Winner of the 2015 International Book Awards New Age: Non-Fiction Category
Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for New Age Non-Fiction Category
Fed up with living life as an opinion of someone else? Throughout this book, readers will discover themselves, or at least what or who they aren’t. There’s no point in having spiritual answers if we can’t stand ourselves, as we layer most things into our guilt and shame cycle, which we seem to like so much. Self-hatred is evident in many of us, from overeating to starvation; seeking and never finding that true love, leaving a trail of broken lives—our own included—shows us we are really seeking ourselves. Never really knowing why that would be, we ventured into the heart of the matter, literally: self-love. Where is it, what is it, and how come we don’t have it? The reader is invited to discover how to reveal the power of love within and share it with others by the world’s foremost authority—God. The dialogue between God and the book’s authors provides insights into some of life’s biggest questions and the human condition, not just on a personal level, but also on a global scale. Through these inspiring messages, this book exposes spiritual truths, while providing solutions that can be incorporated into the daily practice of everyday living, to bring a greater sense of peace and awareness to the reader.
For more information, please visit our website: www.kissandtellproductions.com.
Front cover: photo by Jeanette Bishop (Isle of Skye, Scotland)
Back cover: photo by Helen Varga (Cranberry Creek Gardens, Lynedoch, Ontario, Canada)
“While the authors’ basic premise (direct communication with a supreme being) may not be palatable to everyone, their suggestions could offer a way back into spirituality for sincere seekers . . . . “
ForeWord Clarion Reviews
“Bishop and Varga have created a jovial and generous guidebook for self-care.
The book’s largest sections, which focus on loving oneself and healing via that love, offer a blueprint for this reorientation. Trading between practical advice and recalled, meditative conversations with the Spirit, the authors act as creative spiritual gurus.”
Kirkus Indie Review
“ . . . there are sound pieces of advice to be gleaned from these pages, even by readers with diff erent beliefs.”
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)|
Read an Excerpt
WTF I'm Trying to Be Spiritual
A Guidebook for Loving Yourself without Fear
By Jeanette Bishop, Helen Varga
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Jeanette Bishop and Helen Varga
All rights reserved.
The Source of Our Pain
As a child and later a young adult growing up in Scotland, Jeanette frequently conversed with God, often questioning the pain and suffering she witnessed, whether it was her own trials or those of others. As Jeanette matured, God instructed her over a number of years, giving insights as she developed understanding. "Squashing creates a deviation of energy, seeking solace for the pain it causes—an aspirin, if you will; all are seeking love of the unconditional kind," He told her.
"What is it they squash?" Jeanette asked.
"All people squash the feelings of inadequacy, feelings of being unloved, feelings of being unacceptable to others, and even feelings of not belonging to the human race where they live, to name but a few," He informed her.
"Where does this begin, God, and why does it begin?" She brooded while listening to His wisdom.
"Do you remember when you were small, and we talked about the stars and the moon? How you were part of all of that, and everyone else in the world is part of all that?" He asked.
"Yes, I do. I remember that night very well. We lay in the long wheat in the middle of the night and looked up at the stars and the moon. I was upset that night. I had been beaten by my stepmother for blurting out a part of her secret life. I had a hard time with her calling me a liar and conniving. I wanted to understand why I was going through that at that time," she replied.
"Yes, well, it began then and even younger," God gently told her. "Children are innocents, as we all are, even adults. You are conditioned to believe certain things about yourself through your childhood, so you can be controlled and manipulated to the ways of whoever is the authority figure at that time. That is what gives them power and feelings of importance, as you bend to their will."
"Yeah, okay, but why do they do that? You would think they would know better and not want to hurt their future, right?"
"I understand, Jeanette, you would be angry. It is your conditioning that is creating that anger, your pain, and your suffering, as we talked about in the beginning. Are you aware of your pain at this time?" God asked.
"Yes, I am aware," she replied indignantly.
"Are you aware of where this pain is coming from?" God asked gently.
"Yes, of course I am! It comes from the injustice of it all."
"Yes, injustice. It is the injustice part of your childhood and how you felt wrongly accused?" asked God.
"No, I just feel that way about any overpowering of an innocent."
