Oh dear one,
You know those parts of you that you might wish away?
Perhaps you’ve longed for a scalpel to cut those parts out?
A pill to take them away?
A mantra, yoga pose, or 40-day cleanse to help you rid yourself of them once and for all?
What if there was another way
to be with the parts of you
that you want to toss
in the rubbish pile?
I was in my kitchen on a sunny Sunday morning about a decade ago.
I had woken up miserable, like I had for many mornings, and stood staring at the kettle as it was busy boiling water for me.
But as I examined my misery in my mind — trying to understand why I was so angry, so sad, so depleted, and how to fix it — a miracle came in through the window.
Instead of picking up
my inner scalpel,
and before I could get to work
slicing at my shortcomings,
Another part of me — a wiser, more graceful part of me — grabbed my wrist and held it steady before I could strike at myself.
And whispered something that changed everything.
“What if there was wisdom in these parts of you?
What if this anger, this sadness, this depletion,
is actually wise rather than shameful?
What might that wisdom be?”
My scalpel arm twitched, but was still.
I listened. I let it in. I followed this line of reasoning to its natural conclusion.
I turned toward these parts, rather than away.
And a deep and ancient part of me unclenched.
I brought my curiosity, instead of my scalpel.
And instead of wanting to excise my flaws, I felt the natural urge to kneel and understand them.
I wondered, what IS wise about anger, sadness, depletion?
Ohhhhhh! Anger wants me to see that something I value deeply about myself, feels threatened.
And that ‘something’ is the personal truth I’ve been too afraid to share for fear of rocking the boat.
Oh, and anger loves me enough to flood me with fire so I can never again un-see that my personal truth is precious enough to burn for.
Oh, and it’s sad when we don’t value these parts of ourselves. It’s depleting.
I considered, might anyone else on the planet feel this or fear this, too?
Chances are, I realized, nearly everyone.
So, it turns out these seemingly-despicable parts of me connect me more to my fellow humans than isolate me from them.
What is wisdom FOR,
if it’s not for the dark and frightening
parts of ourselves
just as much as for
the pretties and lovelies?
I imagine this is the line of reasoning that led Mother Teresa to touch the untouchables. That helped Nelson Mandela come out of 25 years in prison with his humanity, vision, and dignity intact.
This is how we learn to love our neighbors, even the ones that scare us and annoy us.
This is how we
stop talking sh!t to ourselves.
This is how we learn to forgive ourselves, to trust ourselves, to like ourselves, to love ourselves, dear one.
I have a no-cost gift for you, aptly titled Stop Talking Sh!t to Yourself, in which I’ll walk you through an exercise to help your inner champion get louder & more convincing than your inner tyrant.
Find it here, and share it around wildly, won’t you?
May you let this graceful part of you
still your scalpel-crazy hand,
make a nest in your heart,
and stay forever.
PS: Stop Talking Sh!t to Yourself is here for you.
No cost. Enjoy! And let me know how it works for you, would you?