Some of use live in a busy, hurried, and worry-filled world. I have some rough news about this “world” that you may not want to hear. But I am ripping off the bandage on this one: Most likely we have created that world through our thoughts and perceptions.
It’s usually in our own minds that we have decided being busy shows our value or worth, we have decided we need to hurry and multi-task everything because we need to meet external expectations, and we have decided worry will help us find solutions or avoid present or future discomfort and pain.
The reality is the busy, hurried, and worried (inner) world leaves us feeling exhausted, unfulfilled, stressed out, overextended, overwhelmed, empty and depleted. And yet, we keep pushing (“If only I do more…”) because we have adopted a critical, harsh, and often unforgiving view of ourselves.
I see this so often in my work with clients, but also, I know from my own personal life experience. I have been there. For a good chunk of my young adulthood. My clinical observation? It sucks. But we can get out that sucky place and soar.
When we begin to see who we truly are (at our core or higher self) and what we truly deserve– our priorities shift, and we begin to honor our needs. Busy, hurried, and worried melts away. Of course, there will always be stressful moments or times that life feels crazy busy, but it becomes manageable because we know it will pass. We know we can make different positive and supportive choices for ourselves. Leading to different rewarding outcomes. Our vision of ourselves shifts. When we view ourselves as whole, complete, and enough we feel expansive, balanced, energized, fulfilled, excited, grateful and at peace. Oh, and happy. Wouldn’t it be nice to be happy without exceptions?
What lens do you view yourself through? A critical, harsh, and unforgiving lens? Or a loving, affirming, and gentle lens?
Ripping off another bandage: The critical, harsh, and unforgiving lens is not from your inner voice, but from a voice you have heard or experienced from others.
You deserve better than that. You deserve to hear the wisdom of your inner voice. Your inner voice guides you and supports you ONLY for your highest good. It never steers you wrong, it never guides you down the “wrong” path, and it never criticizes or judges. (Hint: that is our fear-based ego mind ☹–trying to keep you safe but instead creating stress)
No matter where you are in your life, no matter the choices you have made in the past, no matter how far you still want to stretch and grow…right now, in this moment AND moving forward…you deserve to view yourself as you actually are. An honest observation. One that recognizes you deserve to be viewed and appreciated through a loving, affirming, and gentle lens.
I recently came across a wonderful quote from Pema Chodron, “The most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently”.
Honestly. Gently. YES!!
Sometimes our lens gets all grimy and smudged from life. It’s time to polish and shine the lens by honoring your inner voice to look at the self honestly and gently.
Take a deep breath in…draw up from your inner courage (it’s still there!). Consciously and respectfully shift your lens. Look at yourself honestly without the distortion of external expectations or fears. And gently, with tenderness and love, hold that lens.
There are lots of techniques to tap into your inner voice and begin to regard yourself honestly and gently. Here are some questions to help you to honestly look at a situation, experience, or event–without criticism and judgement–that has triggered a negative emotion or thought so you can quiet the ego mind and move away from the busy, hurry, and worry.
Let’s begin to tap into your inner voice and make choices and take action in ways that work for you. Honestly assess any situation through a series of questions (but remember, gently):
- Why is this coming up for me now? Has something like this happened before?
- What was helpful (usually an action) in the past? What created more stress in the past?
- What feeling is being activated? How can I soothe and nurture myself and emotions?
- What am I (actually) needing in this moment? How do I honor and meet my needs?
- What will be most helpful for me in this current situation? What is the most loving thing I can do for myself in this moment?
- What area or areas of my life do I need help or support? Who is available for help or support?
- How can I practice asking for help? Who is it safe to be vulnerable around?
- What are ALL the choices I have in this situation (how will each impact this situation)?
- Will my actions align with my values?
- How will I celebrate my commitment to releasing “needing” to be busy, worried, and hurried?
- I am worthy of love, acceptance, and compassion. Each day I will gift myself with love, acceptance, and compassion.
- Each day I regard myself honestly and gently, without judgement and criticism.
- I am free to define success based on my values and needs.
- My strength is in my inner wisdom. My inner wisdom and voice never lead me astray.
- Each time I give voice to my inner child, I heal another layer of wounding.
Wishing you peace and a new lens for viewing your amazing self!
P.S. Still struggling with some of the self-care concepts? Let’s talk a little bit about how we can heal your emotional wounds. Mary@riversjourneycounseling.com
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