"Could it be you feel that way because you understand what it is to be an innocent and be betrayed by love as you saw it?" God gently asked.
Jeanette broke down; she cried and cried.
"You see, Jeanette, your tears are all your pains coming out, so it isn't suppressed. If suppressed, the energy will find a way to get out. It will seek love, to be soothed and healed. At the first sign of interest or love, it might run into the arms of the lover, often the very same energy of the pain—a mirror, if you will—so it may see itself, release the energy, and heal. However, without understanding, the pain just continues to grow and sabotage itself to pain and suffering again, as it rejects love for power over another, as that is what 'young' feelings of love believe. In order to love, one must own the lover; otherwise it is pointless and means you have no power and are weak in some way."
"Oh, my God!" Jeanette was astounded as the knowledge fell into place within her being.
"Yes?" he replied.
His sense of humor is wonderful!
"What do you mean, 'young feelings of love'?" she asked as she replayed the conversation in her head.
"It means, my love, young feelings of love are the feelings of love experienced or want of experience from a young age, which was never given the chance to mature or allowed to experience into adulthood," God answered.
She asked Him exactly what He meant by "never given a chance to mature or allowed to experience."
"It means the emotions a child experiences aren't allowed to grow as they age; they stay at the same age. Emotions will seek a place to grow and mature unconsciously in the mind, although the soul knows the path," was God's reply.
Does that mean, then, if you are traumatized emotionally at age five, those emotions may stay at that level? Yes, it does. God showed Jeanette that when a child is hurt emotionally, the child does not know how to ease that pain, so the pain continues as he or she grows. At some point, in one way or another, it will come to the surface. Looking for the power to feel "good" about oneself, seeking retribution for the pain, or victimizing oneself are all common. One might be rescued from the pain through these methods; however, it is a short-lived remedy, and the pain will frequently rear its ugly head. This happens simply because the understanding is not present and was not taught at a young age.
This does not mean that everyone who has been abused, to varying degrees, will actually perpetrate the same things on others. However, perpetration of a pain and inside hurt can take many forms.
"A person may self-sabotage his or her growth by making decisions based on self-esteem," God told Jeanette. "Another may teach others and indoctrinate others in their ways for power and insist on the 'right' way. These are all stepping stones to greater understanding and growth spiritually, since we are all spirit in flesh."
"What do you mean 'we' are all spirit in flesh? You aren't in the flesh."
"Ah, yes, I wondered if you would catch that. Yes, I am in the flesh, in each and every human being, every flower, every tree, every living thing. I am in the flesh, experiencing the world," was God's reply.
"So when you say everyone, does that mean you are experiencing the 'good' person who is being abused or hurt in some way and the person who is 'bad'? How can that be?" Jeanette asked, bewildered.
"There is no such thing as separateness in the world of the physical," God gently told her. "I am everywhere and in everything, including the wrongdoers and the righteousness, as you put it. There is no right or wrong; there just is, and each situation is the same—the lack of love within and the feelings of being unloved."CHAPTER 2
Who the Hell Am I, Anyway?
"Trust is seeking ourselves externally in an egotistical way because we lack love within ourselves. When we need to trust, or desire to trust, that means it's based on neediness, which means we need something from the person or God in order to be validated of our exclusivity and loved-ness. We need trust from the outside to know we are okay inside, instead of seeking within."
We have given value to the negative opinions others have thought and said about us since the beginning of our childhood. These opinions and beliefs have left countless individuals with low self-worth and a lack of love for themselves. As a result, they have developed an emotional attachment to these beliefs about themselves and been left searching for the unconditional love they may not have received as children. Emotions are the chains of the mental beliefs that bind us to our experiences.
Everything begins with an emotion, which develops into a mental belief as we try to make sense of how we feel; we survive the damage that has been inflicted upon us by others. Lasting impressions from our youth, especially negative imprints, leave us with a need to please, in order to gain some sort of recognition through validation. Adults who create expectations for children to live up to often result in their children feeling unworthy. These adults are obviously working out their own childhood issues regarding feelings of worthiness, and so the cycle perpetuates. It becomes more about what adults want from children, as opposed to creating a relationship based on developing inner trust and love.
