Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Emotional Math

If you loved yourself half as much as I do, it would be twice as much as you do.

This phrase came to me as I was thinking of a conversation with a friend. She'd given herself a good flogging for behaviour she didn't like in herself. Behaviour that seemed innocuous to me--perhaps because I do it too?

Do you beat yourself up so others won't beat you to the punch?

Part of changing a behaviour is just noticing it. Then what? Once it's brought to conscious awareness you get to choose. One thing I'm asking myself these days is:

Are you enjoying yourself?

If you are, accept it and revel in it. Eat the bowl of ice-cream without the guilt. It tastes better. If you're not, then the question is:

What do you want instead?

Guilt & shame add a layer of emotional frosting that keep the patterned behaviour in place. It guarantees that we'll be eating that cake in the future because what we feel shame about, we try to hide. Sometimes we hide it so well that we're not aware of it ourselves. That's denial.

We keep secrets because we think others will think less of us. The truth is that you are worthy of love just because you are.

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