Rather Than Against
Take a moment to imagine your highest self kindly taking the personified hands of all parts of yourself. The compassionate, the loving, the creative, expansive, positive, and happy parts of you. And even the parts you don’t like as much, the depressed parts, apathetic, anxious, insecure, negative, and doubtful parts. They ALL take hands and work together to help you reach your goals and be your best self.
In the past, if I ever made a mistake I would instantly beat myself up. If I didn’t make it to the gym, eat healthy food, do well enough on a test, I was mad at myself. That is the very definition of working against myself. I allowed my insecurities and self loathing to take over and believed that I should have done better. Unsurprisingly, this technique didn’t help me be better. Logically, that makes sense. But as humans in modern society we tend to do this unconsciously. Cursing ourselves for every little bumble and trying to erase our flaws.
There is no part of you that has to be erased. Even the things you most hate about yourself have their place within you and can be used as a tool to help and better yourself. For example, I have always hated how passive I am. How easily I could be manipulated and walked over. What an awful trait. Yet the more I resisted it, the more passive I was. Now, after much personal development and healing, I know that passiveness also serves me. It made me easy to be around, drew many opportunities to me, gave me many friends. The lesson I had to learn was that I didn’t need to be passive all the time but it still had its place. I can still call upon that trait in a situation where it is needed. I accepted my passive trait and it stopped controlling my life. That is an example of working with myself.
So here are some amazing steps you can take in the moment to practice working with yourself.
- Cultivate awareness. As you practice being aware you will be able to catch yourself in a negative head space. You will become mindful when you speak down to any part of yourself.
- Send unconditional love to the parts of yourself you struggle with. Send unconditional love to the You who is wounded, who is afraid, who is insecure. For example, I often have awkward encounters that I way overthink later. When one of those memories emerges and I hear that voice telling me how stupid I am, I send unconditional love to the voice. When I feel insecure and I think, I am fat. I send unconditional love to the part of me that believes being fat is the worst thing in the world.
- Catch yourself off guard! Often when I find myself being negative I shake it off by laughing. And I will say something to myself like, I see you! I hear you! I thank you for trying to protect me but I am choosing to believe and think differently. Often, these parts of ourselves are wounded with hurt and trauma. They just need to be seen and to be heard.
- Envisioning and meditation. During meditation, or anytime really, do the envisioning of you holding hands with all parts of yourself. Imagine you are accepting every part of you and learning when to call different parts of you. Sometimes, you really do need the bitch in you.
- Shadow work! The shadow is the gatekeeper between the conscious and the unconscious. It is where we store everything that we hate about ourselves, parts that aren’t socially acceptable, and everything that we push down. It is also where out potential is, our gifts and talents. Practice shadow work and you will integrate what has been pushed away and have the ability to work with all parts of yourself. If you would like an introduction to shadow work you can read a previous post on the subject HERE. If you would like to know even more and have some guidance, feel free to send me a message over social media.
The last thing I will share to help you work with yourself is radical responsibility. Without judgement, without shame, take responsibility for everything in your life. You take out all the overthinking and worry when you do this. If you slipped up, accept it and take responsibility. And remember the unconditional love you have for yourself. Here is mantra I like to remember for such times, “I did ________, I feel this way as a result. I still deeply love and care for myself.”
Part of falling in love with yourself is learning to love ALL parts of you. As you do, they become one. They become the whole.
Pin for later!