Last year I read a book by Nancy Levin called ‘Jump and Your Life Will Appear’. It was fabulous. As with all self-help books, there are short snippets from others who have jumped and the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of it all. One person shared about purchasing a ring for herself as a reminder of all the promises she made to herself.
I LOVED that.
I loved it so much that I copied this brilliant woman and bought myself a promise ring.
I picked the tiniest, daintiest little ring because it was meant to be private. Just a sort of secret between me and me.
I wear it every day and each time I see it or feel it, I’m reminded of the commitments I have made to myself.
What are those commitments, you ask?
Well, I’m not going to overshare and overwhelm you with all my secrets in just one blog post but let’s dive into one….
I’ve spent a great portion of my life trying to please others. Being acknowledged for doing something good or for my contribution has been something I’ve chased since I was a child. I’m 49 now and for the first time in my life, I can say that my opinion of myself far outweighs the opinions of others. I’ll be transparent here; I feel a bit like a fraud typing that because as any recovering validation seeker can tell you…old habits die hard.
Being praised or given a compliment feels great. Liar liar pants on fire to anyone who says otherwise. BUT needing that praise or validation sucks. It’s like chasing a thought you can’t quite remember. For example…who was that one actor that played that guy in that hilarious movie I love?? Just when it’s within your grasp it moves further away from you. The thought of capturing it can consume you. Then you FINALLY remember his name and for one brief moment, you relax and feel satisfied. But that moment is fleeting, and you move on to the next thought. That is how chasing praise and validation feels for me.
My work around this subject has been challenging. I fight the instincts to look for moments where I can give more to be enough. It’s a daily thing. One that I believe will be a part of my journey forever. It gets easier but it’s not ever going to go away.
In therapy, I learned that the goal isn’t to fix something inside ourselves to point that it’s no longer there. This stuff is usually so ingrained into our foundation that no amount of work can erase it. The goal is to understand it. Learn about it, discover the root cause, and then recognize it when we are triggered so that we can ever so kindly thank the little bugger freaking out inside our mind and say…I’ve got this. Then we can move through the moment in a healthier way. It’s a big ask but one worthy of time and energy because when it works it makes the load so much lighter.
Back to the ring.
Each day it sits sweetly on my finger and reminds me of my promise.
I am enough. Just as I am. In this exact moment.
What about you, kind reader?
What self-promise do you need reminding of?