Author: Leona Isaac Page 1 of 3

#Me Too – 3 Benefits of Shared Humanity

Tim Marshall on Unsplash

When cellular phones were just becoming popular in my country, there was a particular phone that most people owned. This eventually gave rise to the slang “me too”. People would often say, “you have one of those? Me too!” You have probably shared a similar experience with someone, maybe regarding a different item.  A couple years ago, both internationally and locally, there was the #metoo movement. This movement was geared towards addressing the issue of sexual violence and sexual harassment against women. It is also a way to encourage empathy and solidarity among those who have suffered as a result of sexual violence.

 Both of these examples remind us, that we are never alone in an experience. No experience or situation is unique to just us. When we feel hurt or experience a painful or difficult situation, it is normal to feel like the particular thing has happened to us alone. This leads to feeling alone and isolated. As those feelings persist we find ourselves slipping deeper and deeper into an abyss of self-loathing. I am here to remind you, that you are not alone. Life is imperfect, humanity is imperfect, and whatever you are experiencing, there is someone else who can relate. Professor and author, Dr. Kristen Neff, refers to this as common humanity. It is the understanding that suffering and feelings of inadequacy is part of the shared human experience.

You Are Not Alone

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

When we look at things from this perspective, we feel less alone and isolated and recover more quickly from setbacks and painful experiences. Dare I say that this should be one of the first steps in our recovery – understanding and accepting the idea of shared humanity and that we are never alone. Whatever situation you are facing right now; you are not alone.

In her book Self-Compassion, Dr. Neff talks about an exercise called, “lines that divide us”. It was used with adolescents, and is designed to promote feelings of connectedness with their peers. The students were asked to line up on one side of the gym and a series of hurtful experiences were called out. Students were asked to cross over to the other side if they ever had that experience. For example, “please cross the line if you have ever been bullied, teased” … been humiliated”, etcetera. At some point all of the adolescents crossed the line. An indication that they have all suffered. Showing their shared humanity and connectedness. Showing the “me too” idea.

#Me Too – Helping Others

There are times when we are afraid to share with someone else what we have experienced or are experiencing, we may be afraid to speak up.  But if we do, we will realize that the other person has either felt the same way or have had the same experience or know someone else who has. By speaking up you very well may find the help that you need, or even help someone else.

A favorite Bible verse of mine says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor. 1:4. NLT). We have seen this demonstrated in a number of circumstances.  Someone goes through a traumatic experience and uses it to inspire and to encourage others who may be going through a similar experience. It has resulted in several books, speeches and television shows. But this is not just for those who have become popular or recognized for doing so. It can also be applied to you and I, in our own lives. Every day, in small but meaningful ways, we can use our experiences to help someone else who may be going through the very same thing or something similar.

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Another benefit of accepting our common humanity and embracing the idea of “me too”, is that it encourages us to be less judgmental and critical of others. In as much as you are hurting, the other person is hurting as well. Wouldn’t you like to be shown kindness and compassion when you are in pain? You have flaws and imperfections, you have been wronged in situations, so too has the other person. We are all imperfect. Don’t be too quick to judge or criticize. Too often we judge others, giving our mouths liberty and speaking on situations in other people’s lives, when we do not have all the facts or have not taken the time to consider the situation from their perspective. Too often, we judge when what is really needed is compassion.

Related: You are Enough

Photo by Marcos Paulo on Unsplash

The next time you are tempted to judge or criticize another person, I want you to think, “me too”. That person has a shortcoming, “me too”, that person has made a mistake, “me too”, that person has been hurt, “me too”. That person is in need of love and compassion, “me too”. There is a popular quote which says, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Matthew 7:1-2 cautions us, “do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (NLT)

Don’t Take It Personally

The other benefit of thinking in terms of “me too”, is that it will help you to not take people’s behaviors and attitudes towards you, personally. I participated in a recent book club discussion on Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. One of the agreements he talks about in the book, is not taking things personally.  “Whatever happens to you don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.” You should not take it personally, because that person’s behavior has more to do with their own self, ideas, issues, pain, hurt, experiences, bias, etcetera, than it has to do with you. Think, that person has internal scars, “me too”.  

