Nobody Wants To Say

Someone told me recently that they enjoy reading what I have to say because I write what everyone thinks, but nobody wants to say or admit. That pleased me because thinking I have a connection with others is something I have struggled with all my life. The theme of the one recurring dream I have had is that I am on the outside looking in. The dream could be about a picnic or a party or a meeting but the feeling it brings up is always the same—I don’t fit in. The others do not reject me though; instead, I hold myself apart by choice, evaluating and assessing and yes, fearful, even as the heart of me longs to belong.

But this person’s observation brought into focus for me the universality of all our longings and to that end it gives me the courage to share something I learned just recently. It was an epiphany of sorts for me, although it may not be for you. It is simple: be kind to yourself.

When I said those words to myself for the first time not long ago, discovering them as an archeologist would discover a treasure sifting through a pile of rubble, they struck me with the same wonder. I saw my actions in lucid perspective—my actions toward myself, that is—and for the most part, those actions have not been kind. They have had a driving, critical and pushy aspect—like a stage mother whose child is never good enough. But with the simple phrase, be kind to yourself, I perceived a whole different way of treating myself, one that is forgiving and gentle and humorous and relaxed.

When I treat myself with kindness, I exist within the rich moments of my day, savoring them, not expecting any return or reward. I almost used the word ‘grateful’ here, but ‘gratitude’ is becoming a vague, sanctimonious term, stacking us against one another in the spiritual materialism department and that’s not a very kind thing to do to ourselves, is it?

So I’ll just say that reminding myself to be kind to myself gives me a long perspective, and like all long perspectives, it reveals choices.

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4 thoughts on “Nobody Wants To Say

  1. Do you think it’s human nature to feel like one is on the outside? I just hear that phrase so much that I am wondering why we feel the need to put oneself on the outside (kind of akin to your ideas on self loathing). Do you think we need that feeling to rescue ourselves from the banality of the human existence?

    Just wondering. I, too, appreciate your posts.

    Danielle

    Danielle Dimston http://www.dimston.net

  2. Hi Danielle- interesting questions you raise.I honestly thought I was revealing a deep, dark secret when I wrote that I always felt on the outside. Apparently lots of people feel this way!? I’m not sure there is one reason that encompasses everyone’s feelings of being on the outside. Each is probably the result of a very personal experience or situation. For me, existence is not banal, since I thrive on new challenges and actively pursue them, so that can’t be my reason. I did, however, move a great deal when I was young, so I really was on the outside a lot. OR, and I just had this thought, perhaps it IS archetypal, as you suggest, and Hero Journey-like. Until we do the ‘home-away-home’ thing, finding our power, we never will feel like we belong. Oh, I like that one!

  3. “be kind to yourself..” A few words that actually speak volumes. Thanks for the reminder. It’s a challenge for me too.
    I’ve improved in recent years. However, I’ve unfortunately pushed myself far too hard for decades and now my body says “I told you so!” [Naturally I might be getting old, but I’m not ready to admit that yet! Ha!]
    Yes, be kind to yourself. The best advice I’ve ever heard. 🙂

    Hugs,
    teagan

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