“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you.” -Eckhart Tolle
I learned a great lesson about self-love and compassion at a young age.
When I was eleven I, like many others at my school and schools everywhere, got to experience what it was like to have every single friend I knew and love, turn on me, and then make it a game to hate me.
There wasn’t a particular reason that provoked the ring leader. Before me it was somebody else. After me it was again somebody new. Perhaps they were jealous or insecure themselves. Maybe I was an easy target. Or maybe it was just my time in life to learn what it feels like to be shaken up a bit in order to toughen up.
It went on for a couple of months and then everything went back to normal where we were all friends again, but something deep within me was forever changed. It was both a blessing and a curse.
My experience was a blessing because it taught me to have compassion for others who may be struggling. I live with a strong desire to hear and see the good in people, particularly when they are being called down by others. I don’t make space for mean-spirited people in my life. I have never understood why they lack compassion for others. My guess is they must be really lonely from being disconnected from their truth. Perhaps it is mean-spirited people who need to be viewed with the most compassion and love after all – a thought worth considering.
My experience was a curse for the obvious reasons. Being bullied at such a young age was a real blow to my self-confidence. It made it hard to trust people or believe others may actually have my best interest at heart. That experience left a mark that I can still, even after all of these years, allow to come back to the surface if I am not feeling strong and connected to myself.
Even though it was just a few months, it was the longest months of my life. I remember the heartache and tears I couldn’t choke back as a group of girls, my former best friends, would prank call me. They would throw things at me, including ripped up school pictures of me I had given to each one of them. They would gather in a group and call me names and threaten to beat me up, all the while laughing and high-fiving each other. It was devastating to my eleven-year-old-self.
The sad part is that people endure far worse life circumstances, loss and bullying than what I went through.
These kinds of life experiences can impact self-worth and leave people questioning whether or not they are good enough as they are.
It isn’t uncommon for us to believe we need to try better, work harder or have more in order to be good enough. But when we search outside of ourselves for the message we are okay, we only create more dis-ease and disconnection in our lives.
These experiences, like the one I shared, have a way of multiplying the barriers that prevent us from truly seeing and owning our greatness. The issue is never really about what others think of us. It is what we believe about ourselves that impacts our lives the most.
We can’t hide from ourselves. If we need to delay acceptance and self-love until some external event happens, we will always find another reason, goal or measure we must first meet in order to prove to ourselves we are worthy of our own acceptance and self-love.
This destructive cycle can go on and on. There is no harsher critic of ourselves than ourselves. Let’s face it, we all know the exact thing to do and the reasons we tell ourselves why we aren’t good enough.
The truth is, we are good enough, each and every one of us, ‘as we are’ right at this moment. We are good enough to be loved by others, by ourselves and worthy of any and all dreams we may have for ourselves and our lives.
When we begin to take a real look at ourselves and show a bit of compassion for whatever we have endured and for the mistakes we have made along our journey, it becomes much easier to let go of the stories we may tell ourselves about why we aren’t good enough as we are.
When we stop trying to measure up to unrealistic ideals we place on ourselves, and release the ones placed on us that we believed were true, we can be free to discover the goodness and true spirit that is already within us just waiting to be recognized and celebrated.
Life can present enough challenges, without the added weight of criticizing ourselves and our efforts along the way. We all experience bumps and bruises, it’s just a part of the life journey.
Often the best gift we can give ourselves is to carve out some time for self-care and activities we know we love.
When we practice seeing, accepting and loving ourselves ‘without strings attached’, the more likely we are to find the joy in our moments and stop taking ourselves so seriously. Owning our goodness will inspire others to do the same.
xo ❤ Emily
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you.❤