Insecurity + Uncertainty

During today's Rituals + Retreats online mastermind session, we discussed the difference between insecurity and uncertainty, and how to navigate them both. For those of you who are interested, but were unable to attend, I wanted to take a moment to recap what we discussed.

First of all, I strongly believe that broadening your vocabulary around emotions, and intentionally shifting your awareness towards recognizing them, is crucial for tapping into your own self-discovery.

What I like about comparing insecurity and uncertainty is that they demonstrate how two emotional states can be closely related, while being completely different.

Insecurity is defined as: "uncertainty or anxiety about oneself," or "the state of being open to danger or threat."

Uncertainty is defined as: "something that is doubtful or unknown."

Even by definition, insecurity can include uncertainty, yet they are distinct in other ways. So, let's dive into them...

To feel insecure is to not feel safe, or to feel unsafe.

To feel uncertain is to not know, or to be unsure.

Recognizing that either one is coming up for you, allows you to learn about your own fear-based response.

Do I feel unsafe? -> Am I unsafe? Oftentimes, we may unconsciously feel unsafe, when the reality is that we're not actually being threatened. We can reinforce our safety in these moments, by coming to awareness in the present moment, and taking note of the ways that we are truly safe. But if you are unsafe, then you're simply recognizing that what you're feeling has a reason, and so, what do you need now in order to feel safe again? What can you do to get that need met?

The same goes for uncertainty. Do I feel uncertain? -> Am I uncertain? Sometimes, we're not actually uncertain, we simply don't like or feel like acknowledging what it is we know. So, to distinguish between: "Do I truly not know?" and "What do know that perhaps I don't want to know?" can be quite helpful.

Once we establish or knowing or unknowing, we can move forward. A certainty of life is that we will never know everything. Uncertainty is non-negotiable; but how we deal with it can greatly affect our experience thereof.

As we navigate this terrain, we shift from awareness to action by asking ourselves the following:

Knowing what I know, how would I like to proceed?

An element of forgiveness is rooted in the awareness that we made the best decision with what we knew at the time. If we could have chosen differently, we would have, so let's accept that there were reasons we did what we did. The past is the past, so all we can do now is look at our reasons, learn from them, and decide whether we'd like to follow different priorities in the future. This is part of being human, choosing to grow, and allowing ourselves to heal the past by learning from our mistakes.

Give yourself some grace. We're all navigating this life the best we can. Aren't we?

With that said, do you know what your reasons are? Do you want to miss out on something potentially great because you weren't down with not knowing? Or, do you want to embrace what you do know, and make the best decision you can? The beauty is...the choice is always there.

For me personally, insecurity and uncertainty aren't worth buying into because of what they could possibly hold me back from. This is a decision we all get to make in our own ways. And let's not discount the value of assessing the things that we are insecure or uncertain about...the reason may be significant enough to rule your decision. The point is...evaluating the reasons why we do something gives us stronger footing in navigating what follows.

Begin by asking yourself what your fear is trying to tell you, and with that information, what do you choose to do?

Owning our decisions builds confidence, and self-trust...which are wonderful allies to have when navigating our insecurities and the uncertainties of life. Which allies do you choose to partner with? How are you different when you align with the allies that you choose?

What's one thing you can do to be HER, or be HIM - the version of you when you're choosing your best teammates? Chances are you already know, and simply needed to take the moment to ask.

Here's to asking the questions, learning to more fully trust ourselves, and embracing who we are throughout the process --  how can you get to know yourself a bit more today?

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When Loves Hurts | Part II

I'm not certain that Liam Neeson even said this...I tried finding the original interview to no avail...nonetheless whoever wrote it has a solid point.

When our relationship with love is distorted or broken, is it often because somewhere along the line, we associated feelings such as loneliness, rejection, loss, and envy with our experience of love. When in truth, they have little, if anything, to do with love...they are the shadow side. Now, if we can recognize that that is simply what they are, we can then distinguish what are our fears, and what love actually is. 

One of the reasons I specialize in emotional awareness and emotional intelligence, specifically in the context of relationships is because love is the ultimate transformative experience

But what does that even mean? One of the theories I hold is that loneliness, judgement, criticism, addiction, disgust, and the like are nearly impossible to overcome without an experience of love. Love for oneself, love for others, and love from others. 

What makes love extraordinary is its ability to affect and change things in a more profound way that anything else. Mostly because it allows something to become greater, rather than to become compromised. Like anything great, yes, there are risks; however, consequences are different in the light of love.

Another theory I hold is that if we knew how to love better, more fully, we would! However, we learn what our parents pass on, which oftentimes comes from their parents' experience of love, and then  we combine them with our own experiences plus the rules and generalizations we collect along the way. Part of the work we do as adults is to consciously create the experience of love that is ours, and not simply adopted from someone else. Nothing is wrong with this, it's simply how things are. 

With that said, if we want to experience love in a different capacity, it requires evaluating our beliefs and experiences. Then,  becoming aware of what they are, and what meaning we have derived from them.

If you're having the experiences that align with what you want, then keep doing what you're doing, and revel in that. If you're not happy, or fed up with the dynamics you have in your life, then take some time to look at how these dynamics are fueled, and get curious about your role, how you participate, and what is keeping what you don't want in place.

It's likely reading this because you've associated love and pain quite closely at some point, and you're curious about it. So, keep going. Keep being curious. Wake up each day, and set out to be curious about who you are, and who those around you are.

There's a beauty in acknowledging who you are and who someone else is, and doing it with a sense of curiosity rather than judgement. Sure, if you're deciding whether to spend more time with someone, call on your judgement, but also let your heart have a say. Does this bring me up, or does this bring me down? Does this feel right? Regardless of what we choose, everyone benefits when we're acting in accordance to our gut feelings. Just as I have and trust my gut feelings, I honor and respect that you do too. That's how we coexist respectfully, with love.

So, the next time you're in the midst of a decision, take a moment to reflect on this: 

How do I see this with love? Am I able to distinguish between what is painful, hurtful, etc., and what love truly is?

This simple shift will change everything, and it will always bring you back to your heart. Never forget, love is good, and if it doesn't feel good, call out whatever it is that's getting in the way. Know that whatever has been learned can seen in new light. In that, what light would you like to bring to your life? What experience of love would you like to have? Feel it, believe it, treat it as truth. Live in that space until it becomes so true that you forget that you ever had to try at all.