When a child is afraid, adults often dismiss the fear:
There’s no need to be afraid. Everything will be fine.
We need to stop doing that.
First: that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes the thing we fear does happen.
Second: you can’t rationalize with fear.
Third: this teaches a child to that their experience is wrong.
When children get a little rambunctious or temperamental, parents often tell them to settle down.
Stop fidgeting. Lower your voice. Don’t get so emotional.
These are some of the early ways we learn to reject parts of ourselves and our experiences.
We learn from an early age which parts of ourselves are “ok” to reveal and which parts we should keep hidden, or try to get rid of altogether.
My teacher Katya Lovejoy recently shared this sentiment:
I don’t care if you reject me because I don’t reject myself.
You want a goal? Here you go: cultivate the inner strength to embrace yourself fully, as you are.
This is not a one-year goal; it’s the work of a lifetime.
The path to embracing yourself fully is a long one; there’s no magic pill.
Part of mindfulness practice is learning to see and sit with what is, without pushing it away. That includes looking at how we are rejecting ourselves or our experiences.
The more we can embrace all parts of ourselves and our own experience, the more capacity we have to connect with and embrace others as they are.
This is how global healing begins.
It begins with you, with me — with each of us — doing the inner work to undo the misinformed and misguided conditioning received to reject ourselves.
No part of who you are is bad. No part of your experience is wrong.
Welcome all parts of yourself.