I want to thank everyone who either left a comment on the blog, on facebook or emailed/texted me directly with feedback from my last post. I truly appreciate everyone’s words, comments and thoughts, and feel so humbled by the fact that my post resonated with many of you.
I was planning on writing about laundry today (for real), and have decided to save that for another day because something occurred to me yesterday that I wanted to discuss today. Many of the stories that people shared with me after reading my last post expressed having similar feelings of self-doubt, self-judgment, and ultimately, self-disappointment. It seems as if many of us walk around with negative titles for our story: the person who never graduated from college, the person who has rocky relationships, the person who struggled with addiction. One person in particular summed it up beautifully – I’m tired of being ‘that person’.
I can’t get that phrase out of my head. I get it 100%, and have felt that to my core so frequently throughout my life. Here’s the rub, though – the only person responsible for picking that story-line, and that particular title for the story, is us. I was the one who labeled myself with as many negative titles as I could squeeze onto my proverbial business card – the girl who missed out on so much because of her eating disorder, the girl who got divorced, the girl who couldn’t graduate college in four years like everyone else, the girl who never got a master’s…on and on and on. While I know with certainty that I picked a really pretty font for each self-deprecating title (my favorite font these days is High Tower Text), no font or design can distract me from the overwhelming sense of shame that is associated with each title.
What this means is that each of us has to decide for ourselves that we deserve a new title to our story, one that is steeped in love, acceptance and compassion. I can look at my friend and say ‘you’re an amazing mother’. My friend can nod her head and say thanks, and buy into my vision for a minute, an hour, a day. It’s not enough. The real work requires her to say those words to herself and internalize them, believe them and hold onto them. She needs to love herself enough to realize that she deserves a new title to her story.
I personally think we all could use a big dose of self-love. I encourage everyone to take note of your internal story-line. What does your ‘business card’ say now, and what do you wish it said? Is there a way to shift things around just a tiny bit so that instead of your life experiences working to remind you of difficult times in your life, or how you feel like you have failed, you can give yourself the gift of looking at yourself with a new lens? The power of language is extraordinary – let’s start using it to our benefit instead of using it as a weapon of self-destruction.