As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I looked in the mirror and smiled. The smile was there because I’ve learned to love the reflection of the soul looking back at me. Once upon a time (a few years ago), I looked in the mirror and had nothing but bad things to say directly to that reflection:
“You’re too soft.”
“You can’t handle this.”
“You suck as a mother.”
“You’ll never make him happy.”
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I (with the miraculous support team I call my Tribe) have gathered the ability and strength to address each of those lies, question the hell out of them, then turn them around into statements I now identify as my truth.
“You are sensitive and empathetic and you should be…it’s exactly the way God made you; these are your most admirable traits.”
“You can handle all the hard stuff you’ve encountered while living your life. You’re still alive, you’re still breathing, you’re still smiling. You’ve conquered it all so far. Bring it!”
“You genuinely love your children and give of everything within you to provide for their needs. They may not be happy 100% of the time, but they are developing their own feelings and thoughts. Continue to pour love into those special relationships.”
“You are responsible for you’re own happiness and that is all. You may never make anyone else happy, but at the end of the day, you’re the only one YOU are responsible for.”
The journey from “The Woman with the Lost Identity (no identity)” to “Grounded and Loving Self Supporter” was a long, painful journey. Walking through that fire seemed to take forever; but slowly, I was able to recognize who I was really trying to please…everyone else. I knew it was a lost cause.
When we try to live up to everyone else’s expectations, we will never win. We can give of ourselves to fill every void we encounter, but it will never be enough. The cycle is endless. Why? Because the person we need to focus on is the person in the mirror. We must live up to our own expectations first.
The road may be long, but quoting Buddha, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting”. Here are a few ways to begin:
- Decide you no longer want to be where you are. This sounds basic, but it’s true. If you’re on the fence, you’ll stay where you are. If you want to move, make the decision and stick with it.
- Figure out what you want. What do you want to stop feeling? What do you want to start feeling? What is your desired outcome? What does it look like to do the things YOU want to do (versus the things you’re doing for other people or other reasons)?
- If you can’t answer Question 2, listen to your heart. A few days ago, my mentor coach, Martha Beck said in her blog, “Your heart is a compass in a chaotic world. Follow it. Resist anything that looks reeeally good, but feels reeeally bad. Be brave enough to turn away from shiny objects, and toward the light that makes them shine.” Your mind can tell you anything it wants you to believe, but your heart will never lie.
- Write it down. Start paying attention to your thoughts and jot them down. One of the most powerful exercises I ever did was take inventory of my thoughts and feelings three times a day. After about 30 days, I realized that I was consumed with “what’s next” instead of living in the present. Awareness is everything.
- Pay very close attention to how you use the following phrases: “I’ve always …”, “I’ve never ….”, “I can’t ….”, ” I won’t……” and even “I, he, she or they should…..”. Consider these potential lie detectors. These phrases often indicate the possibility of a limiting belief, a belief you’ve lived your life in accordance with that holds truth only because we give it that amount of power. Beliefs are formed through repeated thoughts. The only reason they hold weight is because you’ve decided that they are true.
If you are looking in the mirror this moment and do not love the reflection, it is not uncommon. I can identify with where you are and have experienced darkness, fear, pain, suffering, anger, frustration, anxiety, worry and deception. Through my own transformation, I have learned to embrace what is and today, I follow my heart.
If you want to stop sacrificing your needs and desires for the benefit of others I would love to help you transform your life as I have transformed mine. Visit my contact page and schedule your free 30-minute Be Heard and Understood Strategy Session with me.
Be Heard. Be Understood. Be Transformed.