I'm going to ramble for a moment. I shared a picture earlier today with a message about letting go of what you were brought up to believe.
And I thought about while I was on the treadmill. A meditation, if you will.
I was brought up to believe that having a lot of money was a bad thing. But without having more than enough money to cover our living expenses how can we donate to the charities we care about? I was also brought up to believe that being outspoken was impolite and unladylike. But if we don't speak up for our needs and the needs of those who cannot speak for themselves, how will we ever make changes? I was brought up to believe that only certain people deserve to be forgiven when they do wrong (and it wasn't me who was chosen). But, isn't it better to give everyone another chance? I don't mean over and over and they keep doing the same thing, I mean when they are genuinely contrite.
And, sadly, I was raised to believe that it was "over-reaching" to believe that I was extraordinary. Unfortunately, that last one seems to be the hardest one to overcome (and was strengthened when I felt hurt by other people). Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of times I feel pretty damn fabulous, but there are still small shadows of those words "not good enough" that creep in during odd moments of my life: when I'm writing my story; when things are rough in my personal life; when I'm looking at the 2-pound decrease on the scale; when I missed a deadline; when I hit the deadline with time to spare... I know it seems convoluted to have those shadows in the good times and the not-great times, but they are there.
I've gotten much better at weeding them out. It's a lot easier now to say, "No, this isn't right for me," and walk away from a situation. Even with the people I love and whose opinions I value. I think it's because of this that I was able to tell my Dad up front (after not being in contact for about three decades) about my spiritual choices and know that it would be okay. I think it's also because of the weeding out that I know better when to let go and when to hang on. Perhaps most importantly, I have gotten better about speaking up for myself against myself. Yes, we can be our worst enemy, as you've all heard. I'm not saying I've gotten past all the shadows, but they are much smaller now. During more humorous moments I think of them as starving to death because I stopped allowing them to be fed by anyone, including myself.
I'm not looking for anyone to tell me that I'm great, but I'd like instead, for folks to think about the words they heard when they were young and decide if they were true back then, and if they are true now. Chances are, they were spoken by someone who didn't know how deep the message would sink in. Good messages as well as the not-so-good ones, they all sink in. Pick a negative one and weed it out so that there is more room for the positive ones to grow.