I was beginning to get lost in all of the old thoughts and all of the new thoughts as so much has been revealed and explored in a short period of time. Where was I in the process of getting resolution and ultimately the freedom from the negative feelings? I know I moved from the anger outburst about the injustice of the fat label to the anxiety & frustration feeling (Midnight Munchies). I felt the exuberance with “I’m fabulous” – which replaced the anxiety & frustration feeling, so I feel solidly complete with that issue. But, I think I’d glossed over finding the replacement thought for the injustice issue. I knew this because as I thought about it, negative feelings were still present.

And that’s the “test” for knowing if you’ve really gotten down to the bottom of an issue you’re working on. When you go back to the original feeling or issue, and get yourself quiet, then ask yourself how you feel about that issue, if you feel neutral or positive or your new replacement belief is the response, you know you’re good to go. But, if the response still feels even a little negative, keep digging for more answers.

So many thoughts on the subject were swirling in my head, and I felt a bit overwhelmed. So, as I lay my head to sleep for the night, I asked the question: “what thought will completely shift my perception about feeling this injustice?” I found myself waking up a couple of times during the night, and each time, I re-focused my thoughts on the question. Since I was on a vacation day from work, by the time I was really waking up, I decided to stay in bed and work on this. Ideas floated around my head, but nothing that had that “knowing” feeling you get when you just know you’ve found the answer you’d been looking for. However, I did feel I was making progress and that the pieces of the puzzle felt like they were beginning to come together. So, after about 15 minutes, I decided to get up and start my day.

Feed the fish, let out the dog, put the dishes in the dishwasher… all the while still thinking about finding a new empowering thought. I had already begun to dig beneath the feelings of injustice, and found an idea that felt even more meaningful and important to me.

Mom tells stories of my being an incredibly joyful child. In recent years, I’ve believed this joyfulness was because I was left to do what comes natural to children. For at least my first 5 or 6 years, I had little parental intervention. Mom has told me that she didn’t really feel she was sure of how to be a Mother when I was a baby. But, by the time my little brother was about 2 (putting me around 5), she felt she had begun to get the hang of it. So, at this point she looked to me, and thought to herself that since I was so joyful and happy without interjecting overt direction, that perhaps, it would be best to leave well enough alone, and let things just continue as is. As I look back over this, I can’t help but wonder if that allowed me to simply experience life by following the inner impulses that came natural to my small little self. Thus, being free to enjoy a stable connection to my inner being, knowing how to interpret those inner impulses, and knowing how to trust their guidance.

I absolutely believe that most parents, teachers, & adults in general, train children away from following their natural inner guidance. And those adults do so because they were trained away from following their natural inner guidance, and so on. I don’t think anyone’s necessarily to blame, it’s just what happens and is perpetuated when people don’t connect to their inner beings. And face it, most people are NOT connected to their inner beings, let alone acknowledge they even have an inner being. Every now and then, we recognize “having a gut feeling” (that’s the impulse from our inner being providing guidance), but making a lifestyle out of paying attention to our inner being, is not what most people do.

However, that IS the premise on how I live my life. And it’s taken me years, and thousands of life experiences to get me to see and know it’s the most effective way of enjoying life that I’ve experienced – which has caused me to also believe it’s how we were designed to live life on planet earth.

The importance of this connection to my inner being, is that my inner being is not just an airy-fairy, spiritual thing. My inner being is ME. My inner being LOVES me in a deep and spiritual way, like no other loves me. My inner being not only knows what’s best for me, but ALWAYS thinks the best of me, never criticizes me, never sees me in negative light. My inner being is always calling me toward all that I’ve ever dreamed of.

I digress… back to putting the dishes in the dishwasher. The thought came that what this whole childhood experience did to me, was to exert external guidance upon me. “Listen to Mom, and listen to us adults telling you what to do.” Their words were overpowering. And I believe that is when I made the HUGE shift from following the still, small, inner voice that I’d trusted since I was born TO following the LOUD voices that were pressuring me.

Now, if I had known that what I was giving up when I traded in my inner being for my family’s approval – it never would have happened. But, I was 9, and I didn’t have that level of awareness back then. Mmmm, I guess that’s why it’s so easy to train children away from their inner beings, because they don’t have the capability to really know what they’re doing.

Then, I had a light bulb moment when I realized that the INJUSTICE story was only the COVER STORY for what was beneath the surface. And the ACTUAL issue was that I was driven away from following the voice of my inner being. AND THAT’S A VERY BIG DEAL !!!

And then without warning, this huge wave of energy descended upon me with a POWERFUL RUSH and I proclaimed out loud with authority and intensity: I DON’T NEED THEIR APPROVAL. I don’t need their approval. I don’t need their approval. I don’t need their approval. I don’t know how many times, I repeated that declaration — I DON’T NEED THEIR APPROVAL. The tears gushed out of my eyes as I was affirming this out loud. THAT IS IT. I found the truth I’d been seeking.

