Tag Archives: acceptance

Whatever you do is enough

Again our yoga instructor offered this to us during our practice. Again it resonated.

As someone who has, and can, get stuck with “I’m not enough.” As someone who has worked at replacing that self-defeating (and lambasting) mantra with a full-blown recognition of my own enough-ness, I latched onto our instructor’s gift. And held on tight.

Over the years I replaced, “I’m not enough,” with “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” I still have visions of myself riding in a taxicab home from a support group one evening, repeating over and over and over to myself, “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” Over the years I replaced “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” with “I am more than enough. I have more than enough. I do more than enough.” Somehow the extra “more” was necessary – or at least helpful – to pull myself out of the not-enough-ness that I could throw myself into.

So when our instructor suggested that whatever was enough, there in class as well as outside in the “real” world, I felt myself ease again. As a friend said to me recently, while reflecting on our similar reflex to push and punish ourselves, that reflex comes from a desire to “control everything happening around me.” If I don’t make mistakes, I reduce the chance of being hurt or abandoned. And if I try harder, and harder, and harder still, and hard “enough”, I reduce the chance of making mistakes.

It amazes me how many of us are wired so hard and so tight, with such lack of self-compassion. It amazes me how prevalent this self-defeating and lambasting mental approach is.

It also amazes me how easy it is to let it go, at least for a moment. How permission from outside – from my yoga instructor – reminded me to ease up on myself.

It also amazes me how I’m getting better – and better – at this. The other day another friend asked me how I juggled all that I had going on without freaking out or going into (too much) overdrive. I’m diligently (and delightedly) working on moving my memoir towards its publication date in September. I’m relatively managing (and enjoying) my leadership consulting practice that is booming and busier than ever. I’m still a (extremely lucky) parent with one child at home. It is a lot.

I laughed when my friend asked me, and I acknowledged that I’ve learned to just do what I can do, do what’s in front of me, and trust that somehow everything else that needs to happen will somehow happen. So far it’s working at least relatively well.

Which means that somehow deep down inside of myself I must be reminding myself, as my yoga instructor did, that “Whatever you do is enough.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I (don’t) deserve to die

I did something the other day. Something simple. Something small. Something quite insignificant.

But somehow my internal critic was certain that what I had done was horrific – and that it mattered greatly. And the shame rose up in me like a tsunami, threatening to wash me out to sea.

Whereas my rational mind knew that what had happened was no big deal, my irrational self was taking over. And this irrational self had determined that what I had done was so bad – that I was so bad – that I deserved to die.

Now, I know I didn’t deserve to die. I don’t believe in the death penalty, and even if I did, I know that no jury would condemn me to death for the little mistake I had made. But even though I could tell you this – even while I was overcome with shame and horror – my emotions were taking over.

I truly felt like I deserved to die.

I know these are old thought patterns that are, perhaps, deeply engrained in my psyche. I describe my mind – at times – like a luge path. Once I get caught in the course, once the mind games are started, it’s nearly impossible not to rush down, on the icy path at full speed, to the foregone conclusion.

That I am bad. That I deserve to die.

I was raised in a religious cult where I was taught about my inherent guilt and sin and shame. I was taught that I was never good enough. The things that happened to me certainly convinced me of that. I learned – I learned well – that most things were my fault and that I was sinful and bad. Or at least that if I took most things on as my responsibility and fault, I might be able to control what was happening around me. I could repent. I could change my ways. I could try harder to do better. And better still.

Luckily I now know that these thought patterns are lies. Luckily I now have the wherewithal to perhaps not make them go away in the moment, but to remember that they will pass. If I can just keep breathing and reminding myself that although they feel true they aren’t true, they will pass.

Years ago I learned a wonderful saying, “Feelings aren’t facts.” I can be awash with feelings, and they can be based on mistruths. I can be overcome with shame and guilt and horror, and that can be based on lies.

I did my best to love myself through this shame-fest. I did my best to acknowledge my feelings, while I acknowledged they were crazy. And crazy making,

Because you know what, I certainly don’t deserve to die.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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There is no right or wrong

I can get SO caught in this. Trying to do what’s “right.” Terrified of doing what’s “wrong.”

These are old thought patterns – this belief that there is a “right” and “wrong.”

I was talking to a Second Generation the other day (someone who was born and raised in the Unification Church). We were laughing at the conundrum of being caught between “right” and “wrong” when there is no right and wrong. But boy, we were taught it, and boy is that learning a tough thing to put down.

When you’re taught that mankind has failed God endlessly – from Adam and Eve down to people on the street today – you become quite fearful of failing God. When you’re taught that even a quick sense of doubt as to the Truths you have been given is Satan himself doing all he can to pry you away from God and the path of righteousness, you come to doubt your own brain, your own thoughts, your own intuition, and your own best knowing.

You get really afraid of getting it “wrong.”

I now know there isn’t a right and wrong. And I now recognize when I get caught in the endless loop of fear. False Evidence Appearing Real, as I’ve written here in the past.

It will be wonderful when one day my mind doesn’t quickly jump to judging myself (and everything around me). It will be wonderful when I no longer have to breathe through the doubts and the panic. It will be wonderful when panic and anxiety – irrational panic and anxiety – don’t consume me. And until that day, I will keep reminding myself that there is no right and wrong, and that, therefore, I can’t get it all wrong. I will keep reminding myself of all that is right, of all that is good, of all that is beautiful.

And even if I do get it all wrong, there is always another chance. There is always another moment. There is always another opportunity to come to this day with love.

I was taught the FEAR of right and wrong. I was taught the responsibility of not messing that up. I was taught the burden of not letting God down. And I can learn – and have learned – different things.

I know that this terror of right and wrong isn’t mine alone. I know that many people who weren’t raised in cults also live their days ruled by this lie. I know that we all can – one moment at a time, one breath at a time – live a different way.

Because there is no right and wrong.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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