Have you ever found yourself saying, “I wish I could (insert desire here) but I don’t think I’m good enough, smart enough, strong enough…” I have sung this tune and carried these feelings of self-doubt around myself, and wow do they become a sneaky and heavy load to carry. Not being “good enough” kept me beholden for years in a space where I felt I wasn’t learning or growing. Of course, I excused my lack of self-growth on the facts that I had gotten married and had a baby but looking back it wasn’t solely the external factors in my life, but my inability to acknowledge myself fully that kept me stuck in these two parts of my womanly self. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with living into these feminine parts of ourselves, but it is when we get stuck that life may feel a bit out of balance which was certainly the case for me.
One of my favorite theorists, Virginia Satir, also known as the “mother of family therapy” bases much of her theory around congruence. Congruence is the process of becoming emotionally honest with ourselves. It sounds simple and is on many accounts, but the challenge comes into those places in our lives where we aren’t acknowledging our own feelings, but instead prioritize everyone and everything above ourselves. Satir would call this incongruent behavior. Like my earlier example, I found myself getting stuck in only acknowledging myself as wife and mother with the rest of my life being in the space of “I’m not good enough”. What I found is I wanted to be friendlier with more of myself and learn who I am as a friend, a learner, a person with needs and desires. The task of getting to know and become friendly with all our parts may seem daunting, but you don’t have to make all these changes at the same time.
Virginia Satir encourages us to know that “You are your most important resource because you always carry yourself with you.” And that you can begin to live into becoming more honest with yourself one step at a time. How can you start small over this next week to become more connected with how you feel about yourself? If you can understand more fully how you feel about yourself, how will you treat those feelings? My hope for you, dear friends is that in this new year you don’t find a “new you” but rather become friendly with the “you” that has been present all along…The you, you carry around every day that you now have the opportunity to be with more fully. The you, you can integrate with emotional honesty into the relationships you hold most dear. And it is with this you, that you recognize your goodness, intelligence, and strength to take risks in this new year.
With gratitude for the year that has passed and excitement for the year ahead!
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