Trusting in Yourself
On the back of the last column I wrote called Confessing to Yourself, I wanted to follow up with something of equal importance to who you are and not listening to that fucked up voice in your head. It is trusting in yourself.
Trusting that quieter part of yourself. Trusting in yourself to feel the difference between those two parts of you.
I never trusted myself. I never trusted there was more to me than a fat, useless, horrible girl. Who then became a woman.
It was these thoughts that kept me in the darkness of my fucked up mind. Living in denial and seeing myself with her dogmatic eyes.
With all of the change going on inside me I came to realise that trust in what I was hearing and trust in what I was feeling was absolutely essential to the permanency of this change. My life could not evolve if I was constantly second guessing what was going on inside of me. There had to be an understanding, at least, of all the nonsense on repeat so I could listen from the sidelines to hear which voice was on my side and which voice was thrilled to watch me fail.
As I was building this trust, many instances occurred when I thought I was hearing my loving voice but it was actually my shitty voice in disguise.
Many years have now since gone where I was tethered to my need for food. This relentless desire to stuff my face stupid was with me every second of the day. It dominated my life. It bullied me into eating when I knew I didn’t want to. It nagged me incessantly to get up and go into the kitchen to find something, ANYTHING, that would satisfy the dependence I had on food.
Hovering in the background during each and every disgusting binge was another kind of thought. Another kind of feeling. It was a better feeling. A much nicer thought. They were quiet. But they were there. Looking back I can now see what they were. It was my loving voice gently reminding me that I didn’t have to be so controlled by those thoughts and feelings. That I was more than what my shitty voice was saying to me. Believing this part of me was not possible. It wasn’t possible because my shitty voice was who I trusted in. She made the most sense.
She made sense because I knew I was not worthy of the good things in life. The life in front me proved that
When I looked down all I saw was a fat disgusting body. When I (very rarely) looked in the mirror I only saw someone incapable of feeling anything good. When I looked out at my family I only saw people who couldn’t love me the way I wanted them to. When I looked back into the past I saw a pattern of abuse and punishment that was deservedly so.
My shitty voice did that.
Saskia (as I came to call her) got off on watching me suffer. Drawing more and more suffering into my life to prove that was all I was worthy of.
Until I knew better there was no way I was going to trust anyone else but her. Because she is me. I believed her to be all of me.
Then came a day when I did know better. I was listening to the thoughts inside my head with a reverent relief. I truly believed I was really taking more notice of my loving voice than my shitty voice. I tossed the thoughts around a little before I acted upon them. Ensuring I was making the best decision for me. When it felt good I would then take that action, trusting in myself.
After, ooh, maybe 6 months of this I came to realise my shitty voice was tricking me. She toned herself down and put on a nicer voice. It felt nicer so why not trust that?
The reason I noticed this going on was because she was once again tricking me into believing I needed to eat. I was hungry. Those are hunger pains in your belly. You haven’t eaten in a while so maybe you should go and grab something. You ate not long ago but you won’t get the chance to eat for quite a long time so you better have something now so you don’t get too hungry later. You deserve to have a treat, go on eat that chocolate.
Lies. Lies and more fucking lies.
She deceived me and I believed her. I took action on nearly every one of her directives.
And, now I have put on weight. I grew out of the clothes I loved wearing and had to buy new ones. Then I had to do it again when I grew out of those ones.
You see, I was so trusting in the connection to my self that I never saw what was really happening. This connection had been getting stronger and stronger and I was so please with myself for knowing what I was doing.
I was trusting in myself for once and it felt great.
For a long time I trusted in every one but me. Yes, Saskia ruled my life but I put my ultimate trust in others. They knew better than I did about anything and everything.
The world has an abundance of experts. Plenty of people knowing what they are talking about. A multitude of information broadcast out into the lives of everyone living on this planet.
But, was it right for me?
A considerable amount of my life was spent following the lead of others. Eat this, do that. Don’t eat this, move like that. Listen to me I know what’s best for you. It worked for me so it will most definitely work for you. I know you better than you know you. All of this research proves this is how you are as a human being.
A year or so ago I was watching some show on the tele and they were experimenting with people as to whether a glass of fizzy drink/soda/soft drink would cause you to be hungrier than you normally would if you hadn’t consumed the drink.
This is a perfect example of how not all research relates to every single one of us. Because for me the exact opposite is true. If I drink a can of soft drink then I actually feel full and don’t want to eat for a good hour or so after. I am not hungry at all. But when the conclusion of studies like this are released there is the assumption that all people belong to that conclusion, which really isn’t the case. It must be taken with an ounce of caution.
Research is necessary. It is important and there are many papers and studies that have changed our lives and revolutionised invaluable contributions to our societies. I am not here to demean or devalue such work, I simply ask us to take careful consideration with the information presented to us on a daily basis. Will it work for you? Is it going to compliment your life? Does your mind, body and soul connect to this bit of information wholeheartedly? Especially the excessive amounts of information being shoved through about weight loss and what is the best way to lose weight and what will make me lose weight faster?
