“I always find beauty in things that are odd or imperfect – they are much more interesting.”
— MARC JACOBS
Ok, I’m about to get real honest here.
There are times where I can be a selfish, whiny, overdramatic, gluttonous, standoffish, nose buried in my phone, lazy human!
What is the point of saying this? I want you to understand (and this may come as a shock :P) that I am by no means perfect, and that’s ok!
If you are reading this you are aware that I am a life coach. People see a life coach to improve their lives. We can all agree that a life worth living requires a certain level of confidence and presence. True confidence and presence comes from being comfortable and connected with who you truly are.
Loving yourself requires self-acceptance. Acknowledging ALL of who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly. If you accept the good with the bad, there is nothing anyone can say to you that will hurt you because you already know this about yourself! There is no way to throw you off your game because you’ve addressed your insecurities already.
So many of us deal with anxiety because we are DENYING parts of who we are. Our suffering comes from the FEAR that our weakness will be exposed. The fear is that THEY will find out that you aren’t PERFECT.
What this does is create these big dark areas of our existence that we refuse to look at because it’s too uncomfortable. When these areas present themselves, we quickly try to ignore it, shove it down, and distract ourselves by any means necessary. This can lead to all sorts of self-damaging behaviour. The end result is that we ultimately have FAR darker moments in the end. There is no consistency in our life. We have the highs brought on by distraction, followed by the lows that are the result of said distraction.
So what do we do about this?
Start by noticing.
Notice when you feel anxious, or blue, or you find yourself reaching for a drink or some crappy food. Notice when someone says something that REALLY puts your defences up. Take a moment, and get REALLY curious, what part of you is being triggered? Maybe you feel guilty or shameful about some thought or behaviour of yours. You should’ve responded to that email, or gone to the gym, or called your grandma, or not stolen that idea from your co-worker etc. You’ve done something ‘BAD’ and deep down you KNOW it.
Once you’ve noticed the trigger, trace that back to a word. The word might be ‘lazy’, ‘greedy’, ‘selfish’ etc. Whatever the word is, it will have some charge for you. Now, go look in the mirror and say to yourself: ‘I am selfish’.
You will know if you’ve got the right word if it feels really icky to do this!
Keep doing it! Find other words and keep saying them to yourself.
I am greedy, I am lazy, I am snobby, I am selfish, etc.
Say them until they no longer carry a charge. Acknowledge these parts of yourself until they no longer have the same power over you.
This is an exercise I got from Debra Ford’s book ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers’ (highly recommended reading) and it had a HUGE impact on me. I was able to pull these dark parts of me out of the shadows and into the light where they no longer looked so scary and awful. In fact, I started to recognize that there were gifts in these so-called ‘bad’ things!
Selfishness can bring the gift of self-preservation.
Laziness when balanced brings you self-care.
If you are standoffish to others, you have the ability to set boundaries that can serve you well when used appropriately.
Acknowledging these parts of your self is the first HUGE step towards self-acceptance. Its only once they’ve been acknowledged that you can start to make these parts of yourself work for you. Otherwise they stay buried, silently and unconsciously controlling your actions.
I still have moments and even days of laziness, selfishness and gluttony etc. that do not serve me. However I try not to compound that with guilt and shame. I accept that this is a moment in time, and I know it is not all of who I am. There is less resistance and denial/distraction, and I find that the moments pass more quickly, freeing me to be a more conscious person moving forward!
Recognizing the beauty in your imperfection is the path towards more confidence, consistency and consciousness. Wouldn’t we all love more of that in our lives?!