Changing Not Good Enough to Good Enough:

Stone By Stone

The best is yet to come. I know this even as I struggle with feelings of fear, shame, and the thoughts that fuel them. Because now, as self-defeating thoughts surface and re-surface, I notice how those thoughts give way (and much more quickly then they once did) to new thoughts, allowing for a very different emotional experience. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but through the years of practice, the landscape of my brain has changed, and now there is a new pathway etched deeply there.

“I’m not good enough”, is a common belief for many of us. We all struggle with those tender spots that were created by something that happened in our past, by recent events, and by ones much older. These injuries are wrapped tightly in trauma memory, twisting our perception of reality, how we see ourselves, and how we view the world.

Trying our best to make sense out of things that don’t make sense, we are at risk of telling ourselves that what happened was completely our fault, assuming complete culpability, even when others may have accountability separate from our own, but choose to remain silent.

We are also at risk of stopping short as we blame others. As fear fuels all of it, we can become consumed, and move away from the opportunity to effect real change, healing, and a lasting sense of empowerment. Anger can turn to rage, and these feelings can create additional sickness both inside and out.

Whether you are blaming yourself, or someone else, chances are you know what I am talking about, even if it is not the exact same shade of hurt. In the end, blaming ourselves, or blaming others, does not serve us. Instead, thoughts aimed to hurt us, or others, only ensure that we will stay bound to old patterns of thinking, behavior, and to a rather shallow existence. There are, in fact, infinite realities we could choose, if we only knew we had a choice. We do.

Recently, I slipped. Triggered by an interaction with someone I love, and ashamed at my own reactivity, old but familiar thoughts fell on top of me like heavy stones: “I am not good enough.” “I am a bad person.” “I am a bad mother.” As is often the case when I am triggered, I felt the shame take root as it threatened to settle in for a time. Moments of activation are always uncomfortable, no matter how much they occur. It is easy to fall back into old ways of being in the world. However, what we do in these moments can make a significant difference in how we get through them.

As I wrote in my journal, reflecting on what triggered the most recent landslide in my mind, I noticed my process and how different it has become. Simply throwing off the stones, each a symbol of a twisted belief they represent, is no longer the goal. Instead, I have become curious about each stone, and I pause to hold each in my hand, squeezing them into dust, and uncovering the truth hidden in each one. My own personal transformation has come from an intentional practice of gratitude, connection to those I cherish most, mindfulness, meditation, and of course, from writing.

Through my own process of discovery, I have come to relish the idea of transformation. For example, when I choose to focus on my progress, marking how far I have come, (instead of the old routine of obsessing about my failures), I feel immediate relief, and the shame is soon dislodged. The truth is that I am a good person, and I am a good mother. I am good enough.

As more stones have been turned, I have become more deeply aware that many of the things that happen in my own personal world, events that trigger my own fear and insecurity, are rather small compared to the larger scope of things happening all around this planet. This thought, along with the expansion it creates, gives me pause as I am once again reminded about the insignificance of my problems, and of my worries. And this truth does not belong solely to me.

The best is yet to come. Hold hope, and continue your own personal practice of presence, and discovery. It is the practice itself, that overtime, can change the direction of the river, stone by stone.

Clear Reflections

What is your process of self-discovery?

What is the proof that you have made progress? List at least 5 successes.

What are the beliefs that you are choosing to believe that create painful emotions? What are the behaviors associated with these beliefs that do not serve you?

What is the truth? Describe your light.

How can you stay intentional about changing the way you view others? How you view yourself?

Be patient. Stay intentional. Practice.

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