As a documentary filmmaker and podcaster I’ve spent my entire career telling stories. Stories are powerful. Stories can teach, they can heal and they can help people feel they are not alone in their struggles.
The most powerful stories, however, are not the ones that we watch on TV or listen to on a podcast. The most powerful stories are the ones that we tell ourselves about ourselves. Every. Single. Day.
WHAT TYPES OF STORIES DO YOU TELL YOURSELF ABOUT YOURSELF?
My favorite was — “you’re not enough…. You have to DO or BE more to be worthy of love.”
I was always looking for validation on the OUTSIDE… for someone to tell me that I was ok. For someone to tell me that I was special.
I had completely abandoned myself and what I really needed was to turn my attention INWARD. What I really needed was to give myself the love that I longed for.
IT’S NOT ABOUT NOW
So much of how we behave and who we think we are is wrapped up in old programming and pain from our childhood.
We are born into this world as pure love. And if we’re lucky, we will have loving caregivers with good intentions. But as hard as our caretakers try, there will be missed moments where energetically we did not receive the love we needed.
In these moments we create deeply rooted beliefs about ourself.
I now know that this idea of “not being enough” was just old programming that I developed when I was very young. And when it comes up today, I call it out immediately — “Oh there’s that old pattern again.” And through deep reflection, as well as breath and body work I no longer accept it as the truth.
This programming and these beliefs are not about what’s happening now, (although we’ll always be able to find evidence that tell’s us they’re true) -They’re about what happened then. And yet we walk through life letting this old antiquated belief system, created in our infancy, run the show.
It has been the most empowering and fulfilling journey of my life to reconnect with my authentic self and start viewing life through a different lens.
THESE ARE THE STORIES I TELL MYSELF NOW
Below is a list of “Good Parent Messages” which I got from my studies in Integrative Body Psychotherapy. They express feeling tones that ideally we would have received from our parents or caregivers as children. Our caregivers are only able to give us the messages that they received from their parents.
If we didn’t receive certain messages from the list, then we may not have learned how to internalize that particular flavor of self-support.
As adults we are able to give these messages to ourselves.
Certain ones, specific to you, will stick out. Read them and take note of what you experience in your body. Your body cannot lie and will tell you which ones you need. Whichever you need, repeat to yourself or write in your journal daily.
1. I love you.
2. I want you.
3. You are special to me.
4. I see you and I hear you.
5. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
6. It’s not what you do but who you are that I love.
7. I love you, and I give you permission to be different from me.
8. I’ll take care of you.
9. I’ll be there for you; I will be there even when you die.
10. You can trust me.
11. You can trust your inner voice.
12. Sometimes I will tell you “no” and that’s because I love you.
13. You don't have to be alone anymore.
14. My love will make you well.
15. I welcome and cherish your love.
These are the stories I tell myself now :)
Here is what I know for sure — who you are is more than enough. And there is no greater gift than the honor of getting to be yourself. Give yourself love and attention. You deserve it!
YOU are responsible for loving YOU now.