I have a confession to make. Over the years I have had a challenging time when offered praise, compliments and positive feedback of any sort AND I simultaneously crave it. Can I get a witness? Anyone here relate to that dynamic? Perhaps it arises from my childhood during which I was inundated with attention from immediate and extended family, praised for success and knew I wanted to keep receiving love and acceptance, so I learned to be the consummate people pleaser and good little co-dependent. I consider myself in active recovery, with the need to be conscious of when I am falling into old patterns of what I call ‘savior behavior’ of fixing, healing and kissing emotional boo-boos to make them all better. An occupational hazard since I am also a minister, social worker, therapist, workshop facilitator and teacher. YIKES!
A few years ago, I was honored to have been showered with love and all manner of positive attention when I celebrated my 50th birthday at the home of my friend Lisa. I sat there on the floor of her den, surrounded by dear friends from the various overlapping soul circles of my life. Just being in the presence of such sweet hearts would have been gift enough, but then to hear their words was overwhelming. I wish I had audio or videotaped what happened next. One by one, they shared what our connection meant to them. Teflon shields were definitely up as their praise slid right off as if it were a sunny side up egg.
As much as I teach this self love and acceptance stuff, I am still a work in progress when it comes to absorbing it in my own life, (Healer, heal thyself) The way I define self love is a willingness to accept the ‘as is’ aspect of who I am and yet be open to adaptation. Self compassion, allowing in the blessings of the Universe, not because I earned it, but just because I AM.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, it, is to be a love sponge; allowing yourself to soak up all of the good stuff, and then you could opt to symbolically wring it out into the world. You never know what healing is taking place and the inpact your willingness to recieve can have on others who may not be as certain.
So today, as every day, there is a choice…Teflon pan or love sponge?
As practice, I invite you to sing this song to yourself in the mirror. I’m singing it to myself as I am typing this.