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Ina's Blog

To defend or stand for yourself? That is the question.

When you work on yourself, which I seem to be constantly doing, you never know what kind of insights will hit you at any given time.  My husband and I were talking about how we relate to each other at times.  He said that I’m really good at standing for myself.  I was pretty surprised about that because I don’t believe I do stand for myself often enough.  As I thought about it, I realized that I’m mostly good at defending myself, but not always standing for myself.  The distinction for me is that when I defend myself, I’m defensive. When I’m standing for myself, I am self-assured.  Sound familiar?

When we defend, the thoughts that may run through us (consciously or unconsciously) are:

  • Something is wrong with me – Here you may put more weight on other people’s words than your own sense of self.
  • The other person could be right, but I’m not sure. Or, I don’t want to really hear it.
  • I feel attacked and I need to shield myself.

Notice your mind, body, and spirit when you are in defensive mode.  I know for me, my mind can be worried and muddled.  I can’t think of what to say in the moment.  My body is tense and I feel limited and small.

On the other hand, when we stand for ourselves, the thoughts that may run through us (also consciously or unconsciously) are:

  • I take responsibility for what is true, even when it’s difficult to hear.
  • I am confident about what is true for me and I have no need to explain myself.
  • I feel truth in my bones and fully and confidently express that truth.

What happens when you notice your mind, body, and spirit when you are standing for yourself?  For me, when I take a stand for myself, my mind is clear and honest.  My body is relaxed and I literally and figuratively move through my life with ease.  And, my spirit is full of possibility and radiates out.

So how do you move from defending to standing for yourself?

  • In meditation we learn to be mindful of the present moment. Building your mindfulness muscle helps you to stay present with yourself so that you notice when you shift into defensiveness.  It also helps you to pause so that you can make the choice to shift into a state of self-assurance more easily.
  • Set an intention for your day, or for any interaction, about how you want to be. Focus your attention on your intention several times a day.  And, check in with yourself to see where you may need to course correct to get yourself back to your true self, your heart center, or your soul connection.
  • Don’t judge yourself or your thoughts as you progress toward mastering your intention. We are human and there is learning in every step we take.

Let me know your thoughts, in the comments below, about how you make the leap to knowing who you are and living your true life.  You know my motto…. “Know yourself.  Love yourself.  Be yourself.”