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Stop Trying

“You did not make a mistake when you were born that you need to correct.”

Image by Cher Odum

Is it just me or does it seem at times that there is a diminishing point of returns on effort?  I look back over my journals sometimes and am alternately embarrassed or appalled at how many pages have been filled with intentions, goals, prayers and pleas, statements of desire and determination to ‘self improve’ or ‘self develop’ or hit some new high in any or all of life’s arenas.

I look at the list of books on my Kindle and wonder how many gurus I’ve helped to feed or send on vacations only to keep filling up those journal pages with my statements of desire, intentions, goals, prayers and pleas . . .

I’m not knocking personal growth.  I’ve devoted a huge chunk of my life to it and have counted some hugely profound and pivotal shifts and transformations among the hours spent combing the pages of this or that personal development book or blog, journaling and otherwise contemplating my navel.

But every so often I stop and ask myself, “How much more of this will it take for me to feel like my self no longer needs improving?  When do I get to look in the mirror and just say, “Me likey.”  When do I get to stop trying to be better than I am?

How bout now?

We would suggest that there is no time like the present to stop trying.  Just stop.  Stop what you could legitimately call this insanity.  Because that truly is what this is—crazy making.


You have been trying so hard for so long that you don’t remember what it feels like not to try.  You’ve been trying to please.  Trying to understand.  Trying to ‘grow’. Trying to learn.  Trying to be ‘aware’.  Trying to be in this relationship or that.  Trying to succeed.  Trying to listen.  Trying to put yourself together in some way that resembles some image of you that you’re forming as you read or listen to everyone’s elses’ ideas about who or what or how you should be. 

Stop trying. 

Stop trying to be wise.  Stop trying to be aware.  Stop trying to be creative.  Stop trying to be worthy.  Because as long as you continue trying to be or do or have all these things you are really only succeeding in living the lack of these things as you perceive it. 

You don’t try to be what you already are.  You just BE it.  You don’t try to be loving—you just love.  You don’t try to be giving—you just give.  You don’t try to be worthy—you just ARE. 

You will never be able to try hard enough to do or be or have what you think you need to feel the joy or peace that you think you lack or are wanting to feel—wanting to feel it because you are trying to hard to have it and trying so hard to have it because you’ve forgotten you were never without it. 

Stop trying. 

There is no one to please.  No one to convince.  No one to persuade that you are loved or that you are worthy, except the one who is trying so hard to be lovable and worthy. 

You did not make a mistake when you were born that you need to correct.  You are not an error.  Nothing broke when you came forth that you need to find a way to repair.  Release this lie, that you must earn your keep in this Universe, that you have fallen short and must make up for what you did or for what you didn’t do or for what you don’t know. 

You look at you and see the Prodigal in the story so many of you know and like to re-tell . . .  see someone who somehow went astray.  You see a mistake, a wrong, a deficiency, a sin.  But your ‘Father’ or “Mother’ or Spirit or God or Goddess or Source or Universe or whatever you choose to call All That Is, sees you pausing—broken, tired, beaten down from all your trying—and literally runs to you with open arms and vast open heart, with everything you thought you’d lost and needed to win back or to earn or to learn and simply says ,”Welcome home my son . . .  my daughter . . . you are so loved.” 

Stop trying to deserve to go home.  Open your eyes—you’re already there.

Sometimes—often in fact—I stick my tongue back in my cheek after the Team responds to whatever I’ve lobbed into their court that day.  Among many other things, they’re good sports and they enjoy a good laugh as much as any of us.

But now and then all I can think of to say to them—all I can feel or offer in response to the way that they turn in my direction and truly ‘shower’ me with something I can only describe as love . . .  is the sincerest possible ‘Thank you’.

Parting aFLOWmation: What else is there to say?  “Stop trying.”

For more information about The Shower Channel blog please visit my home page. Previous posts are available in the Archives. Contact me if you have questions/topics you would like The Shower Channel to address–or to request a private reading/consultation.


Who Loves You Baby? (On Being ‘Human’)

. . . Those parts of you that you so often see as unlovable or unworthy are the parts of you . . . that call most clearly to you for acceptance and for understanding and for the warm embrace of acknowledgement. . .”

‘Wisdom’ and Other Words To Live By From a Wet-Behind-The Ears Oracle

Just when I start to think I’ve faced all my demons, cleaned out all my closets, aired all my dirty laundry, dealt with all my you know what . . . I stumble upon yet another unexamined and unacknowledged piece of my oh so examined life. There’s nothing quite so humbling as finding another part of me that’s been hiding, especially when I’m the one who scared it away and ordered it to leave me alone.

After another such revelation following one more round of unintentionally cleaning house, I wondered to The Shower Team about the skeletons still rattling around in my closets—and what they might need other than a great big sheet thrown over them . . .

So many of you so often operate under the assumption that you should show only what you regard as the best of you not only to others but even to yourselves. In your never ending quest to be the best you that know how to be, you will often end up banishing those parts of you that do not please you or that you cannot easily understand or face or find a way to accept as part of who you are.

Essentially you hide from you, treating these aspects of yourself as shameful or unworthy, pushing them back to the darkest corners of the remotest closet, literally treating these parts of you as skeletons in that closet and refusing to acknowledge much less love them as the lovable and just-as-worthy parts of you that they are.

We do not encourage you to fixate on the things about yourselves that hold you from your joy or from your innate understanding of the well being that always abounds. But neither do we encourage you to deny the truth—the full and inescapable truth—of who you are. We convey to you repeatedly that you are brilliant beings of light, here to expand your experience and awareness of joy and well being, here to create the blessed life that every one of you is capable of, that every one of you intended when you came forth.

You find limitless ways to limit yourselves and one way in particular that you do this is by refusing to really see yourselves . . . see what you call flaws and imperfections, what you call weaknesses and wounds and failures, what you call shame and embarrassment . . . what you see as shadows blocking or diminishing your light.

You push away these allegedly unlovable parts of you, unable or unwilling to recognize that in fact those parts of you that you so often see as unlovable or unworthy are the parts of you that hold you nearest to the larger part of you that is Source. For they are the parts of you that call the loudest for the light, the love that ‘is’ you . . . the parts of you that call most clearly to you for acceptance and for understanding and for the warm embrace of acknowledgement and yes, even for appreciation. They are the parts of you that you so often label, ‘wounded’ or ‘human’ . . . as though there were some disgrace inherent in that label . . . as though any part of you could be held in the loving eye of Source and seen as anything but pure and dear and worth every bit of love that flows to you in every single moment of that experience you call ‘human’.

We would like for you to understand that you will never know the fullness and the blessedness of who You really are as long as part of you is kept in hiding. You can expect love from Source that is always unconditional, that never requires anything of you but you . . . but you will only find the full experience of that unconditional love when you allow yourself to offer it to yourself, when you can turn and see every part of you as worthy of that love.

Then and only then will you be free to give and to receive the love that each and every one of you came from, and that each and every one of you came forth to be, and that each and every one of you will fully and unconditionally return to the moment that this perfectly imperfect ‘human’ experience for you ends.

I guess it’s worth remembering that sometimes cleaning house means finding things we’ve lost or hidden that should not be thrown out like so much garbage or even shoved into a dark corner of a dusty and forgotten attic or basement or drawer. It may still be a little early for Spring cleaning but perhaps the time is exactly right for digging up what’s buried in the back yard and deciding if it deserves a second chance to demonstrate its real value.

Parting aFLOWmation: “Love you.  Mean it.”

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