When you are compassionate with yourself, you trust in your soul, which you let guide your life. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny better than you do.
-John O’Donohue, shared by Bessy in Florida
use someone else’s fire.
You can only use your own.
And in order to do that,
you must first be willing to believe
that you have it.
-Audre Lorde, shared by Teresa in Cincinnati, OH via One Year Wiser
Self-doubt is an almost constant part of my inner chatter…it constantly second guesses just about every thought, feeling, idea, and decision that enters my consciousness. It is exhausting, and it decreases both my effectiveness and my enjoyment of my life. I used to think I needed to completely defeat all of my insecurities, or at least silence them, in order to access and maximize my internal strength.
Over the years I’ve slowly changed my tune…a deep dive into Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul helped shift my relationship with this constant critical chatter…these days it seems less like a wounded part that needs tending to and more like an inanimate object, a literal “chatter box” that just spews out random phrases and judgments. I’m not always able to completely ignore it, of course, and every once in a while it says something worth hearing…(you know how a broken clock is right twice a day? Yeah, it’s kinda like that). Much of the time, I think of it as background noise that occasionally gets really loud.
I think this reframe has lowered its volume, lowered its influence, and lowered its impact on my thoughts, feelings, and actions. On the days that I remember all this, I find that I’m better able to recognize, access, and nurture the more soulful parts of my core being, and I’m more reliably unleashing the creativity, compassion, and zeal that I think define my purpose. (There are still plenty of moments where I forget all of this. Life’s a process!)
What would it take for you to recognize and respect your internal resources a little more than you have been lately?
P.S. It was great fun to several several dozen ripplers join us for Ripples of Mindfulness: Cultivating Concentration & Calm (You can watch the video replay or listen in via The Ripples Pondcast. Next month we’re diving into Compassion Fatigue: Managing Boundaries & Burnout. Let me know if you’d like to join us for that one!