http://theplumeapp.com/irritable-bowel-syndrome You’re never really going to defeat your own fears and resistance by cutting those memories out of your life (as much as that sounds really appealing at times). The only way you’re going to end the war with the experiences that shaped you is to embrace them, dance with them. You have to love all of the experiences that shaped who you are, because that’s exactly why you are who you are.
I know it’s not easy to follow this line of logic. But everything that you have endured, suffered through, regretted, loved, cried at or because of, and survived has molded and shaped you, your personality, your spirit, and your life. And barring the easy availability of Doctor Emmett Brown’s DeLorean and 1.21 Gigawatts, you can’t go back and change what happened. All you can do is make peace with it — embrace it, love it, and release the pain associated with it.
Peter Parker would not be Spider-Man had he not been bitten by a radioactive spider or had his uncle murdered. Bruce Wayne would certainly not be Batman without the murder of his parents (although he still hasn’t embraced that). And Steve Rogers would not be the Captain America we know and love, had he not grown up a scrawny, bullied kid.
So yes, a bully may have beaten you up once or twice (or five times if you include that incident with your lunch where you surrendered pre-emptively), but how many times have you chosen to relive that experience? If you’re anything like me, you probably relived all of those crappy experiences at least three times a year since they happened. As one of my life coaches once asked me, “So who is the real bully here?”
The answer was – and still is – me. I have been harder on myself, more critical of myself, and used much harsher language on myself than I would ever allow anybody else to use, period. And here’s what really sucks (other than you being your own worst bully): the only way to break this vicious cycle is to love what happened and how it shaped you.
Therapists and life coaches call this “shadow work.” It’s the hard stuff because you’re dealing with deep-seated fears and irrational beliefs that were often formed when you were very young and unable to understand or even make sense of what was happening. This makes it challenging to figure out the root cause of these fears and beliefs since many started long before any other memories we have. Other times they’re the result of something most people would consider insignificant, such as getting grounded in high school for saving money (yes, I’m still dealing with that).
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), you are going to have to dance with your fears, beliefs, and history in order to figure out how you can love stuff you’ve spent the rest of your life hating. One of my teachers, Marisa Murgatroyd, said that your greatest strength is often what you think is your greatest weakness. The trick is to embrace it.
So let’s look at your life. What are you struggling with right now? Is it receiving and saving money, finding work, finding love, losing weight, making friends, or any of 100 other things? Now let’s look at what you really believe about that. For example, do you still believe that money doesn’t grow on trees? Or that you’re not a Rockefeller? Do you still think you’re not smart enough? Or that you can’t find love until you’re successful/rich/in shape/famous/a knight in shining armor?
Where does that come from? Who told you that? Chances are that you picked this stuff up from your parents and from the media. It’s actually pretty common for parents to say, “Do you think that money just grows on trees?” rather than trying to explain that they would rather prioritize other expenditures over the latest Spider-Man lunch box that you believed you needed. They did not realize that you would take that offhand comment as truth — much less a guiding principle for your life.
Similarly, it’s much easier to convince somebody they need a gym membership, new haircut, the latest fashions, or sports car if you show them how this attracts their dream mate. How many diet drinks and supplements are sold based on sex appeal? Sadly a fair amount of the economics of American consumer culture are based in convincing you that you are not enough.
They’re wrong, but they’re not going to admit it. So you need to undo years of enculturation and mass brainwashing to see the truth. You are enough. You are actually a genius at something, you just need to figure out what that is. And you can attract the person of your dreams, just by being you.
So the big question is, are you ready to own this? Are you ready to make friends with — and even love — your deepest, darkest fears? It’s not easy, but it’s better than feeling like you’re not worthy.