I recently finished a round of CBT. I went looking for therapy 2 and a half months ago because I was feeling off. I had no words for it at the time but now I know that it is called depression and it was brought on by my image of myself. This lead to a lot of persistent dwelling with negative emotions. Somewhere in my mind, I had rationalized that the uncomfortable situations I was in would somehow resolve themselves if I continued to avoid them and hate myself for not taking action about them
If I had do summarize everything I have learned in two words they would be brutal acceptance. That means being aware of myself in its entirety. My strengths, weakness, positive traits, negative traits, quirks, emotional shortcomings, appearance and all other things that come together to form me. As much as I have an idea of who I am and what I would like to be, the reality of the situation is that the quicker I come to terms with me the easier it would be for me.
Somewhere along the line in my life, I started to believe that I have little value. Although that feeling is okay in small doses the problem is that I always hear that voice on high volume on repeat. I have called him Nifemi. I know this because I have now reached a point where all my creative endeavors cause me a sense of pain. This is not due to the thing I create or the thought process behind it is because of me. Because I have created it, it is inherently of no value.
When the topic of self acceptance was brought up the other day, I got asked two simple questions. How do you perceive yourself and how do you feel other people perceive you? Surprisingly enough to me, the lists were polar opposites. I felt only negatively about myself but I knew that other people feel positively about me. So then why the disconnect?
Diving deeper, that disconnect coupled with my need to explore and learn new things has been self destructive. Instead of learning and exploring leading to positive feelings, the more I learn and do, the worse I end up feeling. The larger the complexity of the problem I solve the more I get reminded of the fact that I don’t create anything good and almost immediately, the awe and love I should have for it turn to sadness. It sometimes gets to the point where the mere thought of creating something new makes me automatically sad. It is a creative block that morphs into something else each time I work through it.
Now that I have been able to recognize this, the remedy I feel is brutal acceptance of myself. The reality of my life at this moment is that I am taking large steps regardless of if I recognize it or not. Believing that I should feel sad about it doesn’t change the fact that I have created something noteworthy. It is time to stand in front of a mirror and know myself. Accept what I look like. Accept the tone of my voice. Step outside of myself and see myself through the eyes of others. Dive deep within my mind and accept my strengths and understand my weaknesses. Come to terms with what I like and dislike. Embrace that my mind likes seeing the negatives in the world. Having underdeveloped emotions isn’t a bad thing because it gave me an interesting analytical mind. The anxiety I have should be disregarded at most times because my lack of self acceptance makes everything scary.
I am going to end this with a quote my therapist ended our last session with.
Our deepest dear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. –Marianne Willamson
I am embarking on a journey that will change everything that I know about myself regardless of if I accept it as such or not. It is necessary and denying myself of my value must not get in the way of this.