Chris Wilkinson

Chris Wilkinson column: Lighten your load through self-examination

I hope you take five minutes right now and do this.

By Chris Wilkinson

I’ve just started a book that a co-worker and friend loaned to me. She said it has been a gamechanger for her outlook. Definitely curious to read it after she said that! It’s entitled, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. For more than 30 years Louise Hay taught and wrote about discovery and implementing our full potential in life, through personal growth and self-healing. We hear lots about personal growth every week, and it’s that term ‘self-healing’ that sounds very interesting! Looking forward to getting through it!

One of the themes that jumped right out immediately in the first chapter was how the author, says, “When we are very little, we learn how to feel about ourselves and about life by the reactions of the adults around us.” That one got me right in the heartfeels…a story for another time. It’s not about blame though. It is about us learning more about ourselves. About our personal origins. Learning more about the ‘why’ behind the things we do. About the thought and behaviour patterns that have brought each of us to the exact spot we’re at today in our own lives. Awareness.

No one else is responsible for our decisions and behaviours in our own life and for where we are now. Only ourselves. To be clear, that’s not blame. That’s not saying we encouraged certain specific things, just that we are now responsible for how we react and carry on. Responsibility is not blame or fault.

As much as I can blame someone else for my shortcomings, I must realize that I am the one choosing every thought, every emotion, every behaviour, every action. And further, the other person’s reaction, energy, emotions, and behaviours toward me are simply a reflection of the energy and attitude I’m choosing to project toward them. A mirror! Interesting stuff.

With that in mind, one of the most interesting exercises that Hay describes early in her book, which I encourage you to do right this second, is the “should” exercise. It’s very liberating. I hope you take five minutes right now and do this. The chances you come back to it later are about seven per cent. So let’s do this now.

Grab a pen and paper and at the top write, “I SHOULD”. Then list a handful of things that you feel you “should” do. Just finish the sentence that starts with “I SHOULD”. Stop reading right now — please go ahead and do this exercise.

OK, now that you have your top five responses (or however many), next ask yourself “WHY?” to each one. Why should I do that? Why is it important? You may choose to ask the ‘why’ question two to three times for each one to get down to the root of why it is on your list. Write it down beside.

In truth, many of your “shoulds” are on your list because someone else (a parent? a friend? a sibling? a teacher?) told you in the past that it was important. But maybe it’s not anymore (or never was!). Or perhaps it’s a fear that something bad will happen if you don’t do it. Or that you must do it to be closer to perfect. Yuck — that’s a loaded word. “Perfect”. So many of us struggle with the need to be perfect. So many of us struggle with “I’m not good enough; I need to be better/more/perfect”. It’s just our ego telling us that. And advertising. Decide if the ‘should’ is important for you.

Once you answer the ‘why’ questions for each statement, you’ll likely have at least one ‘aha’ moment that sheds light on where you can let go of a “should”. Crumple that “should” up and throw it away! Lighten your load. Dump the expected things that mean little to you. Take the weight off. You’ve got enough truly important priorities to explore.

For the “shoulds” that remain, or that you truly don’t want to let go of right now, there’s a part B to this exercise. Email me (see below) if you want to know what that is. Not because I said so. Only if you want to. Only if you feel like it’s good for you. Only if it’s about self-care. Only to liberate. Not because you should. But because you could.

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services for Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For more info visit www.NurseNextDoor.com or for questions or a free in-home Caring Consult call 250-748-4357, or email Chris.Wilkinson@NurseNextDoor.com

ColumnSeniors

Just Posted

An online cooking lesson with Ian Blom, the Red Seal Chef from the Ainslie Restaurant, is one of the items on auction in a fundraiser for the Duncan Curling Club and other causes. (Submitted photo)
Online action being held to assist Duncan Curling Club and other causes

Auction, run by the Duncan Rotary Club, closes May 22

Police tape crosses Auchinachie Road at Somenos Road as police investigate an incident Friday at 11:30 a.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
UPDATE: North Cowichan neighbourhood, school evacuated after gardener digs up explosives

Students removed from Ecole Mount Prevost school in an ‘abundance of caution’

The Cowichan Valley Naturalists are offering a look at B.C.’s glass sponge reefs at a presentation on May 18. (Adam Taylor photo)
A&E column: Glass sponge reefs; AGM; and new book

What’s going on in arts and entertainment in the Cowichan Valley

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Most Read