Are you willing to love yourself through your messiest moments?
It’s one thing to love yourself when things are going well, but what about when the self-doubt creeps up and life knocks you down?
In my experience, things tend to go in the other direction. Instead of applying self-love when it counts, it’s much easier to deliver a 1-2 punch and be even harder on ourselves for feeling bad in the first place.
I see this with a lot of my clients who are invested in their own personal growth, who’ve done work on themselves, who are aware of their patterns, and who are just so freaking tired of feeling the same things over and over again.
I get it, because I experience this too!
PHASE 1: Feeling rejected
In fact, this came up for me big time today when I realized I felt rejected by someone.
The feeling of rejection was bad enough. That was phase 1, and it came from my own interpretation of what happened...but it stung nonetheless.
In the moment, it was hard for me to see that I was creating this feeling, because it felt so real. It was also easy for me to collect evidence of all the ways I’d just been rejected.
PHASE 2: THE ARRIVAL OF THE INNER CRITIC
Then, phase 2 began: once I realized I felt rejected, I started beating myself up for getting attached to a certain outcome to begin with. I had thoughts like…
“Seriously?! I can’t believe this rejection stuff is STILL coming up for me.”
“I’m so tired of this old pattern. Will it ever end?”
“I’ve worked on this soooo much already. What’s the point?”
“I should be past this by now.”
“If I still experience rejection, who am I to help other people move out of that experience?”
All of this came up so quickly, and the tears started flowing.
It was the ultimate inner critic move: being hard on myself when I was already down.
I wasn’t giving myself any permission to be or work with the feeling of rejection itself. Instead, I was resisting it and judging myself for it. Judging myself for being human.
My clients do this all the time too. They think they shouldn’t feel a certain way, and they beat themselves up for it. When I’m coaching them, it’s easy for me to see this happening and shift them out of it. But when it’s happening in my own brain? That’s when I get stuck.
ASKING FOR HELP
I’m lucky to have some soul sisters in my life who are also amazing coaches, and I reached out to them for support in my own raw moment.
They helped me see okay-ness in the rejection, and encouraged me to allow myself the experience of it instead of fighting it.
They asked really good questions like:
“What if you’re allowed to feel rejected?”
“What if feeling rejected isn’t a bad thing, but just part of the human experience?”
“What if you could just be with the rejection first? What would that be like?”
The same sort of questions I’d ask a client, but SO badly needed to be asked by someone else in this moment. I realized that my resistance to feeling rejected (and the self-judgment that followed) was causing me more pain than the rejection itself!
So, with my friends’ encouragement, I started to loosen my grip on fighting the feeling and allow it to be my experience. I gave myself permission to be human and have my own moments of weakness.
WHERE THE HEALING HAPPENS
I find that the times we are most resistant to self-compassion are the times we need it the most.
The last thing I wanted to do was slow down, and apply the same kindness and compassion inwards that I would to a client if they were in this situation.
And yet...this is where the healing happens. As they say at The University of Santa Monica: “healing is the application of loving to the parts that hurt inside.”
From a place of self-compassion, I could accept my own humanness. I could also see that having these moments don’t make me a bad or unfit coach...if anything, they allow me to more deeply understand where my clients are coming from and feel even greater compassion for them because I so, so get it.
It’s easy for most people to be kind towards themselves when things are going well.
But reaching for love when it’s much easier to stay in judgment...that’s where the magic happens.
Speaking from (very recent) experience: if we’re willing to lean into love especially when we don’t want to…that’s when the pain lifts and clears.
Truly unconditional self-love is an immense act of courage.
What about you?
Are you willing to love yourself in the messy moments?
The next time you find yourself steeping in judgment, I invite you to reach for self-compassion instead. Just once, just to see what happens ;)
The truth is that loving up those pain points is an inside job. You are your own ultimate healer.
It all starts with a willingness to meet ourselves in our most raw, vulnerable moments with the same level of love that we so easily share with others.
To loving the great moments, the messy moments, and everything in between,