Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reflections of You

As we live day to day it's easy to think that the rest of the world is getting crazier and crazier - just watch the news. But have you ever watched yourself? Sometimes the craziness is actually within you, not without, and the world as we see it is a reflection of our own self. There are a number of ways to do this in order to ultimately improve yourself and the quality of the life of the people around you.

Perhaps the best way to surface your own issues is to look at your friends and family and ask yourself, what are the things about those individuals that make you feel anger, or what do they do that make you lose control of yourself and your emotions? If you would just take some time to reflect upon this, you may find that often the very things that you hate in other people are the very traits that you also carry with you! Does their constant procrastination drive you crazy? Perhaps you procrastinate also and are really angry with yourself. Use these reflections to improve yourself instead of trying to "fix" the other person.

As a personal example, I have always found that people who appear to lack backbone, and are too overly accommodating people seem to lose my respect. In fact, in some cases when people are very timid, it made me actually feel a bit of hostility towards them for not standing up for themselves. I realized later in life that I used to also have those same traits and as a result, I was really getting angry at the reflection of myself that I was seeing in others.

As the law of attraction and quantum physics will attest, the outside world is simply a reflection of you. Everytime you feel anger, seize the moment and be grateful - you are being given an opportunity to figure out what inside of you needs fixing. We all know that living with anger can literally take years off of your life, but it's never too late to change. If you are willing, take these reflection of the outside world to improve your inside world and when you do, before you know it the outside world will also change.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Film Review: Under the Tuscan Sun

Usually I don't review Hollywood type movies such as this, especially after talking about how Hollywood's view of romantic love has been improperly programming millions of people for years and years. So, after promising I would stop watching these types of movies, I decided to watch another one since I'm a masochist apparently. In all seriousness though I was assured this one was not your typical love story and I would appreciate it.

I did. The story is one of a lady who is an author, Diane Lane. She gets ditched by her husband for a younger broad. Convinced to take a trip to get over the shambles of her life, Diane Lane takes a trip to Italy where at the spur of the moment decides to buy a house (more like a big estate). The movie tracks her new life there as she tries to recover from her heart-break and rebuilds the house, perhaps symbolic of her trying to rebuild her life. As she searches for new love she finds a plethora of characters in the scenic little town of Tuscany who teach her about faith, healing, and manifesting your dreams. I won't ruin the ending, but she gets everything she desires, although not in the typical, syrupy Hollywood style.

Believe it or not I thought this movie was great. It had gorgeous scenery and romance which was not unbelievably over the top. More importantly, there was a re-occurring theme in this movie which was no accident by the writer - stating your desires, surrendering those desires, having faith, and following the signs. Over and over the movie was explicit about this. In fact, I have seen few movies which so explicitly discussed the law of attraction. One of my favorite quotes from the movie was the following:
"Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come."
In this movie Diane had bought a house, and desperately wanted to have a marriage and a family there but she couldn't see how it would ever happen (she had no husband, and was living alone). The sales agent had told her about those train tracks indicating that you have to proceed as though what you want is going to happen - the physical manifestation of your dreams will happen with certainty. This is what The Secret referred to as "unwavering faith". Sure enough, without even realizing it, by the end of the movie, all of the protagonists dreams had been granted. What I liked about this movie was that those dreams did not happen in the way she expected they would, but they did come true nonetheless.

If I could summarize this movie, I would say it is about releasing or surrendering your desires to the universe in order to have them manifest. It is a movie of hope, that it is never too late to move on after a heart-break and find love again. But first, you must make a wish and let it come true.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Manifestation versus Destiny

For non-believers of the law of attraction (aka The Secret), they point to destiny and that everything that is supposed to happen is already written in the stars. Essentially, they believe that they cannot alter what is already going to happen to them. The law of attraction on the other hand preaches quite the opposite, professing that there is no pre-defined course and that at any moment a shift in our thinking can deliver us anything that we so desire regardless of our current situation.

I believe that the answer lies somewhere in between. It would be unfair to say only one force is working over the other, meanwhile I review books such as The Alchemist which illustrate how important signs and omens are and how we need to follow our intuition to achieve our dreams. Running to the "destiny" argument is easy to do when things are not working, or bad things seem to keep happening to us, especially if those negative situations seem to keep occurring no matter what we do - it can seem at times as though we are cursed. There may very well be something called destiny at play, however I contend that it is not immutable and can be changed at any time.

