This article was first published on gratitudeandtrust.com. You can view it here as well.
Sticking with the communication theme from Paul and Tracey I want to share something new that I’ve been working on. Some really big. I hope you’re as excited to hear about it as I am to share it. Are you ready? Okay here goes......
That was it. Pretty cool right? Okay I’ll explain.
I’m no longer opening my mouth just to make myself feel good. At least that’s what I’m working on. See I’m a codependent with bouts of low self esteem. And I’ll open my mouth to say anything just to make myself feel better. So, I’m working toward not doing that anymore.
In the process I get to take a closer, deeper, look at ME. Why am I saying something? Is it just to make myself feel better or do I really mean what I’m saying. Am I trying to control a situation because inside it makes me feel out of control and afraid? Am I people pleasing?
The other night I was at a party and someone was talking about her husband and how when he was a little kid he had a big curly afro. Me too! Me too! I had one too! Like a eager little kid desperately wanting to fit in, hand waving in the air.
I told this person that I had one too. A great big curly red afro. She laughed and said she wanted to see it. Pictures! I have pictures on my phone. And that’s when it hit me. I was reaching in my pocket for my phone just to make myself feel better. So I stopped myself. And it was painful. And the night went on.
Painful because there’s that part of me that gets self esteem boosts from saying things that make me feel good. Painful because showing pictures of me as a kid would’ve gotten a great reaction out of this other person also making me feel good. So I stopped. Right then and there in the moment. And sat with the feelings that came up.
Codependent no more? Hardly. But it’s a start.
I also noticed that I say things with my body language that make me feel better. For example; the other day at church while looking for a parking spot. I parked in a spot that someone else thought should’ve gone to them. And let me tell you this person was not happy.
Once inside my head was swirling. Did I do something wrong? Is this person going to come in here and confront me? Better yet did they just sit down in the chair behind me? Gulp. I’ll bet that’s what happened. They found me. I’m in trouble. The gig is up.
I hunched in my chair. Like a dog that had been caught stealing food off the dinner table. I literally found myself sitting in a “I’m sorry” position. In that moment my body language was saying something to make me feel better. It was telling the mystery person behind me that I was sorry for taking the parking spot.
So I stopped it. Told myself I did nothing wrong. Struggled with my feelings. Sat up straight and enjoyed a wonderful service.
Don’t open my mouth to say something just to make me feel good. This basically means surrendering my whole life strategy. No more lying to feel better and get my needs met. No more controlling a situation that is none of my business just to get my needs met. No more. I am enough just as I am.
Surrender. It’s time to surrender, get quiet, and sit with my feelings. Hi feelings. Hi Zach. They wont kill me. I was born with the ability to feel them. Good and Bad. Happy and Sad. You can’t have one without the other. Just for today I will be okay.