“Your only and ultimate responsibility is self-alignment, and when you’ve got that, everything else takes care of itself.” ~ Abraham Hicks
Self-alignment seems like the most obvious act we all can do for ourselves to be able to lead the quality of life that, deep down, we know we need to.
Yet, this is the hardest task we as humans face on our journey.
We all have our mountains to climb, boulders to push, peaks to attain, and lessons to learn.
And everything that we do or don’t do has personal and spiritual significance for us. We may not realise it at the time, but things do unfold in their own time.
While life continues to take its course, we are often given challenges that highlight the level of alignment or misalignment we have within ourselves.
Sadly, for most of us, life goes by while we remain disconnected and distanced from our own selves.
Perhaps, some of us don’t even realise that there is a misalignment or that there are ways in which we can foster a greater and healthier sense of connection with self.
We think one thing, don’t even know what we feel, and end up doing something completely different. Over time, the sense of misalignment begins to grow till it reaches a point where everything seems to have lost purpose and meaning.
“Just as your car runs smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” ~ Brian Tracy
Work, relationships, health, nothing seems interesting and enjoyable. It’s as though we are sitting in a box and watching life go by from a tiny hole that we’ve only managed to cut out for ourselves.
We are fearful, insecure, anxious, and helpless to even notice that the box has been open all along. Only if we stretch our necks just a little more to see that.
In one scene in the movie “Dead Poets Society,” Professor Keating (Robin Williams) gets up on the table and tells the students, “Just when you think you know something, you must look again. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try.” And then the students start getting up on the table one by one, and he asks them to start reading out poetry aloud like how they would want to read it. He tells them, “You must find your own voice. The more time you take to begin, the less likely you’re going to find it.” Many students just go with the motion of the things, and only a few manage to actually infuse their own personality into it.
Isn’t that the case with most of us?
Most of us simply go through life wondering what are we doing and what we are supposed to do. Only some of us manage to operate more intentionally and purposefully.
Being aligned with our self is a byproduct of the intention that we carry for ourselves.
“The closer you are to what you want, the calmer it feels.” ~ Tracy Kauffman
Then, being misaligned is a byproduct of being completely cut off from our intention and vision. It’s like sitting in the back seat of a vehicle driven by someone else and we can only go where the driver takes us.
Here are eight signs that tell us we’re not aligned with ourselves and it’s time to step up:
1. We don’t know what we want. Most of us are cribbing and complaining about what’s not okay or how we have to deal with what we don’t like or want. Yet, we struggle to answer the question about what we do want. If we don’t know what we want from ourselves, relationships, and other areas of our lives, we’ll never be able to create something meaningful. Hence, most of us remain perpetually stuck in cycles of frustration and despair.
2. Thinking everyone else is better than us. So many of us think that the grass is greener on every other side except ours. Well, the grass is actually greener wherever you water it! Focusing on other people, their lives, and actions won’t change anything in ours unless that focus is stemming from curiosity and a need to understand other possible ways of being. Otherwise, it’s just making us sink deeper and deeper into our own mud pile.
3. We don’t speak up for ourselves. Our fears, insecurities, and inabilities keep us tied to silence. We let things happen and don’t utter a word; in the process, our being gets destroyed.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that really matter.” ~ Martin Luther King
4. We let everyone else take decisions for us. When we don’t know what we want and can’t speak up for ourselves, we automatically depend on others. We live a borrowed life that is colored by the decisions taken by others. Sometimes, we let them decide for us, and at other times, we just can’t say anything and let others take over our lives.
5. We’re constantly in the giving mode. Be it advice, a shoulder to cry on, running around for others or even material things, we’re always giving to others, thinking that keeping others happy would enable us to buy our peace and end up giving up on ourselves in the process. In the long run, it proves to be a really unfair bargain where we’re at the losing end because this kind of giving is almost always at the cost of our own self. Therefore, this act of giving doesn’t fill us up. Rather, it empties us out.
6. Not living by our values. Perhaps, the fundamental difference between existing and living is the values that we uphold for ourselves, relationships, and life in general. Our values are like our anchors that ground us in difficult times and enable us to flourish when the skies are blue and shiny.
7. We refuse to take responsibility for our part. It’s easy to blame others and circumstances for all the unfair, unjust things that happen to us, and that’s natural too. However, blaming self and others only takes us down the rabbit hole at lightning speed. Self-alignment calls for an analysis, understanding, and ownership of our own part in our own stories. Someone else may have spilled color on our coloring books, but it’s our job to ultimately take care of what’s ours. It’s not easy, but so is sitting with a sense of blame and resentment for self and others. We’ve got to choose a perspective and way of being that let us move forward instead of keeping us in the pit.
“If you can’t take responsibility for your own well-being, you will never take control over it.” ~ Jennifer Hudson
8. We keep reacting instead of responding. At some point, we need to stop reacting out of fear, anger, anguish. We need to look at our hurt and pain with openness and curiosity and let them guide us to a greater understanding of self and others. We need to be able to insert a pause and be more mindful of what we’re bringing to the table because if we want things to be different, we need to do things differently, and this difference can never be about changing the other. It will always be about changing the narrative in our own minds.
“When you react, you are giving away your power. When you respond, you are staying in control of yourself.” ~ Bob Proctor
So from this day on, what could you do differently for yourself? What would you like to do to feel more aligned with who you are?
“Alignment with the spirit is an ongoing challenge. But remember, your intention sets your direction and as long as you are moving in the direction of your intention, you are doing all that you need to do.” ~ John Roger