So yesterday was a long day! First of all, I had a work meeting on a Saturday at 8:00 a.m. However, the nice part was that the meeting the day before ended at two o’clock and I was able to enjoy the afternoon sun at a winery. I always try to find the bright spot when I’m traveling on business!
But my exhaustion and hip discomfort got in the way as I was driving home in 7 MPH traffic through Oakland, CA. I was looking at a four-hour drive home and I had a full-blown throat constricting panic attack. All those damn “what ifs”. The kind that I preach about. Don’t go there! They will only zap your strength. Don’t go there! So, I call two friends on my way home.
The first one I just flat out tell her when she answers the phone, “I’m going to start crying”. I tell her my filter is low. I’m tired, I’ve been driving for three days, in meetings for two and I’m just tired and I’m achy. She reassures me. I am tired of being weak and of having thirteen years of orthopedic issues (not just my hips). She immediately and sternly corrects me. “You are not weak! I’ve seen you during each surgery! You are not weak!” As I write this, I tear up. Even though my thinking is wrong, and I know it, I feel that my issues are a weakness of character. Let me repeat this! I KNOW my thinking is wrong.
I get through the traffic, I put my relaxing music on, do my breathing and I calm myself down enough. I begin to focus on hopeful thinking. You have heard the phrase, “You need a little help from your friends”. So, I call another friend who loves to write and has her own blog. She is Courage’s mom! She always has some inspiration for me.
She begins telling me about her most amazing day spent on a boat with some very close friends in Southern California. She said that it was the most beautiful day that she had in a long time. It was a celebration of 50 years of life. She did not talk about the gleaming sun. She did not mention the sound of seagulls. She did not allude to the peace inducing crashing of waves. She did not even say anything about the smell of the salty air. The spray of water hitting her face as the boat sailed on the water was not even brought up!
So why was it the most beautiful day that she had had in a long time? Do you know what she told me? Her friends had celebrated her by writing (and reading) messages to her. They were messages of affirmation. Her takeaway was that these people chose to spend the day with her, in spite of her flaws and her weaknesses, to tell her how much they loved and appreciated her. In spite of her flaws.
I was very surprised that she reiterated the comment “in spite of her flaws”. I appreciate all of my friends and family and I don’t see their flaws – they are who they are – quirks and all.
So, why, do I see myself as weak when I don’t see others as weak with their own flaws and imperfections? It is because I am not being kind to myself. It is because I am focusing on my flaws. I am not celebrating the strength that I have. I am not celebrating the fact that most days I bounce out of bed at 6:00 a.m with energy and I push through my current discomfort. I am not celebrating my usual optimistic attitude. And I am not celebrating the fact that it is “okay” to have an off day once in a while.
And what am I going to do about that renewed insight? I am going to wake up each morning. I will look at my reflection in the mirror and remind myself that is okay to be vulnerable and in that vulnerability, there is strength.
I believe in me!
I am successful.
I am strong and powerful!
I breathe in confidence. I breathe out fear.
I am flexible and adapt to change easily!
I trust my intuition.
I always do the best I can!
I believe in me.
So what message will you tell yourself every day?