The following is a guest post by Theresa Nutt.

As I continue my journey of becoming my own beloved, I have noticed something important: a theme that is really standing out for me right now is the topic of toughing it out. Too many of us have learned to ignore our feelings and other parts of our experience that are not considered acceptable (according to who, I wonder?).

Here are a few of the common symptoms of toughing it out:

  • We swallow feelings and let them fester inside.
  • Others treat us poorly and we don’t speak up.
  • Our needs come last after everyone else is “happy” or comfortable (which never happens).
  • We stop pursuing our passions and wait for a magic someday.
  • Our body tries to get our attention and we just keep pushing on because there isn’t enough time. Eventually, something big happens and we suffer as a result.
  • We are exhausted, but afraid to slow down or rest.
  • Instead of living a unique life that speaks to us, we try to fit in and be more like others around us.

Tune In Instead Of Toughing It Out

The obvious remedy is to tune in more deeply to ourselves and our experience. There are times when the most loving thing to do is notice that life is really challenging. Or, that despite our best efforts we can’t seem to make headway.

There are not enough spiritual gymnastics in the world to help us in certain situations. And instead of admitting we are struggling or instead of asking for help when we need it the most, we start beating ourselves up using our inner critic.

What if instead of all the critic’s responses, you found yourself asking what you needed most instead of how can you tough this out?

Help Yourself First Instead of Toughing It Out

Once you tune in, you have the good fortune of knowing what you most need. Is your inner child screaming for your attention in some way? Are you in need of a supportive friend to listen or give you a hand? Do you need some time in Mother Nature to calm your mind and deepen your breathing?

And in the end, if you could just remember that the love, attention, approval, appreciation and every other thing you seek from external sources is a neon sign. The neon sign is reminding you to stop, tune into what is true for you, and love yourself more fiercely than ever before.