Part of my healing these last few years has definitely been through decreasing inflammatory foods, exercising regularly and building muscle, working on getting consistent and enough sleep, meditation, and stress-reduction. But one aspect of my healing that has been really interesting, and possibly the most beneficial, has been what I call looking into my past patterns and breaking the lies.
I write down the moments of my life, starting at birth. With each one I write down the facts and just let the memories of my past come to me. The key is that I no longer judge myself for the memories. Instead, I look at them from an outside perspective and think about what really was happening or why I made certain decisions, and if there was some false belief that led me to them or came from them.
Here’s an example, I was writing down facts from high school and I remembered this tiny memory that I have of riding in the car with my two friends Carolyn and Sarah, after volleyball try-outs for sophomore year were released. I hadn’t made the team, even though I played many years before that moment. I remember how upset my friends were for me, and how I held back the tears and just looked out the window. I blew it off, and just moved on with my life. A few months after that my parents officially divorced. A lot of my choices at that time were not the greatest and were blamed on my parents’ divorce. But as I sat with this memory, and wondered why it reappeared in my thoughts so significantly, I actually started to realize that this loss of my athletic life may have had a lot to do with my choices as well.
When I looked even further back, I realized that growing up I was always the tomboy. I was rough, tough, could always hold my own, wore my hat backwards and my Air Jordans laced up. I was a competitive gymnast, then moved to a school where I played on the varsity volleyball team as an 8th grader. I dabbled in basketball and soccer and I had this athletic life that I didn’t realize was so much of my identity. When I suddenly lost that identity I unknowingly created these lies to fit. When I created the lies that I was not a good enough person to be on this team, and that those who had loved me for being this tough girl wouldn’t love me anymore, my whole self-worth shifted for the worse. And when you have started to believe a lie like this, and lived your life in accordance, than the realities of life can really set you up to confirm that you aren’t enough.
Understanding where this belief stemmed from, I am now able to tell myself that that was a lie I created. Not being on that sports team didn’t mean I wasn’t a good enough person. It didn’t mean that people who had loved me were disappointed in me. All of those people still loved me and still do. I am good. I am loved. And poof. There goes that lie that I believed and tortured myself with for so, so long. I was able to close my eyes and look at that young girl and say, “It’s ok. I’m sorry you believed that, but you don’t have to believe that anymore. You are enough.” I let her heal. I let myself heal.
I continue to look at all these moments, figure out where I created these falsehoods about who I am, and tell myself the truth. I don’t share this memory with any feelings of sadness for not making the team, or any need for pity about what this circumstance led to for me. I share this because I want to show my process of finding my judgements and for the awareness of how easily we create these little lies and false personas for ourselves. Not making the team is a pretty common circumstance. It’s not one that is necessarily going to lead to anything except finding a new team. But you have to be careful about your thoughts, and which ones you choose to believe.
It’s been an interesting process to say the least. To literally sit down and write out my life. I have learned so much, forgiven myself for so much, and established this amount of self-love that I didn’t know possible. It takes a lot of time. It’s an ongoing process, looking back. But it’s worth the work. It’s worth the effort. Because I am worth it.