Lightbulb Moments

August 22nd, 2013

“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.”

– Nathaniel Branden

I describe lightbulb moments as those where we see, hear or experience something that causes us to pause-  and see things from an entirely different perspective as though “AH HA!- a light bulb went off in your head.”   Oprah calls them Ah-Ha moments, and regardless of the label you give them-  they are little gifts of education if we are open to see them as such.

The aforementioned quotation is one that ‘appeared’ in my inbox this morning.    To know me is to know that I am a huge fan of quotations, especially those that resonate within me and the journey of life that I am on to be my best possible self.

We each have our own journey in life- and what may be right for me, may not be right for you.  I respect that.

This quote-  not only made me pause, but stop dead in my tracks.   I read it not once, not twice, but four times to let it really absorb into the grey matter and resonate with what those words meant to me.

Once I did that- I paused again and I took a look at a situations where boundaries haven’t been respected, lies have been told, kindness was not extended and it ALL fell into place.

Don’t get me wrong-   I’m far from perfect- I make huge mistakes and somtimes I get mad-  sometimes I say things I shouldn’t and I have to go back and apologize.      The good thing is- that at the end of the day- I’m honest and my integrity is intact.

The reactions people have is never about us.     So when someone says something in anger, desperation and revenge..  don’t take it personally.    Granted- it may hurt-  In fact it may hurt like H – E- Double Hockey Sticks, but it isn’t about you, even when it knocks you off your rocker and causes you to question the core of every relationship you have-  it isn’t you.

Truth is- there’s nothing wrong with evaluating your relationships and making sure that they stay healthy and not head off into the toxicity ditch-  but at the end of the day- if someone doesn’t love themselves- they’ll never be able to love and be a healthy partner in a relationship of any sort-   be it friendship, romantic, or whatever.

You may be reading this and thinking that it’s not true, and that’s quite ok too-   we all have our opinions and my opinion is the truth for me-   while yours may be something different.

What I know for sure is that if you are happy with who you are as a peson and love yourself-   you won’t need ‘outside’ fulfillment for happiness- because you’ll know that it’s a ‘do it yourself’ project.    Relationships and family-  (both that we are born with and that we choose for ourslves) are there to enrich our lives-  not to create our happiness.

I say this from personal experience in my own life.   I’ve seen it time and time and TIME again-  and I even walked that path for myself a while- back in the day.   So I’ve sat on both sides of the proverbial fence and I KNOW.

If you’re unhappy in your life-   LOOK at YOURSELF first and then work your way outward.    You have no power to change another person, but all the power in the world to change yourself.     NO ONE- and I do mean NO ONE is responsible for your happiness but YOU!

… So when I look at relationships where one (or sometimes both) of the parties tend to live in bitterness, expectations that you should do and be whatever they want whenever they want with no regard to your feelings, that your personal boundaries don’t matter-  I can honestly say that I see people who are struggling with HUGE self-image and self-worth issues and believe it’s all ‘someone elses fault’ instead of looking within and doing the work for themselves and learning to love themselves where they are.

Finding a lover and cheating on your spouse isn’t going to give you happiness,   lying to your family and friends isn’t going to give you happiness,  treating people who have always been there for you through thick and thin as though they ‘owe’ you anytime you need them and your own life urgenceies be damned is not going to make you happy- because it will never be enough.  It’s chasing an elusive mistress because the happiness you seek- starts with loving and accepting yourself.

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