By being brave.
By hearing things the world seems to be saying, and rejecting them if they harm you.
Do you want to know a secret? ‘The world’ isn’t really saying anything. Instead, we’re fixating on things that bring us down because we’re unhappy with who we are. It feels easier to blame ‘the world’, rather than acknowledge that what we’re hearing isn’t common, and that it’s the relationship we have with ourselves that we’re layering over what we hear.
I’m not suggesting you’re making it up. There are plenty of erosive messages out there, and many of them are prominent and confronting, especially for women. Our challenge isn’t to cope with them, it’s to exercise judgement and be careful with what we subject ourselves to.
Our challenge is to be kind to ourselves.
If we’re kind to ourselves, we try to get out of this habit we have of listening to the worst and telling ourselves that’s how it is. We journey knowingly towards our potential instead of wallowing in what’s holding us back. We work out our preferred version of ourselves and we have zero tolerance for anything that hinders our progression. We get smart, we get capable, and we step boldly into the future we desire.
And if all that seems like a bit of a challenge, like too much hard work, let’s not forget that fuel for our journey isn’t just found in our bravery and determination, it’s found in the love and acceptance of other people. You see, the reason ‘the world’ isn’t actually saying anything, is that within the world, with all its influence and subtle grooming towards self-judgement by comparison to others, and consumerism and materialism and all that other nonsense, exists love and acceptance and peace beyond anything we’re told is available to us.
That love doesn’t come with a price tag, it’s simply there to embrace, the same way we’ve become accustomed to embrace things that get us down. It’s found in each other. In the feeling we get when we compliment somebody and bask in their smile; in an extended hug; in averting our gaze from the mirror to the night sky. In remembering the kinder comments instead of the nasty ones. What’s possible for us is already there and it’s free.
How can you feel loved? By recognising that you already are.
They won’t tell you this. They’ll groom you to think love needs to be bought, or you can only get it if you wear this, or say that, or conform to the other. That’s not true. You’re already loved for who you are. You, with all your worries and fears and self-doubt. You’re loved beyond measure, and feeling it requires just a slight adjustment of what to look for, and what to be open to feel.
Send somebody a letter and tell them what they mean to you. Hold somebody close – family or friend – and let them know you’re grateful for them. Do this and more, and experience the magic. See what changes. I know it sounds cheesy, but give it a go and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.
Love is just behind that veil so many of us wear.