I write a lot about how to create change and growth, but I’ve been struggling with letting go and forgiving myself for things in my past. I’ve had a few people tell me that I’m kinda hard on myself (but I don’t really feel like I’m unique in that…).
This got me thinking about how maybe I’m slightly “happy” to hold onto pain and suffering. I was reading this awesome book (The Joy of Genius) that started off with writing your name and saying: “I am committed to ending my negative thinking.” I had to put the book down and stop reading because I wasn’t quite ready to give up the negativity… yet. More self-flagellation was necessary. More thought looping around how things suck and my role in it. Perhaps some blaming of others, too.
After years of self-analysis, I’m very aware of how I’m “talking” to myself. When it’s negative, I call it out as Dr. Falcier, the shadow man from the movie the Princess and the Frog. He dances maliciously in my mind, saying hateful things. Mostly, I can see it for what it is — something “other,” something based in fear.
I have practices in place to work through this.
And it begins with catching and releasing those thoughts.
I’m not a fan of positivity bypassing; meaning you regurgitate affirmations to yourself that you don’t really believe. It takes effort and energy to heal, to get stronger, to feel different inside, so you can follow through on yourself and take action.
It also takes effort and energy to stay the same. If that’s your choice, then whatever you do, make sure to:
- hold tight to your suffering
- never let go of your guilt
- keep believing the villain’s voice inside you
- thought loop around how things are awful for you (and how it’s probably your fault)
- every day remind yourself of:
- your failings
- what you should’ve done
- how you disappointed people
- make justifications for your own sabotage
- don’t look yourself in the eye in the mirror
- squash down the parts of you that say you’re worthy and only give credence to the question, “who are you to [fill in the blank with something you want]?”
- compare yourself to others who seem to have “it” figure out
- never set boundaries with yourself or others
- relish internal psycho drama
- say over and over how hard something is
- call yourself weak
- stay numb with food/alcohol and external stimuli
- don’t sit still and process your pain – pack it down and bury it
- breathe shallowly, all the time
- never accept yourself for who you are
- don’t permit yourself to dream
- try to control most situations, even ones in the past
- worry about other’s perception of you
- live afraid to try things
- create, accept, and then complain about overwhelm as a way of life
- never ask for help, from those around you or professionally
- lay in bed at night and rewind your day and go over everything that was awful
- start the day with pessimism
- utter the words, “it’s fine” even when it’s not and you freaking know it
- not use your voice when something feels off
Yes, keep doing these things…
- never forgive yourself
- block deep connection to yourself, others or the spiritual or divine
- dwell on how you never succeed
- don’t let gratitude flow through your veins and feel fulfilled
- don’t move your body
- eat a lot of sugar in the morning and feel like crap the entire day (this one is courtesy of my 11 year old)
- dismiss possibility
- don’t give yourself grace
- focus on what you regret
- see life as static and not ever changing
- expect other people to make you happy
- say that you are “all” or “nothing” about things like food, money, rest or exercise
- expect change, growth and success to happen instantly or in a couple week’s time and then berate yourself
- always say, “I can’t trust myself”
- don’t let yourself feel uncomfortable
- vent to other people, but never to the person you really want to
- give away your energy and time and not prioritize yourself
- focus only on figuring out practical solutions without getting curious about your own self and actions
- brush off compliments
- see the world as being against you
- believe that perfection is the only acceptable standard
- never dance or sing with abandon
- use sarcasm as your main way of communicating
- blindly follow society’s messages about money, beauty and your value
- don’t celebrate (small) wins
- never rest
- always be hard on yourself
- live in a way that joy can only be earned with productivity
- keep hating on your body
- look outside for validation and self-love
You can use this as a checklist. How many of these things do you say/do/think on a regular basis? Are you addicted to a certain kind of sadness (great song lyric, if you’re familiar)?
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can learn how to catch and release, and replace and believe. Live joyfully. Take action. Change. I have two health coaching spots open, if you want help with this. Just contact me and we can talk.
May you lean into life unfolding and know that you don’t have to listen to the villain’s voice.