I asked the question whether this meant that we should ignore when people are mean or rude to us or hurt us? Do I give them a pass, because I should not take things personally? A group member graciously responded, “it does not mean that we excuse bad behavior or do not stand up for ourselves or protect ourselves when necessary, but rather we do not hold on to things longer than we should.” The “me too” idea, can help us with that. Try to see yourself in the other person. Try to see that common humanity. Also, when we see that the other person is operating from a place of pain, resulting in them hurting us, we do not let the hurt consume us. We do not hold on to it longer than we should. We process it and let it go.

Final Thoughts…

Humanity is a shared experience and it is imperfect. Thus, you are not alone in any situation you are facing. Allowing yourself to feel alone and isolated and staying in that place for too long will cause your recovery to take longer and make it more difficult. Use your experiences and the idea of this common humanity to help others.  Do not judge or criticize others, but instead show compassion and love. Embracing the idea of “me too”, encourages greater compassion towards self and others. When dealing with others think always in terms of “me too”.

#MeToo

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you enjoyed it feel free to share it with a friend. I would also love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Namaste ~🙏

Share this:

On The Power of Voice…

Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash

In my last post I shared that it took me a long time before I owned my gift of voice and its link to my purpose. This was in spite of the fact that my fondest experiences involved me using my voice, and that I feel alive when I am writing, speaking before an audience or engaged in stimulating conversation. Now, my mission is to use my voice, through speaking and writing to inspire and encourage others to become the best version of themselves. To speak life and always add value to every person I interact with. The voice holds power, and with it we have the opportunity to change lives.

Share this:

Clarify your Why in 3 Simple Steps

Photo by cyril mazarin on Unsplash

In my last post – Beware of these 3 Things that can Kill your Dreams, one of the dream killers I talked about was the lack of a clearly articulated dream. In so doing I mentioned Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. I also said that I will talk more about it in this post. I was introduced to the book by a colleague, and was able to find value in the core concepts shared.

There are several different approaches that we can take to help us clarify or purpose, mission or dream. But I enjoyed the approach developed based on the work of Sinek’s book. Based on that book, David Mead and Peter Docker in collaboration with Sinek, developed a guide titled Find your Why a Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.

In this post I will share two salient points from Sinek’s book and the approach developed by Mead and Docker for finding your why as well as my testimony.

Share this:

Beware of these 3 Things that can Kill Your Dreams


Photo by Jessica Tan on Unsplash

What is your dream? What is your purpose or your cause? What do you dream of doing or becoming? Whether you realize it or not, you do have a dream. Buried deep within each of us is a dream. A seed is first buried in the soil, where it receives nourishment. As it is nourished, it begins to grow, and as it grows it eventually produces fruit. Your dream is the seed and you are the soil, the actions you take to ensure that you fulfil your dream is the nourishment. Of course, without nourishment the seed remains just a seed and it produces nothing. Likewise, without taking the necessary action to support and nourish your dream, it remains, just a dream. There are times however when our dreams are threatened. That is what we want to discuss today. Beware of dream killers!

Share this:

A Successful Preparation for Purpose

Photo by Hanna Skoromna on Unsplash

We go through many periods of transition throughout our lives; some may be unique to us and our particular circumstances, others are common to all humanity.  This is not an unusual occurrence but a natural part of life. What transition do you find yourself navigating at the moment? You may be transitioning from one job to another, or from a junior position in your company to a management position, or one level of education to another, maybe it is from one career to another, or even from being employed to being unemployed. Maybe you are transitioning from being single to being in a relationship, or from a courting relationship to marriage.  Whatever it is, periods of transition can lead to many struggles and even feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty. However, your struggles are preparing you for your purpose. Silence feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty with preparation, and focus on the promise, purpose and plan for your life.

Share this:

Successfully Managing Your Expectations

What are you expecting? There are some who believe that they should live life without any expectations at all. In that way there is little room for disappointment. But that is a bit unrealistic, don’t you think? We all live life with expectations, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. For example, we expect our children to behave in alignment with the upbringing and values we have instilled in them. We expect our spouse to be faithful or to fulfil certain needs. When we leave our homes in the morning, we expect to get to our destination safely. We expect to receive our pay cheque at the end of the month. Maybe, we are expecting a promotion, or a job offer. We may even be expecting a negative outcome from a recent encounter or project or life in general. Having expectations is unavoidable.

