Next on my list of Identified Feelings as I Plan the Work is, you guessed it, feeling stupid. All joking aside, I think we've all had times when we've done things and just WISHED we wouldn't have done that. Ugh. WHY did I say that. WHAT possessed me to send that email, extend that invite, offer up that recipe, ask for that helping hand? Have you been there? (Please say it's not just me.)
In so many areas of our lives, however, we're too hard on ourselves. And one specific saying, or affirmation, or whatever you want to call it, particularly comes to mind now that I'm recognizing this as such negative, criticizing self-talk: "You did what you thought was best at the time." It's true. We don't go about our day thinking, It would be so dumb of me to stop for a latte, because then I'll be late for that very important meeting. Ah, screw it. Lattes for everyone!
We don't intentionally cause ourselves pain, ridicule, anxiety or worry. And as much as I really have been praying about my previous Identified Feeling (okay, at first...I kind of forgot about it after a while), I kind of feel...well...stupid, asking God to help me...stop feeling stupid.
I know it's more than that; "stupid" may be just one word to really convey embarrassment, regret, shame or guilt. Putting too much emphasis on what other people think. Feeling self conscious, doubtful or indecisive. Again: We all experience these moments. It's when that thought pattern becomes so ingrained in your brain that you turn down invitations, or do things you really don't want to do, that you start losing touch with your true self and, in essence, you are presenting a false front to everyone in your life.
Makes me think of one of my favorite Iyanla Vanzant quotes: When you don't show up as who you are, people fall in love with who you are not.
That's pretty powerful stuff. If you're not showing up in your life as who you really are — unafraid to show what you really like or want; unashamed to show your true emotions and needs — not only are you cheating yourself, but you're also kind of a fraud. To those you claim to love. To those you want to connect with, befriend, influence, help...
So it's time to stop feeling stupid. (Unless of course you A. put your phone in the washing machine, B. drive away with your cup of coffee on the roof of your car, or C. walk into a screen door — you can have your stupid moment and be done with it in those three situations only!) Throw off your guise of self-deprecating humor and engage with someone in conversation today. Get rid of the mask you wear, acting like everything's fine when really it's not and inside you're screaming. Speak up and don't feel stupid afterwards, no matter the reaction of your audience. What was that Dr Seuss quote again? Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind?
I think there's another saying about how teachers teach what they most need to learn...
That's why I don't give up writing this blog. I may whine and complain and struggle and go round and round in circles, but I have this distinct little feeling inside (yes, it's very little sometimes) that each circle is inching slowly forward. So slowly that sometimes it's painfully snail-like. But that must be what suits me at this time, otherwise it wouldn't be this way.
And in a roundabout sort of way, even though I'm still torn after writing the previous Planning the Work post, it's an affirmation waiting to be overused: "You did what you thought was best at the time." It's short, sweet, and to the point. You did what you thought was best at the time.
Best, not stupid.
Best, not self conscious.
Best, loved, well-intended, hopeful, dreamy.
Let's erase that other stuff from our vocabularies and use our minds and our mouths for only the best. Slowly, Best will crowd out everything else.
Filed under: Chasing peace