Perspective. THAT word again.
The quote “Everything changes when YOU change your perspective” came from my book, Seeds of Joy, Growing Zinnias and Your Zest for Life. In it, I challenge readers to go into their mental closet and clear out the resentments that they have stuffed in the corners of their mind. Those memories that block them from their own sunlight.
I have done this practice for over 32 years now, listing my resentments to shine a light on what is gucking me up. Interestingly enough, this last week, I uncovered a mound in my closet that I didn’t even realize was there. Resentments that have been holding me back my entire life.
It all started at the Dream Bank* in Madison, Wisconsin.
Jessica Schultz of BeYOUtiful Minds and Fitness shared the work of Dr. Kristin Neff around self-compassion. I had heard that word many-a-time but never considered it at depth, believing I am as self-compassionate as the next person.
The following day I visited Daren Pagenkopf of Image Massage Therapy.
Daren isn’t just about working out the knots in one’s back. He is about working out the knots in one’s unhealed life experiences. What came up in our session were a mired of memories that were connected to emotions I had no idea I carried.
Daren asked over and over again, “Have you forgiven yourself for that?” “Can you forgive them for that?” Forgiven myself and my brothers and sisters for fights we had when we were young? That seemed so petty and yet… I never realized just how much emotion I carried around in response to those childhood events. Seemingly normal occurrences, but situations that caused me to react emotionally when brought up years and years later.
Over the next few days, countless scenarios from the past flooded in. For the first time, I began to recognize just how self-critical I was of myself!
The greatest ah-ha moment came in realizing that my self-care practice was not really about self-care. It is an elixir for the constant anxiety in my gut for all the self-judgement I abused myself with. I judge myself based on how others judge me. That is a lot of power I give to other people! Which is a really dangerous practice with me being in politics. Especially during an election season when individuals were determined to character assassinate me. Daren called my aggressors, my “healing angels” because they were showing me what I needed to heal. Now THAT was a twisted way to look at it!
He was right.
I have given my power away my entire life. Not forgiven myself for not being perfect. Isolating. Dr. Kristin Neff calls it as forgetting we are part of a common humanity. Not practicing self-kindness and mindfulness. And instead, choosing self-judgement and over-identification.
What’s CRAZY is that I have lived this long without seeing it. You can’t change something you can’t see.
But I do now.
*The American Family Insurance DreamBank is a space in Madison, WI designed to help dreamers find inspiration, tools and support to bring their dreams to life for free!
Cheri Neal is a dynamic professional speaker, trainer, coach and public service professional. She mixes a powerfully refreshing blend of education, energy and entertainment, engaging participants with right-on-time concepts for enhancing their lives at work, home and in their communities. Contact Cheri today to see how she can support YOU at http://www.CheriNeal.com.