Some who know me and have been reading this blog have suggested I may be too hard on myself…
My message to you is to throw away all this harsh self-criticism as soon as you can! (Maybe winter is a hard time to do that.) ….. Do you think it is possible that at this watershed in your life (end of relationship, midlife, etc.) you are putting on a severe and highly critical pair of glasses through which to look back over your life? —Anonymous
Others (as previous blog posts have suggested) find I do not see my own self-worth.
Others yet have pointed out that my inner Judge is a tad too judgy.
My friend Caitlin, during a transatlantic phone conversation the other day, brought up my thwarted love episode and his comments to me, which had set me spinning in a vortex of confusion.
She pointed out that one takeaway from the #MeToo movement has been women learning to step away from seeing things/ourselves through the lens of patriarchy-masculinity-men. Clearly it is the most common way of seeing.
How much of our own self-judgement is biased, and infused with the man’s take on things? It feels important to start to learn to shift our perceptions to something that’s more our own, a view that’s infused with the wisdom, generosity, empathy and softness that femininity and matriarchy have to offer.
Can we learn to refocus the lens and perceive the world in a new light, as unadulterated as possible by the angle/take/bias/needs of the dominant male? Caitlin made a great point and it’s helpful, if daunting, to start considering these ideas.
When I started this challenge on Valentine’s Day, I was making a commitment to a new level of introspection. Introspection with the goal of growing, and leaving behind toxic patterns. And all of this so that I could finally figure out how to return the love I give, and the love I crave, to my self.
It occurs to me now that to succeed at this challenge, to succeed at constructive introspection, I must be able to see myself clearly, in a natural light, no harshness or criticism. There is a certain requisite gentleness.
But if I already knew how to be loving and gentle with myself and see myself softly, then I’d already be doing it and this blog would have no need to exist.
This whole project may actually be based on a sort of Catch 22.
Not giving enough love to myself — So I’d better look inside and see what’s going on — But if I want this thing to be fruitful, I’d better look inside with kindness, not judgement — But wait, I forget how to do that — Where can I learn that? — I must look inside, you say? — Well can you pass me a different flashlight? This light is too harsh … and on and on …
Or perhaps it’s not as bad as I think. Perhaps there is a leap of faith that must occur to get the ball rolling. Perhaps I must make an initial deal with myself:
If I free up a bit of gentleness, and lay off on seeing things/myself in that customary harsh light, I may quickly reap the benefits of a clearer, truer perception and weighing of me.
If that mind tweak is successful, and the images that begin to appear in the developer are indeed truer, clearer, brighter, lighter, then I suppose the next question is, what do I do with this new vision? How will I take it and run with it?