That is to say that at any given time, the status quo that is our life is in fact leading us to some destiny, such as us getting married to a girl named Diane, living in New York City, having two kids then dying at the age of 80. However, if we take a more active step in the creative process by visualizing what we want in terms of where we live, what type of person we marry etc, we can alter that so-called destiny that we are currently headed towards.

If we were truly prisoners of one destiny, why is it that people who are positive and adamant pursuers of their dreams seem to always accomplish them? Believe me, these people did not become positive after they achieved their desires - their positivity helped manifest their desires. If there were really one destiny, no matter what they did, they would only experience failure upon failure upon failure in pursuit of their desire. But we all know that this is rarely the case - those who fail and try again, combined with a shift in attitude always find prosperity. Clearly, they are not prisoners of anything. Neither are you.

My point? Get up on the inside. It's easy to get discouraged in life, especially when we face setbacks. I'm not here to thump bibles, but there is something to faith and believing you can change the course of your life - however you have to believe you can do it and be clear about what you want. There is a destiny for you to fulfill but it's only the one that you want to fulfill, not one that is written in some imaginary book somewhere in the sky.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Review: THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho

I began to hear more and more about The Alchemist and finally decided to borrow it from the library. Having sold over 20 million copies, I had high hopes for this book and it did not fail to deliver.

The Alchemist is the story of a young Shepard living in a small village who has a longing to see the world. After having a dream about the Egyptian Pyramids, he decides to pursue his dream and risk his comfortable life in search of the pyramids. Along the way he meets a variety of people including a gypsy who convinces him there is a treasure waiting for him at the pyramids. The boy goes on to meet a shopkeeper, a king, and the list goes on. Each person in the book acts as a symbol or a sign for the boy to keep following what he set out to accomplish, and that is finding a treasure at the pyramids. The book follows the boys trials and setbacks as he keeps trying to find the courage and follow his new path. Despite constant struggles and insurmountable odds, the boy is always able to find the signs and follow them in such a way that they eventually lead him to his dreams.

This book was fantastic. It spoke to everything ranging from religion, faith, following your dreams, and the law of attraction. The message I got from this book was quite clear - when you have a desire to do something, "the universe will conspire in your favor" to bring you what you want. To allow the universe to act accordingly however, you have to be willing to follow the signs along the way and accept that while things may not happen in the manner you hope or expect, they are all somehow working with you to deliver your dream. That thing you thought was a set-back was really an omen, guiding you on your way so that you would eventually be in the right place at the right time. But you have to roll with the punches and stay positive and determined. Just like any successful person will tell you - never give up on your dreams. Be persistent. As for the main character, he proved that anything is possible when you believe in yourself and the universe.

This book was a quick and easy read - you can easily read it in several hours. In fact, they are currently making it into a movie starring Laurence Fisbhurne, slated for release in 2009. If you are looking for some inspiration in life, this is worth your time. It can show you that everything happens for a reason while en route to fulfilling your goals. Just don't give up too soon - like the protagonist in this book, he had many chances to give up and go home. Although he made sacrifices along the way, he never turned back prematurely. You shouldn't either. I highly recommend this book.

Definition of Insanity

I read this somewhere and thought I would post it since it may help you realize that you need to change something in what you're doing if you want something new. It's the definition of 'insanity' that alcoholics anonymous use. Don't take offense alcoholics:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result."

If you keep attracting the wrong type of guy or girl into your life, or no guy or girl at all, change what you're doing. It make take some courage, or a lot of courage, but you have nothing to lose. Once you detach yourself from the outcome you'd be surprised at what change can bring you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Live Like No One is Watching

How often do we do things, not do things, or behave in certain ways to appease an imaginary audience? Have you eaten at a restaurant alone? How about going to the movie theater alone? Have you ever felt self-conscious about being affectionate in public or worrying about what people would think about your girlfriend or boyfriend?

