I attended last night and it was intense. The theme was self acceptance. She got us to write down some things we find hard to accept about ourselves, bits we don’t like about ourselves. Not to share those things with the group but to then share what we feel about what we wrote.
This was hard to do. There were tears, one woman had to leave to collect herself. The self hatred and rejection goes deep. Accumulated from a lifetime of being given messages of ‘not good enough’, from parents, schools, friends, society at large in the form of advertising. Toxic conditioning that we are not enough.
I felt such shame that I wrote mine down so small and incomprehensibly to make sure nobody could see them, and as if I could shrink away from them myself. I can hardly read what I wrote! They included fear of public speaking, fear of dancing in public, inability to let go of relationships when it is time to, lack of confidence, letting fear control my actions, over valuing my appearance. I reported to the group that I felt a feeling of shame when I looked at these aspects of myself. I judged that I thought I’d be over these things by this age.
The next bit of the exercise was to write before each thing, “It’s okay that….” mine were a,ready written so small it was hard to fit that in before each thing!
It was very healing. Healing because these are the most disowned part of ourselves, bits we don’t want to look at never mind embrace. And embracing those disowned parts of ourselves is exactly what will heal and restore wholeness and remind us of the love sitting there all the time waiting for us.
I drew a heart round my disowned bits and sent myself self compassion. Kudos to the facilitator who created a safe space for us to do this sensitive work, she handled it very well. Here’s what mine looked like.