|Thank you to Vinicius Altava on www.pexels.com|
As I now practice a more earth-based spirituality, I like to work with the moon phases and one of the things I do is set an intention on the new moon for what I want to increase in my life. The previous new moon, I set the intention to work on my self-confidence. Little did I realise how much I would need this and how much it would be tested. Everything was going okay, until a few days ago.
I went to a social outing with a group of my dance friends on Saturday. The ladies were getting more and more relaxed as they downed some glasses of wine. I love the taste of wine, but I just can't consume much at all, and because I'm pretty much a total lightweight, I don't drink any alcohol if I have to drive home. But, I have a tendency to pick up the vibe of a place and wine makes people more relaxed, so then I become more relaxed. The ladies were starting to talk openly about themselves, so I jumped in and told them something very personal about myself and also about my healing journey from my divorce. The responses were mostly positive and supportive, but not all of them.
I went home reeling. I was so embarrassed. I wished I hadn't said anything. I didn't know how I was going to face my group of friends the following week when I went to dancing. It had taken me a year and a half (as an introvert) to start to feel relaxed and open with them. Now, I felt like I was almost back to square one.
That night, as I tried to fall asleep, I had a weird headache on the left side of my head. I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and after only being awake for a few minutes, I got something in my right eye, or so I thought. It was so uncomfortable and no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get it out. I rinsed with water; I even watched a sad movie to make me cry it out. Nada. Nothing worked. I immediately thought that it may have some spiritual significance to what I was going through, but I wasn't sure what. The eye problems got worse until finally both eyes were itchy and scratchy.
Fast-forward to last night. I had returned home from the dance lesson feeling so annoyed with myself. I'd been so awkward and uncomfortable with my friends. Most of them were treating me the same, but there was this uncomfortable feeling. It came mostly from me, but a bit from them. I did not have a good time; although I loved the dancing. I came home determined to work on myself. I knew my self-love had taken a nosedive.
I thought of one of my favourite self-help teachers, Brene Brown. She's a vulnerability researcher who did a TED video that went viral.
Anyway, she talks about vulnerability as though it's a good thing. That reminded me that I'd been incredibly brave on Saturday sharing a vulnerable part of myself. It had taken immense courage. I wasn't the loser and bad person and idiot that my mind or "their supposed thoughts about me" were telling me. I was a braveheart. Brene says that vulnerability makes people beautiful. And so it does. (I've written a chapter on this in my self-love book.)
She also talks about shame. The biggest barrier to self-confidence is shame and letting it get to us. When we allow others' thoughts or 'supposed thoughts of us' make us feel shame, then we lose confidence in ourselves. Shame is basically the message that we are not enough. And that's how I was feeling.
Last night, I went out to look at the lunar eclipse. I said a prayer for release of all my shame. I reached out for self-confidence and for self-love. I felt something beautiful and loving. I also acknowledged how it was my own thinking that had caused the problems with my friends - my own listening to the lies about myself.
This morning, I woke up with a notification on my phone from the meditation app I use. Someone, who had put up a guided meditation I did a few months ago, thanked me for a review I'd posted on their meditation. I clicked on the review and decided to just look up the meditation teacher. Right at the top of her page was a course on Self-Confidence and Help with Social Problems! What? I knew it was a miracle that I'd stumbled upon this. I did the first lesson of the course. We had to write down things that had happened to us in our lives that had taught us to be ashamed of ourselves. There was that shame word again that I'd listened to the night before on YouTube with Brene Brown. How amazing is that? I wrote down those things. Then we were to forgive those who had caused the shame and not think too deeply about each thing, but to just release them. I did that. We were supposed to crumple up the paper into a ball. I did that. What a release I felt.
Anyway, a few hours later, I realised that my eye was totally healed. How incredible is that? I believe it had a link to how I was seeing myself (and a bit of allergies). What do you think?
I'd love to write more about self-confidence. I will in the future, because it's something I've struggled with a lot in my life. Being introverted does not mean I have to suffer with this ailment. I can overcome it! And so can you.