As I have been writing these blogs I have noticed a theme has appeared. It is acceptance; which coincidently was the first obstacle to my peace of mind that was identified in early recovery. All these years later, I see there is still more to discover and discard!
Last week I asked you to reflect on what might have felt like a radical thought; what would need to happen to allow you to be curious and to explore the idea, what if I am worthy now? If you asked yourself this question, you likely became aware of your ideas about what would need to change to make you worthy.
I am willing to guess the list included: things you have done in the past that you regret, things you haven’t accomplished yet, recognition you want from others, improvements in your physical appearance, things you plan to acquire, etc. - the list is endless. I can guess what is on your list because these were also my thoughts. If you find yourself on this list, my experience is these thoughts point you in the wrong direction. This list is your evidence that you are lacking. You now have awareness of what are called false beliefs, things you tell yourself that are not true.
Acceptance is the next step and to move toward this, it helps to understand our common humanity. All humans are flawed, make mistakes, have a negativity bias and have created a strategy to stay safe in a scary world. This keeps us feeling disconnected. We are all wounded, we all feel shame.
Over the years of teaching self-compassion it is not unusual for someone to remark they have a flaw/ have done something, that makes them unique and unloveable. When I ask them if they are willing to share what that is, they find there is always someone else who feels the same way. We have done such a good job putting up our shields that we can’t see others feel the same way. We are much more alike than we are different!
There is a practice that helps us overcome this negativity bias and supports cultivating positive emotional states. Next week we will move on to what you can practice to get free of these false beliefs.