Monday, October 26, 2009

Voices in My Head (Face, Embrace, Replace)


It’s funny thing that, no matter how many people you have cheering in your corner; it is your parents that you desperately want to support you the most. It seems as if it is their love and support can make or break the way that you feel about yourself. Most of us would give our right arms, to feel supported and unconditionally loved by them. Many of us spend so much energy trying to “be enough”, to “prove them wrong”, to “be accepted” and to ultimately feel “unconditionally loved” even after that are long gone.


I have been spending time over the past couple of days thinking about my life and how both of my parents have supported me through it. I am conscious of the fact that it is their verbal and non-verbal messages have had the most profound impact on how I view myself and my interactions with the world. If you are like me, you have a little voice inside your head that judges every move you make. If you have ever listened close enough, you might notice that the voice can sound a hell of a lot like your mother or your father or maybe a little of both.

I saw a lifetime movie awhile back called, Queen Sized about a teenage girl struggling with her weight issues. An apparent theme in the movie was the girl’s relationship with her mother. Through the movie, the girl heard a negative cruel voice in her head that was depicted as her mother. In reality her mother really wasn’t all that cruel, she was just very afraid for her daughter’s health. In the end of the movie both mother and daughter had their own epiphanies. The girl finally saw that the voice in her head was not her mother’s voice but her own. Mom realized that in all of her “fear” she had somehow fallen short on the unconditional love and support her daughter really needed from her. This movie impacted me deeply , and it’s message rings true as I post this message.

I believe a large step to loving myself has been becoming consciously aware of the negative messages that fly through my head. A reoccurring message I have heard lately in my head, (I have even been saying this out loud a lot) is, “I am being annoying with how enthusiastic I am about CrossFit and about my new philosophy about food” Over some conflict with my mother this weekend, I can clearly see that this kind of message is a mirror for the messages I have gotten about “being enthusiastic” and “focusing on myself instead of others” while I was growing up. And mom is without knowing it still reinforcing those messages. However the truth of the matter is even if I got this message from my mother originally, she doesn’t have the psychic ability to put those messages in my head. I am choosing to continue to have those messages about myself. So today, I accept the fact that I am the only person responsible for what I think about myself, no one else it to blame. What I am working on is changing the message. I have decided to embrace my enthusiasm. To stop saying I am annoying. To proudly savor the joy I am feeling these days, and focus on myself regardless of what anyone else may say (or not say) about it.

I have to continually go through this process, over and over again, as I discover beliefs I have about myself. I have a method for dealing with these thoughts (thank you Louisa Latella.) I simply remember these three words: FACE, EMBRACE and REPLACE. FACE- I become aware of the thoughts and emotions I am experiencing. EMBRACE- I accept the emotions completely and remember that the thoughts are mine and mine alone. Finally I REPLACE, consciously changing the message to one of self-love.

I do not just do this work for myself; I also do it for my children. How will what I say, verbally and non-verbally affect their self images? How will I ever help them to truly love themselves, if I don’t know how to love my own self first? That's why I am committed to Radical Hateloss and to the best parent I can be, to none other than....... MYSELF.

3 comments:

Dorothy said...

I have been accused of being overly enthusiastic about my fitness as well. But I have learned that the motivation behind these comments usually stems from a feeling of "less than" from those around me. They see me doing something that they don't think they could do themselve. To this I say "anyone can do it...wanna try?" I don't have any takers yet, but I suspect I will some day. I just need to set a good example, any my sisters, and mother and husband will all be crossfitters eventually. They just don't have the courage to try yet. But that doesn't stop me from being enthusiastic about it.

Stephanie Vincent said...

Dorothy,
You remind me of myself in your enthusiasm! Glad u are at CrossFit :-) I fully intend on being a recruiter (i have already started!!)

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