This Autumn has been a season of stock taking for me as I have felt its time to reflect on how far I have come in various journeys of the past few years. As I conducted this stock take, in private and in group, I was asked a question by someone who is facing similar struggles to me about how I overcame my emotional hang ups.
Not having realised until I reflected that, yes indeed I accept myself for who I am, mistakes not withheld, I tried to retrace my steps. I’m by no means finished in my journey of self discovery. Firstly, I think I had to see the pain I was causing myself by my harsh judgments and impossible goals. Then I had to pare back my expectations to what do I really need to be happy. This was hard because I had to face the fact that a lot of what I was aspiring to wasn’t making me happy. The happiness I was seeking was there, if I would just open myself up to believing I deserved it.
I was put in a position where I had to build myself up again as I had fallen to pieces. When you have been at rock bottom you know it’s not a place you want to go again. Luckily, I used my depression as a springboard knowing I could not put myself and my husband through that again.
None of this happened overnight and it is impossible to lead a life where you can be free of criticism. There is always something someone will criticise you about. The criticism more often than not comes from a place where someone is struggling with their own issues.