“I’m afraid he will leave me if I’m no longer a problem to solve”
This is what I found in my journal from a few years ago, about my then relationship. It echoed the long held self-belief that I had nothing else to give except for my brokenness. I was always ready to talk about my hardships and shortcomings whenever I had the chance. The minute I met a guy, this is what I began with, because I was terrified that besides all my flaws I was completely empty. Of course I know now, that this wasn’t true, but you couldn’t have told me any different back then.
Welcome to Day 14 of #31DaysofSelfCompassion
The theme today is “choose your prophecy”
At the lowest point of my self-esteem journey (which lasted a few years), I was convinced that there was nothing in me besides everything that needed fixing. So in every relationship I had, I placed all my flaws at their feet, ready to be picked apart, ready to become whatever the man thought the best version of me could. It was a terrible way to view my self-identity.
Why does this matter? Because this belief dictated almost every facet of my life. Thinking that there was nothing great about me, I counted myself out of many opportunities and relationships. My friendships were a lot of work for my friends who always had to be the one to call me and try to include me in their plans, because I mostly kept to myself. For every project of mine that actually materialized, there were countless others I already wrote off as stupid and unworthy. When I saw job opportunities, I often didn’t apply because I already believed I wouldn’t be chosen. And even when jobs were offered to me, I was skeptical about my ability to carry the responsibility. I constantly discussed my shortcomings in relationships and I’m sure it was exhausting. For every situation, I constantly believed in the worst case scenario, because I didn’t think very highly of myself.
I was in love with my misery story. Well not in love, but much too attached to it as my only identity. That’s until my mentor pointed it out to me, reminding me that my life was not going to change unless I changed my identity story. I needed to let go of my misery story and craft a victory story.
Why is this important? Because your identity story is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever you most strongly believe about yourself, you inevitably work hard to make it come true. Every decision you make, every action you take is in alignment with your self-identity which becomes your self-fulfilling prophecy. As you are within, so it will be outside. I encourage you to have an honest look at your self-identity, and make a list of the things you believe about yourself. Are they mostly negative or positive things? Can you examine how you make decisions based on those attributes? If you are like me, did/do you have a misery story, can you change it to a victory story? How it will change the way you make decisions?
If it scares you to change your self-belief, if you feel unworthy, stop and ask yourself “why not me”? Why not you, with the success story, with the overcoming story, with the inspiring story? why not you?
So what’s going to be your story?
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.