Do you have any unhelpful stories like, I'm shy, not good enough, an idiot, always make mistakes, or am I the only one that has such unhelpful destructive thought habits? I think if we are honest, we all have some unhelpful history habits we are carrying around and reliving again and again.
I was reminded of this yesterday as I was walking past a clothes boutique in High Street. Advertised out the front was a blackboard with a new clothes label 'Not Shy'. I asked the shop assistant if I could take a photo of the label. She very kindly agreed and did not ask me why. Believe me I have done stranger things for a good cause, but not when I had my 'I am shy story". I would have been way to shy to ask to take the 'not shy' photo in the past.
The 'Not Shy' sign reminded me of a whole 'I am shy, story' I had going on for many years, which I thought might be helpful to share. It also reminded me how, with some wise advice over the years, I am rewriting that story into a more helpful one, that makes me happier and more available for others.
Sometimes we can get so habituated to reinforce a story like 'I am shy' or I am not deserving of ....', 'I am not good enough' or 'I am better than', we don't stop to question the truth of such thoughts or whether they are helping us be happy or ever did!! I know I did it for years. I now understand how reinforcing these untrue, thought habits makes me unhappy and under confident and unavailable for others. As we have explored many times it is important for us to be a kind, encouraging friend to ourselves, not a 'frenemy' - that enemy dressed as a friend who is out to reinforce those untrue negative thought habits. Some steps and questions that have really helped me rewrite a more helpful story are
I was reminded of this at a friends fathers funeral many years ago. The funeral was at a German Lutheran Home and many people there were speaking German. Also my friend, had many friends and neighbours there I did not know. So after the service I walked into the tea-room for the wake. The 'shy, not good enough' story replayed in my head - 'I couldn't speak German, did not know many people, was not good at talking to people etc." I thought about quietly exiting, no one would notice! STOP - Be Aware; Is that true - NO. Are those memories helpful? NO. These thoughts are not helping me feel good about myself or make me available for anyone else. So instead I thought - I will do my best to connect with and benefit others here. I saw the nurses were run off their feet delivering tea to the elderly people, so I asked if I could help. Yes, please! So I had lots of fun connecting to others as I chatted and handed out tea. I had got my shy self out of the way and rewritten the 'shy, not good enough story'. Do you have a story, that could do with a re-write?
Two wonderful things happened this week to confirm to me, getting over my 'shy not good enough story' had been and continues to be a wonderful worthwhile project. The first was a beautiful comment from my very dear, inspirational and wise friend, Molly. She commented after my last blog post " Love this Maree!! I love how you weave your everyday adventures into such strong teaching points. Nice job.Your chickens are just so darn cute. And so are you!" . Thank you Molly.
And a fellow waitress of my daughters, commented after I visited their Cafe on the weekend "Your mum is so friendly, she has one of those resting smile faces". Really, I didn't know that, but, it makes me happy! I am so grateful to those wonderful teachers and friends who have helped me get over negative, unhelpful habits and be a more positive force in the world, to do my best to be of benefit.