YOUR choices are important. Don’t just take the word of someone else as if they know what is best for you. Trust in yourself because YOUR choices matter. Your own judgement about what you want and need are important because ultimately you know what is right for you, but, of course, only if you are listening to your loving voice. (Any of my previous columns will expand on this for you. Why not read them all?!?).
It is your loving voice that feels different inside of you. Think back to when you have noticed the difference. Think back to when there has been two different sides to the story.
There are lots of examples I can share with you about this but the most significant one for me (and I think I shared this in a previous column) is when my loving voice gently and kindly told me to trust that the man, who is now my husband of 13 years, is worth the risk. I was lying in bed one morning and he came to see me as we were heading out later that morning. He was sitting on a chair on the other side of the room. Inside my head I was doing the usual back and forth of why I should not believe that this guy was any different to the other guys that entered and exited my life very quickly.
I wanted it to end because that was the easy way. I wanted him to disappear so I could wallow in my comfortable misery.
Livvy wasn’t having it. I don’t remember her words exactly. There may not have been any. I think it was more of a knowing that anything else. A feeling rose up inside of me that helped me to trust that this man was different. That he was someone I could be with. That he genuinely wanted to be with me. That a life for us was waiting.
That trust has given me love, experiences, fun, sadness, anger, compassion, a change of heart, failure, hope, fucked up moments and fucking amazing moments. It has given me life. Direction that I never knew existed for me. We were always meant to come together. It was our life path but I could have fucked it up that day. I could have believed my shitty voice when she tried to convince me that he was just another guy who would shatter my already broken heart.
I thought he saved me. In a way he did because his consistent love proved that I was worthy. I then had to prove it to myself. Amongst other things, trust gave that back to me. It presented love for who I was and who I always longed to be.
It held on strong so I could connect to myself even deeper.
The trust in my trust intensified. I just need to continue believing in my self and trusting I know the difference when I hear or feel something inside of me. What is true? What is not?
No doubt throughout your life many people have given themselves the right to tell you how to live, what is best for you. As kids this right goes to our parents. We put so much trust in what our parents teach us, how they interact with us, what they tell us, what they show us and what they subtly say to us through their actions. They are full of their own ideas and beliefs. Their understanding of the world reflects out of them into our own. If they can’t see beyond their own limited viewpoint then that view becomes our own. Whether your parents (or parent or other parental caregiver) were horrible or if they were amazing, where we end up is because of their influence. Because of the trust we have in them as the leaders of our tiny, little world.
But, what is really shitty about being a child with grown ups who are dealing with their own stuff, is that their questions are dismissed. Kids are told to shut up. Stop asking so many questions. What I tell you is the truth. Believe what we say because we are the adults. We have lived a longer life than you have so we know more about things than you do. So, eventually the trust in what the child is thinking and feeling goes away. We put our trust in others because you couldn’t possibly know more about yourself and what you need than we do.
We aren’t taught to listen to our own loving voice. For many different reasons. What reasons are yours? What reasons have kept you from trusting in yourself?
For me, its just that I didn’t know any better. But, now I do.
I have had to learn to really listen to what is going on inside of me. Notice the difference. Which voice is which? Which voice wants me to try and succeed, and which voice wants me to give up and fail?
In the last few months I have noticed such a difference inside of me. There isn’t a huge push and pull anymore. The world inside of me is so much more peaceful. All because I have learnt to tell the difference between my shitty voice and my loving voice. Trusting that there is a huge part of me that wants nothing but the best for me. That wants me to go and live the most fun and amazing life. Who is there to guide me to my next steps. Who actually wants me to feel good all the time. Who loves me no matter what.
My loving voice and I are so much more connected now I am receiving answers to questions that are no longer filled with doubt and anxiety. My depression has lifted. I can move through my life with a confidence I have longed to have since I was a teenage girl. I trust in who I am even though I am still figuring out who I am. A life long exploration.
Most importantly, I am where I need to be. I trust that all the sometimes chaos and inconsistency, the turmoil and difficulty won’t be forever. I trust that they are a part of life and that I have what it takes to deal with whatever is right before me. I will always stay true to my Self and keep the peace within. My loving voice guides me. She helps me to know I don’t have to believe in the bullshit anymore. I have taught myself to yell SHUT THE FUCK UP whenever I need to. I do not place my trust in her words any longer. That has changed because I have changed.
You can do it to.
Keep on shouting… SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Here’s a little exercise for you to do:
Begin to notice where your trust lies? Are you trusting in other peoples opinions and thoughts more than your own? Can yo tell the difference between your shitty voice and loving voice? How does each make you feel? As you go about your day step back from the mental conversation and notice the words being used. Are they kind and loving or are they shitty and mean?