Question. Who’s your worst enemy? Is there someone that you can think of that treats you really poorly? Someone that consistently makes you feel less than worthy? A person who you really just don’t value all that much?… If you’re like most people, you probably aren’t sure. I mean, most normal human beings don’t have enemies, right? At least, not really… Except one. You know who it is?… Not sure? Let me give you a hint. Stand up, go walk to the nearest mirror, and look into it. See who’s looking back at you? That person is your worst enemy.
Don’t agree? That’s fine. I truly hope you’re right… But I doubt it. Think about it. I mean, really think about it. Is there anyone more critical of you, than you? Is there anyone who speaks down about or in front of you, as much as you do? I bet you can’t think of one person. How sad is that? You are your own worst enemy.
Example: So, as many of you probably already know, I’m a children’s yoga instructor… And I love what I do. I really do. It gives me a place where I can be playful, and creative, and… well… free. I can dance around with ribbons to a song that makes my heart sing, surrounded by adorable children who are non-judgmental, and who seem to really like me and enjoy my class. I get to talk to kids about the importance of kindness and acceptance… Not only toward others, but more importantly toward themselves. And I have the really amazing opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives… And I actually think I do. But for whatever reason, I still lack confidence.
The other day, as I finished up a parent and me class for toddlers, a mother of a two year old little boy came up to chat with me. She thanked me for the class and said she and her son had so much fun. I smiled at her and told her I was so happy that they enjoyed themselves, and that I hoped I would get to see them again the following week. (Note: My classes are all drop-in, so I never know who will come or how many… One of my biggest challenges.) She assured me she would be back, but inside I found that I was feeling less than optimistic. Not surprisingly, my toddler classes are the most challenging. And attendance has always been inconsistent, which has felt discouraging. But when I have the “right” group, it’s sometimes magical. I get to watch parents dote over their little ones, and see their happiness when their child is enjoying my class. And I get to share with them my acceptance and understanding of the joys and challenges of being a mama (or daddy!). And have the opportunity to show them that I love their kids, which I’m certain shows.
Anyway, so this little boy’s mother continued her conversation with me, and mentioned that she joined the (expensive!) athletic club specifically so that she could come to my class with her son. Say whaaaaaat??! A friend of hers is a regular in my parent and me class, and had told her how much she enjoys bringing her one year old. She told this mother that her daughter gets excited when they pull into the parking lot because she recognizes where they are, and that she’s going to get to see Miss Becky. I mean, is a bigger compliment even possible? I was so flattered. But rather than accepting her kind words, and owning my talent, instead I talked myself down. “Really???! Wow… I’m shocked! So-and-so’s mom said that? I actually thought last week’s class didn’t go so well. Sometimes with the little ones it’s really hard.”
Seriously, Becky?! Ugh!! Just accept the compliment. OWN IT. I’m fucking amazing and I should know it. But instead I stood there, dumbfounded that it could possibly be true… Someone joined the club? For ME??? Wow. Even just now. Wow. Toot that horn! Right?! Fuckin’ blow that whistle. Shit… I should be charging an arm and a leg to run private classes. Am I right?! But I still sit here, inside myself, lacking the confidence I need to really go after it. And honestly, I shouldn’t. I have proven to both myself and others that I am talented. And I should be proud of that… But pride is hard, isn’t it? We’ve all gotten really good at selling ourselves short. We’ve been trained to think we don’t deserve what we desire, or that we just aren’t good enough. But that’s simply untrue.
Every single one of us has something to offer. Every. Single. Person. Everyone. And the time for us to realize that is now. My story seems a silly one to make this point, but actually it is the perfect example. It’s the day to day negativity that each of us carry around that bogs us all down. And it’s time to rise up. You know, I have this really deep belief… No… Rather, I have a deep understanding that real change happens from the inside out, and it starts within each of us. The small changes that we can all make in order to better ourselves, automatically helps to raise up the collective. And in a world that’s filled with so much fear, hate, and intolerance, loving ourselves has never been more important. The change starts with you. In you. Then shines out from there.
You’re amazing. And so am I. Don’t forget that. And remind yourself each and everyday. Then make the necessary changes within you, and watch as it transforms the world around you.
Man in the Mirror ~ Michael Jackson