Live like no one is watching. Too often, we don't lead the life that WE want to lead because we are afraid of attracting criticism from our parents, friends or other peers. Even worse, some are afraid of what the world would think when they step out in public, acting as slaves to imaginary people that couldn't care less! For those of us who are self-conscious and insecure, we may also feel the need to impress others or at least avoid humiliation. You may be limiting your life with these boundaries and living in a very confining box without even realizing it.

Live like no one is watching. If something feels good to do or someone feels good to be with then forget the rest of the world and what they might think. This has everything to do with making yourself your first priority, and everyone else a distant second. I am not saying to do things that harm others or disregard other people's feelings, but if you really want to care about someone else, you have to take care of yourself first! It will feel un-natural at first since you may have spent your whole life placing yourself in second position whether consciously or unconsciously. Unless we are talking about making a sacrifice for your family member or close loved one, remember that people in general are watching out for themselves and there is plenty of everything to go around. You should not give up what you want so someone else can have it - if they want something they can go get it.

Here are a few things you can do to get yourself into the "now", shed those limiting beliefs and most importantly, shed that imaginary crowd of people you think are scrutinizing you everytime you leave your house:

1) if it feels good to you, do it
2) monitor your thoughts and make sure you are considering your needs first
3) if you catch yourself feeling as though people might make fun of you if you do something, affirm to yourself that the people that matter to you would accept your decisions
4) go see a movie alone, or eat at a restaurant alone - do things that would normally make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious so that you can realize that in reality no one is sitting and judging you
5)
avoid making decisions for other people all of the time, but be prepared to give your advice

When you practice some of these things you will notice that it will feel a bit lonely at first. If you are the type of person who has spent their life believing that everyone is monitoring your every move or scrutinizing you, this process will feel lonely in the sense that you'll quickly realize that everyone is busy living their own lives with their own problems and isn't really paying that much attention to you. In effect, you'll realize that this imaginary crowd of people that you've been living your life with everyday never existed! As you learn to live like this, you'll feel a weight lifting off of you and a mental and physical freedom you may never have experienced before.

Live like no one is watching. Life is very short and you owe it to yourself to have and do everything you want. Don't be one of those people that have regrets. The only regret you will have is from one day coming to the realization of all of the things you didn't do, or could have done but didn't because you were worried about what other people would think. Live like no one is watching, because in reality, no one is!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Review: EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Like many books, this one gained much fame after the author was featured on Oprah. When I first heard about it, I never fathomed that I would read it, but of course this year I’ve been doing everything I said I wouldn’t.

After reading the book I was curious about what Elizabeth Gilbert looked like. I mean, whenever one spends a book talking about a divorce, getting nailed by a 50 year old Brazilian guy ten times a day, and giving her “ass” away to someone, one is always curious – is this girl hot? Well for 35 years old, she was moderately attractive so I was surprised she’d be worried about finding love. But hey, we all hit the panic switch at certain times in our lives.

In a nutshell, this book describes the hell the author went through as she shed an unhappy marriage and then a rebound romance. On the verge of suicide, Gilbert decided to take a year off to travel to Italy, India and then Indonesia where she ate, prayed and loved (ie. bumped uglies) respectively. The purpose of this foray around the world? To heal from the pains of these broken relationships, and find herself all over again. (and to get material to write a book so that she could make a million bucks).

The book describes Gilbert’s mental state and her adventures in Italy where she packed on pounds having fun eating. It actually made me want to go to Italy. The more interesting part of the book involved the months she spent in India where she joined an Ashram and learned to meditate – this was probably where she made the most progress as supernatural things happened to her and she learned forgiveness. Finally, the trip to Indonesia was the most exciting part of the book since more characters were involved including a medicine man, expatriates who had turned into beach bums, and a needy family which almost jacked tens of thousands of dollars from the author. This last segment was also the redemption for the author as she once again found love as soon as she stopped looking for it. If you want to find out how that turned out, you’ll have to tune in and buy her next book!

Eat, Pray, Love did not live up to the hype that it had received on Oprah, however I do recommend it as it did have some interesting parts to it which may be kernels of wisdom for some of you out there. The most important part for me which I have read over and over again was the part about soul-mates and how they are meant to come into our lives and then leave – and in the process they teach us about our obstacles, addictions and everything holding us back in life. Basically these people are reflections of ourselves. Of course I loved this part because I truly feel that is what happened to me in my life. Yeah, yeah, break out the violins.

