You are perfect just as you are; there’s no need to change anything except the thoughts in your head that say you aren’t good enough - anonymous
I had a lovely chat with Deborah Baron on my IC show this week on all manner of subjects. We found that we had so many things in common. We talked about our shared interest in Kabbalah and how there are many similarities between this ancient mystical form of Judaism and the 3 Principles. This is also true of so many of the world's other leading religions and spiritual disciplines. We agreed that what drew us to the Principles was its ability to point us home to who we are at our essence and its simplicity in explaining the nature of thought and how it plays a role in creating our experience of life.
I asked Deborah what one of her first significant insights she experienced after coming across the Principles. She said that amongst the many things she heard was that it was okay to be herself. This was music to her ears. You see, up until graduating from college, Deborah remembers being carefree and comfortable in her own skin.
All that changed once she entered the workforce. Deborah said that's when she began to lose her sense of self and put others' advice above her own. They would tell her what she should wear, how she should show up in meetings, and how she should talk. Throughout Deborah's thirty- year career, she internalized their comments and wore them like a heavyweight on her shoulders. She believed the thoughts in her head that told her she wasn't alright as she was.
As Deborah talked about her experience, I can't help but reflect on how many of us abandon ourselves to please the people around us. We innocently hand our power over to them in hopes of pleasing them and securing their love and acceptance. We become chameleons, changing color to blend into our surroundings. We become shapeshifters, appearing to be like everyone else around us in hopes of fitting in. Fear of being alone, coupled with the belief that we need another for our survival, helps fuel our self-rejection.
As a coach specializing in recovery from Codependency and Narcissistic Abuse, I see this dynamic play out with many of my clients. How many of us on a first date try to read what the other person is looking for in a mate instead of showing up as our authentic selves? It's like we are auditioning for a role without first checking in with ourselves to see if this is a role we even want. We twist ourselves into a pretzel in hopes that we can charm and win them over. Only to find out after a few months that we are not a good match.
Wouldn't it be better if we just showed up right from the start, warts and all? Letting each other know off the bat, who we are, instead of wasting months back-peddling from the false persona we put forth at the beginning of the relationship. Our fear of rejection has us rejecting ourselves. Our fear of abandonment has us abandon ourselves. Our fear of not being good enough leaves us feeling not good enough. The outer world is a reflection of our inner world. When our internal relationship with ourselves is unhealthy, our external relationships will reflect that too.
I have experienced this first-hand. When I was younger and suffering from low self-esteem, I found myself drawn into an unhealthy Narcissistic relationship. Initially, it all looked perfect—a fairytale come-true. But as the saying goes, you can't put lipstick on a pig. So, it didn't matter how much I fixed myself up on the outside; I still viewed myself in a negative light on the inside. Pretty soon, the cracks began to show. When I didn't value myself, my partner didn't value me either. When I believed I was less-than, my partner treated me as if I was less-than too. When I went into denial and lied to myself for fear of being alone, my partner lied to me too. Thank goodness the day came when I realized I deserved better and left.
Once I came across the Principles, I saw that the view I had held of myself wasn't true. I was perfectly fine, just as I was. I didn't have to pretend to be anything other than exactly who I was. The irony is once we embrace ourselves, others embrace us too. Once we value ourselves, others value us also. When we realize who we are at our essence, beautiful spiritual beings having a human experience, perfectly imperfect just as we are, others reflect that back to us. And that's when we attract our perfect partners. Someone who loves us for exactly who we are.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