How to love ourselves by letting go of our inner bully!
This week I wanted to begin by saying a huge thank you to everyone who reached out and wrote to me, saying that a recent post has spoken to them. Those letters have touched me so, so deeply and had me wanted to hug every single one of you!
It can be so easy to bubble over with insecurity and let that bully inside of our heads drown out all of our good thoughts. Recently I had a bit of a revelation though: if I can think of that bully inside of my head as someone other than me it can be a lot easier to dismiss her.
Here's how it went down:
I had several of my fine art photographs accepted into a show at a gallery (click here if you want to see them). Then one won a juror's award for best in show. You would think I would be thrilled, right? I was, for a few seconds. But then in comes that inner bully:
"The rest of the art in that show must have been pretty shitty for you to have won," she said. "That gallery probably doesn't even mean anything in the real world; they don't know what they're talking about to have chosen you."
Awful right?? I let myself get deflated for a minute before realizing: I would never ever let anyone else in my life speak to me that way. If they did, they would be kicked to the curb in no time flat.
So why in the world was I letting her stick around??
The thing is, we all have our own version of this nasty bully in our head. She nitpicks about our hair, our thighs, our stretch marks - you name it, she's on it! But she can only stick around if we let her.
It's important to be able to separate yourself from her. She is not you! Think of her as the middle school bully and you're finally bigger than her. Tell her to be quiet and walk away from her. Then focus on the areas that she was nitpicking and send them some love to heal.
Yes, I'm telling you to send some love to your thighs and your stretch marks and your nose and your teeth!
Because here is the alternative: someone else loves our thighs and our stretch marks and our teeth, and we don't allow ourselves to feel it. Or you end up being photographed and sending hate to the image you see there, only to look at it years later and wonder why you didn't see your beauty before.
Believe me, this internal exercise works wonders for the women I work with in my studio!
When I do a viewing session with women, we sit down to pick out their boudoir and glamour photographs that they want turned into an album or a framed print, and I tell them to let the bully wait outside.
When I do a headshot with a business owner or an actor, and I'm reviewing their images with them, I tell them to only talk about the things that they like.
It's not that we're denying the existence of things that we dislike but we are crowding out the bad feelings with the good. Eventually those good feelings can spill over into the areas that have been love-starved for so long.
Have you found a way to quiet your inner bully? Please leave a comment and tell me what worked best for you!
And in the comments I'd love to hear about what you want to send love to in yourself today!
I'll start: I found a few grey hairs and instead of yanking them out I'm going to love them (even if they get hennaed over in a few weeks).
If you loved this post, please share it with a friend who might be needing a love injection!
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