If you ask most shrinks why you have “issues” they will walk (talk) you through a series of questions, leading you down a rabbit hole, until you end up in the fetal position on their sofa crying about your childhood. Obviously that is an over exaggeration, but you get where I am coming from.
“Why can’t I accept love?” we ask, “why, is it so hard?”
“Am I not good enough?”
“Am I not talented enough?”
These questions limit our potential, cripple our talents, stunt the greatness within.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. You see, I am the worst at taking a compliment, it makes me feel awkward to have someone say kind words to me… about myself, because I feel I don’t deserve them (or I feel like I am being conceited should I accept them outright). I hate the guilt and shame it makes me feel, I simply can’t help it. This is the tip of rather large iceberg of emotional, physical, mental false narratives that I have built into my life.
I would like to say that I have begun the thawing out process. Biting the inside of my lips when some one pays me a compliment, smiling tightly and simply saying, “oh, you are too sweet” instead of automatically doing the flip (you know, that thing you do when someone says something nice like, “you’re great!” and you automatically respond “pshhh no! You ARE GREAT!”… you know, that thing). I am also working through image issues, love, trust, and acceptance issues.
Drew has been amazing through this whole process. To be honest, he is probably the reason I even recognized these things in the first place (and started working through them). At the start of all of this, he pulled a rather wise, shrink-esk line from his inner reserves, telling me “Don’t be afraid to dig. These things are connected to your past, there is a reason you feel this way.” and while I would like to scoff at this seeming deep insite, I can’t, because he is right (at least partially so). People don’t realize the lasting impact words and actions can have on those around them.
And so, to the girl on the play ground who called me ugly. To my Grandmother who called me fat. To those who called me stupid, and told me I should never talk about myself because I was being “really arrogant”. To those who lied to my face and teased me behind my back. To those who called me a bitch. I am sorry if I ever wronged you*, I hope you accept my apology, and know that I forgive you.
I am not alone in this. Everyone deals with their demons. Even the most “ideal” life is flawed. The good news is the tides are always turning. A tropical current is right around the corner from your iceberg… what do you say we have a thaw.
*To those I have hurt, teased, or maimed with my words, please know I am truly sorry.