Often times we are the ones who hurt ourselves the most. And even in times when someone else may be hurting us, we allow them to do it, whether directly or indirectly, by engaging with that person or putting ourselves in the situation to begin with. But, most times we are the ones who do the most damage to ourselves, we suffer the most by our own hand. Sometimes we do it by not giving ourselves credit for something we’ve achieved, by punishing ourselves for doing something wrong or not knowing better, for missing an opportunity, missing a deadline, or not speaking up for ourselves. We continue to bully ourselves for these things and keep picking away at a wound that is already there. We get ourselves into a viscous cycle of self-attack, self-defense, self-imposed guilt, and self-imposed blame. But it’s important to seek out the right within the wrong, or even question whether the act was “wrong” in the first place and not merely just a chance to learn or do it better next time. This journey, this path, we are on is about learning and growing, if we all knew everything and did everything perfectly every time, none of us would know how great it feels to find success after a previous failure. It’s those “failures” that build our strength and show us who we are, if we’re able to use them as tools to build a better us.
Before setting out on a path of recovery, I only focused on what I thought was bad about myself, or inadequate. I had a constant loop in my head telling myself what and who I was not. When someone would compliment me I would quickly point out why I didn’t deserve the compliment and shoot it down. I would beat myself up for having a lack of clarity and or for indecisiveness, which many times came from fear of doing what I really wanted, that I labeled it as a sign of weakness. I could tell you all the things I was not, but I couldn’t tell you why, and the reason I couldn’t was because in reality it wasn’t true, it was a narrative I would tell myself to keep myself sick, to keep myself isolated from those around me and to prevent myself from achieving what I was too afraid to believe I deserved.
It wasn’t until I found the courage to see the right beneath the wrong that things started to change. I had to change my thinking and I had to learn to trust myself. That shift happened by learning to take a compliment, and if I truly didn’t believe I deserved it, to just say thank you, not talk back and try to take it away. I was taught that when I argued and said I didn’t deserve it, that I was actually telling that person they were wrong, or a liar, and that wasn’t something I wanted to do, so a simple thank you helped me through that to start. I learned to trust myself by doing trustworthy things, to be accountable for my actions and words, and be open to the belief that I deserved good things, so when they came my way I could humbly smile and say OK. All of these baby steps took time, along with others, that slowly helped me let go of my self-imprisonment and learn to let myself live, mistakes and all. I had to learn to bring love to my wounds, and it was that love that would eventually let them heal.
We often focus on all the things we think are wrong with us, what we lack, but what if, just for today, you offered yourself some love and acceptance so you can move beyond what you may not have been to what you can do. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you focus on what you think your shortcomings are? Is that all you see? Why? When was the last time you let yourself take credit for something? Do you take compliments from others easily? If not, why not? Do you give compliments to others? How does that make you feel? How do you feel if someone doesn’t accept your compliment? Do you see how when you don’t accept a compliment yourself that the other person may feel that same way? What if today you focused on all the things you are instead of what you’re not, and see how that focus may change your day, you never know SLAYER, you may just try it again the next day just to make sure you were right.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you