Finding the head space to deal with our “issues” is a really hard process. Not only are you weeding through all the mess to find moments of clarity but once you find it you then have to figure out how to deal with it. It’s like spotting something as you spin on a merry-go-round. Every spin you get a quick solid glance at what you are looking for and then blur. It’s a big dizzy blur.
Surely I’m not alone in this! In fact, I know I’m not alone because I’m breathing. Anyone else breathing has suffered the same situation. I’m 100% confident in that statement! (wink wink… yeah you)
For so long, I’ve found it extremely difficult to deal with my baggage/stuff/issues/history/negativity/self-doubt/insecurity (and let the list go on and on and on and on). I go to a place in my head where I make up about every story I can to sabotage any sort of confidence I muster up. It’s like my brain can find every negative loophole that exists in the story of my life. Where in the world did that ability and skill set come from? I mean, I don’t remember learning that in school or attending a Saturday morning class on “Taking your own self down: A session on picking yourself apart”. Apparently, something in my life has been a great teacher!
If you know me (or don’t but you probably do by now if you have read any other blogs…. if not, start reading!), you probably know that I’m not one to just roll over if something is bothering me. Maybe this skill set has been useful in that I will stew in something until its boiling over. I think, and think, and think, and think. I also have conversations with myself about all the possible outcomes. If I’m not arguing with myself then I’m beating myself up. Basically I have a temper tantrum in my head.
The more I keep reading, learning and investigating who I am the more I’m learning that this comes from a place of fear and shame. Author of Daring Greatly, Brene Brown, defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” Well if that doesn’t sum it up then call me Sally. Shame has always been that word that I wasn’t sure really mattered to me. I mean, we all say, “I’m ashamed” but I think that’s more referring to guilt. We feel bad about our actions, not who we are down deep. I like the way Brene defines it because it makes it more real to me.
So why the blog about shame? It’s a heavy subject but I want to give you hope and a skill set to help you in your moments of crowded mind space, negative self-talk, and the edge of going cray-cray.
There is a great podcast to follow by Tara Brach. It’s very free-minded, free-spirited thinking (which is awesome) and in addition to that she gives really great sound wisdom. She references an older movie in one of her podcast that really resonated with me. I can’t remember the name of it and my story might be off so don’t judge. (LOL) It also might make no sense at first but I’ll bring it around so just be patient with me.
So the story goes…
There was a wild horse that multiple trainers had worked with but none could tame. Everyone had given up on the horse because it had injured multiple trainers and it just seemed like it would never “get it right” (sound familiar to the way we think). One trainer decided that he wasn’t going to quit on the horse unless the horse quit on itself. He worked with the horse and started building a trusting relationship. After some time the horse began to follow commands and develop a sense of self. It was taming the wild inside by building a trust with a kindred spirit. One day something scared the horse and it went wild. It bucked the trainer off and went tearing through the fields. It was scared and the only way it knew how to behave was to use it’s old familiar ways to embrace all the fear that was inside. The trainer, rather than chasing the horse, calming sat down in a humble, open position. He stayed there until finally the horse returned. The horse came back and found the trusting arms of someone who provided unconditional love. The horse learned in that moment (I’m assuming since horse’s don’t speak English, they speak Horsshian) that he was safe.
How does this relate to us in our moments of crisis? We are the HORSE and the TRAINER.
As the horse, we have to allow ourselves to experience the space where we overreact, run wild, hurt, scream, get enraged, and grieve. We have to create a safe space within where we can acknowledge and validate that our feelings are very real. If we deny ourselves the truth then we try to fit a square peg in a round hole. We learn resentment and our fields quickly become fenced in.
As the trainer, we need to not judge ourselves for experiencing great fear and shame. We need to validate that something in us is broken enough to trigger our untamed heart. We need to provide love and compassion to the brokenness in us so that when we return we can repair what is broken. We must build a trusting relationship with ourselves so that we can truly heal those things in us that continue to keep us lost.
The best way I can bring this home is to reference my relationship with my dachshund, Oscar. He’s a rescue and when we first got him he was a bit aggressive. He would snap and go wild on us. He showed his teeth often and would try to bite us. At first I was like, “RETURN HIM”! (of course I would never) but the more I learned the more I realized I needed to provide a space for him to grieve whatever happened to him with his previous owners. It breaks my heart to think of the things that caused him to feel that way around humans. My heart became a sponge and I just wanted to soak up the hurt from him and provide him with love. Now Oscar is one of the most loyal, sweet, loving dogs I’ve ever owned.
Why can’t I feel that same compassion for myself as I do for Oscar? Why can’t we all do that for ourselves? Are we not as important?
As I’ve been taking a look at my life (with more intense focus) I’ve realized that I need to be very aware of the space I provide for the “wild man” that dwells within me. Now when I have my moments, I stop, take a deep breath and create that space. I watch my temper tantrum happen and I provide love and compassion for myself. It is just ONE MOMENT (now it might happen over and over and over again) but every time I provide that love for myself I build trust. It takes time but the more you practice the stronger you become. You also find wisdom and grace for others as you learn to love yourself.
What does your space look like? What are some things you can do next time when you are trapped in your mind that will bring you back to trust and unconditional love? Take time to think about this and be good to yourself.
GO DO SOMETHING GREAT FOR SOMEONE AND LOVE THEM!!!!