Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


On Monday I talked about how you can turn your life around by just changing a thought. I learned this from Louise L. Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. This book was my catalyst for reinventing me into the very happy and productive chick I am today. When I told her that I owed the rest of my life to her, she just laughed and said she can’t take credit since she didn’t invent the things she wrote about, just wrote about how the Universe can work for you. I disagree. It was the way she presented the Law of Attraction that resonated with me. I took her tools and ran with them.

My consciousness increased a million-fold as I read the book. Now I monitor my thoughts to make sure I put out only ones that manifest goodies or that won’t attract negatives. Some of you emailed for info about Ms. Hay. So I’m reprinting the interview I did with her.

Louise Hay is a lecturer, metaphysical teacher, and best selling author. She advocates loving yourself, which helps you get more of what you want. Ms. Hay explains how if we’re willing to change our thinking, we can change our lives. I live by this!

The product of an abusive childhood, Ms. Hay left home at 15. At 16 she gave up a baby for adoption. Because of her low self-esteem, at first she attracted abusive men. Ms. Hay survived and turned her life around. After discovering the Church of Religious Science, which as a metaphysical approach to healing that encourages finding mental patterns that can trigger illness, she published a book called, Heal Your Body giving mental reasons for physical illness, with positive thought patterns for healing. The principles of this book are in You Can Heal Your Life. Whenver I have a physical problem, I look in her book to find the metaphysical cause. Then I work to heal that area of my life.

Things were good until she was diagnosed with cancer in the vaginal area.

Ms. Hay decided to use her mental powers to heal. She believed her cancer was caused by strong resentment from childhood sexual abuse. Refusing medical treatment, Ms. Hay instead opted for physical cleansing with the help of a nutritionist, and mental cleansing with the help of a good therapist and her own positive thought patterns. Six months later she was diagnosed as cancer free!

Here are thoughts from a woman who has truly healed her life, and whose books and audio material has helped millions to heal themselves:

What were your first steps towards change? “The people at Church of Religious Science were the very first who told me that if I was willing to change my thinking, I could change my life. It was like a lightening bolt through me.” (Daylle’s note: That happened to me when I read her book!)

How can we use our thoughts as tools? “I believe we create our own lives. And we create it by our thinking, feeling patterns in our belief system. I think we’re all born with this huge canvas in front of us and the paintbrushes and the paint, and we choose what to put on this canvas . . . I wish the children could be taught early on that our thinking creates our experience. “

How can we stop putting off making changes? “It’s like a diet. You have to make a decision that this is the day. You know ‘I will not procrastinate any longer; I will not put it off any longer. Today I will begin to love myself, even if it is only a little bit.’ Like a diet, if you eat one less candy bar or donut a day, you’re doing your body some good.”

How did you find courage to fight cancer? “I already had some tools to work with. Even so I was frightened at the time. But I stuck with what I had learned and worked in a way to holistically heal myself. It took diet, exercise, prayer, affirmations, good therapy. I worked with a therapist who specialized in anger. I beat pillows, screamed and got lots of buried stuff out.”

How can someone begin to work on self-esteem? “I like mirror work (looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you.”) Look at what is keeping you from saying it if you can’t…. Where messages come from…that there’s no truth in them and you can make up messages you want.”

What is guilt? “Beating yourself up for something that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Remember, yesterday ended last night. There’s no point in carrying it forward with you.”

Why should we let go of the past? “Because that holds you in yesterday and you can’t live in the past. Learn from the past and let if go. Live in today.”

Why must we learn to forgive ourselves? “Otherwise you punish yourself. Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.”

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On The View this past Friday, Whoopi led the ladies in a discussion about a woman who was suing for sexual harassment after being told she looked cute. The alleged harasser didn’t touch this woman or make a sexual advance. She was obviously offended by receiving a compliment. But, is this really grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit? I don’t think so!

I don’t know how the guy said it. Was saliva dripping in his words? I’d guess not. Was he eying her up and down? Perhaps. But I think that the term sexual harassment needs a makeover. Women need to be taught boundaries on when it is or isn’t appropriate to label an action that way. It can hurt the man being accused, whether he’s guilty or not. That’s not fair to the guy!

Women have come far on many levels. Laws have been passed to protect our equal rights and safety. But, using them indiscriminately by screaming “sexual harassment!” whenever a guy says or does something that rubs the wrong way sets women’s empowerment back by a heck of a lot! An empowered woman HANDLES a situation. Crying harassment and then going for the jugular is not much different than girls running to get the boy who teased them into trouble.