This was a fairly quick and easy read. For anyone going through a break-up who thinks life will never be the same, I recommend this book. Life will not be the same, but that is a great thing if you have learned to grow and become more “you” out of the experience. As the author says, the heartbreak sent her over the edge, but if it weren’t for them she would have never recaptured her true self. I can relate. Maybe you can as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mental Programming and Relationships, Part 2 of 2

Do you think love is difficult? Think AGAIN. “Open your eyes” (yes, I did steal that line from Vanilla Sky). Look around you – have you noticed that everyone around you is hooked up, and in love and having babies? Do you think that the rest of the world is magically lucky in love and you’re unlucky? Give me a break! The reality is that we all share something in common in the world and that is we all want to love and be loved. It is our nature as human beings. So if we all have this in common, why believe for a second that it is some impossible feat. If it were, there would rarely be marriages, and I would not see so many happy couples everywhere.

So before you blame the “outside” on your difficulties in the area of love, take a look on the inside. When I took a closer look at myself, here are some of the horrendous things that I had buried in my sub-conscious as pertained to relationships and love:

-I would be secretly happy when I would hear people were breaking-up because something inside me felt that people were better off single

-For some crazy reason I began to believe I was better off alone. I used to say things like this to my friends and never even realized it!

-When my parents would ask me if I was ever going to get married, I used to tell them that I never wanted to get married and that I liked living alone too much

-I used to pursue unavailable women

-When girls wanted to be involved in my life, I would push them away and never wanted them to change their life plans for me since I believed that everyone should be “free”

-Relationships were supposed to be temporary

- In my last relationship I engaged in very atypical and bizarre behavior – I remember once thinking to myself while trying to provoke a fight “I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone!!!”

Yes, I am insane. No, I have not seen a psychiatrist…yet. Understand, I had no realization that I was thinking these things, as strange as it sounds. But the truth is, I never took a step back and realized how skewed my thinking had become over the years. I strongly urge you to take time off from actively thinking and monitor your passive thoughts as it could very well be that you also have such ‘limiting beliefs’ about love which are holding you back. Similarly, if your relationships are fine and you always have money problems, take a step back and ask yourself what are your beliefs about money. The world is your oyster and if something is holding you back from achieving a conscious desire, more often than not, it is a limiting subconscious belief.

It’s never too late to change your thinking and reprogram your mind. You may be shocked about how contradictory your beliefs are compared to your desires, but don’t blame yourself – we are all programmed in some way or another. This same programming which may have been sabotaging relationships can equally make amazing ones for you. The first step starts with you – are you willing to take it?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mental Programming and Relationships, Part 1 of 2

As we run around in a hypnotized state day to day, we may not realize how oblivious to our thoughts we are and why we do certain things. Thanks to being bombarded with media from all directions, many of us have been programmed to behave in certain ways and we don’t even know why we’re doing the things we’re doing. If you can, take time everyday to observe what your thoughts are. If you look closely, you may be very surprised and shocked.

Have you ever taken a step back from yourself and observed your thoughts? If you find that certain areas of your life are consistently yielding the same, crappy results, meanwhile other areas are functioning well, then perhaps you are a victim of faulty programming in those unyielding areas.

For myself, I have been successful in most areas of my life, however the thing I desired most - an amazing relationship - seemed to be an area where I was consistently falling short. Having taken a step outside of my own mind for several months, I have come to find how my attitude and programming towards loving relationships has been completely wrong and this has been influencing my real-world experiences.

Programming comes from all directions and we are bombarded daily. From the romantic movies we watch, to the heartbreaking endings we see in TV shows, to romance novels - you name it. But programming isn't limited to just the media. Living in a turbulent household, or witnessing a divorce as a child can have major impacts on what you subconsciously think about relationships as well.

