Confidence, has a lot to answer for..
I used to get so embarrassed about messing up what I was saying and teaching in front of a class, which in turn would make me stumble more and more over my words and delivery. Especially when in front of a new group of people (teaching or otherwise).
I’d chastise myself for messing up, cursing the dyslexia, my nerves and my decision to choose a job so demanding for the confidence I was lacking. Nearly 6 years on, I thought I was pretty ok with confidence, well with teaching I’m a lot better, but in personal situations, I seem to have regressed some how (thinking perhaps I haven’t regressed but become more aware of what past awkward feelings and missed interactions have been all about). This few months rehab period, has been just the ticket to digest and process those difficult interactions and feelings, which I’d previously pushed or distracted out of my way. It’s left me acknowledging and accepting whole new parts of myself, uncovering different layers where massive confidence issues were lying in wait, to come up and sabotage my interactions with the world at any step.. “You can’t do that.. ..They don’t like you.. You’re weird.. ..People will laugh at you.. ..You don’t have the xxx for that” I’m sure there’s a lot more you could write here.
Last week I was walking to the tube and passed this guy, he rushed past but seemed to want to say ‘alright?’ to me. I’d met this guy in the tattoo shop a few months before, we had chatted a lot and he asked for my number. I wasn’t that interested in him, but having just split up with my ex, I was happy for a distraction and a boost in my confidence from his attention; he was well dressed and spoke well, so why not? We kept trying to make a date but we were both hard to pin down. But 2 weeks before last we accidentally met on the street, he expressed keenness to meet up, said he’d message me. I was on my way back from work at the time, wearing trackie Bs, a baggy jumper and had freshly washed so totally fluffy and crazy hair. He didn’t ever text me after that, or respond to the text I sent him. This left me feeling shit, as I already was hating the way I looked that day, well, most days my hair is unruly and sticks out, so most days have been a challenge to completely like the woman in the mirror.
On the train, just after this most recent sighting, my phone was on shuffle for a chillaxed playlist and a meditation came on, it’s about sitting with challenging thoughts/feelings and then dropping into the body to witness how they resonate there. My thoughts were around feeling unattractive and messy, nearly 33 years old and still, unable to master my own hair (and wardrobe at times). I know I’m fundamentally beautiful but, the world is a harsh place, and not being one of those people who take extra time to make their appearance perfect (or are blessed with easy hair lol), I see the way some people look at or treat me on occasion. I mean, I take great care of myself from the insides out, ensuring my natural attributes are shining; just don’t ask me to straighten my hair everyday, wear fake lashes, tan, etc.
During the mediation, dropping into my body, it was the front of my left, slightly tighter, and lesser functioning shoulder which spoke up; it rounds forwards a bit more than the other, like when you’re hiding a bit from the world and trying to look small. In Yoga, the left side also relates to the feminine side of you, and it’s this for which I’ve sometimes been ashamed of, not being as well polished or feminine, as much I notice in others or how I used to be at 16.
By identifying that sense, and breathing with it, I was accepting my differences. Accepting that I don’t want to spend an extra hour getting ready like when I was a teenager, I am enough with my nourished skin, and fine golden hair. I see all the ads with the models looking great, after 3-4 hours of make up and styling, I choose not to buy into it, and to not be ashamed of myself for it anymore.
If someone wants to judge me for how I look, then I’m happy not knowing them. Seeing now, how I had put the power of my confidence in someone else’s unwilling and unworthy hands..
By the time I’d arrived at work I felt a lot better, acknowledging and accepting feelings which felt so difficult just one hour before. I went to teach and I know people always love my classes (the regulars at least), but still I give myself a hard time for not being fun, strong, clear or creative as I want to be. But this realisation and meditation on accepting my crisis in confidence, let me teach without giving myself such a hard time, and everything flowed with much more ease.
We need to be our own best friends rather than worst enemies – if we took out our internal dialog and heard it through the tongue of another person; is that the type of person we’d be friends with?
Then I remember, I am who I am, and I accept myself.
I sometimes feel insecure, and I accept myself.
I feel a mess at times, and I accept myself.
I would rather be chilled than always preening, and I accept myself.
I am beautiful as I am, and I accept myself..