Last week we talked about having a global vision for yourself, choosing a single expression to practice embodying more fully - love, peace, joy, etc. - something you long deep down to bring to the world.
This week, as we continue to practice our global visions, we are going to add in some self-compassion.
The idea this week is this: Be enough for yourself.
Recently my daughter was watching an episode of Glee, and popular girl Quinn realized her long-time dream of being voted Prom Queen. She said, "You know it's funny, but I've wanted this more than anything for the past 3 years, and I don't feel any different." In the show, she gave up her votes to make someone else's dream come true, and in doing so, she found what she was looking for inside herself all along.
Radical transformation begins the moment you acknowledge and accept yourself right where you are. You can't change when you are in denial or judgement of the current facts.
I remember being a teenager and thinking when a boy loved me, then I would be happy.
Then a boy loved me and I was not happy.
So I said to myself, when a boy wants to marry me, then I will be happy.
Guess what? No dice.
Maybe if I was skinny...maybe if I had babies (who would always worship the ground I walk on, and never ever be mad at me or make me feel judged, by the way)...if I had a car, a house, more money, more friends, a better job- surely I would feel better. Surely I would finally love myself then.
The more I had, the more acutely I realized the hole inside me was a bottomless pit. And yet I STILL couldn't face the fact that wherever I go, there I am. I was the problem. Or rather, the problem was me.
It took a lot of time and gnashing of teeth for me to admit to myself that I didn't feel deserving of love. So even when I got the love I so desperately desired, I couldn't accept it, because then, I rationalized, it would leave (when the giver of the love also inevitably realized I didn't deserve it), and I would be worse off for having hoped.
Ugh. What a mess! I have so much compassion for the people who tried to love me, who I wouldn't ever let within arm's length of me emotionally. In my own pain, I was hurting other people and didn't even know it.
The lesson I finally realized was that what I wanted to feel had to come from within me. No amount of external adoration was going to do it for me.
I began to listen to my own thoughts, and the tapes that played in my head all the time. They sounded like this for me:
These kinds of thoughts were just going on constantly and unchecked in my mind. If someone else spoke this way to me I'd be indignant and hurt at the least, but I spoke to myself this way all the time. And I mean ALL the time.
Although it feels awkward and untrue at first, make an effort to catch these thoughts, and deny them and replace them with something you want to be true for you instead.
Tell yourself in the mirror that you are awesome, that you are beautiful, that you have a good heart.
You'll be embarrassed even though you are alone. That's okay. You are stepping out of your comfort zone, and that is a very good thing. You will get used to it eventually, and then you will even start to believe it.
Deepening the work:
Next week we will talk about living on purpose, and we will take this work and this list to a deeper place.
Meanwhile, if you are feeling brave, leave a comment and share a story about a time when you allowed your inner critic to stop you, or when you didn't...
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
1900 Swift Street
North Kansas City, MO