Self-development is a very exciting yet solitary process. It comes in spurts, things catch my brain and I instinctively know I need to follow the breadcrumbs to find the answer to “how will this help me to understand myself better”. That is my process and this week I heard a story about self-love and boundaries calling me in.
I have often felt a rawness when in relation to others. And that would be due to my lack of knowing where they stop and I begin. In a recent Instagram post, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how she’s noticed many people live angry all the time because of their lack of boundaries and feeling encroached on. But, she says, “Not everybody gets to have full access to you.” There’s a different distance for everyone in your life. People who earned more trust get more access. In other words, not everything anyone says to you has to mean anything or affect you.
She says, “When they are held at the correct distance from you, you will stop hating them. Until then, you are just using that person as a weapon to beat yourself up. Put an end to it.”
Problems always truly come down to fear. I say that anyone who’s acting like a jackass, including myself, is probably feeling some fear at that time. I find it hard to put my work out in the world because I am afraid of judgment. My inability to stand proud in my talents and products screams fear blockage. In a recent newsletter,
Australian entrepreneur and Female Rights activist Samantha Nolan-Smith said,”When you clear that fear, you can literally be unstoppable. Other people’s judgments just roll off you because you feel complete and whole in yourself. When you’ve already accepted yourself exactly as you are, their judgment is… just a useful piece of information about that person, but tells you nothing about yourself and doesn’t wound you in any way. I’m calling it visibility liberation.”
There are methods of clearing the fears and they take concerted work. First priority is to admit that you have fears and they are keeping you shackled to where you are. There’s no need to feel ashamed of them or to judge them. In fact, the only way to begin to navigate away from our fears is to be compassionate about why they are there. What sad tales do they derive from that we can forgive ourselves for? It is in the application of empathy and humanity that we’ll no longer be under the grips of these fears that have held us hostage for so long.
In her book A Heart of Gold: Lessons on the Path to Loving Kindness, Jane Reeves says “Compassion is what happens before Self-Love…Compassion is how we begin to untether all the tangled parts…Compassion is how we train for self-love.”
So how do I incorporate more self-compassion into my days? What practice can I adopt and embrace to begin this valuable fear relinquishing process? I suspect at least meditation could be truly helpful. This is where I am because I refuse to let my self-esteem languish in the “not enough” zone. That is an insult to everyone who loves me and all the efforts I’ve ever made.
I want to relinquish these shackles and risk and write things that will be of benefit to the world. I want to feel excited as I deliver every new idea in a way that serves me and those I care for. I want to get the heck out of my way. And I know the only way to do this is to work on loving those fears right out of my head.
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