Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

Today’s post focuses on a concept introduced by author Dennis Prager in his book, “Happiness is a Serious Problem.” I highly recommend this book as a concise and extremely informative book on the often elusive subject of happiness. Dennis presents a number of life-changing philosophies in his book, but one of the best is the concept of the “missing tile syndrome.”
Imagine this Scenario…

Imagine that you are in a dentist’s office having your teeth cleaned and are thus focused on the ceiling above you. As you glance around the room, you notice that one of the ceiling tiles is missing. Although the majority of the ceiling is pristine and perfect, you would likely be transfixed upon that one missing tile for the remainder of your visit.

As human beings, we have a tendency to focus on what is missing instead of on what is present. That is fine for ceilings, as they can be perfect. The danger is when we apply the same focus and filter to our lives…

I recently completed an exercise on beliefs from Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life Companion Book.” The exercise was straightforward and consisted of sentence completion for nine topics. The objective was to uncover hidden beliefs which may be holding me back in certain areas of my life. In this blog entry, I will share some of the insights that I gained from completing the beliefs exercise.

The topics which were explored in the beliefs exercise were: Men, Women, Love, Sex, Work, Money, Success, Failure, and God. For each word, I wrote the various thoughts which popped into my head. I tried not to think too deeply about the “right” or “best” answers for any of the topics. I spent about twenty minutes uncovering my beliefs and then took some additional time to review my answers and look for insights or “aha moments.”

Most of us have things about ourselves which we don’t like or even hate, and we often waste a lot of time and energy resisting or fighting these things. For most of my life, one of my “hates” has been my hair. I have very thick hair, so thick that hairstylists have often commented that I had enough hair for two or three people. In addition, my hair is naturally wavy and predisposed to frizz, tendencies which are intensified by the humid Southern California weather.
Resisting What Is

My God-given hair was not the type of hair I wanted. I wanted the straight, sleek hair of a Scandinavian girl – or Jennifer Aniston. I have been fighting my hair texture for as long as I can remember with countless hair products, daily flat-ironing, and a multitude of chemical processes. None of these armaments ever worked to my satisfaction, so I continually searched for the next best thing.

With this post, I begin working through the exercises in Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life Companion Book.” While you can definitely read my blog and benefit from my insights without doing the exercises yourself, I encourage you to follow along and gain and share your own insights. Not all blog posts will be associated with YCHYL exercises, but these exercises are an integral part of the Healing Project.

Defining the Concept

We all want many things in our lives and we often wonder why we don’t get those things. A big part of it has to do with the concept of deserving, or as Louise Hay terms it, “deservability.” If, at the deepest core of our being, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we wish for, that belief will block those things from coming into our lives. We end up settling for less than what we truly desire as a result of our limiting beliefs. To achieve our goals in life, it is necessary to work on our beliefs as well as take concrete actions toward that which we want.

This post outlines the final three key principles from “You Can Heal Your Life.”

“We must be willing to learn to love ourselves.”

Many years ago, I first heard the saying, “You can’t love anyone else unless you love yourself first.” At the time, I despised this saying and vehemently disagreed with its sentiments. Although I was clear that I didn’t love myself much back then, I believed that I was a loving person and fully capable of loving others. Now I am much more open to the message, except that I would qualify the saying by adding the word fully, as in “one cannot love another fully unless he loves himself.” If we are mired in self-criticism and self-hatred, there is much less of ourselves to give to others, which makes us less able to love others to full capacity.

Yet, the ability to love others fully is only one reason for us to love ourselves. When we treat ourselves with loving kindness, we experience a number of other benefits.