"Uplift, inspire and facilitate change for my clients", that is what is written on the sticky note on the corner of my computer. I put it there to remind me of my purpose as I read, post, blog and tweet each day. In this line of work it's sometimes difficult for me to be completely honest about myself and my own struggles, for as the professional, I am the one who is supposed to have answers. While I believe I do have much to contribute in the way of helping to improve and heal others' lives, I will be the first to admit I do not have all the answers. As I am sure many are finding as they read various blogs and posts, there is so much comfort in knowing you're not alone. Knowing that others suffer the same challenges in life, and somehow make it through. The beauty of the internet is that now we can reach out and connect with so many more people, who just like you and just like me, want to feel better. We want to find true joy and experience real happiness in the deepest levels of our souls. For myself, I am getting there. I can honestly say that my life is absolutely beautiful! But because I am in the end, no different than anyone else, I do still have days where the beauty is harder to find.
I use affirmations, and fairly true to human nature, once I start feeling better I tend to forget to keep using them The result, I believe, is that I start to see immediate change, but because I don't keep up the work, that change doesn't always last. So in an effort to follow my edict to uplift, inspire and facilitate change, I'd like to honest about my process, and show you that not only do I fall down sometimes, but also how I work to get right back up.
My affirmation this week is "I always speak my truth". It has to do with a very old and deep issue for me. I discovered that I used to be quite paralyzed by what others thought of me. I needed them to like me, and was afraid to speak my truth in any way, for fear they wouldn't accept me. This to the point that I would not venture a real opinion of any sort until I'd figured out what I thought someone else thought I should want. It's something I discovered several years ago, and have since come to a much healthier place, but recent events have made me realize it's not quite gone yet... so that is where I'll start. I'll use this affirmation for the entire week, see what comes up, then pass it along to you. By being accountable to write about it each day, you help me remember to keep using it, and hopefully something about my experiences and insights will be helpful to you! (For the sake of continuity, I'll probably keep adding to this particular post each day, so there won't be separate blogs for each day.)
Let's see how this goes! I am a little nervous at the possibility of exposing myself, but if it helps someone - either you or me - then it will be worth it. Until tomorrow... Good night.
Sunday, day 1:
"I always speak my truth... I always speak my truth..." When we want others to think highly of us, we often say what we think they want to hear, act how we believe they want us to act, and do what they think we should do. And none of that is speaking our own truth. The most prominent thing that come up for me today was regarding a Christmas card. I found myself feeling I should send one to someone who has not even acknowledged me in over a year. I know it's a very small situation, but it didn't feel right, and I had to stop myself and consider WHY I was going to send the card. Was it because I truly wanted to wish them well? I wish that were the case, but the truth was no. I was only going to send it because it was expected of me - to do the right thing, to be the bigger person, and because I know she fully expects me to, even though as I said, she has completely ignored me for some time. But I didn't really want to, so sending it would not have been being true to myself at all, but rather about living up to others' expectations, so I decided to remain silent.
I spoke my truth when I was honest and told my son what I wanted for Christmas (instead of the famous "oh, I don't need anything..." routine.)
I spoke my truth when I told a friend I couldn't afford to go in 3rds on a Christmas gift for another friend (instead of feeling guilty or not good enough). And in the end, I spoke my truth by not saying anything at all, and it was amazing how good all those things felt once I did them.
Tues. Day 3
"I always speak my truth..." Though it would seem this affirmation is referring to my ability to be honest with others about my feelings and what I want, the last 2 days have helped me see (again) it's really about me being honest with me. Having no specific reason to be, I found myself in quite a funk last night, so I did something that really helps me in times like these; I took a walk and had a conversation with myself. No, I'm not crazy, and yes I was literally talking to myself! It's something I've done for years, and found to be amazingly insightful as well as therapeutic. I will imagine someone who's opinion I trust, or someone I feel compelled to talk to, and have a 'conversation' with them. It allows me to let all out, pouring my heart out, feeling completely safe to say anything and everything I need to. I also imagine what they would say or the questions they might ask, and I gain so much clarity as to my true feelings when I hear myself become defensive or begin to justify something. Doing this I can usually feel my way through to the real problem. Last night it was a friend I've recently met, who doesn't really know me or my history yet. While at first I thought I picked this person randomly, I see now it was important they not know what I've been through the last few years. What came up was something that happened about 2 1/2 years ago. Something I didn't want to face, so never really resolved, then like so many of us do, I pushed it down and 'forgot about it'. Only we never forget, and it wants resolution now. Just 'explaining' the situation, hearing myself justify my actions and everything that happened, trying 'convince' my imaginary friend of my good intentions made me realize how much I am judging myself for what was going on during that time of my life. (Because again, I wasn't really speaking to anyone, so who was I trying to convince? Myself.) I haven't been speaking my truth to myself. First by not really dealing with all that transpired, and secondly by subconsciously berating myself for it. The truth is I did the best I could. It was a suboptimal situation, but with the tools and skills I had, I did the best I could. I can keep lying to myself and say that I could have done better, should have done better and that I'm a bad person for it all, but that's not the truth. The truth is I am not perfect, I am not always strong and I do make mistakes. And I need to be ok with that, because it is my truth. "I always speak my truth." Maybe I'll add to that, "and it's ok to be where I am." That feels good. Gives me permission to still be on my journey and releases the burden of having to be perfect. Yes, that does feel better. I can do this. = )
Monday day 9
Aarghhhh!! With Christmas this week, I have been soooo busy, and am obviously behind on my posting!
Though this week of "I always speak my truth" has actually been a fruitful one for me, I'm not sure how I feel about the experiment. Mostly because of the length of the whole post. If someone has been following throughout the week it's not too bad, but if I were looking at the whole thing for the first time, I'd be turned off by how long it is! Would love some feedback as to whether this is the best way to go about this sort of thing.
I think the issue with this affirmation culminated with the last entry and that teary conversation I had with my imaginary friend. Since then I've felt much better, and have decided that I will no longer tell everyone my day is great when it isn't. I won't say nothing is wrong when something is, and I will be honest with myself from now on, admitting my own needs and weakness', asking for help and allowing the people who do, to love and support me when that's what's needed. There is no honor in being a martyr, there is no profit in bearing the burdens alone, pretending everything is fine. (This is not to say I have to share every detail with anyone that asks - in fact I don't have to elaborate at all, other than to say "Though I don't really want to talk about it, I am having a bit of a rough day. Thank you for asking.")
I do feel better regarding this matter. I have spoken my truth this last week, even when doing so terrified me of what the other would say. In the end speaking my truth was far more liberating than my fear was debilitating, and the outcome was not nearly as bad as I'd imagined.
I recommend this affirmation for everyone.