I recently discovered that I was not who I thought I was.
I’m still discovering who I am and peeling back all the masks and layers that hide my beautifully perfect inner me. However, I know I am a much better person than I have given myself credit for being in the past. Now when I say, “I’m not a bad person or unkind. I am important. I am worthy.” it is actually a statement and not a question in a moment of self doubt.
I believe most people don’t understand how mean they are to themselves. When I started noticing how negative much of my self talk was I was truly surprised. Many of those inner voices were negative, real downers, and sometimes were quite ugly and I was the author of those messages. Much worse, I was internalizing those messages from me.
I’m sure most people think they are really not treating themselves badly but have you ever found yourself chastising yourself for making a mistake? You might say to something like, “well that was a stupid mistake” or “OMG! I always do that!” Maybe you disparage your appearance. “Ugh! My arms look huge” or “My hair is hopeless.” Possibly you tell yourself how unworthy or weak you are with comments like “I never finish anything” or “no one will like it”. Although you may say these things in exasperation or think you don’t mean it, unbeknownst to you, you are internalizing these things and making them a significant part of your self.
The way I found best to isolate those messages and to remove them from my authentic self was to treat them like they were a separate person. One person’s suggestion was to treat them all like they were your children which is kind of what they are. They are the not quite so developed emotional responses triggered by old stories/memories. They can be how you were made to feel as a child or something a person told you once or possible all the time. Somehow that negativity was ingrained into you and decided to take up residence and negativity is not mature nor does it know how to be kind. It’s the meanest bully on the playground of life.
Once I could hear the negative message, I didn’t ignore it. You really wouldn’t do that to a child would you? No. Instead, I still listened. I heard what the “child” had to say and basically said, “Ok. Although I regret that you choose to feel that way, I choose not to agree.” You do have to be compassionate to those parts of yourself and know that they are suffering from some past experience whether that experience has been made known to you or not.
After a while I found that not only did I not agree with those negative messages I was no longer letting them control what I did and who I am. I had an epiphany one day early on when I thought, “Wow. If that was another human being and they were standing beside me saying these sort of things to my face, I know I would not be hanging out with them. People like that are not looking out for my best interest so why would you be that person to yourself?”
I won’t lie and say that it was easy. I feel like there was a bit of fake-it-til-you-make-it going on in the beginning. I would also fall prey to the old messages sometimes and would catch myself believing them but as soon as I realized what I was doing I would kindly thank them for their OPINION but choose to believe the TRUTH: I am worthy to be loved and although I occupy a very small space in the scheme of the universe and mankind I have an important and significant spot in humankind that would not be complete without me.
One final thing…I believe that no matter where you are today you also have an important and significant place. You just have to realize how wonderful you truly are.