First I will preface this little story by saying that I am a Certified Life Coach. The importance of saying that is that this story is centered around a session I was doing with a client where I learned something that is huge for me. My hope is that it helps you as well.
I woke early that morning feeling the desire to put on my beautiful long dangling Montana silver feather earrings. At this stage of my journey I still had the curtains closed, door locked and was gripped with fear at the thought of being caught. I was still closeted and this day I had a few hours of “Me time” before the client arrived.
As my day began I put on my earrings to help myself become comfortable in wearing them without the usual self criticizing inner voice. I had been wearing them since 7 am and actually met with great success at silencing the inner critic. So much so that I had forgotten I was wearing them altogether when the door bell rang. I opened the door with smiles and invited my client in. I offered refreshments and we made our way to the comfy sofas in the great room to begin the session.
Everything was perfect. We chatted, laughed, shared and the session moved forward perfectly.
It was as we were chatting that my own lesson showed up. We were seated on one sofa kind of side ways facing one another; I was conscious of trying not to appear too girly. I leaned back with one arm over the back of the couch and felt a tickle on my neck. I reached up to brush the hair away and realized it was not hair that tickled my neck but a dangling silver earring. My heart slammed up into my throat, my pulse raced; the voice in my head screamed, “OMG you still have your earrings on!!” Fear gripped me and I felt my body stiffen as if any slight movement might somehow give me away. I froze!
I quickly scanned my client only to see her eyes jetting from left to right like a puppy at a tennis match! She was looking at my left earring, then the right and back! I was terrified! After all, I was the calm, centered “Life Coach” guiding her to deeper self-awareness remember! To be outed would surely end my career. I felt like an imposter!
I took several deep breaths to re-ground myself. Once I had regained inner composure I quietly asked my client, “when did you notice these earrings?”she replied. “As soon as I walked in, I can’t keep my eyes off of them they are so beautiful!”
In this brief exchange I discovered something I have been practicing awareness of ever since and that’s what I wish to share with you here.
When I had forgotten I was wearing those pretty earrings, the critical voice of self-judgement was silent and I saw no judgement in the eyes of the other person. I simply “was” in that moment with no excuses or fear. My inner critic was silent. The moment I “remembered” I was wearing them (when the earring tickled my neck) that critical inner voice came out screaming!
I realized that when I think and feel confident, secure and at peace “inside” my skin, so did my client appear to be at peace. The moment my inner critic screamed, I saw what “appeared” to me to be judgement in the eyes of my client. I realized that the judgment I thought I saw in her eyes was in reality a reflection of the “internal” judgment I held against myself! As soon as I let go of the self-attack thoughts I literally watched the perceived judgment vanish from the other persons face.
I do not profess to say that this is always going to be the case in every situation, but what I have now come to believe and live, is that the majority of the time, what “appears” to me to be judgment in the eyes of another is in reality a reflection of my own critical inner thoughts. When I “choose” to feel “okay” in my skin, the perceived criticism vanishes from the eyes of the other.
I now believe that the greatest challenge each of us has in life, is to, retrain our brain to think self-love and acceptance. By erasing the critic on the inner world, we automatically erase that critic from the outer world as well, one heart at a time.
As we learn to love and accept our “Self” we allow others to do the same. I choose to love me just as I am. I am beautiful inside and out!
What will you choose to believe about you today?