In my dream last night, I received the “Best Goddess” award. Go ahead. Laugh. That title is reserved for celebrities, rock stars and beautiful women in flowing white gowns (meditating next to crystal blue waters with dolphins and diamonds.) I don’t fit.
But in the dream, I was rather excited (and embarrassed) that I’d been in the running with more traditionally goddessy women. Somehow I also knew that, whoa, men had voted, too!
I quickly surmised that it must be an all-around-kinda-goddess. A good cherub. Making a contribution. Trying her best. Clearly the world had changed its definition of a diety! And some part of me AGREED. I’d won. I was goddess material.
Then I woke up.
“Best Goddess?” I think, as I run my fingers through my matted, dirty hair. It reminds me of those little plastic trophies, “Best Sister” or “#1 Mom.”
But who cares, I won! In the dream, I’d felt humbled and happy. And now, sitting there in my very ugly t-shirt, grey sweatpants, bad breath and boobs hanging low, it makes me smile! I’ve arrived. I’ve awarded myself this goofy victory!
There was no voluptuous body or kick-ass looks, lips or limbs. It was just me. The award meant I was fully seen and appreciated. As is. Success.
Then I tell my husband.
He was just crawling out of bed, in all his sleepy glory. Tighty whities. A Breathe-Right strip lifting off his nose. Both of us pale and pasty.
“I won the Best Goddess award in my dream,” I say with a smile and an eye-roll.
After yawning and wiping his crusty eyes, he finally says, “Well, that’s different.”
Cue. Screeching. Brakes.
My previous thrill quickly begins to slip. After more silence, I get up and go to the bathroom so I don’t spurt out any BS. My mind has armored up so fast, it’s frightening. I’m already at war.
For many years, I’ve asked (yelled, begged) my hubby for more compliments. I’m embarrassed to admit it. I get praise from friends, family, clients, even strangers at workshops. But since Bill sees me at my absolute worst, and knows me at my best, compliments from him mean MORE.
In the time it takes me to put the toilet seat down and sit, my BS is ready to FIRE AT BILL. My mind is pissed, blaming him and silently ranting, “This would have been a lovely opportunity to compliment me. FOR ONCE. I know I don’t look like a goddess, but couldn’t you do me the favor of saying something nice!? Something affirming? Anything??” Note: defensive sarcasm is always a sign of hidden BS.
So let’s Byron Katie the crap out of this stinky scenario.
Katie’s “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet has four questions to ask ourselves, and the all intriguing “turn-around.” (Check out “The Work” here and download the worksheet here.)
- Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought
- Who would you be without the thought?
So I take the first painful belief, “Bill never compliments me” and ask, Is it true?
Well, um, (scramble, scramble, argh, sassafrassa…) No. It isn’t totally true. He doesn’t compliment me in the ways I would like. But his actions are very complimentary – deep demonstrations of his love and care.
But-but-but. I don’t want to let go of this! He should change! I NEED COMPLIMENTS! How hard is THAT!?
The ego mind likes to fight, to be right and to PROVE that our thoughts, painful as they might be, are CORRECT, and it’s the other person who should change their behavior! Then the pressure is off of us to change our thoughts. Poor, innocent us.
As I sit on my porcelain thrown, another old belief hits the fan: “He doesn’t see and appreciate my worth. He doesn’t think I’m valuable! He should prove to me that I’ve got a little bit of goddess in me!?”
So my old story, of feeling humiliated and not-enough, because of my dwarfism, has hit the leader-board. “Bill should know my history! He should treat me with tenderness so I don’t have to hurt over this!”
Wow, tall order. I’m shoulding all over him, when in fact, I’m not honoring my old story OR treating myself with tenderness so I don’t have to hurt. When I insist that HE do it, we both end up in the loo.
Still, my mind continues it’s rioting… “Of all people, Bill should know my old insecurities!” Wait. I should know.
Another turnaround is, “I should know his old insecurities.” He’s told me many times that he feels completely cornered when I come at him, diarrhea of the mouth, INSISTING that he do things MY WAY.
The third question is: How do I react when I believe the thought, “Bill should compliment me,” and he doesn’t do it? I get insulted, hurt and angry. I either corner him with a sh*t ton of words or I shut. him. out.
Oh My Goddess. Not very complimentary.
The forth question is: Who would I be without the thought, “He should compliment me”? (When you’re examining your own BS, close your eyes on this question and imagine the other person’s face.) Well, without my BS I’d just be real and I’d express my vulnerability, without judging him or me. I’d appreciate my devoted Einstein-haired-hubby. I’d love him for all that he is. I’d realize he has complimented me with twenty years of support, marriage, family, love.
Here’s another turnaround. “I’m hurt and angry at myself because I don’t compliment me.” True. I didn’t even believe in my dream award. “I don’t see and appreciate my worth. I should prove to myself that I’ve got a little bit of goddess in me.” I can’t expect Bill to do what I cannot do.
On my good days, when I feel worthy, I don’t demand it from others. I can give it freely. Easily. To myself and them.
“Uncomfortable feelings are clear reminders that we’ve attached to something that may not be true for us. They are gifts that let us know it’s time to identify the stressful thoughts.” ~Byron Katie
If you find yourself throwing an inner or outer tantrum over what someone else didn’t do, or should do, try the four questions and the turnaround. There’s always something untrue in our own thinking and there’s more we can do for ourselves to find freedom and peace.
If you give a goddess an award, that she doesn’t feel she deserves, look at the cascade of negative thoughts that errupt! I projected the crap onto Bill, and then realized it was in me. It turned into an opportunity to bless the BS. What we need to flush, is up to us.
Another’s opinion can only hurt or help when we believe it’s true. We have the choice to walk down the runway of our soul, in all its spangly splendor, still loving our humble humanness.
Our glory be to goddess, in the highest and hottest. No need to be modest. (Short doesn’t mean squat-ess.)
With consistent self-support, we can turn dung into divine. Doesn’t cost a dime. (Goddesses like to rhyme.)
So go grab your own godling award. I’ll joyfully join you in a heart felt standing-O.
With lotsa love, lights, and applause,
P.S. Yes the holidaze is suddenly upon us. Each year, I intend to plunge into the festive season with more joy, less stress. And each year I do make small improvements ~ like the year we decided NOT to exchange gifts with extended family. That was actually a biggie. There was SO much less bustling and worrying. But at some point, during December, or by January, I end up wildly disappointed in myself.
So as we go spiraling forward, I hope you’ll join me for the
“Season of Rebirth Summit”.
Catherine Jimenez-Spencer will interview 21 guest speakers (including yours truly) to help navigate this season without becoming exhausted, disconnected, broke, unhealthy, frustrated & feeling like we “did it again” despite “knowing better.”
How can a time that is meant to be so nourishing leave us feeling tired and hollow inside? The Season of Rebirth Summit
is to bring more peace and presence. It’s to inspire deep connection with the true essence of winter, the spirit of the Holiday we choose to celebrate & to stay rooted in our soulful self (even as we shop… or eat.)
Sounds good to me!
and give yourself this soothing gift – take on the holidaze with more mindfulness, less madness.