This morning I caught myself again in the act of “shoulding” myself. I “should” do this, I “should” be that. Why aren’t I doing more than I am? I’m just not good enough. And I kicked myself like I often do, bringing back ancient feelings of shame and guilt. Old patterns die hard, don’t they? We are so much the product of our past and change sometimes seems so hard.
But, I worked on it, yes, “again!” And I silently prayed to see it all differently, “again!” And Divine Spirit answered, this time much more quickly than in the past. You see, I’ve been working on this issue for a long time, and I’ve built a whole new conversation in my mind around my “shoulds.” I guess it’s getting easier and easier to jump back into my new mode of thinking and being.
The important piece that came to me this morning, was that not being where I thought I should be was the exact circumstance I needed in order to keep choosing to love myself. I figure that if I always was where I expected myself to be, I would get no practice at this incredibly valuable lesson – you know, the one about choosing love and non-judgment for myself and for others. I figure that if I don’t know how to choose it for myself, how can I help others who might experience similar difficulties. And if I really want to help free others from the bondage of negative thinking, then don’t I have to learn how to do it myself?
I had to remind myself that we’re all creative beings, and that as such, we are always expanding, moving on to new experiences, new desires. In my case, I’ve noticed that ideas keep coming to me - fresh ideas that I want to act on, things I want to accomplish, ways I want to help people, activities I want to encounter, new business ideas, new “reaching out” ideas, more life to live! So I go, go, go and then become ill, and have to stop in my tracks.
Yes, I’ve encountered health challenges along my way, as I’ve mentioned in my book, and the latest of those was a virus that led to a cough that has lingered for a long time. After getting checked out by my doctor, and finding out that everything was ok, I came to realize that I just needed to slow down a bit and learn from this. So the cycle began – not being able to do everything I wanted, not being able to accomplish all I had intended to etc. etc. Then the “I’m not good enough” stuff reeling through my mind.
But I’m really happy to say this time that I am letting myself be. I’m getting off my own back. I am choosing love, no matter what. I am seeing this differently. I am good enough just the way I am. This is my journey, my path, my road. And no matter what anyone else might think, I am learning exactly what I came here to learn. And I don’t need to feel guilty about that, or ashamed, for I can honestly say that I’ve grown in this life, and that I keep moving closer and closer to goals that I set long ago in childhood. If I look at my greatest desires, those of attaining inner peace, and extending that peace outward to others, I must say that I’ve made great strides in that direction.
I am eternal. I’m not on a deadline. Whatever loose ends I leave in this life, I have nothing but time ahead of me to tie them up. My joy lies in the NOW! I am happy to be here. I am honored to be given this chance to learn and to share my learnings. It is a privilege to have the friends and family that I do, to accomplish tasks, or just to be. Life is for loving. That’s what I know today.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Pappas Ph.D.

Dr. Laurie Pappas, a writer, educator, counselor, trained mediator, speaker, writer and metaphysician, is the Co-Founder of the Metro Detroit Center for Attitudinal Healing, a non-profit organization, and directed the activities of the center for 16 years. She has also conducted spiritual/metaphysical, counseling sessions for 22 years. Dr. Pappas has taught classes and workshops, and trained personal growth group leaders during this period of time, in addition to having been a frequent columnist for PhenomeNews, a large Detroit metaphysical newspaper in the early nineties.
As a young adult, while Laurie worked in elementary education, she began her search for the underlying causes of disharmony and discord among school children. Several years later, community service work for the hungry and homeless brought her attention to the role that the mind plays in creating abundance or scarcity, peace or conflict. These experiences led her first to the field of Guidance and Counseling, and eventually to the study of Metaphysics, where she was able to obtain satisfying answers to her questions and workable solutions to many of life’s challenges.
In the spring of 2005, Laurie was program chairperson of the 7th Annual Conference on Nonviolence, Peace and Prosperity held in Detroit. She is a recipient of the 2005 International Peace Prize, Key of Success Award, and Woman of the Year Award, bestowed by the United Cultural Convention of the United States of America for outstanding personal achievements to the good of society as a whole.
Dr. Pappas is author of two books; The Loving Heart: Navigating the Journey from Conflict to Peace, and The Loving Heart Companion: An Interactive Journal.