In "Trust" by Iyanla Vanzant, there is a segment on "Owning Yourself".
Just the idea, that we don't own ourselves seems odd.
If we don't own ourselves, who does?
"Once we understand that the voices in our heads have a significant impact on our ability to trust ourselves, it is important to set up a positive voice as your personal default. this means you must develop the habit of speaking kindly to yourself about yourself. We all know someone who consistently, perhaps even unconsciously, puts herself down. You can recognize these people as those speaking with a disclaimer. Phrases like: "I know I'm going to say this wrong, but...." or, "I know you probably won't believe me, but...: then there's the classic: "I don't really know how to explain myself, but..." When a person begins her communication by making a disclaimer about who she is or what she is about to say, that's a pretty clear sign that self-trust is an issue for her. Disowning yourself is learned or unconscious habit that must be changed if you are to develop a healthy sense of self-trust."
"Most of the things we do that remind us that we should not, cannot, and do not trust ourselves are unconscious habits. They grow from hidden unhealed feelings and unconscious thoughts. They may also mimic some form of what has been said to us or about us by someone we trusted. A major step toward developing self-trust is to become vigilant and conscious about whether or not the things you think and say about yourself are really accurate rather than simply what you have heard about yourself."
"If you are a person with the habit of offering a disclaimer, a put-down, or a criticism before you speak, it is important to ask yourself, "Whose voice was that?" Identifying from whom you first hear it can be a major step toward forgiving and releasing the experience, the person, and the voice. When you cannot connect what you say about yourself to an earlier experience, you can still cancel the words as soon as you recognize them by saying, either quietly to yourself or out loud, "Delete. Delete." This releases the energy of the thoughts and the spoken words. It is also a good idea to follow up on the deleted words by replacing them with a positive spoken affirmation that will eventually override the negative programming." Iyanla
There are many occasions that I do offer up a disclaimer. Mostly when doing something I am not good at yet. Instead of saying I am a beginner hiker and biker girl, I say negative things.
It is good to have this knowledge; for when you know better you do better.
I understand that the voices in my head, the ones who are not speaking kindly of me came from what I experienced as a child and even in Sunday School in church, where we were taught that we were intrinsically evil beings; sinful and unworthy.
How can you possibly have a positive dialogue running in your head when you were taught the opposite as a child?
In the correcting of so many untruthful sentiments about humankind and most importantly Me, I have become ostracized by many.
For the common denominator in both the dysfunctional family and the cult-like strict religion is unworthiness and lack of owning ourselves.
When you start to change the dialogue in your head and your actions follow; you will no longer be a part of groups whose general theme is unworthiness.
"When you grow up in an atmosphere of negligence, constant criticism, or aggressive correction, it's possible that we'll learn to fear being happy and feeling good about ourselves. Such experiences are unfamiliar. As a result, when we start to feel the energy of joy or happiness we can't trust it or allow ourselves to feel it fully. This is sometimes evident with people who cannot accept compliments for who disaffirm compliments by point out something negative to deflate the offering. Good feelings give us a sense of safety and security that can and do inspire us when we make choices and decisions. When we do not trust our good feelings, we cannot trust ourselves." Iyanla
Imagine. If we do not trust our good feelings, WE CANNOT TRUST OURSELVES!
I do believe, that it took me until I was a few years beyond 46 to find this to be true.
I didn't know how to accept the good feelings....for I had not accepted the bad. I was bad and unconsciously expressed that. I didn't have access to feelings of joy about myself.
And, "good feelings give us the sense of safety and security...". So it is no wonder that we don't feel safe and secure in dysfunctional families and/or religions that don't celebrate the pureness and wholeness of human beings.
Imagine the voice in the church as voices in your head? If they repeatedly speak of your unworthiness and sinfulness...there is no way it can be good for your wellbeing.
She goes on to write.
"Not only do our feelings matter, they are at the core of whatever we believe is the matter with us. Feelings are a fundamental means of communication that arise from our internal landscape. Feelings cannot be faked. They are critical landmarks on your journey toward building self-confidence and self-trust. Thought patterns, emotional responses, and habitual behaviors all have their roots buried in a feeling, whether from the past or present. It is, therefore, up to us to identify and ferret out the feelings that fuel the negative ego and keep us stuck in vicious cycle of feeling victimized by life and other people."
What struck me while reading about our feelings. Even the feeling of 'not being good enough', is that at some point, we believed this to be true. So true in fact, that we work really hard to become good, in someone's eyes.
I know, for me, I was a people pleaser and I believed my worthiness came from what I did for others. I would lose value if I wasn't doing for others.
I also had to work hard or tow the line to stay in the good graces of my mother. My value rose and fell depending upon what I did and what I said.
The only way this dance continued was if I believed she held the key to my worth.
When, I became a sovereign nation, if you will, our relationship changed...drastically.
I was solely owned by me.
No religion held a part of me.
My family no longer had strings that I would dance to.
I was free and self owned.
My potential is limitless.
Each experience lays new ground for positive voices...and my disclaimers will change to the positive!
I trust that I am just tapping into the vast potential of who I am!