These two are having a juicy war inside me at the moment. The more I love myself and open to allowing greater joy, peace and abundance into my life, an aggressive sabotage response is evoked from the part of me that believes such a big change is highly dangerous.
It sounds odd to say that abundance and happiness could possible be considered dangerous, but it is the complete unknown to those of us who are much more familiar with struggle, drama, problems and stress. Peace, joy and abundance have been allowed, but only in short bursts. To consider the possibility of allowing greater peace, joy and abundance challenges some deeply held beliefs and patterns of behaviour.
Breaking free from the familiar feels risky, even if that familiarity is a bit of prison cell. The changes we can expect from breaking free are numerous and effect every area of our lives including our friendships and relationships, how we spend our time, and even our very identities. We can feel we are falling apart at times as who we thought we were dissolves.
This is why self compassion is an absolutely vital ingredient in this process. Our highly developed threat detection system is triggered by the idea of change. But it can be soothed, and this takes place when we are very gentle, kind and patient with ourselves. After all, it wasn’t our choice to carry limiting beliefs around for our whole lives. Most of these old beliefs and low expectations were installed in us as children. We are practically hard wired to believe what we deserve.
So now couple of small events I’d like to share from my recent experience which reflect some successes in my mission to go beyond my own ‘upper limit problem’.
- One that reflects my increasing expectations and kindness for myself is getting the health club I go to to clean the showers. For the last year I have been having a swim in the mornings at the Hilton Hotel. The changing rooms, showers and toilets have been consistently filthy. I have mentioned it a few times to the staff, but nothing changed and I just put up with it every day, though inside I wasn’t happy with being treated like this as a paying customer. So the other day I got hold of the top management emails and wrote a very strongly worded email to them about it. I was delighted to get a long and grateful response and this morning a cleaner appeared for the first time! Result! and I feel I have honoured myself by getting the situation improved.
- A walk with a dear friend I have not seen for a while, a person who shares a similar tendency towards struggle, fear of success and self sabotage. So when together we tend to emphasise our setbacks and misfortunes. However I found myself sharing my recent good news, results, successes and new inner delvings, and yet I also noticed that I repeatedly diminished myself and my efforts. I noticed there was compulsive quality behind it, to not to sound intimidating, not to alienate, not to shine too brightly. I’m glad I noticed it. It further strengthened my resolve to discriminate more who I spend time with. With old friends it is easy to ‘fall into’ the familiar script. I take responsibility for my part in the equation, there is nothing he did or said to make me behave like that. There is a gathering of old friends and family for 2 days at a hotel in the country this weekend. I chose not to do the ‘dutiful’ action and participate. I congratulate myself on my courage for risking their disapproval and for putting myself first.
- I bit a nail down so far yesterday it hurts today still. I noticed doing it while I was doing it and the compulsive quality about it. I was giving myself pain, and it amounts to very minor self harm and certainly self sabotage. I embrace myself with compassion as I go through this scary process of expansion and my heart goes out with greater empathy to those who go further along the self harm route.
- I turned down a potential new client yesterday. The lady called me sounding very annoyed that I didn’t call her back yesterday. I asked her to describe the work she would like done. She refused and said she wont discuss it till I come and see her. I don’t go and see potential clients until I am sure that they fit what we do. So I said no. She asked why and I found myself saying, ‘because I can tell already that we wont get along very well’. Well she was furious! and hissed some insults before hanging up on me. That is an example of me setting healthy limits on what I do for others. Perhaps I will get more tactful with experience! but I am glad I did not agree to go. In the past I would have said yes even though I didn’t want to go..
And today is a new day, and I am doing a design for somebody very famous! I have been delaying it because feel nervous about it as expectations are very high. So more compassion for myself as I turn to the drawing board and let the creative juices flow. I love me and I am grateful to my courage for carrying me along this wonderous journey of exploration and discovery.