Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rejection Fears

Rejection fears are common among human beings. Each one of us, no matter how secure we think we are, experience rejection fears some time or another in our lives. After all, everybody wants to feel loved and accepted. Our natural need to be assured of another person's love and appreciation, so that we are able to say that we are happy and content about our lives, is one reason why everyone goes through rejection fears.

Rejection fears can begin as early as childhood. Children raised by parents who are less expressive of their love and are more critical than understanding of their young ones' behavior can already plant the seed of rejection fears into the child's psyche.

I know of parents who constantly criticize their kids' grades in school even though their children are already among the top achievers in class. For these parents, their children are just never going to be good enough until they are number one. But they are not aware that the message they are sending out to their children is that they will only be loved and appreciated if they're top of the class and win the gold. Children who are in this situation constantly feel pressured to push themselves to the limit or risk the possibility of being rejected by their own parents. They eventually grow up to be adults who always have issues associated with rejection fears.

Rejection fears may also surface later in life for some people. Usually a bad break-up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend can make a person begin to question his or her own worth. They start to wonder what it is about them that is not good enough for the other person to leave them. My experience with unhealthy relationships is one of the major reasons why I had to deal with rejection fears. Being told that if I do this or do that then I will be loved in return, even if they were things I did not want to do. But I did them anyway because I was afraid to lose the other person's love; even though in truth, that was not love but manipulation.

Rejection fears can make you compromise your own principles, make you lose who you are and make you feel less about yourself if you allow it to take over your life. You must always remember that you are enough, all on your own, and you do not need another person to tell you how important you are, how beautiful you are or how much you are loved. You must already know this deep in your heart so that you are not dependent on another person's opinion to feel complete. If you love yourself and accept who you are, with all your imperfections, then you will find that you are no longer hounded by rejection fears.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spiritual Guides

Spiritual guides are sacred companions who assist us in our life journeys. Spiritual guides may come in any form that you feel comfortable with or can easily relate to culturally, emotionally and spiritually. If we choose to recognize them, all of us can have spiritual guides.

Spiritual guides may be real persons, supernatural beings, animals or even symbols. In my case, Gurudevi Ahalya Running Deer Mahakali, is my spiritual guide. I met her in 1998 and almost immediately decided she was going to be my teacher. I regularly keep in touch with her through emails or phone calls whenever she is not here in the Philippines for a visit. I seek her assistance or advice whenever I am faced with challenges in my life or need to make important decisions that I am not sure about.

Spiritual guides for other people may be their guardian angels -- someone you pray to and ask to be with you everyday for protection, guidance and strength. For others, their spiritual guide may be a priest, a minister or a wise man/woman whom they can turn to for solace and comfort whenever they go through emotional pain or difficulties. A person you can be open about your life with, can share your pain with and can find comfort in their wisdom and their concern for you is basically your spiritual guide.

Spiritual guides can also be in the form of animals or symbols. Native American Indians look to nature for guidance and animals symbolize specific representations for them to follow and imbibe so they never forget their purpose in life as well as their specific roles in their tribe. Each member of a tribe makes sure that he or she constantly practices and remains faithful to the characteristics of his or her spiritual guide.

My animal spirit guide, for example, is a white she-wolf. She symbolizes a pure spirit; a protective and nurturing mother; a dependable and responsible member of her pack; and a powerful and formidable force to reckon with if her tribe or children are threatened or endangered. Whenever I feel lost, disempowered and lack faith in myself, I remind myself of my spirit guide, the white wolf, and remember that I have the strength and courage to get through any obstacle that blocks my way.

Spiritual guides are our source of inspiration, comfort and strength . We look to them for compassion and support when times are rough. Even when we have very close and loving relationships with our parents, siblings, friends and relatives, we sometimes still feel the need to seek another person's wise counsel and objectivity to get through our own problems; and this we are always able to find in our spiritual guides.