For myself I came to realize that movies and things my mother used to say had the biggest influence on how I viewed love and relationships. Because I used to love romantic movies, many of which had sad endings, I began to be convinced that "true love" was a life-long mission and nearly impossible to find in the world. The more of these movies I watched, the more I associated with them. It wasn't until last year I realized that my favourite movies included:

1) Before Sunrise
2) Before Sunset
3) Vanilla Sky
4) Titanic

Notice a trend? There was heartbreak involved in all of these movies. (I know some of you are going to say Before Sunset is not heart-breaking but that is up to interpretation!). As a result, I began to believe that love was this amazing-magical-feeling-love-at-first-sight thing you had to feel right away, otherwise it wasn't real. What a land of make-believe I had been living all of these years! As a result of believing that love was supposed to be hard/impossible, I had turned away some great potential mates since I didn't feel this love explosion upon laying eyes on the person. Boy have I been wrong. (tune in tomorrow for Part 2).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Film Review: YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, by Louise Hay

After watching Oprah one day (alright don't laugh just yet), Louise Hay was on and they discussed the new DVD version of her book, You Can Heal Your Life. I have not read the book, and much like I did in high school, I thought to watch the movie instead of reading the book. Besides, it is supposed to be about the law of attraction, so how could I resist?

The movie is a mix of an underlying story acted out by a lady who basically hates her life, and real interviews with Louise Hay and a variety of other life coaches and clients who have used her techniques to turn their life around whether it be physically or spiritually. Most of the examples are of physical healing in this movie. Louise Hay talks about how she used to be a model, then later got cancer and was able to heal it in great part to her own self-healing methods. Even though she is much older now you can tell she was probably very do-able when she was younger.

The main premise of this DVD is that daily affirmations, ie. "I love and accept myself", or "I am happy and healthy", actually work at the physical level. Basically, if you keep saying something, you can heal your mental or physical illness so long as what you are saying out loud is in alignment with what you hope to accomplish for yourself. It doesn't even matter if you don't believe it since Louise Hay believes that by planting the seed of hope within you, it will grow, and ultimately manifest itself in reality.

I remember when I used to watch Saturday Night Live they used to always have this ambiguously gay character named Stewart Smalley (sp?) who used to look in a mirror and say how much he loved himself and how much people loved him. He didn't believe a word of what he was saying and constantly broke down, much to the laughter of the audience. I myself used to think - what a load of crap these self-affirmations were.

I'm not sure what to believe these days. Anything is worth a shot. While I do not have any physical ailments, I did come out of this feeling a bit better. Well, I started off feeling bad since I couldn't believe I was trying to equate myself to the pathetic lady acting out a crappy life, but at the end of the day the message of positive thinking is what is important so in that regard, it was worth it.

To tell you the truth I'm open to anything and everything! This DVD was worth watching. I'm not sure I would pay $20 or $30 for it, but if you can buy a used copy from Amazon or Half.com or borrow it from a friend, then I recommend it. Whether affirmations work to bring what you want into your life will be for you to decide.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Review: MEN WHO CAN'T LOVE, by Steven Carter & Julia Sokol

I've often heard people say that their "jaw hit the floor" while reading a book, and always thought that this was a rather exaggerated description of a reaction to something. But, for the first time in my life I have to eat my words - while reading this book from front to back, my jaw was literally dropped open, laying on the floor.

Wow. For any guy out there who wonders why he can't find "the one", or any girl out there wondering why her guy acts weird or somewhat psychopathic, this book is a MUST READ, and that's not something I say very often.

This book is filled with real stories of the thought processes of guys and why they run away from great relationships, behave irrationally and make the girl's like a living hell. According to this book, there is a new discovery called commitment-phobia which basically makes many guys (and some women as well), act crazy the more serious the relationship gets. Basically, we are afraid of commitment so this triggers a phobic reaction within us. We look to start fights for no reason, disappear for days at a time, cheat on the girl hoping she'll find out and even resent her for loving us!

Crazy as it sounds, like I said, my jaw was dragging on the floor as the crazy thought processes and things I did matched the stories of these other guys perfectly. It was embarassing to read at times. As I remember my last relationship which ended when she had enough of my craziness, I wondered why was I having such an allergic reaction to someone who was treating me so well?

This book is a quick and fun read. It's written in simple, down to earth language and for any of you that have been through this whether you were on the giving or receiving end, this book will definitely be an eye-opener. In fact, I recommend this book to those people out there who wonder why they can't have a good relationship - it could be you are either suffering from the same thing or subconsciously attracting these same types of people into your life.

