Be better than yourself


I am a kind of person who likes asking questions, first of all to myself, and then to the others. Several smart and useful questions asked on a motivational seminar a long time ago have given my being a kick towards development, learning, maturing and better approach to life and living.

Someone has touched my soul once by asking some interesting questions and encouraged it to evolve. And for that I am utterly grateful to life, to God, to myself and to those dear lecturers on the seminar. You know, long time ago there was an Indian wise man who said: “When the pupil is ready, the master appears.” My being was so thirsty of knowledge, evolution, advancement, even clearing, as many would call it. Why was that so? Why do we have needs and aspirations? In this book, I lovingly bring to your attention some of my answers, my understanding of life.

Dear reader, think about the following questions:

– Are You in search of something?
– Perhaps You are a person who is not content, but cannot put Your finger on the reason why?
– What is it that You are missing?
– Do You yearn for something better than what you already have?
– What is it that you yearn for?
– Do you yearn for health, harmonious relationships, and advancement in your career, or you just want some peace and affection?
– Perhaps you already have a lot, but you are simply someone who likes prosperity, and you are ready to make a good in hand even better.

Some wise people say that the main obstacle to a great life is – a good life.

Today I can understand some of my earlier needs. Now, after years of personal development and exploration of myself and the world around me, I have a compelling need to share my experiences, details of my life journey, dilemmas, fears, understandings and misunderstandings for the times and circumstances that I’ve been through.. On my workshops and lectures I meet people with very similar needs. And I am happy to see that a personal experience of mine or a question asked moved someone, touched his soul, and made him or her think at least a little bit in a way that could bring all the best in his world.

I was born in 1976, in a town called Nish (Niš), and from the very first moment I have faced stares of surprise and disapproval, fears, and doubts. My birth has undoubtedly brought more anxiety and stress to my parents than joy, the feeling commonly felt at the arrival of a newborn. The reason for it was a facial deformity that I was born with. There was not the slightest hint that something like that could happen, for my mother’s pregnancy went perfectly well.

Are you grateful, dear reader, for being born normal and healthy? Are you grateful for being looked at with love, for being hugged, cuddled and welcomed? As you can see, some did not have the chance for it!

My mother has only recently opened up to me, admitting her ambivalent feelings at the first sight of me, with a cleft lip, palate, and jaw. They said it was a small cleft, but for my parents it was huge. My mother was only nineteen, the father just a bit older.

I admire my parents as well as all the others who were faced with such a challenge! Today I openly congratulate my parents for the strength, persistence, and courage. Thank You for everything You’ve done for me!
They gave me life!

Are you grateful, dear reader, for being alive, and for having the chance to breathe, grow, create, love?

I don’t want to describe all the details of my childhood since that is not the purpose of the book. It is not hard to imagine, though, the fears, non-acceptance, struggle and rejection that I was growing up with. Ever since I was a little girl, I was facing huge fears of numerous surgeries that I was to undergo. Now I am aware that those fears were nothing compared to the pain and torture I have gone through because of the stares, insults or rejections coming from the people around me.

Dear God has given me a very interesting assignment – to live with a deformity in the middle of my face! Looking back at my life circumstances and the pathway of life, I’ve come up with many questions. When I was a girl, I regarded my being different as being less worthy than others, being rejected more and loved less than others. And I lived my life accordingly. I lived with a pressing need to be accepted, to prove myself, and with a hidden pain. I was compelled to compare myself to others. And being like that, I was prone to getting ill with all kinds of chronic and acute illnesses. I was simply a very unhappy girl, a scared teenager and a young woman who strongly believed that something was wrong with her. But rest assured, my dear reader, that today I am confident that my life, as well as Yours, is the mirror image of our values, beliefs and the way of thinking.

Some would think, just as I used to, that I had every reason to feel the way I used to. Today, however, I know things do not work that way. I am quite sure that dear God has given me this life assignment with purpose and for a reason. What I used to call problems, what some would call challenges, I usually call assignments given to us for the purpose of learning and advancing along our never-ending paths! Perhaps you are somebody who had a similar experience, and perhaps most of your failures came later in your life; perhaps you’ve lost someone you loved very much, perhaps you’ve lost a part of you as well. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we understand each other.

And since we do understand each other, I want to tell you, my dear reader, that all is well. Today I know that everything is just fine the way it is and that everything happens for a reason. Now I live to believe that every single cloud has a silver lining and that we can most deeply feel the warmth of the sun – only after bad spells! I am positive that we need all the rainy spells, and that they are very useful. When we change our minds and the way of thinking from one of the victim to the one of the pupil, maker and creator of our own reality and life, only then can we understand and accept every single spell of bad weather that we’ve gone through.

Are you grateful, my dear reader, for the opportunity given to You, and for the knowledge that you can create exactly the kind of life you want?

So, one day, some ten years ago, I sat listening to a very interesting lecturer named Boris Rusjakovski, who asked some odd, tricky and irritating questions. Among other things, he said something that I’ve been bearing and sharing with others ever since, and it says:

”The problem is not the problem,
The problem is
Our reaction to the problem!”

He was saying things like these: all that has happened to us was brought to us by us; we are what we think we are; we are the only ones with the power to live the life we want, and we can play with life, we could change what we don’t like. We could do anything, as long as we are clear about how much we want it, and if we are ready to change!
There was a lot of it that I did not understand, and a lot that I did understand but did not agree with. Simply, I did not believe him. But no matter how much my being rebelled against him, some of the questions that got to my nerves then were kept open, memorized and preserved for the life itself to answer them. Thank God for that! Those were the brave beginnings of my development, and if I may say so, of my healing! Thank Boris and the Network 21 team from the bottom of my heart for being the mover force and wisdom, for being the teachers who have not only preached but also practiced the teaching for years now.

Do You, dear reader, stop to ask yourself, when something disturbs you, what it is deep inside you that chooses to be disturbed? I know what you are going to say: “How can I not be disturbed? Do you know what she or he did to me?… And I did nothing to deserve it… No, you cannot even imagine the injustice I suffered!”

1 (Network 21 is part of a global organization Network TwentyOne International, and is intended to support Amway independent business owners in creating a stable and profitable business.)

If you are angry, ask yourself what it is that makes you angry, and how you chose the anger. If you think that Your anger, fear, fury, and frustration were not chosen by You, then who was it who decided that You among all the people should feel that way now? One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is responsibility. I admit, I had a hard time accepting it, and it took me a while, but I’ve worked on it and it has paid off. I’ve learned that each and every one of my reactions is Mine. What someone else did, the same one who “justifiably” hurt you, is your own experience of reality, and the power lies in the fact that you can change it. Pull yourself from that “justified” state of being wronged, and find the way to steer yourself to the winner’s direction. Oh, yes, you do have the power to change your experience of reality. Once you learn that lesson, life gets dimensions that you can not even imagine now.

Overpowering me was the biggest victory I’ve ever won. And I am happy to be on the same path today. But today it is somehow easier. Once you get rid of the bulky burdens of your life, you perceive and approach other life assignments differently. My current assignments differ only because I’ve changed my perception of acting and living. I firmly believe that anyone can do it! And I want You, dear reader, to find the way to move from where you are now, and to start slowly, step by step, towards a more meaningful and better life, for you can do it, can’t you?

I am ready to receive
Any good that has
Already been given to me!

Write down everything that you are thinking of right now, and remember – writing makes you free! What does a more meaningful and better life mean for you?

Mirjana Stojadinovic, life coach

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