Completing a Negative Self-Appraisal Gets Us to Gentleness

Ah, geez. I am a week late on the continuation of a self-appraisal. Please forgive me for my tardiness. Last week was a week from hell and it just got away from me. Luckily, you were left hanging in the positive self-appraisal points, and not the negative ones.

Today’s task is looking at your negative points, your areas for improvement. Grab your writing stuff and make a list of all the negative things you do, say, and think about others AND yourself. Try to be detached when you do this. The point is not to beat yourself up, but rather, to identify the things which you can improve.

Look at the things you have done which were unkind or hateful. Own your behavior… be honest about it. You may owe an apology to others, or to yourself, for that matter. Follow through with this task with humility. Just be humble. There is no need to grovel while asking for forgiveness. Just be matter-of-fact, and sincerely apologetic.

Look at this list and determine if you are willing to change the things you do that are mean and hateful. Ask the Universe or God to show you the way.

After you have established your willingness to change and what to change, it is time to look at the past 3 days and to write down everything you did during that time period that was unkind, impatient, and generally mean to others or yourself.

Be sure to include yourself as you look at how you acted negatively. Once you have made this list, look at it to determine your level of willingness to make a change in negative behavior. Own your stuff, the bad behavior you displayed. This may mean apologizing to someone for what you have done.

Remember, we are each human, and in being human, we have both positive and negative qualities. Look at this exercise in a detached manner. Learn to say things like, “Oh. I see how I was mean to Suzi when I x,y,z.”  Rather than beat yourself up or have remorse and guilt, make plans to apologize to her; vow to change your behavior on an on-going basis.

There is nothing quite as freeing on the pathway to gentleness as doing a self-appraisal. You will find you do one continually throughout the day, keeping a check on your behaviors and actions. A self-appraisal will become second nature to you and you will gain tremendous peace as you keep continual watch over yourself.

How was this process for you? Was it enlightening and did you make apologies to those you harmed, both physically, verbally, and spiritually? Consider carefully before you apologize; sometimes to do so would hurt the person more and in those cases, we often do it to feel better ourselves. Remember, this is about the other person, not about you.

Go forth and complete the appraisal, and may you find it fruitful. Join me later this week as I continue the discussion about how to find gentleness.


The Merits of a Self-Appraisal

Good morning to each of you and happy day. It is the wee hours of the morning and I just popped awake, so here I am. : ) Today, I am going to respond to the search term “the merits of self-appraisal.”

In my experience, doing a self-appraisal is the key that has allowed me to move to inner peace. Although difficult at first to look at myself, doing it has become a routine occurrence. By doing a self-appraisal on a regular basis, it keeps me on top of the things that I need to correct in my life, in other words, my behavior and my thoughts. And it allows me to see and acknowledge my goodness.

I have found that doing a self-appraisal leads to inner peace and emotional freedom because I am “clean,” my motives are pure and less selfish in nature. Also, if I have done something to offend someone, I can right that in the moment that I do the appraisal. And, by seeing my goodness, I am not so hard on myself, do not beat myself up so much.

One of the great benefits of doing a self-appraisal is that it paves the way to forgiveness, which leads to the creation of more inner peace and emotional freedom. It keeps a check on me getting angry at others for doing the very same thing I am doing, and if I get the ball rolling in a disagreement, it allows me to see that.

A self-appraisal allows me to keep abreast of what I am telling myself about myself… in other words, my negative self-talk. When I engage in this, I can correct it right then and there.

There is such a feeling of freedom when you incorporate a self-appraisal into your everyday life, your everyday happenings. At first, listing out my behaviors was difficult and I did so with great shame. Over the years, however, I have learned to see my negative behavior with compassion, as I was a wounded person at the time I committed whatever I committed.

That is not to say compassion is an excuse to not be responsible and accountable for my behavior. Oh, no. I need to own my negative behavior. The beauty in owning it is that I feel pure when I have done so. It is a practice in humility rather than shame. It allows me to remember that I am a fallible human being.

These are just some of the merits of a self-appraisal. Try it yourself and you’ll feel lighter, brighter, more at home with yourself. If you want to learn how to do a self-appraisal, join me tomorrow as I describe, step-by-step, how to do one.




Self-Appraisal Leads to Inner Peace

Well, it’s been a few days of a heavy topic, and today I’m going to lighten things up. I’m going to talk about my experience at a networking event last night, and my discovery of how a self-appraisal saved the evening.

I had a vendor’s table at a women’s networking event and it was a shopping extravaganza… except at my table. Oh, I had several lookers, but no one bought my book, nor any of the numerous photographs of wrought-iron gates I had displayed. It was very disappointing, very disappointing indeed.

I had come armed with a full box of books (weighing 56# I might add…), a box of framed photographs, and a box of flyers and other info to lay out. Luckily, the tables were 8 feet, so I had room to create a pleasing arrangement of all my wares. The people that stopped by were admiring of my work, but no one bought. I was occupied with my own table, and didn’t see if they were buying from other vendors.

I could come up with all sorts of excuses why I didn’t sell, but I think I know why they didn’t buy. I think it was because I had too much on my table, too many choices. Like the monkey that has two bananas to choose from and can’t make up it’s mind so chooses none, so I believe it was with my table.

Anyway, throughout the course of the evening, I was chosen to come up in front of the audience and state what I do, so I said I work with Vietnam vets to help them find forgiveness of the American people for how they were treated when they returned home. Afterward, a man approached my booth. I could see from his name tag that it was Stan.

