Who do I think I am?

I have been listening to a workshop by Brene Brown recently. And it has gotten me thinking about why I do things. She is a researcher who has done a lot of work around shame and vulnerability. And one of the things that she talks about is the things that we tell ourselves that keep us from doing what we are trying or need to do. One of the things that we tell ourselves is “Who do you think you are?”

That question is one I ask myself. When I sit down to write a paper or talk to someone about something I experience a feeling of inadequacy. One that stems from that very question. Who do I think I am? This happens to me quite often. I don’t speak up or offer my opinion for things because I wonder what I could add. 

That I am glad to say has been changing lately. I am starting to take chances with people. I am trying to be brave and say things in conversations. And surprisingly enough I have not been laughed out of the room. The first time this happened I was shocked. Someone heard what I had to say and thought it was worth exploring. Pretty much all my life I have frozen up when I am asked a question in front of other people. I may know the answer. I may have a strong opinion on the topic but I keep quite. totally terrified to answer the question. Because…what if I am wrong?

I am finally reaching a point where I am not so afraid to be wrong.  I am learning to take chances. Like doing this, writing a blog about what I have experienced in life and in healing. I do worry that I might get something wrong. Or someone will take it the wrong way. But I am moving out into the scary world and learning my way.

I have by the way, in my journey to speak up, been slammed by people. Those are very hard moments for me. I felt embarrassed and wanted to crawl into my hole and not come back out. But I didn’t crawl into my hole. Or at least not for very long. And so I am slowly coming to a point where I can answer that question “Who do you think you are?” I am a woman of intelligence and with a desire to learn. And though it is difficult I am learning to be someone who takes chances and speaks up.










Learning Acceptance

Back to acceptance. When I wrote about having compassion for ourselves and who we were it was important at that time to me. Yet with equal importance is acceptance. Something that I don’t always do. I think that accepting myself is different from having compassion. But not by much.

I was recently looking at pictures of myself and I was not very happy. It wasn’t my weight or the fact that I have these lovely white highlights in my hair. I really like the way my hair is changing. It was just looking at myself and not accepting that that was me.

It falls back to what we hear and what we believe when we are growing up. I grew up feeling like I was the ugly duckling and that maybe someday I would find where I belonged. But I never did. Because I wasn’t the ugly duckling. But I never accepted myself either. There were times when I would look in the mirror and see a reflection of someone I did not want to see. And I think that was part of it.

I never looked in the mirror and saw myself. I always saw a reflection of the trauma that I lived through. And therefore, I never wanted to accept myself.But now I want to learn to love who I am and that will require accepting who I am and what I look like. And no amount of plastic surgery, or makeovers is going to help with that. Because who I am is on the inside. It reflects out to me in the mirror. I would like to spend a day seeing myself through the eyes of someone else. But that is not possible.

I have decided to keep a mirror around more. Currently there is one mirror and I avoid it. To actually look at myself and see myself. Not just the picture of me I carry around in my mind but who I am, really. And maybe if I start to see myself I can learn to accept myself, have compassion with myself and learn to love myself.