In an effort to regain their "love," as we see it through the eyes of a now-adult child, we recreate the scenario throughout our lives in our relationships, in an effort to find ourselves and know we are good enough. Is it possible that we are looking for external validation because we were never taught how to validate ourselves?
Why were some of the people we trusted as children so negative and yet some were very positive? Why were we not always able to hang on to the positive stuff? Could it be that some of us were not taught how to love ourselves as children because the opinions of those we trusted were unquestionable?
Few things are worse than the memories of that big bully who towered over you as a child. The bully can take the shape of parent, teacher, peer, next-door neighbor, family member, or sibling—in fact, just about anyone. That feeling of helplessness and loss of power as a child can render us vulnerable in adult life; relationships can be emotionally chaotic at best.
HEL: "Oh, my God, what's wrong with you? You crazy? You not normal." How many times did I hear those comments from certain members of my family? I became convinced in my later years that I was indeed "not normal" and slowly going insane and should commit myself into a mental hospital. I also remember my uncle telling me more than once, "The older you get, the dumber you get." For a long time, I thought it was some profound Hungarian proverb and took it quite literally. I didn't question my family regarding their beliefs about me; they must have known something I didn't. As an adult, I would ask myself, "What's wrong with me? Why can't I be like everyone else?"
JEN: In my house, my step-grandmother always sneaked in on me when I was playing with my toys in my room, making sure I wasn't doing anything "dirty"—whatever that meant. I was five years old, and from then onward, I became obsessed with my own bodily smells. I thought I was the only "dirty" person in our family. I stayed away from people, just in case they could smell me, although I had a hard time finding out exactly what it was I smelled of to begin with. My step-grandmother would always hiss at me, "You know what I am talking about!" It took me years to recognize that my body smells were very normal and there was nothing wrong with me. Unfortunately, I didn't question either, because I was too afraid of her.
Stepping back emotionally only helps us realize that our desire to please the adults during our childhood was used against us to create control over our behavior. We aren't to blame for an adult's lack of control, lack of parenting, or teaching skills. We cannot change what has happened. However, we can alter how we look at it with our self-love.
We have all had times in our childhood when we have been demoralized over our personalities, our physical appearance, talents, skills, intelligence, and most of all, our behavior. For instance, depending on your culture, ridicule is a wonderful way to make sure children comply with society's ideas of acceptable behavior. They are bombarded with information from an early age regarding what is acceptable and what is not. This follows us into adulthood. Think of the outcasts: the homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics, people with mental illness or some form of physical deformities, those with AIDS or leprosy, the starving, and even victims of genocide. They all fall into the popular behavior of scorn and become the topic of our moral superiority.
We can understand intellectually the concepts thus far. However, to know and understand them emotionally, in order to heal and release our pain, is entirely different. The first step, as hard as it is to do, is to let go! As a child and as an adult child, it was not your fault if your parents/teachers/siblings/ family/next-door neighbors could not get past their own anger and fears to make you feel loved and wanted.
First, ask yourself what you believe about yourself. For example, what do you like or even love about yourself? (This doesn't seem much like letting go, but we'll get to that point, we promise!) Is it your personality, your physical appearance, maybe your creative talents and skills, your intelligence, be it emotional or logical? We aren't talking about what others think; focus on what you think about you. Compare this list with the things you don't like about yourself. Which one seems longer?
Once you listen to the negative beliefs, you can write them down and ask yourself, "Is this valid?" Some might be—for instance, if you cut someone off in traffic, and they call you a nasty name, because a fear of crashing might cause anyone to lash out. However, if the negative belief is something like, "I'm so stupid. I can never do anything right," then you just know it was about meeting an expectation placed on you as a child by someone whom you trusted, admired, or feared. Then we wonder why we have this desire to be perfect. There seems to be a measuring stick for perfection, yet the standard of perfection seems to vary from person to person. For example, what one person considers the perfect pie crust may be deemed by another as ordinary. That's just a pie crust! Just think how the idea of what constitutes perfection affects everything from romantic relationships to friendships or the workplace.
Some set their standards very high for themselves and the everyday things they do. As a result, they never quite get it right, or they may give up long before they realize they have the potential to become great in their own way, at their own thing.
