Today’s food for thought is an example of putting into practice Real Life Skill #2: Experience your emotions and direct your feelings.
I was standing in my husband’s office, looking at his pictures. The feeling unexpectedly swept in — a sinking, heavy, inspiration-draining, just let me go hide and lick my wounds sort of feeling: “You’re not good enough; you’ll never be good enough. There is no way to be good enough here.” It was a feeling as familiar as looking in the mirror, a feeling I’ve experienced boatloads of times, as far back as I can remember. Ouch. And it didn’t really have anything to do with the physical photos. The photos could have been changed in that moment and I would have still felt the same.
It hit me this morning after letting it swirl and be, after letting myself experience what the feeling felt like, without trying to push it away (for perhaps the first time ever). No, I can’t ever be “good enough” in a situation where I’m comparing myself to someone or something, where I’m trying to live according to a story I’ve created along the way (but maybe didn’t realize) about something or someone I “should” be, or some fabricated image of life that isn’t actually real. In doing so, I’m missing the beauty of who I actually am and what I do offer to the world. No wonder it hurts.
I’ve been interpreting the feeling as “I’m doing this wrong and am not enough.” What if it’s actually an invitation to let the story go? A reminder that the story is just that, a story. Perhaps the old hurt is a nudge: “Not this direction, Robin. Let’s take another look from another angle.”