Friday, 12 February 2016

It's Not All Your Fault - part 2, aka the Not Good Enough habit...

So, how does the be-friending of my self, instead of bashing myself, change things?

Well, what does your self-bashing self say to you?  To stop it, it has to be heard and questioned. 

Mine says things like, "Look at those old socks - dreadful… Your hair is awful; you look ridiculous… You house is a tip… You don't get anything done…. You're as lazy as s**t…. You should have done a; everyone else has… You ought not to have done b; other people don't… If you'd done x, you'd have achieved y by now…. Listen to that piano playing; you could have played like that if…. Well, other people just get on with it..." Blah, blah, blah-dee blah….

And then, from the inner agreement I made long ago to the brain-washing that, 'If you really wanted to, you could do anything if you try hard enough', comes my almost addictive desire to sniff out people who tell me I can fly to the moon through molten tar, with one arm strapped behind my back, whilst wearing lead boots, because, 'Look, I and everyone else can - what's wrong with you? You clearly aren't trying hard enough and obviously aren't good enough.' And as they are doing it, it must be true. Mustn't it….?

People saying, 'If I can do it, anyone can…' is actually pretty dodgy; no, not everyone can be 'amaaaaazing', and nor should everyone. What a monotonous world that would be! The entire population of planet Earth meeting at the top of Everest for tea, 7 billion people sailing around the world at the same time, and the same again playing phenomenal piano concertos every night - all fighting for mountain, sea, and stage room….no sponsors, no viewers, no audiences; a world without the inspiring variety we have now - without the quiet, unsung 'heroes' doing things which change and save lives every second. Every mother, father, partner, nurse, teacher, neighbour….go on for a moment filling in the blanks, and include your self.

So, I see now the magnetic pull of 'I can do anything (as long as it's massive) if I try hard enough' is the drug which feeds my 'not good enough' habit - watch me pick the most difficult things for me, and actually feel double bad because actually they are not very big at all. Double success through a double failure! And with a double hangover! 

How to change this? The same way as has worked for years: Stop. Just stop. Cease the Lemming-like rush towards 'be brilliant!' And in the space left, see what I can do, and want to do, where, and when…the what I am unique at. Then do that. This means leaving all the things I think I ought to do and not feeling bad about them. Which is something only I can decide is possible. And when the shock-horror-failure-feeling rises, to stay with it, acknowledge it, hear it, and most especially be kind to it, kind to me…. And when I hear again the tempting cry of the Be More Now bird - 'you must build, bigger, faster, more, now!' - to sit down, firmly, and hear my best, loving, kind self's take on it; is this going to lift me to the next, best version of me possible, or is it going to ask of me what I haven't got/don't actually want, and just feed my NGE (not good enough) habit? 

It's a question worth asking - I, like you, am here to be the fully and most appropriately me in the world, the best Annie I can be, not the best someone else, however like the 'brilliant other' they extol me to be. Can I be the great me I am?  And can you be the great you you are? Or will I (and you?) go on trying to be the 'them-me' I think I ought to be? 

So, beware the 'Be Better Than You Already Are' brigade; go find the 'Be You At The Top of Your Own Voice' support team; I think they will serve you better to rise and to shine. That's what I am doing for me now. 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

It is Not All Your Fault! Part 1.

What an extraordinary thing it is to receive a stern talking to - from oneself….. And what a blessing…

There was a morning a while back when there was a rapidly rising sense of panic, and an echo - and I mean in a nanosecond - of all the old destructive thoughts of times gone by… But, in an instance, a part of me leapt in, and stood up, tall and strong, and I found myself telling myself…

"Stop it, now!!" 

I was somewhat scared by this voice's forcefulness myself, and as to what remonstrations I was about to hear…. But it went on… 

"Enough! Now! It is not all your own fault; it's no one's fault; it just is. Even when you try your hardest, sometimes things happen, no matter what. And sometimes things don't happen, no matter what. And everyone else does not get it right all the time, or know what to do all the time, or never loses it. That is just your belief habit.

They, those that told you so, well, they were wrong to tell you everyone else could get it right all the time, and that you should, too. Their regret-full shame was simply being projected onto you; the shame and fear that they hadn't found the way to everlasting right-ness, with the resulting feelings they were so afraid to feel, and which - out of love - they didn't want you to feel, too. A well-meant, but futile effort, because Life. Just. Is. 

You are doing your best, and you are also human. So quit the self-bashing and the fear-mongering, by your self, of your self. Self-kindness. Self-encouragement. Self-friendship. This is the only way, or it really will be a tough old life for you. And, what's more, this is how you will truly be kind to others - allowing your own imperfections allows them theirs, too."

And I stood motionless and clear - stilled, surprised, and soothed - by whom…? Ruefully, humbly, yet delightedly, I had to concur that it was by a part of my own self - Me. Always there, knowing this in pencil, but never before so loudly - and now inked in, forcefully, through love...

How blessed and cared for we are, by our own beautiful and kind self - if we stop to listen to the part which loves us, instead of endlessly tuning in to our critic. 

What does your kind self say to your troubled self, when you listen?