"Shame is the most powerful master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough."
~ Brene Brown
"How do I heal my "not good enough" wound? How do I love myself? How do I heal shame?" These questions come up so frequently in therapy sessions, I thought I would share a brief list of ways to heal.
1. Find self-compassion. We all had to find ways to fit in enough to be taken care of as children. When you differ from your family members it is easy to think you are “not good enough.”
2. Forgive your forgetting. Your differences can trigger your family's and other people's unhealed emotional wounds. It is easy to repress your differences until you forget who you really are.
3. Summon courage. Differentiating from your original family is a courageous hero/heroine’s journey because your family members might not prefer your differences.
4. Create safety. How do you feel ok with not fitting in with others when it sets off your nervous system's alarm bell of non-belonging? To feel safe in your body, you will need to encourage yourself in ways you have never experienced with other people before.
5. Encourage yourself. How can you encourage yourself when others do not? Encourage yourself by affirming your authentic nature repetitively until the safety of self-belonging takes hold in your nervous system.
6. Repetition is the key. Repeating kind, soothing words to yourself over and over eventually changes the well-worn grooves of socialized self-rejection. Find kind words that feel good in your body and repeat them until they "land."
7. No one will save you. Once you enter adulthood, you are responsible for healing the pain patterns that you acquired during the socialization process. Lack of self-love is yours to heal.
8. Always be kind to yourself. Your need for social belonging might be so strong, you will reject and criticize yourself in the same ways that you were rejected and criticized by others in the past. Decide instead to always be kind to yourself.
9. Find the antidote. To turn self-criticism and self-rejection into its opposite, create a self-love statement. Enjoy how good this "antidote" feels in your body.
10. Practice good feelings. It is possible to "practice" your pain by feeling it for far too long. You might not know what it means to feel good. Emotional pain needs to be acknowledged, assessed for self-limiting beliefs, and then "interrupted" with self-care, self-affirmation and self-love practices.