I'm glad this book came out - it made me feel less crazy to tell you the truth. To learn that it is not so uncommon for people to act like this gave me some hope! Hope that I can now use to heal myself and move forward in this wonderful thing called life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Book Review: LAW OF ATTRACTION, by Michael J. Losier

So as part of my obsession with The Secret, I stumbled upon this book at the library, entitled Law of Attraction. It was a decent book and similar to The Secret in many ways, but without further contrast, let me give it a quick review.

This is a quick read. The book is only 142 pages with illustrations and charts so you can burn through this book in a matter of a couple of hours. It is worth the read and spends some important time on areas of the LOA which other books tend to gloss over and that is “allowing”.

For those looking for help with the LOA this book has a variety of charts which you can fill in which can help you gradually get to the point you need to be vibrationally in order to attract into your life what you are looking for. The book spends quite a bit of necessary time on how our limiting beliefs and deep, subconscious doubts can impede our progress. As it says, having any sorts of doubts about your wish coming true actually prevent it from coming true.

This book was actually a fun read, and even better because it is much more interactive than most books. There are simple games to play and tidbits of advice which other books don’t offer. I did find it interesting how Losier was not huge on daily affirmations. After reading much of Louise Hay’s work, affirmations seem to be gaining popularity (I can’t help but think of the guy from Saturday Night Live looking into the mirror saying “I’m good enough and dog gone it, people like me.”) The author of this book however claims that I you don’t believe the affirmation then it has the opposite effect.

All in all, a decent book. Quick read and intro book for those new to the subject.


LOVING YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN LET LOVE COME INTO YOUR LIFE

Do you love yourself? I mean really, do you really, actually love yourself? I am sure your automatic answer to that question is a resounding “yes, of course I do!” Be a bit more thoughtful of the question however and you may realize that perhaps you do not love yourself as much as you think you do or as much as you should. My whole life I thought I truly loved and accepted myself, however recently realized that subconsciously I did not truly love myself. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others or let them love us? We can’t. This alone may be the one thing holding us back from finding our ideal partner.

My whole life I thought I was truly in love with myself. I liked everything about me and walked around with much confidence and generally thought I felt great about myself. Some perceived it as arrogance but those who knew me knew otherwise and I felt good, thanks to having great parents and friends always complimenting me. Recently however, I have come to realize that perhaps I did not love myself as much as I thought, but this resided at a much more subconscious level that I was unaware of at my conscious level.

As I reflect back upon my life, I realized that I did not love myself on many levels. I can think of many, many examples of this. Here are a few short vignettes to prove this:

1. Once when I was being underpaid at a job and my “boss” said that he would double my salary when the company started making money (of course that day never came!), my first instinct was to think that I didn’t deserve that amount of money and I felt as thought I deserved what I was making even though I knew it was too little!

2. A girl who was gorgeous and who every guy in the school had their eye on took a liking to me. It became a bit of an obsession of hers, especially when I started running the other way. A few years later when I moved to Toronto, we got back into touch and her feelings came back very strongly. She asked me if I would be her boyfriend if she were to move from Ottawa to Toronto (about a four hour drive), to be closer and start a relationship. I basically laughed nervously, made some jokes and basically ran away again! But deep down inside I believe that I thought I was not worthy of someone changing their life for me.

3. I remember as a child playing a game of marbles, winning the most coveted marble in the school. The kid I had won it from decided he wanted to retroactively change the rules which would negate my win. Not wanting to cause any problems, and feeling bad for him, I gave it back to him. In many ways, looking back, I felt as though I did not deserve such a treasure!

4. A couple of years ago I got my dream car, far earlier than I had ever imagined in life. After I got it though, I tried to give it to my father feeling like I did not deserve it yet. Even afterwards, I had a few bad dreams and wish I could return the car to the dealer and I wished I had bought a far more simple car. Again, I felt like I did not deserve my dream.

Believe me when I tell you that this list could go on, and on, and on. Many of you reading this may relate to these anecdotes. Many of you however may wonder what the hell does this have to do with loving yourself and allowing others to love you? The answer? EVERYTHING.