Whine! Whine! Whine! There are many appropriate ways to deal with inappropriate behavior that doesn’t involve lawyers and making a mountain out of the statements or actions of some ignorant men.

We’re not little girls. Being overly sensitive in response to comments or behavior that’s often not meant the way it’s taken does NOT create the empowerment women say they want. It’s more like revenge against someone who pissed you off. Going after this kind of revenge makes you a victim. And victims feel powerless. Looking for easy ways to hurt someone who annoyed you doesn’t empower you. It may make you feel vindicated right after. But there are more effective ways to handle situations without looking to destroy someone.

Crying sexual harassment doesn’t solve the underlying problem—dealing with your anger and feelings of being powerless.

Often cries of harassment reflect old hurts—memories of incidents that that may have left you feeling helpless. In my DoorMat days, I was afraid to speak up and alienate the one hurting me. I kept my anger just below the surface of my consciousness so I wouldn’t have to deal with it—smiling to my latest HIM, while raging inside. Laughing when men made sexual comments that made my skin crawl. Always afraid that if I spoke up, people wouldn’t like me. But when it built up too much, my anger reared its ugly head for teensy issues that didn’t merit it or at someone who didn’t deserve it.

Many women experience this. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you take advantage of what you can. Laws were meant to protect us from real harassment, not annoying statements or reminders of times when you couldn’t take action. When anger reaches the boiling point, the poor guy who thinks he’s giving a compliment—“You’re cute”—takes the brunt of it.

We can’t be like little girls who cry wolf whenever a guy makes us angry.

The little boy watching the sheep was lonely and kept crying wolf so he’d have some company. But by the time a wolf actually came, people didn’t believe him and were tired of running to his aid for nothing. So the wolf got him. It’s the same with filing sexual harassment complaints for little things. Eventually people will get tired of hearing about it and less attention will be paid to those who deserve repercussions for their behavior.

Complaining about everything can lead to people not jumping on situations that truly go beyond legal boundaries. Women won’t be taken as seriously if we scream harassment whenever a guy annoys us. We must break the habit of looking for revenge whenever buttons are pushed by men. There are other ways to deal with behavior that feels inappropriate. While the woman is entitled to feel uncomfortable with being called cute, there are better ways to respond than sexual harassment accusations.

If you experience comments or conduct from a guy that bothers you, please take these steps first!

* Ask yourself if what was said or done justifies possibly ruining his career or whole life. Even if he wins, the stigma of being accused comes at a high cost. Does the guy calling a woman cute really deserve that?

* Talk the situation over with someone you know is objective and more detached from the situation. Don’t talk to girlfriends with emotions that are like yours. They’re likely to get you more riled up with their own anger issues. If you can talk to a guy friend, all the better!

* Accept that men have been taught that women like to get compliments and their motives may be to make you feel good. “You look cute” doesn’t mean, “I want to sleep with you.” He may be innocently trying to say something nice. Or think you look cute and believe you’ll want to know.

* Accept that men from some cultures have terms they use for all women and it means nothing disrespectful. I once worked with some Latino men. They addressed me as sweetheart, and other expressions I just want to hear from a guy I’m involved with. It irritated me. But another woman who knew them explained that was how they spoke to all women. I still didn’t like it but it stopped grating on my nerves.

* Talk to him about it, nicely. Don’t act all upset and get in someone’s face or he won’t listen objectively. Ask him for a few minutes at a quiet time when you can speak alone, and explain why it bothers you. It may surprise him. Speaking without anger, an attitude or a critical/ complaining/ whining tone can make him more receptive to your needs. Nobody wants to listen to whiners and complainers, not even other whiners and complainers!

* Explain specifically why his actions bother you. Men need to understand things in more concrete and less emotional terms. Saying, “I don’t like it” or “that makes me feel yucky” solves little. Explain why it makes you feel that way. “I’m uncomfortable when a man speaks to me on a personal level because of how I was raised” or “it makes me feel like…” It will make more sense. He’ll be more likely to work with your needs if he understands them.

