By Tracy Nunez, Regular Columnist.
I’m often asked about how we can change the parts of our personality that we don’t love.
Maybe you don’t like how you’re short tempered or aggressive. Maybe you don’t speak up for yourself when you need to. Perhaps you feel you’re too loud, too quiet, or you interrupt others instead of practicing true listening. We all have these parts of ourselves that we don’t always love and that perhaps others even comment that you should change about yourself.
I have good news for you; you don’t have to change anything about yourself at all.
See your behaviors.
I want you to invite the idea of cultivating more loving awareness into your life. The very first step is seeing your behaviors. That is actually a very big step.
Most of us want to change the things we don’t like but, never stop to recognize and acknowledge the fact that we aren’t just blind to our behavior. There is absolutely no way to change anything without being aware of it first. Even if everyone in your life tells you that you’re always a little too loud (yes I may be speaking from experience) you have to be the one who sees and acknowledges that part of you that you want to transform.
Here is the fun part; you can try to change it. Please do. We all try to change these things.
What happens is the more you try, the more disappointed you are when you fail. You then become totally frustrated not being able to control the traits you deem unsavory. In fact the issue seems to get bigger and your awareness is now painful because of what you see as your faults. You may be thinking, “If I don’t try and change how does this work?”
Well, once you have given it your best shot and tried and tried you are now able to surrender. Once you see the totally inability to change yourself, you will be able to let go and stop trying to. This is when the real magic starts. You will start to have empathy for yourself and cultivate self-love.
Observe with self-love.
As I stated before the first step is seeing you have a personality trait you want to transform (Awareness), step two is trying to change it and realizing that you can’t no matter how hard you try. So, then you are back to simply watching it. As the behavior comes up, instead of condemning yourself, since you have seen that you can’t change it, begin to hold that trait in loving awareness.
The more you can simply watch it come up the more you will develop space around that behavior. You start to catch the behavior acting out faster and faster. It can no longer just come up automatically and you will be able to get out of the pattern sooner simply by watching it. You will have the time you need to choose how you want to respond as you notice the trait come up.
What I find beautiful, and essential, is you will no longer put yourself down for something you can’t control. The moment you start loving yourself for who you are, and ALL the parts of you, the more the unsavory traits can transmute into your super powers. The parts you deemed unworthy are now transforming because you hold space for them to be welcomed. That loving attention actually transforms those traits as your awareness grows.
If you’d like to work on this process in a deeper way, I invite you to create a collage art piece that involves the idea of self-acceptance and self-love. The more you realize that you are the one you get to spend the rest of your life with, the more you will understand that you are the person most deserving of your love, understanding and support. I invite you to add in, not only beautiful images but, add images that are a representation of the places you hold judgment toward yourself. That is where you need to cultivate more love not less.
I’d love to see what you have created and hear how your process is going. Please reach out via Instagram or through my website to share your inner journey of self-discovery through art.
Tracy Nunez is a spiritual art teacher and mentor who helps has been studying different spiritual modalities since the age of 16. She’s participated in group and solo exhibitions at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, and her work remains as part of the permanent collection at the Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art. Learn more at www.tracymarienunez.com and connect with her on Instagram @Tracynunez4.