Letting go of those negative opinions, which have become part of your daily thinking, isn't easy. Making a list of them and putting the name of the person responsible beside the opinion can help you see that your negative opinion isn't the result of your thoughts at all, but rather the thoughts of a person who was obviously unhappy with him- or herself and wanted to feel some sort of power or control over something—you!
Once you notice that some things you have believed about yourself aren't real, you may wish to be aware when these negative subtleties arise. Any situation that brings about stress and fear will contribute to your feelings of low self-worth and lack of self-love. Once you have started to break through, you will notice that many negative beliefs will arise in every aspect of your being. Becoming aware and making your journey less stressful are the keys to self-love and happiness within. Opening yourself to the power of reason and understanding can be a great tool to use; hence, you can buy a journal and keep track of your thoughts with the following headings: What's the belief you have about yourself?
Who told you?
Where are you right now?
How did you get there?
Why does it serve you?
Is it time to release yourself from places or people that feed into that belief? This is one question to ask. The next questions are: Can I release myself, and do I want to release myself? It takes courage to believe in ourselves and break that cycle of pain. Letting go isn't always easy. However, it helps to remind yourself that the negative opinions you say to yourself aren't yours. They are an illusion made yours.
"An illusion made yours" means any kind of opinion you have developed over the years due to negative behavior that has been presented to you that you've been forced to take on board as your own. For instance, your authority figure (mother, father, or uncle) or someone who had an effect on you emotionally may have kept saying every time they dropped something, "See, if you hadn't kept talking, I wouldn't have done that. It's your fault."
Then you start to look inward and think it's all about you and how you're the one who causes all the problems. You're raised with the illusion that you're at fault for every bad thing that happens. Since you're only a child at the time, it seems to you like you are at fault for every bad thing. You have a limited view or window that you look through as a child, whereas an adult has a larger view. Therefore, a child with a limited view would see everything that he or she does as being wrong and therefore become convinced that he or she is worthless or stupid. The child would then think, My mom was right. I am worthless.
It's not true—it's the illusion that's been made yours. Illusions we keep that are hurtful to our well-being are the ones we decide to own and use to our detriment. Don't keep them! Throw them out every day with the garbage. Define who you are by your own learning curve, and keep growing into who you truly are. This can be achieved through creative thinking and actions, including learning new habits that are great for your self-esteem. Start by loving yourself on special occasions, and then develop that into daily love. Just keep growing into the real you! There is absolutely no one like you on this Earth, no replica that is better or worse than you are. You are unique! So why waste time trying to be someone else?
Take good care of yourself while you ponder the questions. Remember that these questions are no substitute for counseling or seeking professional help. Don't be ashamed if you require a little support or even a lot of support. At the end of the day, your mental and emotional well-being are much more important than anyone's opinion. If you find yourself in distress over the questions, we urge you to seek proper medical care.
Excerpted from WTF I'm Trying to Be Spiritual by Jeanette Bishop, Helen Varga. Copyright © 2013 Jeanette Bishop and Helen Varga. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsSelf-Love Introduction, 1,
PART I - EARLY INSIGHTS,
Chapter 1 - The Source of Our Pain, 9,
PART II - THE THREE RULES OF LOVE,
Chapter 2 - Who the Hell Am I, Anyway?, 15,
Chapter 3 - Damn It—I Deserve!, 27,
Chapter 4 - Limits versus Limitlessness: Know Your Boundaries, 31,
Chapter 5 - Getting Off the Hamster Wheel, 35,
Chapter 6 - The Three Rules of Love, 41,
Chapter 7 - The Guidelines to Loving Yourself, 45,
Chapter 8 - The Practices of Love, 55,
PART III - HEALING YOUR BEING,
Chapter 9 - Healing Mentally, 63,
Chapter 10 - Healing Emotionally, 83,
Chapter 11 - Healing Physically, 91,
Chapter 12 - Healing Spiritually, 99,
PART IV - THE HUMAN RACE,
Chapter 13 - Suppression Leads to Deviation, 107,
Chapter 14 - Our Future, 123,
PART V - FULL CIRCLE,
Chapter 15 - Giving Yourself Permission to Be Human, 129,
Chapter 16 - Evolution of Our Spirituality, 131,
Chapter 17 - A Word from Our Sponsor, 147,