I don’t need their approval BECAUSE I have my inner being. I don’t need their approval, I have my inner being! That is monumentally significant! And I’ve had a couple of other experiences in my life that have profoundly guided me to learn that I am my own authority. No one knows more about what is “right” for me, than ME. And this understanding today, is an even more powerful experience again guiding me to KNOW that because I am connected to my inner being, and have practiced following my inner being’s impulses, I truly have what I’ve been searching for.

Experiencing fatness, almost seems insignificant right now. It was the fat issue that was on the surface, and beneath that was the feeling of injustice, for being singled out in my family to be judged for my size. BUT, the REAL issue all along, was that I was guided away from my inner being.

My inner being is my authoritative voice, the one that always knows what’s best for me. My inner being and I are ONE. The only difference is that my inner being is the non-physical part of me. (Some people call their inner being, their soul, or their higher self, or their higher power or their God force. And I would even go so far as to say – although this may be a stretch for some, I believe our inner being is the same as the Holy Spirit.)

I feel so relieved right now. This discovery seems so shocking to me. And yet, I can see it as clear as day. I can even go so far as to say, I no longer feel any negative feelings about my Mom or my family’s role in this issue. My judgment of their judgment of me is completely released!

The test: How do I feel when I think about my Mom and my family judging me for being overweight?
Response: All I feel is laughter.

Next test: How do I feel when I think about my sister not being able to fit into my thin clothes, and the injustice I felt that no one saw in the comparison what I clearly saw?
Response: More laughter, and the words: “it just doesn’t matter anymore”

Last test: How do I feel when I think about being trained away from the guidance of my inner being to needing the approval of others as my guidance?
Response: “I’m home”… “I have all I need”…And with that a sense of peace came over me!

This issue can be put to rest. Since I had all positive responses to all of my test questions, I’m “good to go” regarding the negative feelings I’ve worked on.

Just a couple of notes:
I had a hard time understanding how a child of 9 could get pneumonia, especially when pneumonia represented a feeling of desperation, being tired of life, and emotional wounds that were not allowed to heal. But, now I sense the internal battle I must have been under. On one side was the desire to stay with my inner being that had so naturally guided me my whole life vs. the desire for my family to approve of me. The struggle had to be so intense, that over time, it turned into feelings of desperation. That’s pretty heavy for a 9 year old. Now, I understand how a child of 9 could come down with pneumonia!

The need for approval is so powerful, more powerful than we really give it credit. The theme of my first blog (Meltdown on the Alaska Cruise) illustrated the first time I began to REALLY understand how powerful this need for approval is, and how damaging it can be. And I believe this current blog’s story is an even more pronounced example of the power of the need for approval. Without realizing I was doing it, I traded my inner being for my family’s approval. Of course, I didn’t know at the time, I would spend my life searching for the re-connection to my inner being that I had once had. Being trained away from the relationship to our inner being is pervasive in our society. Being trained away from our inner being comes at a very high price, we just don’t know it. And since most adults are unaware of the concept, they push, prod, and cajole their children into doing things to please them, thus teaching them to strive for their approval.

And in some cases, children go easily, and some times, you get a child that is stubborn like me, and when I went over to the other side, I didn’t go quietly, and the transition was not smooth. I recall being incredibly sad when I was 9 and 10. Perhaps, by the time I reached 11, I was conditioned to this new way of living… and yet, in the background, I now felt an emptiness that could not be quenched. I recall in my high school years, sitting on the edge of my Mom’s bed expressing to her that what I felt inside was this terrible, dark, deep bottomless pit. Eventually, I gave this feeling a name. I called it “THE VOID”. And I was aware of THE VOID feeling until somewhere in my 30’s. I guess that’s when I started to really make a re-connection to my inner being (I just didn’t realize that’s what I was doing). I was just thrilled when I recognized that the horrible void feeling was finally gone; and it never returned, not even on my worst of days!

Although I’ve been re-connected to my inner being for years, I now have it in a FULLER AWARENESS through this process of exploration. This particular episode has spanned 5 weeks. I wondered if all of this was part of my desire to RESET my body’s operating system (from my previous blog: “Who’s in control of my operating system?”). During the time I had pneumonia, I lost about 10-12 lbs. And usually when I lose weight from a sickness, I usually gain it back as soon as I feel better, and resume regular eating. But, in this case, it’s been over three weeks since returning to “normal” eating, and I haven’t gained any of it back. Mmmm, I wonder if this is the beginning of a losing weight in route to thinness? I think so.

What a journey this has been! I’m filled with happiness and satisfaction beyond belief as I write this… I feel so satisfied, I actually feel physically full (and I haven’t eaten in hours). These 5 weeks which produced these seven blogs have been another truly awesome life experience!