In all of these examples, when circumstances or people have tried to give me things that I have consciously desired, I have subconsciously and also consciously felt like I did not deserve them. Similarly, in many situations I have placed other people’s needs ahead of my own. I used to justify my behavior by thinking I was being courteous or generous, but I have come to realize that if we love ourselves, we should take care of our needs first so that we may then better take care of the needs of others. Think of it this way – if you were in love with someone, wouldn’t you do something fantastic for them? So then if you love yourself as well, why do you shy away from fantastic things being done for you?

It’s interesting. Many years I wondered why I had a difficult time finding a great, loving, relationship with someone. I have everything going for me and come from a great family. The truth is I have always had girls come into my life who “like” me, but I have never paid much attention to them, and consistently dismissed them from my life. It’s almost like their affection for me came too easily but in reality this is me not feeling worthy. It was not until the latest relationship where I would not ever even let the girl tell me that she loved me that I realized something was wrong. Time and time again, an intimate moment would arise and she would open her mouth to say those words and time and time again, I would cut her off, once even telling her to never tell me what she wanted to. Of course, she eventually got fed up and left. The funny thing is, I did not even know why I was behaving like that. It sounds insane, and it was, in retrospect – but this is the power of the subconscious mind.

As I stewed in my misery and reflected upon the lunacy of that relationship I realize the reason I had always fallen short in finding a relationship while it seemed like the whole world was getting married and in love: I did not love myself and this was blocking love from coming into my life. When love tried to enter my life, I would either run away from it, or chase it away. I can’t believe I never realized this before, but better late than never. So how do we conquer this problem? We dig, and dig until we find out where it came from.

For me, growing up as a minority in a predominantly white city created challenges. The first school I attended from the ages of 5-7 was a French immersion school. Let’s just say that many of the children there were quite nasty. By the time I was 7, I wished I was white and was convinced that having brown skin meant that I was an outcast. I changed schools to a local public school and never encountered the bullying again – but I think by then, the damage had been done.

As I matured into a young man, I truly thought I had found myself and was happy with who I was. But now that I reflect on my life, I think I have always, to some degree, either felt a degree of inferiority around certain people, and not fully been myself. To love oneself, is to be oneself.

How to fix this? Well I began thinking of all the people who had wronged me – I forgave all of them (I didn’t send them postcards!), by forgiving them in my head. People like Louise Hay recommend affirmations such as “I love and accept myself”, however whether you feel this is necessary or not is up to you! Ultimately what I am saying is that if you find that you do not fully love yourself, you may likely have emotional wounds from days gone by which you’ve never addressed. Address them now, for it is never too late.

As I move forward with the utmost confidence that another fantastic lover will manifest herself in my life, I will continue to work on loving myself and knowing that I deserve great things in life such as the love of another, great job, great business, or whatever it may be. It is up to each person to deserve what they want and accept it when it arrives. And trust me, if you’re wondering if you’ll ever find Mr. or Ms. Right, believe me, you will, but you have to love yourself first. Find out what is blocking you and work on fixing it.

With that, I will leave you with a fantastic quote from the book “Eat, Pray, Love”, by Elizabeth Gilbert. While the author is obsessing about a man who broke her heart, her friend from Texas tells her the following:

“…here’s what you’ve gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum in there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in-God will rush in –and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed.”

A New Start for Everyone

Now having finished all of my academic goals, I have decided to take this time off to spend time with “Me” to explore myself and reflect upon my life and the things that have happened – including both the good and the bad.

After having a very heart-wrenching year, I thought the best way to turn this negative into a positive was to self-reflect and impart all of the things that I have learned about myself so that perhaps someone out there can benefit and learn from the mistakes I've made so that they can avoid making the same mistakes themselves!

So, while I explore this journey, I have decided to write a series articles about my reflections on life as they pertain to love, self-realization, and the law of attraction to name a few things. If anything I write even has the slightest positive impact on just one person out there reading it, then I will feel that this blog was a complete success.

Also, if there is anyone out there which would like to contribute an article they have written on self-realization, happiness, or the law of attraction, please feel free to email me and I would love to put your article up on this website!

For now, enjoy!