* Accept that men may not mind things that drive you crazy so they can’t relate to why it bugs you. I once ranted to a guy friend about how irked I was by a construction worker who yelled that I had a hot body and he’d love to get into my pants. My friend’s response? “I’d love a woman to say that to me. What’s your problem?” What we see as sexual harassment, many men see as cool behavior. When I explained to him w
hy it felt bad, I got a new level of compassion from him. Just stating that the behavior is wrong won’t fly with most guys, who’d love to hear a woman say he’s cute or hot. Hearing “I’d like to get into your pants” can make a guy’s day. That different mindset makes it harder for a guy to know what compliments are inappropriate.

* Give him a chance. If you tell him and it doesn’t happen again, let it go if it wasn’t a serious action. If he squeezes my breast, I’ll take immediate action. If he touches my arm, I’ll explain that I find it inappropriate for him to touch me. If he continues, then it becomes more serious.

I begin by trying to educate, not castrate.

Situations that may seem like grounds for sexual harassment can be turned around without lawsuits. It begins with changing your outlook from angry victim to empowered woman who can take control and stop the inappropriate behavior with good communication and a firm but positive attitude. Anger guides poor decisions, alienates others and keeps you unhappy. Getting your point heard, understood and taken in ways that motivate the guy to stop his behavior—hopefully with all women—is much more empowering.

I hope that the woman who doesn’t like being told she’s cute alters her position. Why get revenge when you can educate and possibly alter the offending behavior by speaking up effectively? That makes you a much more empowered person!

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Chris at www.soupornuts.com tagged me to participate in the Think Different Challenge created by Peter from I Will Change Your Life.com. This is all about finding something in your life you currently have negative thoughts or feelings toward and deciding to look at it differently.

I include suggestions on changing thoughts in all of my writing because it’s such a powerful tool. When I was a DoorMat, my glass was always half empty. My overall perception of life was negative. No matter what was going on, I’d find a way to allow it to bring me down much more than necessary. Then I read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. And it didn’t just heal my life—it gave me a positive one!

Ms. Hay says, “If you can change the way you think, you can change your life.

I’ve met her 3 times since I embraced the lessons of her book and interviewed her for an article. Since then, I see my life as a series of blessings and it helps me reap the benefits of the Law of Attraction. I now think before I think. Okay, that sounds weird, but I watch my thoughts more before I put them out. I’ve become so aware of how my thoughts affect my life. Not because of books anymore, but because I live it. The more I see it work in my life, the more I use it!

One way I turn negatives into positive is by refusing to accept the obvious.

My favorite way of dealing with obvious negatives is to say firmly, “I know how this looks but I refuse to accept it!”

It didn’t matter that everyone said my car’s oil leak was under its motor mounts when I broke down driving across the country. I heard gloomy assessments from men who stopped to help and the mechanics I went to. No doubt it was a job that would take days and cost a fortune. Well I didn’t have days or extra cash. The first 2 mechanics said they couldn’t even do it. I asked them to call others. They finally called Bob, at Bob’s Auto in Streetsboro, OH where we were stranded. He agreed to help right away, bless his heart!

My intention was for miracles—a minor inconvenience instead of a major problem.

Bob agreed with the diagnosis of a serious problem. All the while I kept saying, “I know how bad this looks but refuse to accept that it’s a major job to fix the car.” When I told that to Bob, he looked at me like I was a bit crazy not to accept the obvious. I told God that night that I was counting on Him to support my intention. Bob called in the morning, in shock. Seems he found a crack in an oil pan that caused all the problems and fixed it easily. The car was fine! All those guys who knew better than me said one thing but the conviction in my thoughts manifested a better outcome.

I do this all the time to have better weather than forecasted when I need it. I’ve refused to accept a predicted snowstorm on the day of a seminar I was giving and it was sunny. “I know that a snowstorm is headed for New York but I refuse to accept that it will come this weekend.” Then I hear the weatherman talk of a crazy fluke that sent the storm out to sea.

Recently, my doc found a lump in my breast. She was worried and implored me to get it checked fast. I just babbled on about how I was fine. Doc said I should take it seriously. I did, but refused to accept that it could be cancer. Absolutely refused and said it was nothing. I truly believed it! She was perturbed that I wasn’t upset or asking lots of questions. I had to wait ten days to see a radiologist. I only told my sister because I didn’t want to create drama for nothing.

I kept thanking God for my good health and cancer-free body. I went for the mammogram with the belief it was nothing. The radiologist confirmed that!

