I’m sitting here and reflecting on the beginning of my journey and trying to remember exactly what it was that I used to say to myself that would keep me discouraged and fearful when my negative reel creeps in: “do you really think you have what it takes?”
In an instant, my negative reel takes over and multiplies: Do you really think you have what it takes...
...to heal yourself?
...to start a business?
...to be successful?
...to give advice?
...to actually reach your goals?
I began to realize that at one point I was only questioning if I could get myself out of the physical pain I’ve been living with, but now it’s obvious that this question creeps into all aspects of my life.
One of the benefits to being newly past the first few steps in my healing journey is that I have a clear memory of the recent past. I can vividly recall standing in my bathroom and pausing long enough to realize how I was using my body. Hunched over like there’s a tourniquet pulling my chest down, brushing my teeth with unnecessary aggression and holding my breath, feeling like my mind is a ticking timer rapidly counting down to a finish line that doesn’t even exist.
When my attention became focused on how absurd my demands on my body had been and all the damage that came along with it, I was greeted with a voice of utter disgust and disappointment (and not just the normal disappointment, the disappointment that‘s saturated with ignorant judgment).
“Look at you! Do you really think you have what it takes to get yourself out of this pain? Look at what you’re doing now. All this time knowing what you have to do and not having the discipline to do it. All these years of being a stay-at-home mom when you could have taken the time to heal yourself, but now you’ve just wasted all that time.” I just sat there becoming paralyzed with fear while she relentlessly lectured me.
Today my negative reel is not screaming directly in my face anymore, but she still stands visibly off to the side shaking her head in disappointment and instilling doubt. But no matter how visible she may be in my peripheral vision, I am proud of how far I have come to quiet her down.
I wish I could say that the shift happened quickly. That I bought a book, popped a pill and woke up the next morning with a changed perspective. I wish I had the answers wrapped up in 12 easy steps so that I could share my self discoveries and spare you the hard work and heartache. But instead, what I discovered was the shift only happens in the hard work and heartache.
What I can share with you is somewhere through all the muck and what feels like endless trudging, I did eventually start to hear a different voice. What she said was simple and it gave my mind its first bit of peace. It was the first time in a long while that I had spoken kindly to myself and, in turn, it gave me the space and the grace to change as I continued on this incredibly difficult journey.
What I said to myself to counterbalance my negative reel was this: “I may only be here, but at least I’m here.”