By Christina Winholt Raccuia
It takes courage to face our fears and ourselves. But you have to notice what you are telling yourself that drives you to the default of hiding. Many of us have painful memories that have caused us to want to numb out or withdraw. Maybe someone told you that you were fat, unattractive, or NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Maybe you have childhood memories that have left you feeling inadequate and devalued. But those memories are in the past. Staying there keeps you in a box, giving power to that which was. What remains is what needs to come into full vision. Who you are now, and what you will create is where the power lies. Refusing to risk says that you are unwilling to accept the challenge of developing your true self by exploring the possibilities that remain.
Staying requires fighting a battle for your heart. It also requires that you identify something worth fighting for, and that takes deliberate and intentional effort. At some point, you have to consider that you may be fighting the wrong battle and that maybe it’s time to begin the journey of self-acceptance and self-discovery.
THE LIES WE BELIEVE
The inner critical and demanding voice has convinced you of some powerful lies, all of which involve your performance, appearance, and identity. You obviously believe you’re lacking something that you need to be ok. That is why you can’t accept yourself as you are. Look at the list below and see if you can identify anything that fits: I must be perfect. I need to be thinner. If I am not thin, I am a failure. My worth is determined by how I look. I need to have everyone like me. I need to have a firmer butt, tighter abs, and lose 10 lbs. I always have to look my best. If you are identifying with any of these statements, you are on the performance treadmill, and you will never find out who you really are.
One of the most egregious lies we can buy into is the one that says: If I had a perfect body, then I would be happy. It’s a dilemma called the “if only…then.” If only I had a smaller butt, bigger breasts, a better job, more money, then I wouldn’t be lonely, empty, angry, frustrated, or lacking. Or maybe, as one client told me, it would just be one less thing to worry about. Believe me, nothing is farther from the truth. You will always find something to be dissatisfied about; it’s just our nature. Losing weight or having a better job will never be the answer to your problems. And in the meantime, you are putting your life on hold till the “if only’s” happen, losing precious time that could be spent on personal growth. In the end, only one thing is necessary to begin the healing journey of the heart. You have to choose to live differently. If you are ready, please stay tuned for Part Three in next month’s issue!
Christina Winholt Raccuia is a psychotherapist with offices at 23A West 10th Street.
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