So many of us regularly experience feelings such as shame, loneliness, self hatred or just a general sense of deficiency, being less than, not being good enough and just plain wonderment about “what’s wrong with me?”.
This kind of emotional suffering makes it hard to reach out and connect authentically with other people, keeping the cycle alive. For some this unfortunate cycle will be present for their entire life and they will self judge and feel like they are missing out on life and look back with regret.
But for others, and I am hoping to count you in this number, they will try to alter this belief and stop turning against themselves. In order to have this concept change, I have put together a brief list of things to consider:
1.The first thing to realize is how this attitude is truly affecting your life. From the friends you choose, to the job you have to the conversations you have. If your background, starting place for everything is a negative, taking stock of its impact is critical.
2.The second thing to consider is where these feelings may have come from. In an earlier post we discovered that our cognitive ability doesn’t really arrive until age 5-7, so our world is all about us – what we did good or bad and what it means about us. In those years, we decide that we are unworthy, unloveable, unsafe etc., and if nobody helps us to correct those mistaken beliefs, they remain present and affect us. We also carry with us what it means to be “good”, “worthy” etc., based on our perception and the beliefs of the culture we belong to.
3.The third thing to consider is the relationship between how your thoughts create your actions and current reality. If you consider how your actions and thoughts may be playing a part in this, it may be easier to name it, own it and then release it. We’ve all heard the phrase “fake it until you make it” and in some cases, acting as if we are worthy, will help us to grow comfortable with this new piece/feeling.
4.The fourth thing that must be considered is your self judgement and the reality you may have actually done things that you and your community may not find acceptable. Even if this is true, there is a big difference between wise discrimination i.e.: with the ability to look at our own behaviours that are creating harm and then move towards healing and aversive judgement, which is the self defeating “I’m a jerk and don’t deserve…”. Being at war with ourselves is not helpful to anybody. Putting our actions into perspective and making some healthy changes, will be a more respectful action to yourself and not a shame based punishment.
5. When we have those moments of self judgement, atonement etc., how do we find self compassion. The easiest thing to do is when you are feeling this way, to sit for a moment and be present and see where this is felt within your body. If your heart, place your hand on your heart, so you are connecting with yourself in this moment. Ask yourself what your heart is feeling and try your best to give it what it needs. It may be a simple acknowledgement that the heart is hurting or it may need an apology or an I love you. You may be surprised at how loudly your body will actually speak to you when you listen.
6. It’s impossible to work on yourself in a vacuum and then when you are done, begin to work on your other relationships. So let yourself off of the hook and don’t even try. The best and most effective way to heal is when in relationship – whether with me as your coach /counsellor, or with the other people in your life. The truth is that we mirror each other – both good and bad, bringing to be dealt with. Perhaps just accepting that this is going to happen and seeing it as the perfect opportunity for change, will make it easier.
7. Give yourself credit for everything. Your awareness in even doing this work is incredible. It is a healthy loving gesture for yourself and the people in your life. The changes you make, you will mirror back to them. You are showing a dedication to speaking truth and opening to self compassion, which helps grow respect, love, generosity, humour and so much more.
So with that in mind are you going to say yes to worthiness, so you too can be like the lady in the picture looking back at the picture of her younger self with pride and admiration? I know you will make the right choice and I am proud of you.