It’s interesting that when we talk about the stories that form our way of seeing and being, we infrequently mean positive stories. We almost exclusively build our identities on the ways we aren’t enough, building a wall of failings rather than a pathway of successes. We are quick to catalogue a litany of things about ourselves that we don’t love; they hang off us like invisible weights, heavy and restrictive of freely moving, thinking and being. The first steps in getting to a place where we can surrender and embrace unconditional love is to release the weights. To do this, we have to honestly investigate the roots of our stories, the emotional patterns that sit behind them, then release these as fiction so we can move on to living from fact.
I’ve noticed one of the big impediments for women and amplified for mothers is the capacity to not be enough. Women seem particularly good at the amazing binary of simultaneously being excellent and never being good enough. It’s one of our key multi-tasking achievements. I don’t think I’ve ever met an intelligent, strong, beautiful, compassionate, successful woman (a category that covers all women) who, once you scratch the surface, isn’t racked with the same deep fears and insecurities that seem to universally plague our gender. I have, however, met many men who believe with every cell of their being that they are truly, deeply, contentedly great.
This is not a him–her, Mars–Venus, war of the sexes argument; it is, however, truth-speaking regarding the way we as women manage to tease out our every last flaw and fear for the world to critique, when men in most cases are not similarly compelled to be so constantly self-excoriating. Excavating the unreal to make way for the real is not a trivial exercise. Most of the patterns that have clouded the mirror of self begin in childhood, and by the time we have the vision to recognise them as actual impediments, they are well entrenched.
Meditation and yoga can transform your mind. By adopting a yogic lifestyle, the dust begins to be cleared from your self—but it is also a confronting process where long-held and buried parts have to reveal themselves to be processed and integrated. Therapy exists for this reason, and I totally subscribe to utilising professionals when needed to move the healing along when you feel stuck or unable to work the next bit out. The process of addressing the emotional patterns that have developed from childhood is very personal, and you have to work out what best suits your style of emotional and psychological investigation.
Surrender was the key for me—I’d already invested plenty of time and money across years into trying to offload the feeling I wasn’t where I was meant to be or ‘living my Purpose’, and I knew it was within me, not within my circumstance, that these negative and critical feelings and voices arose. It was clear I couldn’t figure it out by myself, and so I literally surrendered to a variety of teachings, teachers and experiences to reveal the answers to me in their own perfect time.