After so many long, drawn out years of chronic illness and being cocooned at home, unable to work or to socialise, my absolute favourite thing about healing is that I can now go out into the big, wide world again. It is exhilarating, liberating, joy-bringing, yet also pretty scary at the same time.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve come to realise that it’s one thing feeling good about who you are, feeling centred, grounded and secure in your sense of self and not letting everyday life give you the wobbles when you’re on your own, safely tucked away in the quietness and comfort of your own home. But, it’s quite another thing when you are suddenly released back into the wild and interacting with real, life people again.
And the biggest revelation I’ve had during this wonderful time of transition – and believe me, it is wonderful, despite all the wobbly, scary parts – is that I am so incredibly hard on myself.
I beat myself up all the time for feeling anxious or awkward in social situations, for saying something stupid, for acting a certain way or for making mistakes, for having my very own Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon” moments! – see video clip in comments section. (I absolutely love Hollie Holden’s post about this.)
I posted a picture on The Pollyanna Plan Facebook Page the other day which contained the words “don’t say mean things to yourself” and it really struck home, because I noticed that I spend a lot of the time saying very mean things to myself, feeling embarrassed and ashamed and criticising myself.
Logically, I know that this is not good in any way. That this will not help me to heal. That I need to “cut that sh*t out”! But in those moments where I’ve messed up, or when I’m feeling painfully self-conscious and wishing I had the ability to time travel and redo the whole thing again, I forgot everything I’ve ever learnt. I forget about loving myself, about feeling good enough and all that lovely spiritual stuff that I really thought I’d started to get a handle on and my harsh inner voice starts up telling me how useless and rubbish I am and what a crappy person I must be.
But today I realised something. And that something is that I would never in a million years talk to anyone else like I talk to myself. I wouldn’t even think any of that stuff about anyone else. It just wouldn’t enter my head. When friends or family come to me with their problems, I listen compassionately. I don’t judge. I offer kindness, support and most importantly, love. I tell them how great I think they are, because I genuinely see them as the beautiful, awesome people they truly are.
And it occurred to me that maybe I need to start seeing myself, talking to myself and treating myself in the exact same way. I think now is the time to dump the overly harsh, critical and downright mean voice inside my head. It’s been great knowing you and all that. Instead, I’m going to start up a relationship with an inner voice who is my best friend and supporter. Who speaks kindly and lovingly to me, who is always there for me and who loves me no matter how many times I mess up, or make mistakes or say something silly.
That’s what we all need really. Someone who is always on our side. Someone who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves and someone who would never ever, under any circumstances, say mean things to us.
© N. Lamy – The Pollyanna Plan – 2014- All Rights Reserved.