Stan outstretched his hand, and said, “I’m a Vietnam vet and I want to thank you for the work that you are doing.” Boy, that made the evening worthwhile, to have let another vet know there is hope on the other side of the resentment, the bitterness. I was humbled. He even took my card to pass along the word of my work.

Earlier in the day, I had stumbled across a site that was a group of Vietnam Vets in San Quentin. I wanted to become a part of the volunteers who visit these men at that prison. I had, after all, visited a friend in Quentin for several years, so was familiar with going into the prison. I discovered, to my disappointment, that because I had been a visitor, I could not be a volunteer. Boy, and I was so excited to be able to go in and talk with the group… So my disappointment of the evening was a continuation, in part, of earlier news.

Let’s look for a minute at the lack of sales last night. I could use excuse after excuse, but as I said earlier, I believe it was because I had too much on the table, too many choices. In other words, I found a reason why what I was doing was not working, rather than blame it on everything else… like, they gave me a bad spot, etc.

The ability to look at myself, to look at my actions and how they contributed to a negative outcome has just occurred for me in sobriety. Being able to do that has been very freeing. No longer do I go seething about, looking for something outside of myself to blame. I can hold myself accountable. I can do a self-appraisal, a performance eval, and see how I contributed to a situation. Again, how very freeing this has been.

It took some practice over time, but my ability to go to seeing my part in something by doing a self-appraisal has been finely honed and I go right there, well, almost right there. The cool thing is, I have 2 more big events coming up during which I can test my theory by having just a few things on my table. I’ll let you know how that works.

Today, when you are tempted to blame everyone and everything around you for your difficulties, take a look at what role you played in the affair. How did you contribute to the negative outcome? Take a look, be humble and willing to accept responsibility for your part. It all starts with a self-appraisal, and a smile at yourself.


Search Your Heart, Discover Your Dream

One way to find your true path, your dream, is to search your heart by doing a self-appraisal. Buried in this exercise is one way to find your dream.

A self-appraisal is like a performance evaluation. You do it to ferret out your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and behaviors. The point is not to beat yourself up, but to discover your core self.

When you uncover and follow what lies in your heart, you are well on your way to peace because you will be following your dream.

I believe this is because your heart and soul are connected, and when you are doing what your heart urges you to do, you are doing what your soul’s purpose is.

When you do your soul’s purpose, you are in synch with your true purpose in life, and that brings you peace. All this from looking within.

When searching yourself, look first at your positive points, actions, words, and thoughts. Look at ways in which your behavior helped another, or made them feel better about themselves. Then look at how they helped raise you up so that you learned some positive points about yourself.

Then think of things you said to another to build them up. After that, think of your self-talk and determine what you are saying to yourself. Are you positive and encouraging? If not, this is your goal.

Your goal is to identify your positive points and then acknowledge your goodness.

Now it is time to look at your negative thoughts, words, and deeds.  In what ways have you torn down another, said disparaging words to them, talked badly of them behind their back, denigrated their spirit?

How do you talk to yourself? What do you believe about yourself and do you denigrate YOUR spirit? 

When you shine the light of awareness on your shortcomings, you can begin to heal and change your negative behavior toward others and yourself.

While you are doing this exercise, keep in touch with a friend, spouse, or family member so they can offer you support and clarify your behavior by offering their unbiased perspective. Ask them to provide that for you.

You will find that you uncover some delightful and beautiful things about yourself. You will also discover some embarrassing or damaging things you thought, said, or did. Take ownership of them all. Apologize as indicated if it will not be hurtful to another. 

This may be a difficult exercise to complete, as it may bring up some uncomfortable emotions. Stick with it and try to be present through it without self-medicating for a set period every day.

What you find will eventually lead you to peace in your soul and that is one of the things you are searching for, right? Look honestly but fairly at your heart. What do you see? What are you doing to follow your heart’s longings, your dreams? 




Acceptance of Ourselves As We Are

We continue to move on in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, as we work our way to sobriety and inner peace.

Acceptance of Self

Acceptance of Self

We have come to Acceptance of Self. “Have we really changed throughout the years, or do we merely hold within our heart and mind and soul the essence of who we are, while our physical form changes?

“Can we recapture the delightful being we have always been, as we allow and celebrate our strengths, our flaws, and our spirit?”

I firmly believe that each of us has a truly delightful soul that has often become over-ridden by the hurt and pain we have endured throughout the course of our lives. Our response to these experiences is to close up, to protect ourselves, sometimes treating others or ourselves badly.

In the process of doing that, we forget that we have that delightful soul and spirit that awaits our recognition. Or, perhaps, we focus on our flaws and, so, see ourselves as “less than,” or unworthy.

At some point, we have to just give up, surrender, our negative thoughts about ourselves and celebrate our humanness – celebrate who we are in our soul. We have to gain acceptance of who we are. For in our soul is a good being, if only we can recognize this.

Our efforts need to be focused on our positive points. That is not to say we ignore our flaws, which we all have because we’re human. But we have in place a method for dealing with the hurts we cause others and ourselves through our flaws. It is the self-appraaisal which we discussed a few blogs back. We need to practice doing an appraisal and amends, as appropriate, on a daily basis.

Once we are clean with others, we turn our attention to ourselves. We forgive ourselves for our transgressions, and we just accept ourselves as we are. I say that like it’s easy, but it is not. The key is willingness to let go of our negative beliefs and treatment of ourselves, allowing that delightful spirit to emerge. We surrender to who we are at our core.

When we do these things, we will find a deep and abiding peace, and we will be that much more able to stay sober.

For today, allow your spirit, your soul, to emerge. Clean up ragged relationships with others and yourself. Then, just give up and accept yourself as you are, knowing that, in your soul, you are a valuable human being.