In group session today, a topic came up that was batted around for quite some time. I kept hearing “I need to…” from this one person.
“I need to exercise, but I don’t.”
“I need to NOT buy bulk foods at Costco, but I don’t.”
What keeps us from doing what is ultimately better for us and ultimately the easiest thing to do?
I mentioned that it sounded more like this person was saying, “I SHOULD do…x or y.” Should is a 4-letter word in my book. It implies judgement, but who is standing there cracking the whip? Stop and think about it. Is SHOULD a law? When we say that we “should” do something, it implies not only judgement, but shame.
One person tonight hit it on the head. She said that there is shame for choosing one action over what we feel we “should” do. It dawned on me then that many of us unconsciously make the choice that is not in our best interest because that affirms that we are not worthy of living a healthy, stress-free, fulfilling life, or that we are innately “bad”.
We have somehow convinced ourselves (or been brought up to believe) that we are not worthy, or that we are bad, lazy, stupid, or any of those awful, self-deprecating words.
“Well, it must be true. Of course I am not worthy. I can’t even manage to lose 5 pounds. What an awful person I am.”
I used to find myself in this pattern a lot, but it takes a long time of being aware to finally see it. You have to become the observer of your own mind to see it.
You also need to learn to receive other people’s compliments. We deserve those compliments, no matter how much we feel deep down we don’t.
Listen to the positive affirmations that others offer you, and be aware of your internal dialogue in response to those affirmations. Do you deny them? DON’T. It’s like receiving a heart-felt gift that is perfectly suited for you, and throwing it back in the other person’s face.
If someone says you look radiant, then you DO.
If someone says you have a beautiful laugh, then you DO.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When someone acts as your mirror and reflects back all the beauty in yourself they see, that is a gift to be savored.
One of my dance teachers told me that, “The greatest gift is to be seen.”
Being seen includes being able to see yourself through other people’s eyes. To let go of self-judgement and truly believe the positive things you hear about yourself, is life altering. It tears apart the negative, self-limiting patterns of your life you have used to re-affirm what you felt deep down to be true.
In the place of this demolished image of yourself, you now have the opportunity to affirm your true beauty. As you allow yourself to be seen more, you will find yourself appreciating the beauty in others, which will translate to appreciating your beauty more as well. It’s a beautiful process, and you are a beautiful person worthy of the love you desire.