Too often I find myself being restricted to a crime scene. Outlined in chalk is the victim and the spectators rant with whispers of her life. “She was never really pretty enough… there were so many things she could have done better… she shouldn’t of been so vulnerable.” In the midst of it all my name comes up; surprisingly as both victim and suspect…
You see I had confined myself to this un-necessary bondage of things never before said. My redemption came as I started to reflect and look back on a time in college when I visited my advisor. Although she was an advisor I had considered her more of a mentor and even more than that a friend. I called her after having back to back life encounters that made it seem as if I didn’t fit into this world. As if the world had a watcher over me and at every moment of happiness it would shout the command “get her”. I stepped into her office and told her all of my emotions from not feeling beautiful to my feelings of weakness and inferiority to my college peers. Her question to me in response is one that I will never forget. She turned her chair a few degrees to make sure our bodies were perfectly aligned in the office and to make it so that avoiding eye contact was nearly impossible. She then asked “Who said those things about you?” I prepared to give the names of the individuals who had wronged me, cast me out, cursed me, spoke these things that had become my emotional weakening; I prepared myself but no words came out. In fact, as she had done many times before, she had me stomped. When I reviewed my recent past and the moments that reflected my current state of emotion, I realized I had never once had someone look to me and speak the exact words that I had been feeling. No one called me un-beautiful. If anything my husband and peers had tried to lift me up daily. No one person called me weak. In fact, I had many individuals at the time that depended on me as their mental and emotional support system. No one person said I wasn’t doing well enough. In actuality I had become one of the most educationally, successful individuals in my family.
Reflecting, I found that in the times I felt I was not beautiful it was only in the presence of comparison. Comparison to women who had more time and frankly more materialist care than I had, and comparison to women who were made up of artificial things. I felt I wasn’t doing well enough in my life when I compared ‘my beginning to someone else’s end’. I surrounded myself with successful and inspirational people but rather than being inspired I took a path of envy. I wanted to reach my success podium and I was tired of waiting. I had become impatient. Also, no person had called me weak or vulnerable, I felt this way because although life had always knocked me down occasionally it started taking me longer and longer to get back up. I was realizing just how HUMAN I was. Looking back on the, metaphorical, crime scene, I had gotten myself into this mess of things that had never been said. I was murdering myself with self-talk and that voice in my head needed to go!
We rip ourselves apart more often than anyone else ever will. We spend the most time with ourselves and many of us tend to criticize ourselves to an unachievable standard. When I start to beat myself up I think of this conversation with my advisor and I evaluate why my current emotions truly exist. My best advice to you would be this; when SELF-TALK consumes your heart remember that if YOU are the voice that is telling yourself you are not enough then that means YOU have the power to tell that voice to SHUT UP!
Love yourself and remember to choose JOY!
With Grace and Love,