Most of my life I was trained to believe that my basic goodness was tied to my outer appearance.
It was my face, my hair, and the number on the scale that determined whether or not I was acceptable, worthy. The clothes I wore held the power to determine if I belonged or would be shunned.
Later, my earthly credentials began to factor in–the bigger my degree, the better my standing. Later still, it was my car, my house, my bank account that guaranteed my security.
I was trapped on the surface of things.
All the while I was striving for outer perfection, I was deepening the groove of my inner anxiety.
I was not enough.
I wasn’t worthy, I didn’t matter, I did not have value unless I met the requirements of the surface. And when you’re trapped on the surface, you believe your salvation lies in acquiring more stuff: more money, more work, more billable hours, more dieting, more exercise. More.
I am not alone in this.
I speak to so many people who are suffering because they are trapped on the surface of things too: The number on the scale, the size of their debt, the dwindling savings account, the number of words we wrote in a day, the number of clients we booked in the week, their relationship status. So much upset about aging, getting older, looking older, not feeling vital.
It’s hard to find shelter when you’re at the mercy of the surface.
There is a huge charge on the surface. Society and the collective unconscious creates such a pull; its vibration urges us to belong, conform, fit in. And when we are at the mercy of this vibration, when we are ‘in it’ without realizing it, we suffer… believing that our only problem is that we aren’t measuring up.
If you believe you’re only as good as your outer aspects, you will suffer.
Sure, we might get it intellectually that our weight does not determine acceptability and our bank account cannot guarantee salvation; but the deeper insecurity around not being okay, the one that pulses in the nervous system, is not helped by an intellectual understanding.
In order for the deeper healing to happen, we need to wake ourselves up.
I can hear some of you wondering, but how? How do I do this? How do I make the stories stop? How do I stop being terrified that I am not ok?
First of all, you cannot be whole if you only accept certain parts of yourself. Wholeness is a vibration which comes from loving and accepting ourselves as we truly are. All of it. Even the crispy bits. Even the parts we cannot stand. Yes, even the stuff we are embarrassed by.
As the stories come (and they will continue to come!) we need to be aware that it is happening again, the too small story is playing in our heads that somehow we do not measure up. We need to be vigilant, catching the small sensations of not being okay before they blow up completely. We need to remind ourselves that we are loved and safe regardless of the surface story our mind is spinning.
Yes, meditation is helpful. but if you meditate once a day and then spend the rest of the time chanting, I’m a piece of crap! I’m a piece of crap! You are missing something… waking up is about you becoming mindful of the thoughts you think.
If only more of us understood that this cycle is more like static and lint–there is an external trigger and a nervous system response—if we could get this and learn to recognize when it happens and then say, oh here it is, the story is happening again, and then release ourselves, it would be enough to break free. It takes time and patience, it’s a practice and not a perfect. Please remember this.
I meet people all the time who are lost in the cycle of surface stories and not feeling enough. They are convinced it’s only about not eating that carrot cake, or that they just need one more botox injection, or they must clear up the credit card debt or amass a large fortune and THEN all will be okay. People who have lost decades on this story. DECADES.
And that is why I am asking you to explore. I don’t want you to waste any more time on a too small story which does not serve you. I am asking you to do this work. You did not come here to play small. You must learn to love yourself by practicing inner happiness and this can only happen when you leave the surface.
A while back, I heard Marianne Williamson say
If you identify only with your body and its reality, rather than with your spirit and its reality, then you’re tempted to think that diminished material assets somehow diminish who you are. But you are not merely a being of the material world; you are a being of unlimited spirit. And in spirit there is no lack. You are not lacking just because your circumstances are.
You are a being of unlimited spirit and there is no lack.
We must practice awareness and understanding that when we restrict our permission to be exactly as we are, we dim the wattage on the light we are able to receive.
We’re all looking for wholeness and wholeness is a vibration. It is an inner sensation, a safe place to rest our heads. Space, where we feel seen and heard, loved and cherished AS IS without condition. Yes, seen and heard by our own selves! This was never about you measuring up to the good opinion of other people. As tempting as it is to believe that this sensation of wholeness can be achieved with physical perfection or material acquisition, it never ever will be true. It cannot be true. You are a spark of the Divine, a child of God, you are more than the sum of your parts.
Please do the work to love all of your parts as you gently inquire as to the more-ness of who you are. Your work is in accepting and loving yourself as is, period. No exceptions.
Sending love and hugs, I believe in you!