However, some of our expectations may be realistic and some may be unrealistic. Some may be healthy, and some may be unhealthy. Some expectations may serve us, while others may not. Since they all shape and impact our lives in one way or another, it behooves us to work at successfully managing our expectations. So, I ask you the question again, what are you expecting?

Share this:

Dealing with Feelings of Inadequacy: You are Enough

I am enough. The yoga instructor announced the affirmation for the day’s class, which we were to repeat to ourselves. The words flung open the doors of my soul, greeted me, pulled up a chair and got comfortable. Three small but powerful words; they resonated deep, within me. I repeated them to myself as I continued with my efforts of breathing deeply, while carefully following the instructions for the next pose. That is, breathing from my diaphragm, not the shallow breathing I often do from my chest, while unconsciously restricting my breath. Which is as if I am waiting for the next shoe to drop or for the monster that is waiting in the closet to jump out at any minute. Notice I said efforts, it is not always easy. Even after my practice ended, I continued to repeat the words to myself.  I still repeat them to myself regularly. I even wrote them on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall above my desk. I am enough!

In the rat race of life, the demands placed on us by ourselves and by others can leave us feeling like we are not enough. Everyone including ourselves want more from us. Under the pressure of these demands for more, and challenges in meeting them, feelings of inadequacy show up. Often sweeping in like raging flood waters, eroding our self-confidence, creating doubt in our minds and knocking the wind out of us. These feelings are fierce, never subtle, never kind.  But here’s the good news, these feelings of inadequacy, are LIES! You are enough! You are mortal, you are not superhuman and you have done all that is in your power to do. Remind yourself, say to yourself, so that you hear and feel the words rolling off your tongue, I am enough.

Share this:

Relationships: How to Successfully Navigate Them

Photo by Radomir Jordanovic on Pexels.com

A few years ago my family and I took a cruise. As the captain navigated the ship across the vast ocean we experienced feelings of excitement and apprehension. Some days the sea was calm and we enjoyed the journey, other days not so much. There was one day in particular, when my daughter felt so sick because of the rough seas, she threw up several times and missed her meals. She even had to opt out of an excursion when we pulled into our next port. Our relationships can often produce a similar experience.

Learning to successfully navigate our relationships as we ride the waves of life, can be a bit challenging for anyone. Think of your relationships as a beautiful and luxurious ship sailing the open seas.  The ride can sometimes be smooth as well as it can sometimes be rough. The times when the ride is smooth there is happiness and enjoyment. When the ride gets bumpy, this usually tends to lead to sickness, which sucks the joy out of the experience.

Share this:

Announcement

Hello Friends,

I am happy to announce that I have upgraded my free wordpress account. My website’s address is now soul-inspiration.net.

It has been a wonderful year on wordpress. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to share my writing with you over the past year.

Thank you for your continued support, I truly appreciate it. I invite you to continue on this journey with me as I work towards improving my site and continue to bring you more great content. The kind of content that will inspire you and encourage you towards personal growth.

I am also the owner of a self-hosted website inspire-encourage-praise.com. You can check it out and subscribe if you feel so inclined. As I continue to grow as a blogger, I will be working on producing content that is exclusive to that site.

Thank you again for your support!

Yours Truly, Leona

Namaste ~🙏

Share this:

Personal Growth and Sacrifice: Dying to Self

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As I am writing this on Easter Sunday, I felt it would be a good time to talk about personal growth and sacrifice. Today, all of Christendom celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What an awesome sacrifice Jesus made; it is the ultimate of all sacrifices. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”, John 15:13. Not many of us would be willing to give up our life for a friend or relative or someone whom we love. But Jesus did. He chose to make such a sacrifice because He loves us.

A part of my blog’s main objective is to encourage personal growth. Personal growth has to be intentional; it does not happen by chance. I also believe that we do not experience personal growth without making some sacrifices. We do not experience personal growth, without first dying to some things within ourselves.

Share this:

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén