The Stories We Tell Ourselves Are Not the Truth...They Bear Witness to Our Own Fears and Insecurities.
Dear Fierce Ones,
I needed glasses from a young age. The only problem was that no one knew that I needed glasses.
Not even me.
I didn’t realize that I needed glasses because I went to an ACE school, and I was near-sighted and not far-sighted. The letters ACE stands for Accelerated Christian Education. ACE schools use workbooks and not chalkboards and I could see up-close really well. I spent all my free time reading books.
I had all the songs at church memorized because I had been singing them my whole life and so the fact that I couldn’t read the words displayed on the overhead projector never bothered me, nor did it occur to me to tell anyone that I couldn’t see the words.
We had a tiny TV so on the rare occasions we watched TV I would sit up nice and close and so did my brother. No one thought much of it. During road trips, my brother could always read the road signs WAY sooner than I could and it still never once occurred to me that I needed glasses.
But…I needed glasses.
I really did.
My eyesight was BAD.
When I was 12 years old, my parents took me to the eye doctor.
I am quite sure that almost everyone reading this has been to the eye doctor, so you know what I am talking about when you stand back and read the letters on the wall.
Remember the gigantic E at the very top of the diagram…the biggest letter on the entire diagram?
I couldn’t see that.
The only thing I could see was some very fuzzy gray lines and that was it.
I needed glasses.
We picked out the frames and ordered the glasses and a couple of weeks later we went to pick them up.
I will NEVER forget the first time I put on those glasses.
The first thing I did was go outside.
The sun was shining and it was summer. The world was a complete wonderland and I was in awe.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE…
I could see the individual leaves on the trees. All my life I had seen trees as large fuzzy blobs of green. Suddenly I was able to see the individual leaves on the trees and it was…
After that… I couldn’t stop looking at EVERYTHING.
People were amazingly beautiful and some were definitely not.
I could see the individual blades of grass poking up from the ground.
The amazing little details of the flowers!
The dazzling color of the birds!
Everything was so intricate and colorful and I felt like I was seeing the world for the first time at 12 years old.
It remains a vivd memory for me to this day.
On that day… the world came to life for me. I saw everything so well for the first time and it was more beautiful and detailed and intricate than I had ever realized.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
We take so much for granted sometimes. We think that we see clearly. We think that life is just the way that we see it…because we don’t know any different. We think life is the way we see it because we create our reality through the stories we tell ourselves so it must be true.
What if…the stories we have been telling ourselves are LIES?
What if we need glasses and we don’t know it…we think we see. We think we know. We think our thinking patterns and habits are fine. We don’t know any different.
That expression…ignorance is bliss.
I get it…but it BUGS me.
Given the choice…I would most certainly choose to see clearly, rather than remain blissfully unaware of my lack of vision and/or perspective.
Once I could see…my glasses did not come off of my face unless I was asleep.
So often…we see life through our own perspectives…not knowing that we need another perspective to see clearly. Often we don’t see the truth.
We see the world through the stories that we tell ourselves about what is really happening. This happens all the time in our relationships with people. AND…we tell ourselves stories about our bodies, our opportunities, and our lives based on our skewed perspective. We need glasses, but we don’t know it.
Do you tell yourself…
I am too fat.
My boobs are too small.
My nose is too big.
I am ugly.
I am not smart enough to do that job.
I have a black thumb.
I can’t afford it.
No one likes me.
No one cares about me.
I am never going to find “the one”
I know she is going to leave me.
I know he is cheating on me.
Life is a bitch and then you die.
I am not good enough for him.
She is way out of my league.
Dear fierce ones…
The stories that we tell ourselves are not the truth…they are created in our own minds and they bear witness to our own fears and insecurities.
For example, regarding relationships
Your husband doesn’t EVER pick up his socks from the bedroom floor and you tell yourself this story…he doesn’t respect me, he doesn’t love me…if he did…he wouldn’t leave his socks on the floor and expect me to pick up after him. BUT…the true story is that you have been picking up his socks for years and have never once told him how it makes you feel and he has no idea he is hurting you…he had a Mother that picked up after him and he is just in the habit of leaving his socks on the floor. Your fear is that he doesn’t love and respect you and yet…nothing could be further from the truth.
Maybe your husband is late getting home from work for the third time this week and you tell yourself the story that he is having an affair.
You are having the best day of your life when suddenly you tell yourself that it is too good to be true and you begin to imagine a “worst-case scenario”
Every time you look in the mirror…you only see the imperfections, because that is your habit. It is what you focus on.
Every time things are going well…you find the doubts and fears.
Every time someone gives you a compliment…you are ready to refute it with your own story.
I don’t LOVE my smile because I am mostly all gums when I smile big and the story that I tell myself is that it isn’t attractive to have a gummy smile…but the real truth is that people LOVE my smile and find it very attractive…
The good news is that we can find out the truth…if we practice courage and vulnerability.
It will take courage and vulnerability to talk about your feelings.
It is hard work getting over yourself, your fears and insecurities. It SERIOUSLY is, but the older I get, the wiser I get and I can tell you this…
The truth will set you free.
When we have the truth…we see clearly and we no longer practice creating dire stories that bear witness to our fears and insecurities.
Yet…so often we are terrified of our true selves…because of the story we tell ourselves about ourselves!
We practice deceit. We practice denial. We practice abusive patterns towards ourselves with our negative self-talk and our stories of doom and gloom. We practice imagining the worst case scenario in an effort to prepare ourselves…but it is such a waste of our energy and time and even worse…it exacerbates our fears and insecurities, inevitably robbing us of our joy and our acceptance of ourselves. It paralyzes us and prevents us from advancing.
When I was young…I had no idea I was as beautiful as I was…I was so self-conscious and so insecure because I thought I was too fat because I wasn’t anorexic …and I thought my boobs were ugly because they were tear-drop boobs and not sitting high up on my chest like a pair of perky cantaloupes. They were not like the Baywatch boobs bouncing beautifully up and down as they ran across the TV screen.
I was also terrified of going swimming because of my natural pubic hair situation which was a pain to manage effectively! There were always those grow-out hairs, or red bumps to deal with.
The real truth…had I been able to see myself clearly…was that my boobs were AMAZING and I was thin and healthy and yes I had pubic hair…BECAUSE it is actually not natural to be bald down there and bathing suits with a 2 inch strip to cover that area is completely RIDICULOUS.
The real truth was that I had nothing to be ashamed of and yet I was ashamed of my natural beautiful self because I didn’t fit into the beauty ideal of the day…Can you relate? I was so afraid of being judged! I was no afraid of not measuring up! I had no idea I was beautiful just as I was.
Imagine yourself as a small child…terrified of the dark and all you have to do is walk across the room and turn on the light…but the story you have told yourself is that there are snakes…or monsters…or a bogeyman…or something equally horrible under the bed…waiting for the moment your feet touch the floor. The truth is that there are NONE of those things under the bed but you are so afraid that there might be…that you huddle under the blankets literally having a panic attack instead of finding your courage to walk across the room to turn on the light. It is paralyzing and unreasonable…Yet…you remain trapped in the fear. Suffering and suffering. Perseverating on the what-ifs and imagining the worst case scenarios. Literally making yourself SICK and unable to function…
Franklin D. Roosevelt made this expression famous in his 1933 inaugural address:
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
It is true isn’t it?
Fear paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. It takes great effort on our part to overcome the fear and move forward…but it is absolutely necessary in order to ADVANCE in life.
Are you stuck…trapped by your fear…unable to advance? Find the truth and set yourself free. Get yourself some glasses so that you can see clearly.
do not cling to the lies…
do not cling to the past…
The definition of the word advance from the Merriam-Webster dictionary
1: to accelerate the growth or progress of (advance a cause)
2: to bring or move forward (advance a pawn)
3: to raise to a higher rank (was advanced from clerk to assistant manager)
It takes work to advance! It takes practice. It takes effort and determination to break old habits.
It takes telling ourselves a different story…It takes a new perspective.
Instead of…I hate my boobs because they are saggy and ugly…I tell myself this…
I love my boobs because they nurtured my babies and they bear witness to all that love and nurture and sacrifice. How beautiful they are! They should be worshipped! They should be blessed. How many women wish for the privilege of motherhood and breastfeeding and have not been able? Would I trade beautiful perfect breasts for my children? HELL NO. Why should I feel like they need to be fixed…like there is something wrong with them? All my life I felt like something was wrong with them (even when they were perfect) because they weren’t “in-style”. Why is a woman’s self-worth based on the condition and/or size of her breasts anyway? It is fucked-up. AND it is all in my mind. It is NOT my reality, unless I make it so!
So consider YOUR reality.
Do you need glasses to see yourself clearly?
Are you telling yourself a story based on your fears and insecurities?
Are you always feeling like CRAP about yourself?
Are you always playing out the worst-case scenario in your mind?
Are you always stressed-out and anxious?
Are you always basing your worth on what other people think about you?
Stop it! The stories we tell ourselves are not the truth! They bear witness to our own fears and insecurities. They are not reality…and yet
We create our reality…through the stories we tell ourselves.
Think about that!!!
That is such good news!
We can change our story. We can change our reality.
I used to smoke cigarettes. At the time…it was cool and I wanted to fit in. I accepted my first cigarette at 14 years old and I coughed and coughed every time I inhaled. But I kept on practicing until I could smoke easily and became addicted to the sensation of the smoke hitting my lungs and watching myself exhale a huge plume of smoke out of my mouth. AHHH! It was so satisfying and yet…in actual fact… so dissatisfying because once you become addicted…you are never really able to quell it. The desire, the constant craving, and the sensation of needing another cigarette. I loved it and I hated it simultaneously.
Eventually, I hated it more than I loved it…but how could I stop? I was addicted. I had physical cravings that forced me to do it even when I didn’t want to…the insatiable craving would not let me quit.
Until one day…
I decided something. I decided to tell myself a new story.
I told myself that I was not a smoker.
I said to myself very emphatically…I am a non-smoker.
Every time the craving for a cigarette happened…I rejected the craving. I would tell myself that I was a non-smoker and that the craving was odd and I didn’t need to pay attention to it.
I was able to change my reality from being a smoker…to being a non-smoker.
Our minds are powerful.
The stories we tell ourselves are powerful.
They create our reality.
Dearest fierce ones…I love you so much. I care so deeply about your precious hearts. I want you to see yourselves as the beautiful, unique, gifted beings that you are!
It hurts me so much when I see beautiful souls tearing themselves down…ripping themselves apart with criticism, judgement, and the feelings of not being enough.
If this is you…it is time to change your story.
Find Your Fierce.
Take the Journey.
Hugs from me,