Coming back from the One Solution conference on such a high and feeling so inspired has been juxtaposed with self-judgment. Questions like, “What am I doing with my life?” “Why am I not doing more?” “Look at what everyone else is doing?” have been accompanied by waking up with a free floating feeling of dread and stomach sinking rushes of anxiety. I don’t know if this is related to jet lag, peri-menopause, adrenal fatigue, or perhaps all of the above, but I do know that how I relate to these feelings is what matters.
I can experience them as an acute rush of feelings that settles down or have them become a chronic experience that sets the tone for my day. Knowing that thoughts cause my feelings gives me the clarity to not fuel the thinking behind the feelings of dread and anxiety. So when I wake up at 5 a.m. with a sinking feeling out of the blue, I do my best to remember this and allow my thinking settle. This helps me to drift back to sleep.
With regards to the self-judgments, when I find myself feeling less than because I am judging myself as not doing enough, I understand I am the one creating the dilemma. I am the thinker — the generator of the negative thoughts. When I remember this and recognize it experientially, I don’t take my negative thoughts seriously. I can see them as temporary and irrational. The judgments automatically evaporate when I recognize they aren’t true. Then I find myself back in my natural state of well being unscathed by the thought storm that felt so real moments previously.
I feel like I suffer from more insecurity and self-doubt than the average human. I have no idea if this is true. It has certainly decreased over the years, and it does not prevent me from enjoying my life. However, I still wish I had less insecure thoughts, or, at least, that I got gripped by them less often. Perhaps that is how I will always feel. One insecure thought that tricks me into believing it will always be one too many.
What is becoming more clear to me as I work this out inside of myself is thatthe feelings of shame and unworthiness result from self-absorption. I am astonished at the size of my ego and the lengths it will go to try and make me feel important so that I can measure up to others. The bizarre by-product of this is, most of the time, my ego’s mind games fail, and leave me feeling less than.
Feeling better than or less than are clues that I am caught up in the limiting beliefs of my ego because fundamentally we are all one, and it is impossible to be better than or less than another. We are essentially all inherently worthy and good enough. Nothing can take that away from us.
When I am in the flow of my life and the flow of my thinking, I am not concerning myself with thoughts about my value. My worth is a non-issue. The times when I am not feeling good enough are when I am obsessed with myself. I have lost touch with being in the moment and am absorbed in a loop of self-loathing thoughts. Rather than me being a small part of the bigger picture of life, the camera now zooms in on the metaphorical boil on my nose so that it fills the screen, and that is all I am aware of. That becomes my world and my experience.
This capacity for my self-importance to be zoomed in on and zoomed out of is, however, my saving grace. I know that at some point I will get over myself and forget about “me” so that I can go back to simply being.Even in the heat of a shameful moment, I can remember it will pass, and my crazy thinking will right itself. The lens of my mind will eventually zoom out to a wide angle perspective so I can see the bigger picture.
It is easy for me to put the people who inspire me on a pedestal and to feel sub-human in comparison to them. I had an experience of this at the conference when I found myself sitting in a group with one of my mentors. I became completely over wrought by feeling less than and unworthy. Everyone else was sharing about the wonderful projects they are working on, and I felt like a nobody. I, of course, could have shared about my work and my current successes, but instead, I blurted out the challenges I was up against. I am sure this was imagined, but I felt she was repulsed by me. I know this is really a reflection of me being repulsed by myself in that moment.
This is when I feel crazy and think no one else on the planet ever does such silly things or feels as bad as I do. At these times, I fully understand why my clients who struggle with addiction use substances to numb their pain. However, in the grand scheme of things, I know my thinking will shift. The lens of my mind will zoom out so I can once again have new, fresh thought and experience myself at ease in the world rather than in the discomfort of the world made up of me and by me.
Now when I look back it is a little embarrassing, but I can see the humor in my awkwardness. I recognize how serious I can be about getting it right, looking good, and living up to some imaginary standard I made up for myself and pretend is real. Each time I get over this, I think it will be my last, and then it comes around again.
I wish insecurity were sexier. It is just so unappealing, but exposing myself, writing it down, and not hiding it, is my freedom and liberation. It is my way of standing up to my censorious thoughts. Yes, they may still be able to torment me at times, but I am not going to be quiet about it.
My empowerment comes from my unwillingness to be hypnotized by my own disparaging thinking, and this is what sets me free. It may seem that by writing this I am giving my insecurity more attention and magnifying it, but my experience is that writing about it shrinks it down to size. Perhaps my crazy thoughts are not unique to me, and by sharing them, revealing them for the insanity they are, I will support others with waking up from their own limiting beliefs so they can experience the unlimited potential and magnificence of their true nature.