No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent
It is crazy that we are already looking at the middle of January! If the past few weeks is any indication of how the rest of the year is going to go I will be wishing you a Merry Christmas is no time. Agggh!!! That’s a scary thought.
So this post is a bit of a departure from my normal posts. There may of may not be any mention of dogs, cats or other furry creatures so I hope that you will bear with me. Six months ago I made to decision to “work on myself” what ever that was supposed to mean. Some things in my personal life had happened and with a help of a counselor I decided that instead of focusing on things that I couldn’t change I would put my energy into things that I could. That sounds reasonable and easy right? Wrong – well sort of. Let me explain.
In addition to the counselor I began reading self-help books, listening to podcasts, reading blog posts, etc. The more I read and researched the more I felt like the information I was finding wasn’t resonating with me, with my spirit. I feel like so much that is out there is telling you that you are broken. That you need to be fixed. Now I don’t want to say that isn’t the case for some. We all come from different places with different experiences. The books and other media that I found could very well be the answer for someone, just not me. I discovered that I already like myself and probably have for most of my life. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. Not that I don’t have my insecurities but in general I am pretty confident in who I am. I hope that doesn’t sound conceited. When I started this journey people in my life had tried to break that confidence down. They had tried to make me believe that there was something wrong with me. Fortunately they didn’t succeed.
Now I did come across a number of books as well as two podcasts that did speak to me and I wanted to share them with you. When thinking about this post and the books I wanted to share with you I realized that they all had a similar theme. They all had strong women that changed their lives by leaving their current life behind. I am not sure how that statement applies to my life yet but I thought that was an interesting theme.
The first book is “Year Of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. Ms.Rhimes is the creator of the T.V. shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. I listened to her book as an audiobook with Shonda Rhimes as the narrator. I would highly recommend it in this format – she is hilarious! To my complete shock Ms. Rhimes is an extreme introvert. She loves writing and creating worlds for television but never wanted any attention placed on herself. The “Year of Yes” is her deciding, after a conversation with her sister to start saying yes to various opportunities in her life and to actually step into and live her life. Not just watch from the sidelines. As a fellow introvert I found her process fascinating and the changes that came about in her over the year pretty amazing. Now I know that my life is nothing compared to her Hollywood life but the lessons apply the same way.
The second book was actually a fiction book. It is called “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” by Patti Callahan. This is the story of Joy Davidman and how she became the wife of C. S. Lewis. The book takes the parts of Joy Davidman’s life with C. S Lewis that are documented and fills in the holes with what could have happened. Things like conversations, meetings, events, etc. Joy who lived in America and C. S. Lewis who lived in England became pen pals while Joy was still married to her first husband. She was also a writer and had contacted C.S. with questions about Christianity. Fast forward a few years and Joy took a trip to England to research a book she was writing. While there she was able to finally meet and spend time with C.S. Lewis and his brother. This story spans ten years of friendship, abusive relationships, love, divorce, expectations, marriage, religion and God. I found it fascinating as well as thought provoking with lessons that we can look at in our own lives.
The third book that I would recommend is “Wild” by Sheryl Strayed. Read the book don’t watch the movie, just sayin’. “Wild” takes us on Sheryl’s personal true story of finding herself after her life fell apart following her mother’s death. She spends four months hiking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Oregon. The beauty of the trail and the cathartic peace of being alone with her own thoughts and feelings brings much needed healing. I loved this book because of the struggle that Sheryl had to go through to not just reclaim her life but to actually find her life from that moment forward. I would never go backpacking but I can relate to being alone with your thoughts when I go out for walks on the Highline canal.
In addition to these books I have found two podcasts that have brought me insight. I began listening to “Do It Scared” with Ruth Soukup. I have followed Ruth since starting my blog. She writes on a variety of topic and the “Do It Scared” podcast is her latest project. This podcast reminds me of the “Year Of Yes” book I mentioned above. Ruth discusses stepping out of your comfort zone to find the life that you want. One of the interviews Ruth conducted was with Cathy Heller. Cathy has a podcast called “Don’t Keep Your Day Job”. I know that title doesn’t sound like it should fit in this post but trust me it does. Both of these ladies discuss many things in each episode so you may have to jump around a bit to find what speaks to you. Some of the topics just won’t apply,especially with “Don’t Keep Your Day Job”. But then again you may find something you didn’t even know you were looking for 🙂 .
So to wrap up this extra long post – whether you leave your life metaphorically or actually like the ladies mentioned in the books above you need to step out of your comfort zone. Realize that you are a strong and beautifully made person, scares and all. Like Cathy Heller says “God doesn’t make extras” 🙂 . Have a great day! Please feel free to leave any comments below. I love hearing from you.