Earlier this week, I spent some time with a group of young women. All are dwelling at their “bottom” and rebuilding their lives. Their common theme, and I do mean all of them, was how much they “hated” themselves. All were struggling finding their own intrinsic good and redeeming value. All had a hard time seeing a way out. And all were looking for something, anything, outside of themselves to fix their pain.
I sat there thinking, “I wish they knew what I know,” which is this: Their bottom is a gift, sent to help them out of their personal hell. There is nothing external that will create the peace and love they seek. That thing they’re looking for to save them is already here. She’s the woman they see when they look in the mirror…the woman they currently hate being with and looking at. That woman? She’s their only way out.
Truth: It’s an inside job. That thing you seek? It’s within you.
I’ve spent more years than I care to count looking outside for something or someone else to save my butt. I laugh now when I type that…yet there it is. Money, material possessions, relationships, pets, alcohol and drugs, fitness, likes and followers, food…I’ve tried it all. None of it gave me what I was seeking. Because again, it’s an inside job. What has always been there is within me…my heart, my connection to a higher source, my willingness to hang on when the shit hits the fan.
So, where do you start when you find yourself residing on the bottom, hating yourself, and not knowing how to dig your way out and into a place of self-acceptance and love? Getting curious is the first step so, nice job, you’re well on your way🙂.
Next, the only way out is through…one step at a time.
Meditation is that way through; it’s the way into your heart and the way out of your hell. Sitting on your butt or lying on your back in meditation and listening, even starting with ten minutes a day, is the way to find yourself. Yes, your thoughts will be attacking your search for peace at times. Notice them and let them pass. Allow yourself to fall from your head to your heart and feel your feelings. Denying your feelings is how you got here in the first place; always looking outward to escape your pain. Once you feel your feelings, and love each and every one of them, they will also pass through you.
Ask yourself, “What do I currently do to escape? What am I addicted to?”
Here’s some possibilities:
- Your phone and social media. How often do you pick it up and do the addictive-swipe to see if there’s a “notification” that gives you a short-term feeling of happiness? Did you know that your “someone cares about me” notification releases the feel-good hormone dopamine? So, you will keep subconsciously swiping, again and again, looking for the short-term dopamine-driven high.
- Drugs, alcohol, or other substance (food, smoking, etc.). Other than air, which is an FDA-approved addiction, addictive use of substances is an escape from reality. What is your drug of choice and, more importantly, when do you reach for it? I’m not sure you needed to know that…seems a little obvious.
- Work. Yes work. Does “what you do” define you? Even if you’re “living the dream” and doing your life’s passion, are there times when you escape yourself to excel? Just asking…don’t shoot the messenger…you seem defended🙂.
- Your relationships. Who are you without your relationships? How healthy is your most important relationship…the one you have with yourself? If you can’t stand to be with you, how can you expect anyone else to want to be with you?
Look friend, not one person can love you, like you, hate you, admire you, validate you, disgust you, inspire you, or anything else-you more than you do that for and to yourself. But we’re not looking at them right now. We’re looking at you…the one that is having a hard time loving yourself. The one that needs time inward, to connect, to feel your feelings, to find your own intrinsic worth and value, and to start loving the person looking back at you from your mirror. She, or he, or they are in there…patiently waiting…for you and only you.
- What do you do to escape reality? What is your “escapism drug of choice?”
- Do you currently meditate? If you do, what comes up that you’re trying to avoid? What brilliance comes up that you’re scared to see?
Image from: Selecthealth.org