This time of year can be quite hectic, stressful and overwhelming. Our activity level may be in overdrive, leaving us vulnerable to colds, flu and viruses. I can always tell when I am in a run down state and possibly coming down with something simply by looking in the mirror. When I see an image of my fatigue reflected back at me through the dullness in my eyes, I know something’s up.
What We See First
What else might we notice with an honest look in the mirror? How well do we allow ourselves to see and know who we are? For example, if I asked you to describe yourself, where would you start? My guess is that you would travel directly to something negative, whatever it is that you DON’T like about yourself.
Maybe you would say you’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, or too short. If you looked even deeper into who you are as a person, you might describe yourself as a procrastinator, stubborn or selfish.
We don’t seem to have much difficulty compiling a long list of negatives, while the positives are usually in very short supply! When we are in the midst of a major life transition, we generally have a tendency to grow an even longer list of negatives, adding shame, blame and guilt about our situation into the mix.That long list of negatives becomes harsher and more judgmental.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get through my fears, anxieties and stress about what’s happening to me right now!” becomes a repeating thought that we feel powerless to stop. The situations might be divorce, retirement, recovery issues or job loss. Piling on the extra weight of these negative self criticisms becomes heavier and more burdensome.
But…what if you could look in that mirror and SURPRISE!… see ONE GOOD and POSITIVE thing about yourself that you never noticed before? What would it feel like? How would it affect your approach to the situation of change you are traveling through? Could you possibly allow it?
What Sheila noticed about herself was CURIOSITY. One day she was putting on her make-up and saw that the person staring back at her in the mirror had a look of CURIOSITY in her eyes. Sheila never connected her lifelong thirst for learning quite like this. Discovering this ONE POSITIVE trait led her to relating it to how she might redefine herself in retirement. Her CURIOSITY would be her guide to discovering who she wanted to be and how she wanted to grow in this new stage of her life.
Carol was struggling with being newly divorced and now a single mom of two children. Balancing their needs and her own was really tough! When Carol looked in the mirror she discovered her SENSITIVITY looking back at her. She suddenly realized how SENSITIVE she actually was to her children’s adjustment to the divorce. She didn’t feel quite so guilty. In letting go of her guilt and embracing her SENSITIVITY she could be more understanding, patient and compassionate toward her children’s transition.
Annie, a recovering alcoholic, had just celebrated eight years of sobriety. She was building a new life for herself, following her 12 Step Program and taking one day at a time. Sometimes it was really hard to recognize how far she had come. One day she looked in the mirror and saw her PERSERVERANCE and TENACITY. She smiled at the sight, knowing that PERSERVERANCE and TENACITY would always be her pillars of support, along with caring friends and family who had always stood by her.
During this holiday season we can become so wrapped up in the fervor and demands of buying gifts, planning celebrations and trying to meet our own expectations of doing it all “perfectly”. What if you considered giving a different kind of gift this year?
Can you look in the mirror and find ONE POSITIVE thing? ONE GIFT to give yourself? CURIOSITY, SENSITIVITY, PERSERVERANCE, COMPASSION, TENACITY and RESILIANCE are just a few that are there within, waiting to be seen and embraced.
The best of all gifting, is tapping into the gifts you have within yourself, getting to know them and then being able to share them with others. Isn’t that what giving and receiving in this season of Light, Peace and Love is all about, no matter what holiday you observe? Does this seem too difficult or overwhelming? If it is, I’m here to help you find your gifts should you need a compass to guide you. Just send me an e-mail or give me a call.
Wishing you all a holiday season of discovering you precious inner gifts!