We all have some experience with beating ourselves up, right? Why do we do this? Is it because we believe that by telling ourselves we “are not good enough” over and over again we can somehow fix ourselves? Katie’s daughter Roxann once told us in her workshop that self-attack is an illusion of control. I find that to be very true.
For the last two weeks, I have been living the following Turnaround:
“She should see how much she is hurting me.”-> “I should see how much I am hurting myself.”
I am living with this concept mindfully. It is shocking to find how often I hurt myself by giving myself such harsh criticism. I must be the meanest, nastiest and most judgmental b#^%& I have ever encountered in my life! My goodness…the things that I keep telling myself.
When I go to gym, I see myself in the mirror and tell myself how fat I look in my workout wear. When I want to eat sweets, I tell myself that I am a weak-minded loser. When I am angry at someone else, I tell myself that I should know better. When I don’t feel like having small-talk with a cashier at the grocery store, I tell myself how rude I am. It seems endless! No wonder I still feel that I am not good enough and that I need to fix myself. And remember, exactly who is telling me this bullcrap I-am-not-good-enough story? I AM!! It’s not OK to tell my friends these kinds of things…I would never speak to others that way. Yet it’s OK to speak to myself like that? NO WAY!
About two weeks ago, I texted one of my best friends to give me a store’s phone number she might know and I haven’t heard back. For some reason this hit me pretty hard. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and feeling awful about myself. So I did an inquiry. What I found out from my inquiry was that I still really do believe that I am not important and that my insignificance is the sole reason she has not contacted me back.
I am often asked by clients how they can stop feeling that they are not important (or similar negative thoughts). In my experience, I have never quite succeeded. I can never stop thinking whatever I am believing. As Katie said, “I am thought”. As long as I believe that I am not important, there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it other than notice the thought and create the space for it to stay as long as it wants to. I have noticed that trying to “get rid of it” is what actually triggers the suffering. This is what Katie means when she speaks about “arguing with reality.”
As I live with this Turnaround, “I should see how much I am hurting me”, I pay close attention to the moments when I tell myself that I am not important. As I listen to my inner voice, I start sensing this wounded, confused little girl who has lived in me for a very long time. I can almost hear her scream. “I am here! Why can’t you notice me? I have been telling you that I am not important! Everybody ignores me. What I say/think/act is not important. I don’t matter to anyone! I have tons of proof that I am right. I just need you to listen to me.” As I hear her, I sit, close my eyes and just listen. Tears flow as if the energy needs to come out of my system. And that’s how my healing starts.
What are you telling yourself?