Yesterday I was recording a video for a new project I am working on. I’m not that fancy in the technology department. If I have something to say I will pull up the photo booth app on my computer, hit record and get talking.
Except yesterday I couldn’t quite get out my words. I kept thinking I looked bad or sounded stupid, and I would start again.
Finally, I found a good angle of myself, jotted down a script to loosely follow and then started toward another attempt. Except when I went to hit record, I couldn’t do it.
Instead, I found myself hitting the browse button and scrolling through old archived videos I had made years ago for my former YouTube Channel and website. Some I had published, some I never had the courage.
As I browsed though videos I had made over the last 5-10 years I had this incredible rush of emotional thoughts and feelings.
“I was so good at these videos, I can’t believe I ever stopped”
“I am so well spoken here. What 20-something year old me is saying is exactly what I believe today! I was so smart.”
“I look so beautiful and cute.”
And finally I thought….
“I’m mad at how I spoke to myself and how hard I was on myself back then. I believe in that me and I’m mad at myself for not putting it all out there at that time.”
That last thought stopped me dead in my tracks, and I began to reflect. Mostly about the way I thought of myself back then. I remember always thinking I looked fat, I sound ditzy, no one would care what I have to say, I’m not well spoken enough, and so on.
I feel anger. Anger for how hard I was on myself. How I used to beat myself up about how I looked, sounded while speaking, presented on video conferences or to live audiences. Everything was wrong or not enough. It pains me to remember how I used to treat myself.
Suddenly I take a moment to realize – that is exactly what I just did to myself today. The same dark thoughts that stopped me then are trolling around in my mind, still after all these years. Talk about a reality check!
Today when I look at videos and photos of my younger self, I feel nothing but love and pride. Her bravery, her kind messages, her sweet voice tone.
I’m proud of her. I also feel so deeply for her because I know how much struggle she was going through to find her place in the world, and how much more struggle was coming and she didn’t even know it. I honestly just want to hug her and mother her and encourage her to do great things.
Funny isn’t it? How I can look back at old me and scold myself for the way I treated ‘her’ – while simultaneously telling myself I’m not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, established enough or whatever the story of the day in my mind is about myself today.
Because, I AM HER!
I know I am not alone in these acts of fear, self-deprecation and negative self-talk. This moment makes me realize that I’ve grown since being my younger self, but I am still a work in progress.
Just like many of you, I am spiritual, I love to mediate, practice self-love and honour the sacred time alone with myself for personal growth and acts of self-care. But also just like you – I still get that voice of negativity that paralyzes me with fear, doubt and shame.
Except I know there is no such thing as perfect. And so do you.
You are enough. You are so wonderfully, deliciously, perfectly & imperfectly enough!
I know it can be tough. Inner critics and doubts and fears – they are formidable foes. They hide in the backs of our hearts and our brains to chip away at us. But the hiding spot is useless if we let the light shine in. They become powerless when we give genuine love and understanding to ourselves. They can’t control us when we meet ourselves as we are today, with the same compassion we would give our younger selves.
We need to recognize the perfection in our imperfections. Stop only loving the old versions of you. Stop swamping though the guilt of not loving yourself back then. We need to change that pattern, now!
The sum of our successes AND our failures make us perfectly who we are. All of it makes us beautiful. Own that.
So go ahead and take a deep breath, and say;
“Hey You. Yeah, you. This body and mind I am housed in. You are f*cking amazing. And I love you!”
Have a beautiful week. I love you all. (and me, too!)