Today’s video is about how we take a happy moment or memory from our past and we create a belief about it that surprisingly causes us to judge ourselves harshly in the present moment. We get really down on ourselves despite the fact that it was a perfectly happy moment.
What’s going on when that happens? It makes sense that we would have a painful experience and then create a belief and then a judgement and be judging ourselves for that harshly today. But why the happy memory?
I want to illustrate this with a story. If you ask me at any given moment to go back to the happiest moment in my childhood, I will be instantly transported to the dinner table. I can see it. I can see every single one of my family members. My mom cooked dinner every single night. We ate together every single night. The food was delicious. I can see the smiling faces and hear the laughter and feel the love, the connection, the joy, the humor and the intimacy that our family had around the dinner table. It is such a happy memory. I’m sure if you asked my parents they would say that not every dinner was like that, but I don’t remember that. All I remember in my mind is that every single night was like that. Everyone was there. There was laughter. There was fun. There was love. It is solidified as that forever. It’s just something that my parents completely nailed and did such a good job with.
Because sometimes we don’t have very sophisticated brains when we’re kids, we can create a belief about something that is just a little bit off. In my brain, the belief was that a happy family eats dinner together every single night and it feels just like that. So I bring that forward to my life. And I knew how important it was because as a new mom I was reading all the time and reading articles about how the family that eats together is closer-knit and that kids who eat dinner with their families are less likely to do drugs and more likely to graduate from college. I just added all of that to the same belief.
But the reality is that my family doesn’t eat together at dinner very often. Maybe a couple of times a week. And also, it doesn’t feel like that. I feel like people are bickering and I’m correcting manners the whole time. So I take that belief and I can very harshly judge myself for not nailing it, for downright sucking at it. Here I have this belief that this is what family dinner is supposed to be like and it’s so important and then here’s what I’m doing. What I’m missing is the true message in that memory. That’s the one I want to pull out and bring forward, because it is very likely that we ARE nailing it if we can see it from a different perspective.
This happens in other ways. Let’s say you’ve got someone who is the class clown. They entertain people, they make jokes, and everyone laughs and gives them all of this positive feedback. So, they’re nailing it there. And then into adulthood, if they are in a situation where people are not laughing or they’re not entertaining, they’re going to judge themselves for it. They’re supposed to be the entertainer. They’re supposed to make people laugh. But again, its just a missed potential message that you could take forward instead and feel like you’re nailing it. You’re doing a great job.
Or let’s say you got an A on a project you worked really hard on and everyone was so proud of you. What you heard or took forward was, “I need to get the best grade. I need to get 100%. I need to get the degree, the certificate, the acknowledgment, in order to be nailing it.”
Underneath nailing it or sucking at it is… you’ve got a belief, you’re judging yourself for it, you’re coming up short, and then you’re going to decide you’re not worthy. We’ll just call it nailing it for right now.
So what can you do instead of that? Because these are just old beliefs that we pick up as we move from children to adults. Let’s look at the dinner table one. If I want to look closely at that and see a different message like The family that spends quality time together doing something that they enjoy is how you create a loving bond then I am doing a good job. I am creating that in my family. It’s just not happening around the dinner table.
If instead of I have to entertain… When I show up with energy that is positive and fun, that makes other people feel good and you pull that forward, that person might really be nailing it right now. It’s just a tweaking of the message.
Or in the instance of the grade… if that is really more a message of If you work really hard at something and you try to learn as much you can and demonstrate that, than you are going to be proud of your work. It’s really about taking those immature conclusions that we make and taking those message and looking for something that’s a little more love-based to bring out of those. Because it’s never the intention to hurt you. My parents would never want me to be thinking to myself, “Man, I suck because I can’t get my family around the table.” That is not the message that they meant to put out. It’s just the one that I took forward.
So we just need to go back into those happy memories that are making us judge ourselves today. That was great and this is not. I was great and now I’m not. She nailed it and I did not. Instead of seeing it that way, let them be happy memories. Look for the love in there. Look for the loving message and take that forward. I bet that you are going to find that you are doing a great job and you are nailing it. You probably felt the intent of the message and you didn’t realize it, but you might just be hung up on the little detail.
So, what can you tweak in your life today so that you can judge yourself less harshly? I want to offer that today.
And if you want to dig into some of this work where we do look at painful memories and we get in there and start to figure out how we’re going to release that pain and use them as something positive to bring forward to today and to help us actually open to love and to be more loving, then we would love to have you join our next 21-Day Heart Cleanse.
You can find information about that at stacyrocklein.com. It’s a 21-day dive of taking these things that we might have misinterpreted in our translation and creating something beautiful with them no matter how painful so that you can get more love in your life.