While on your healing journey, you will find that as you level up and away from old narratives, people, places, etc. you may still act out the old. When you do the work and begin to lighten your load, there is a tendency to still feel the weight of the load you have just unburdened. Think, getting your arm amputated and still feeling your arm itch. No need to fret though the mind is trainable. Sometimes we do so much work so rapidly, our minds need time to catch up with our spirit.
In about September of last year, I set an intention to be aware of what no longer serves me, so I no longer play into a role I have outgrown. In doing this I began to become more conscious of my habitual thoughts, trying to make sure I wasn’t viewing new situations with old eyes.
I’d like to share an exercise that helps me reframe my thoughts. Sometimes I will have a thought that physically feels uncomfortable, when this happens it is usually an old thought and not reflective of the new space I am in, which is what causes the discomfort. (I learned to identify the way thoughts make me feel physically by getting to know what being in alignment feels like versus being out of alignment, through meditation) When the uncomfortable thought occurs, I allow myself to explore the thought and take a look at it objectively, I ask myself why the thought doesn’t feel good and what could change about it to make it more aligned with where I really am, versus where I have been or was used to being.
The following is an example of an inner dialogue I had with myself when I sat down to write this blog post.
*OT- Original Thought RT- Reframed Thought
The Issue: Sometimes I don’t feel like writing. It can be daunting at times. Quite often I sit down with my laptop and begin typing, only to quickly shift my attention elsewhere. There are currently 5 different posts that I have started and yet to complete. Why is this?
OT: I think part of it is that my posts are so personal, I’m not sure I want to share so much of myself. I judge myself pretty hard at times and because I do, I assume others are as well. With that, when it comes to telling my story, there are always parts I want to edit or leave out. I also have the huge desire to mention that I am in the process of “working on it” so my readers know that whatever it is, is being handled. I have a real nagging voice that tells me people are being overly critical of me.
RT: I write to show my readers that they can guide themselves through tough spots and come out more integrated than before. There is no need to hide myself from anyone. I know it is part of my purpose to share. I am a storyteller, a natural teacher, I am here to live this life, and share about it. Plus, I have never personally received any backlash or harsh judgment for any of my posts and if I did it would not be a direct reflection of me as a being. No one is as critical of me as I can be, and I no longer have to feed that narrative. Note to self: Change my self-talk.
OT: Another part of it is that this is real and deep work I’m initiating. I believe that in order to live your highest life you must be well emotionally. I believe that the path to emotional wellness can only be walked by the individual, but there are those positioned to assist along the way. Could I really be one of those assistants? Knowing the weight of the work, I often question if I’m even qualified to speak on these subjects. Am I really able to hold space for people to begin or continue their healing?
RT: You do the work. You have been doing the work since 2012. You are qualified just by existing in this time. Not only that, you have a masters in counseling, you not only have the first hand experience but the academic as well. You know that you know you are here to share and teach. Standing in your power frightens you when you view it from an outdated perspective. Also, no one thinks you’re a fraud except you. Note to self: Be more gentle with you.
The above was a brief example of how I talk myself through my uncomfortable thoughts. I do this for any thought that comes up that causes me discomfort. Sometimes, okay, all the time, I do this process out loud, even in public. Something about actually hearing myself say it in my voice helps it really stick. Especially since my voice is much different than the critical voice that seems to only speak out of fear. In doing this, I acknowledge what I’ve felt or thought up till this point, and I thank it for serving me at one point, and release it with love as it no longer serves me. That way, I’m not suppressing or denying the feelings from before, I am simply reminding myself that I am in a new space and I no longer have to play into the narrative from before.
I encourage you to try this if you’ve been having any nagging thoughts or if your inner critic is speaking really loud. Sometimes these thoughts and that critic get really loud to get our attention. Hope this helps!
You are Love & You are Loved