It’s week 20 and yes, I’ve missed a few weeks. More than four months have passed since I began My Self-Love Journey. So, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on the changes I’ve noticed since beginning this journey.
Much like a weight loss journey, sometimes personal growth is hard to see. As a personal trainer, I often had clients express concern that they’ve been doing the work but aren’t seeing the results. When you’re in that body every day, seeing the change can be difficult. But when we look at the data, we often see a decrease in body fat composition and an increase in muscle mass. So, the number on the bathroom scale doesn’t look like it’s budging, but the work is paying off.
Seeing changes in personal growth can feel the same way. Perhaps you feel like you’re doing all this great stuff, meditating, positive affirmations, deep breathing, journaling, reading, or even working with a life coach. And yet, somehow, you’re not sure it’s really working.
For me, the best way to know if my self-growth efforts are working is to spend some time in self-reflection. This past month, I took time to reflect on how I act, and what I say and think when I’m around other people.
One of my favorite authors is Michael Singer who wrote the book, The Surrender Experiment. The major premise of the book is to surrender to whatever comes your way. Instead of letting fear or personal preference dominate your life, Singer suggests surrendering to the things (or people) that disturb you and just kind of go with it. I figured he must be on to something because in a period of about ten or twenty years, he went from being a barefoot hippie living in the woods in Gainesville, Florida to developing a multi-million-dollar software company.
His book caused me to realize that since moving to Spain, surrender feels so easy. I feel more calm, more relaxed, and more capable of letting go. Then I began to wonder, “Does surrender feel easy for me because I rarely have any interactions that create disturbance in my life?” All year, my focus has been on Love, specifically self-Love. I was beginning to think, “Yes! All this work is making a difference!”
When you begin to approach the world through the lens of Love, everything really does look different. But then, I had an experience that called me back to reality.
Recently I noticed myself having a verbal ping-pong match back and forth with another person. I found that I needed to be right, and I had to have the last word. Suddenly, I’m thinking, “What the heck am I doing?” “Why do I feel like I have to be right?” I wasn’t actually arguing with them BUT I could feel myself becoming agitated. Once I realized what was happening, I made the decision to surrender, to stop trying to be right. Noticing this behavior was very important for me. It caused me to realize that because I’m not around people as much as I was in the states, I hadn’t seen this interaction in myself.
This caused me to wonder if this behavior is consistent in my interactions with other people. So, I tried to be aware of this trait when interacting with other people, and there it was! Making the decision to be more aware of MY actions and interactions helped me see this trait which I found to be undesirable. It’s not who I want to be.
I would not have noticed this behavior if A) I hadn’t been around this person who also had a need to be right and B) I hadn’t been working on Loving myself more. My Self-Love Journey has helped me become more self-aware. I hadn’t noticed this about myself before, but I’m certain this behavior didn’t just appear!
Self-awareness is what helped me see this element of my personality that I do not desire to have. So, yes, all the work is making a difference. Becoming more self-aware is helping me see this trait or habit that I want to change. Without awareness, there can be no change.
What has your experience with self-Love revealed to you so far? I’d love to hear about your growth.
With Love and Gratitude,