Yes, You Are

Growth is an erratic forward movement:
two steps forward, one step back.
Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.
Julia Cameron

Having come to understand that a good life contains many episodes of “fall down, get up, try again”, I find personal truth in Ms. Cameron’s quote from “The Artist’s Way”. However, the part that says “…be very gentle with yourself” is something I’m not as good about as I wish.  Even years into facing my “stuff” at times I still struggle with being kind to myself.

Too frequently still such thoughts as “you could have done better” or “I’m just not good enough” bounce around. Of course, intellectually I know for certain they’re rubbish and my ability to throw off such thinking is steadily improving. Emotionally the grain of this type of ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ runs to my core. However, awareness has helped the prominence of the grain to fade somewhat so episodes self-depreciation come less often with smaller impact.  I discovered a passage in Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” that could easily have been placed for me in a case with a glass door marked “Break In Case of Emergency”. When I catch my self beating up on me I go find the piece hanging on my fridge and it usually helps me realize the person I most need to be a best friend to is myself.

I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.

I have an inner voice some call the “judge” and others refer to as the “critic”. It’s that little piece of consciousness that holds incredible sway over how I feel and the general quality of my life. Spotted for what it is, a liar, scoundrel and a cheat, this self talk began to show itself as coming from the weak bully that originates it; my ego.  As I’ve learned to dispute my own internal bu!!s#!t it’s been healthy to argue for my sanity by silently saying “that’s not true” or simply “no, stop it!”.  Simple, but it works.

Writing here today I feel stronger that I did when I started. I am a darn good friend to myself most of the time now. My inner-self steps up with pride and says “yes, you are!” as I type. It continues with the reminder “what you wrote is true so don’t forget it!”.  I am  grateful to realize to a large degree I can control what I think of myself and over time temper my ego by simply being good to my self. The battle to gain control over the “critic and judge” is life long but thankfully with effort those old enemies grow weaker with time and my friendship with myself grows.

If you really put a small value upon yourself,
rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
Author Unknown

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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