Too often situations appear and we go with the flow, even if the tide is going in a troubled direction. When you expect results based on what circumstances indicate, you become a self-fulfilling prophecy—acceptance of a situation becomes your truth. The weatherman predicts rain and you expect it to happen. Watch out because it’s a bad flu season! People wait to get sick. I expect to stay healthy and do. My glass is always half full instead of half empty. After 9/11, people were depressed about how terrible our world was. I walked through the streets of New York and rejoiced in all the wonderful people who came together to help victims and get the city back on its feet.

I believe with all my heart that God wants us to have positive experiences and rewards. Therefore, my strong faith makes me challenge what seems like obvious outcomes. When I’m staunch in my refusal to believe the obvious, God never lets me down. When you believe that a bad outcome is inevitable, it is. When you refuse to accept it no matter what circumstances suggest, you open yourself to more positive results.

I tag these bloggers to be part of this challenge:
Lorraine Cohen at Powerfull Living
Tina Su at Think Simple, Be Decisive
Gamy Rachel Mind Think Success

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Life can seem negative if you see yourself as a victim the way many DoorMats do. When I was one, I waited for the next bad thing to happen, and my attitude attracted more bad stuff. When you don’t feel good about your life, the glass tends to be half empty instead of half full. But you can train yourself to have a more positive outlook. That attracts more positives to your world. Today’s guest blogger, Tina Su, has let me reprint a post from her empowering blog, Think Simple. Be Decisive, with suggestions on how to stay positive when you’re habit is to go negative. Having a more positive mindset makes life sweeter!

6 Ways to be Positive in Any Situation
by Tina Su

The power of remaining positive, whatever the situation, can never be underestimated. We are all here for a limited period of time, is it worth it to spend any of that time in a dismal mood? Being negative?

The true test of an individual to remain positive is when challenges become difficult. Remaining positive keeps one’s mind in the right state of balance and often opens resolutions to the problems at hand. Negativity is contagious; not only does it affect the individual, but it spreads to anyone they interact with. When only the negative perspective is in focus, the resolution process is impeded.

Eliminating negativity, or rather, being positive is a mindset that can be found at any moment, and turned into a habit. Here are some tips that can help you in shifting your mindset:

1. Shift Your Thoughts – Be conscious of your thoughts. Especially, when life just isn’t going your way. The moment you see that you are diving into frustration, agony, sorrow and low self-esteem – shift your thoughts, by thinking about something completely unrelated. This breaks the pattern of self-pity, mind-created stories, and negative downward spiral. What makes us different from other mammals is our ability to control our thoughts and think for ourselves.

2. Find the Lesson – There is a lesson to be learned from every situation. No matter how unfortunate the situation may appear, recognize the beautiful lessons waiting to be discovered. Sometimes lessons are expensive, but every problem is a learning opportunity in disguise. You may have made a mistake, but now you can accept it and continue, knowing that you will make a different decision in the future. Understand this and be appreciative for the experience.

3. Attitude of Gratitude – You cannot be both angry and grateful at the same time. Start counting the blessings and miracles in your life, start looking for them and you shall find more. What’s there not to be grateful? You are alive and breathing! Realize how lucky you are and all the abundance in your life.

4. Positive Affirmations & Visualization – Practice seeing yourself in a positive and confident light. Do this whenever you have a few minutes (examples; Waiting for a friend, sitting on the bus, riding an elevator.) Self-affirmations (list of positive statements about yourself and your self image) are another simple and powerful tool to train your subconscious to see yourself in a positive light. This is important, as many of us can be so hard on ourselves though social conditioning. I am guilty of being extra tough on myself, but have learned over time to recognize my gifts rather than finding false and self-imposed inadequacies.

5. Inventory of Memories – Keep an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative and cheerful. When you were at peace with the world. Whenever you are in a negative frame of mind, consciously and deliberately pick up any leaf out of this inventory and dwell on it. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.

6. Criticizing Detox Diet – Change your approach and attitude. See if you can stop criticizing others and situations. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding.

Whether you are positive or negative, the situation does not change. So, we might as well be positive.

As with any habit, the habit of remaining positive in all situations takes practice and a commitment to yourself to take control. But start small, start paying attention to your emotions, start by wanting to change. I am working on this constantly, and I am here with you, working towards better understanding of my emotions and becoming a better person. Keep going at it, and you will gradually become a positive energy source for the others around you! Wouldn’t that be empowering?
Think Simple. Be Decisive

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