I’ve been thinking of a dear friend lately who I remember as the sweetest, most caring woman. A true friend who was kind and always there for me, with words encouragement. Yet when it came to her self-talk, she was downright mean, unforgiving, manipulative, indifferent, even hateful. And that self-talk was her truth.
I was reminded of her because I’ve been seeing the same principle all around me. While you may be used to me talking about myself mostly (oh yes I’ll leave that little truth here.. ain’t I a delight..), I’m really talking about a friend here. Even though I was very guilty of the same pattern. Until I eventually realised how much damage I was doing, by speaking to myself in an unloving way, and speaking some fears into existence that did the rounds in my mind just a few too many times.
When I met my friend she was in her mid-twenties, and one of the first things she opened up about, was, that she has never had a boyfriend before. And she was, in her mind, therefore unworthy and unattractive. Now that is obviously complete nonsense. But she kept telling herself she wasn’t worthy of having a boyfriend and, when she dared to say it out loud, she would tell me about her biggest fear, to never find one.
When I write about this now, I realise how language already changes her truth. I told you that she never had a boyfriend because us Germans seem a lot stricter in our language (I know.. who would have thought). You only have a boyfriend, when you’re in a real relationship. (Sounds like Germans have never stopped sending little love letters where you have to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Because how else do you know it’s a real relationship.)
Now I know that once you have a boyfriend, you’re getting somewhat serious, even when you don’t speak German. But when I think about the stories my friend told me, and her friendships and experiences from concerts, music festivals, and summer BBQs, I would say she had many boyfriends. None of these guys ended up wanting to commit to a relationship but they still shared amazing times together. Still, every time another one of her adventure boyfriends had ruled out being in a conventional relationship with her, it confirmed what she was telling herself: she was unworthy. And I’m sure she only shared a small amount of the self-talk that was going on in her head then. She was having a real go at herself. She would never even think about talking to one of her friends, or anyone for that matter, the way she talked to herself.
It didn’t matter that the experiences she shared with some of her adventure boyfriends were some others wouldn’t even be able to dream of, it didn’t matter that the adventure boyfriends she fell for just came out of long unhappy relationships, or were just having too much fun not being monogamous, for her they only proved one point and that was her truth, confirmed.
When I told her to focus on the moments they shared and the fun she had, when I told her that it wasn’t true that she was unworthy, she would say, I was being unrealistic and that I wasn’t truthful with her.
What was a logical conclusion and the truth for her, was definitely not true in my eyes. I thought she was an amazing friend and a kind soul. I would have never come to the conclusion she came to. She is not unworthy of anything. (Even if she were to talk to me the way she talked to herself, she’d still be worthy, it still wouldn’t be the truth, but that’s a whole other blog post 😉 )
A lot of us tend to avoid the truth because we think it’s that nasty first girlfriend that hurt us deeply sometime in the past. But for most of it, the truth is not (even that crazy or) hurting us, it is really our conclusions that hurt. Think of my friend and her adventure boyfriends. It may be her own conclusion that she is unworthy, or even the conclusions others draw: she’s different, there must be something wrong with her, but those are still just conclusions.
Take away expectations our parents or society places on us, take away what she thinks she should have done by now, the only thing that is true is that my friend never had a boyfriend before. That’s it.
No need for conclusions. No room for judgment.
It doesn’t matter how many boyfriends you’ve had or didn’t have.
You’re worthy of what you desire.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve studied to get THIS far in your career, when now you’ve decided to throw the towel.
You’re a success.
It doesn’t matter that you’ve had a rough day, were rude to a co-worker (to whom you’re going to apologise to tomorrow because you’re a nice guy/gal), and that you have eaten three pieces of cake today.
You’re just as worthy of love as are after a great day.
You are in fact worthy of everything you desire.
If you find a truth that irritates you, try asking if is really an undeniable fact that irritates you, or if it’s just the conclusion you draw from it.