the unstable nature of self-esteem, you’ll need to keep taking to maintain the sense of worthiness you gain. This ultimately damages your self-worth by negating your unique contribution to the divinely orchestrated plan.
Each of us must follow our own path, gaining wisdom, building gifts, and becoming realigned with our authentic selves. When you give or take beyond measure or boundary, it damages self-worth by diverting you from your true purpose of learning, growing, and self-actualizing. The road to enlightenment necessitates dignity built on self-reliance and self-respect. This dignity will remind you of the irrefutable truth that you are inherently deserving of the hope, happiness, and unconditional love the ascension will bring and serve as a guiding light along your spiritual journey.
In love and truth,
Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.