Being ordinary is a delicious kind of freedom.

When you see that you are loveable in your ordinariness there is no longer a drive to be seen as grand or exceptional.

What prevents us from allowing ourselves to be ordinary are beliefs from childhood and society which state that only certain people, traits and behaviors are acceptable and deserving of love. It’s implicit that we should love ourselves only AFTER we have received approval from others. But we give our power away when we wait for others to give us approval before we approve of ourselves.

You may have experienced at one time or another a fear of being ordinary. In our culture being ordinary is seen as a negative thing. No one wants to be seen as average or mediocre. As children most of us were taught in school or sports that we had to excel, stand out and be the best. The atmosphere of competition fosters a belief in scarcity—that there’s not enough love or recognition for everyone—that it is only available to a chosen few. Early on, this creates a kind of “invisible audience” in the mind—or an inner judge or critic. It doesn’t stop when we make the team, graduate from school or get the dream job. In the western world, the pressure to excel and be extraordinary is intense and unrelenting, from childhood into adulthood.

Seeking “okayness”

It seems that what we’re seeking though external approval is a feeling of unconditional “okayness.” It seems that what we hope to get through external approval is permission to rest—rest from the striving to be extraordinary, for that feeling of “Now I’ve finally made it!” You may have already realized that that day will never come. After every goal is reached, another appears. The mind will continue to create new strategies to obtain some new form approval in the future, convincing us it is just right around the corner. This momentum continues until we realize that “okay-ness” is available in every moment.

The wisdom of exhaustion

We may reach a point of physical and psychological exhaustion—a point of not being able to conjure up the energy to strive anymore. This exhaustion can be trusted. Let exhaustion take you into truth—the truth that you do not have to strive for what you most deeply desire. Your gift to the world, your most precious contribution, is to be your most authentic self.

There is no audience

Realizing this unconditional okay-ness is a gift we can only give to ourselves. It can’t come from the outside.

There is only one time in our lives when we actually do need approval from others to survive, and that is in very early childhood. (An extreme example of this is “Failure to thrive” which refers to when babies die from a severe lack of affectionate mirroring and interactions with the primary caregiver.) Even if we had wonderful parents and survived childhood intact and well-adjusted, there may be trace memories of unmet needs for love that may be unconsciously creating an underlying feeling of “not enough” or a persistent sense that something is missing. The opportunity here is to dive into freedom by actually becoming the internal parent for ourselves that we always wanted.

We all have a natural, genuine need to be seen, loved and cherished. What we’re rarely taught is that ultimately the love we’re seeking is available from within us.

It’s ironic that when we allow ourselves to be truly ordinary, we free ourselves to discover our authentic impulses and desires, which if heeded, lead to our inner gold, our genius, our innate extraordinariness. And yet it doesn’t matter if other people approve or not because we already know deep in our bones that we are thoroughly loveable–in our ordinariness and with all our flaws.

We may do and achieve truly extraordinary things in this world but not until we really take in our very own love towards ourselves—simply for being, no outer recognition will ever feel like enough.  I’m talking about loving ourselves for who we are and for what makes us unique, special and irreplaceable.

When we fully grieve the ways we did not get the love we needed as children, we are free to take in our own love in abundance.

By grieving the past we are free to really see our own beauty and specialness.  This grieving process can take a long time. And you may feel like you are grieving for the generations before you who did not have the chance to grieve. However, a time comes when there is no longer a wall within, a splitting in two, between what we need and what we think we deserve. The inner wall dissolves, we see that we aren’t just fully deserving of love, but that our very substance is love. Fear and craving drop away. What remains is a deep sense of quiet, peace and relief. The momentum of striving slows down. It is seen that there is no one watching or judging. There is no audience. You are free, free to simply be. Free to be ordinary. Where there was a deep wound within, now in the center of your being is an infinite source of love that is your true Self. Outer recognition or approval may come yet it no longer has the power to hurt or inflate you.

This is very powerful work. What you heal in yourself, you heal in the collective.

Motivations change: There’s nothing to obtain

When one really loves oneself and really takes it in deeply, flattery or rejection cannot disorient you. This inner-love is something that can never be taken away, because you know that it is yours, and essentially it is who you are. The things you desire to do are motivated for enjoyment, for what inspires you, not for what it will get you. People and circumstances are no longer seen as objects to get you closer to the goal of “feeling okay.”

There is also a deep compassion for the feeling  of inner scarcity that underpinned the impulse to seek. There is a tender holding and seeing. An embracing where nothing is rejected. It’s like kissing your fingers and toes. Loving yourself from the inside out. Knowing yourself as holy. Feeling that in your body.

Know yourself as holy: Within you is the “Whole” World

This is a place of maturity where we know that everything that we experience is a reflection of how deeply we are willing to embrace ourselves with a love that has no limit. After this seeing, nothing can ever hold power over you. You are sovereign within. You know that you are the source; you ARE what you desire.

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