Last month I went into the dentist for a cleaning. Not just any cleaning- a scaling. They numb your gums and scrape under the gum line to remove bacteria. Even being numb, it was still painful at points throughout the procedure, but the greatest pain was not physical- it was emotional and deeply rooted.
As the hygienist scaled under the gum line and touched the roots of my teeth a flood of memories rushed in. All the negative things I have said to myself in my mind or under my breath over the years came knocking on the door of my subconscious. Tears filled my eyes.
"Are you doing okay?" the hygienist asked.
With teary red eyes and my mouth wide open I nodded head yes, because even though the memories of berating myself for not being good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, successful enough, rich enough, or happy enough walked across the stage of my mind one by one I knew I was going through the process of transformation and soon enough I would walk into the light on the other side of the pain.
Life is meant to be enjoyed not scrutinized.
I realized that I spent so many years disliking parts of myself and being so hard on myself that it left no space for me to see the great things about myself or acknowledge my own hard work and successes. So badly, the girl I cried for, the girl who was verbally abused by her own mind wanted to go back and actually enjoy those experiences, but the moment was gone like a bubble that burst. I realized that I would never get those moments back, but I knew I could start LIVING and ENJOYING my life NOW.
Awareness is the first step.
You can't change unless you are aware that there needs to be a change. Sometimes it takes a fine metal blade prodding against your gums to become aware, but you get the message. What needs to come through will always come through, whether you receive it graciously and use it to heal and move forward is another matter.
Your Participation is Necessary.
Once you know better you must do better. To be aware but not do anything about it is ignorance. Ignorance will keep you stuck in the same self-defeating patterns that you are trying to escape from. You must take radical action.
In the dentist chair I made a commitment to be hyper aware of my self talk and toss out any language that has gone sour. Going deeper into the matter I realized that all of my troubles were the result of not feeling good enough. I could not move forward in fitness, business, or relationships until I started to love myself more fully and that required me to speak nicely to myself.
It takes PRACTICE
I find that the enthusiasm for positive change comes and goes. I will sometimes look in the mirror and get down on myself, but when I notice myself slipping I have to hold onto what is good. I imagine it like falling down a steep hill, but there are strong roots in the hillside saying "look! I'm here to help. Just hold on and climb back up!"
I immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one and then act on the positive. I have learned that any action that comes from fear, hate, or inadequacy will eventually lead to unhappiness. So I am constantly looking for the good and vow to move forward from there.
How do you speak to yourself? Is your mental voice a cheerleader or a drill sergeant? How can you speak to yourself in a way that will help move you in the direction of your most heart felt goals? If you only spoke with the utmost authenticity what would you really say to yourself, someone else, or the world?
Set a timer for 10 minutes and keep pen to paper- no thinking, just let it flow.