Your Next Moment...

Another moment just passed.  Wait for it… there went another moment.  It’s amazing to me how that works.  What took place in that second moment was not determined by the first one.  And the next moment that will come is not necessarily determined by this exact moment, unless we let it be. Bad habits and habitual destructive behavior suck on many levels.  It’s not just that the bad habit or continued destructive behavior has negative effects on our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.  It goes beyond that.  Sometimes the worst part is how repeated destructive behaviors trigger something in us that tends to cause massive amounts of shame.

I struggle with exercising on a regular basis.  I often make unhealthy choices when it comes to eating, exercise, and restful sleep.  But what happens is as soon as I make an unhealthy choice,  let’s say something as simple as eating a donut, I almost immediately begin to feel shame for eating that donut.  But that shame doesn’t motivate me to make a healthy choice the next time.  That shame makes me feel worse about myself, if I let it, and I begin to devalue myself even more.  “I don’t deserve to have good health.”  That’s the shame tape that plays in my mind.  And if I feel like I don’t deserve to have good health because of my poor eating habits, I am even less motivated to  make a beneficial decision in the future.  Mostly because I now value myself less.  It doesn't matter what the destructive behavior is... substance abuse, relational dysfunction, self mutilation, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, self hatred, selfish behavior, ____________.  If it isn't an act of love and value for yourself and others, it is most likely a destructive act and will bring shame like an avalanche.

Shame is a disgusting and cruel enemy.  Shame will never motivate you to care for yourself.  Shame will cause you to hide and most of the time will drive you to embrace another self-destructive behavior.

But if I truly believe that I deserve to be healthy… if I truly care for myself and value myself, I have so much more motivation to choose caring acts for myself.

There is freedom.  That freedom can often be found in some simple realizations.  Here is one of those realizations and an axiom that I live by.

No matter how many poor and self-destructive decisions I’ve made before this moment, I have the ability to make my next decision a great one.”

There it is.  No matter how many times you’ve chosen poorly, your next choice can be for good.  It is irrelevant if in the last moment you engaged your ‘stuff’ and embraced the destructive in shame… the next moment in time holds the opportunity for a choice that adds value to you and those around you.

It doesn’t matter if you chose poorly for 5 days or 5 years in a row.  That does not determine your next choice.  You determine your next choice.  YOU DO.  No power or entity determines that for you.  With this realization you can find the freedom to choose well.

So what will you do with this next undetermined moment?

The First Step towards Change and Growth

There are ways in which we think about ourselves that often we aren’t aware of. Take self-acceptance for example. There is nothing more powerful than the ability to love yourself. And the first step to loving yourself is accepting yourself, just the way you are… right now. Not 1 year from now, or 3 years from now. Not when you have a different job, the great promotion, the right life partner, the right children, the right house, car, etc. But accepting yourself right now, just the way you are. Here is how most of us operate. There are things about our lives that we aren’t satisfied with. Maybe it is something as simple as not being satisfied with our job. So we don’t accept that part of our life until we end up having the kind of job we like or the kind of income we desire. We tell ourselves that once that happens we can accept ourselves and really begin loving ourselves. What we often don’t realize is that isn’t how self-acceptance and self-love work. It doesn’t just begin to happen when we reach certain ‘goals’. No. Self-acceptance and self-love begin when we make the choice to accept ourselves. And this is a choice we must make day after day for the rest of our lives.

Now the job scenario was an easy one. Lets dig a little deeper. Maybe there is something about yourself that you just can’t stand. Maybe it’s the way you can never keep to a diet or an exercise routine. Maybe it’s something as simple as the inability to quit smoking. Or maybe you don’t like how judgemental you are or you don’t like how easily you give yourself away physically because you’re just desperate for love and connection.

There are several issues that arise when we aren’t accepting of ourselves. The first is we often take on a sense of shame and ownership in a very negative way. We believe that because we’ve made a mistake or messed up again, we deserve the shame and many of the negative emotions that we feel towards ourselves. Secondly, we tell ourselves that this behavior is unacceptable, and so, we are unacceptable. This is such a huge block to growth in our lives.

It is nearly impossible to make changes in our lives when we are being motivated from a place of disapproval, unacceptance, and self-dislike. Nothing drains us more of motivation and energy than to dislike ourselves. Nothing blocks our hearts off from the love of the Divine more than our own self-hatred and self-loathing. And this is the nasty dirty little secret of life. We want to change because we recognize that we want to live better lives, but secretly, in ways we often aren’t aware of, we hate ourselves for making the mistakes we make on a regular basis. And self-hatred is completely counter-productive to growth and change.

But what if we radically accepted ourselves right now. Without hesitation. What if we CHOSE to accept ourselves with all of our warts and blemishes. What if we accepted ourselves right now, even though we are addicted to ____________________ or can’t help ourselves when it comes to _______________________.

When we accept ourselves just the way we are, by simply making the choice to, we relax our hearts and open them to be filled with new life. Our hands, that were once clinging to self-hatred and disapproval are now free to reach for and hold onto hope, change, and growth. You will find it almost impossible to make change based on self-hatred and disapproval. So make the choice to accept yourself just the way you are and begin to experience the motivation and energy to change because you care for yourself and want the best for yourself. It’s the difference between night and day within your own heart.

If you believe in a Higher Power you might start by asking For help in this area. If you don't believe in a Higher Power you might start by taking five minutes to sit with the decision to accept yourself.


Even though I can’t stand that I always ______________________________, I choose to totally, deeply, and completely love and accept myself, just the way I am. In loving and accepting myself I am choosing a better way of life.