I was talking with a client a few weeks back who can honestly and confidently state that she is strong and powerful and capable and competent. She’s 100% right about this! Still, she is dealing with some things that have her feeling weak and wobbly and incapable and incompetent. She knows better AND she feels what she feels. It’s a conundrum, a paradox, a truth, a lie. And much like me, this has her spiraling a bit, feeling bad, berating herself, acknowledging her own ridiculous shame spiral.
I could attempt to talk her out of what she’s feeling. I could tell her what we’ve all heard a gazillion times: talk to yourself like you would someone you love. I could encourage her to see that she’s being overly critical, that self-compassion is deserved. (And of course, I could do all of this with and for myself, as well.)
Here’s the thing:
Our doubts and insecurities, our wounds and seen-patterns, even the negative thoughts that are completely contradictory to who we KNOW ourselves to be, are very, VERY good news! They point us to what matters, to what we care about most, to what we know-that-we-know-that-we-know.
It’s our very frustration that serves as a compass, a form of discernment, a marker of truth.
When my client tells me she feels weak and wobbly and incapable and incompetent, these very pains and irritants serve as irrefutable evidence of what matters to her, what she cares about most, and what she most definitely knows is true about her.
It’s uncomfortable to feel and name the contradiction, but it serves as a generous reminder of what is more true.
If we don’t allow for the fact that we feel heartbroken and hopeless, we won’t see that compassion and hope are, in fact, qualities and characteristics that we hold dear and do, in fact, have…in spades.
If we don’t allow for the fact that we feel lonely, we won’t recognize just how much we value relationship…and that we are more-than worthy of such, no compromising or compliance allowed.
If we don’t allow for the fact that we care about how we are perceived by our co-workers, our boss, our kids, our significant other, then we won’t see (sometimes with excruciating clarity) that we…