Do you ever want to be someone you’re not?
The grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it?
Their life must be better. They have a nice home and car and send their kids to expensive, private schools. They don’t have to worry about debt. They are thin. They are married, etc.
The truth is that we can never be inside of another’s mind and heart and truly know what’s going on in there. Poverty exists as a state of mind. It’s not the actual circumstances or how little money we have that makes us feel poor.
Appearances are SO deceptive. People look like they have it all together, but inside could be drowning in sorrow and shame that they aren’t good enough. This truly does not have anything to do with how much money they make.
It has everything to do with how they view themselves and the world. If they grew up with a demanding parent, and they felt like they had to get this parent’s approval before they’d feel loved, then they might develop into a workaholic who’s never satisfied with what they accomplish.
When we come from this place of shame and feeling unlovable it’s easy to “get on someone else’s side of the street,” metaphorically. We’ll then often put ourselves on a self-righteous pedestal, where we’re always giving advice and being distracted by their problems.
Where it really gets tricky is when our loved ones witness our folly, our error, our mistakes. After all, we shouldn’t be making mistakes because we know best. This may sound like arrogance, but in reality it’s insecurity. It goes back to feeling like we’re not enough. When people see “our stuff,” we feel raw, naked, vulnerable, defective.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, it’s easy to get lost in the business of making money. We forget what’s really important, to be kind and patient with our spouse and children, to be kind to ourselves.
I speak from experience. My masculine/feminine energy has been out of whack for most of my life. Although I’m a woman, more often I have displayed the traits of the masculine, the need to get results, drive outcomes, accomplish, make money…
Maybe I’m a little ashamed of this tendency of mine. I have this fear that what if I’m so driven to work in and on my business that I’ll regret not having spent enough time with the people I love.
What if, instead, I embraced this about myself?
The other day my daughter, Maddie, who has Cystic Fibrosis, tried to convince me that I should get a job because then I could get off at 5pm and have nights and weekends off and spend more time with her. Sounds pretty reasonable when you consider she may not live a long and full life.
And it appeals to my guilt. That doesn’t feel empowered.
I must admit I wanted to defend myself and “get on her side of the street,” and blame her for being so needy. I wanted to explain my position and how I needed to support our family, almost like I was sacrificing my joy to be the provider.
Instead, I explained that I really love my work of helping others and I had no desire to go back to a corporate job. It would dampen my spirit. At least I didn’t play the victim card—LOL.
So what can I do about this? What mindset would be healthy that would allow me to be a successful, entrepreneur who has a harmonious family life, making plenty of money to sustain a quality lifestyle?
What if instead of getting defensive when others disagree with me or point out my flaws, I remain grounded and listen. Sure, I’ll feel exposed, but so what? It’s important that I own all of me and my choices. This is very freeing! I won’t die if I admit I’m wrong or not right.
I DO make mistakes, and it’s hard to admit them in the “heat of the battle” with family members. I could begin to see these people in my life as gifts, a pathway to my best self. When I defend myself, I am feeling insecure. Bottom line.
So I will own that right now. I AM insecure at times, at least every day at some point. I don’t feel like I’m a good enough mom. I’ve made some big blunders in business too, that put me behind financially. I’m impatient with Steve, etc.
Maybe I’d learn something about how to be happy. We are so full of shame about who we are (not being good enough) that it is difficult to take responsibility for our current life results without harsh self-judgment. So we blame others instead.
I’ll end with this quote by Jessamyn West, “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes. It takes more gut and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed our own.”
I invite you to attend a workshop Thursday, February 8th from 6-8pm. Register now to get it for $25 by 2/1.
We will use emotional freedom technique (EFT or tapping) to help you speak your truth, own your mistakes, and release feelings of not enough-ness. Hope to see you there!
P.S.: If you want to join others in a small group setting and make YOUR life work first by loving, accepting and forgiving yourself, come to the Frontier to Freedom class.