WHAT DO WE WANT TO ADD HERE?
LIBBY's TAKE AWAY
After our conversation, I thought a lot about shame and how it plays a part in my life - particularly body shame. My game plan was to meditate on a particular incident that drew up feelings of joy, love and peace. The one thing I could cling to and recall during our conversation that brought these feelings to me was when my son was born. As I mentioned in my interview, there was always such a feeling of peace and love and calmness around that moment in my life. It was the only time in my life where I felt that love was pure and came without expectations or strings attached to it. (As in...I love you...but you have to fulfill all these requirements of my love: good grades, look pretty, be easy, be passionate but not too passionate, etc).
So as I sat each morning in meditation, I tried to conjure up this experience and these emotions. For some reason it wouldn't come. I tried to focus on it. Focus on the good. But I kept getting redirected to the voices that felt like they wanted to shame me. Unfortunately, those shame voices come swiftly and easily. My mind was hopping around like a frog from lily pad to lily pad just trying to escape the big black snake of self doubt, loathing and pain. This became frustrating in the moment because I can usually really focus on the good and not the negative, particularly through meditation.
After trying so hard and feeling like nothing was coming to me, I decided to shift the game. I was so focused on this one thing I wanted, it was slipping away (like trying to hold water in sieve. What I did notice instead was that I didn't have to just be sitting still in meditation for good thoughts to rise. Good thoughts happened in lots of moments, however fleeting they were). They happened in the garden, on the beach watching my son surf, or even caring for things like my home, dogs, or family. When those emotions rose, I stopped and breathed into them. Conversely, when I had thoughts of shame, fear, sadness, I would go do the thing that made me happy. I would physically redirect myself replacing bad feelings with good ones.
I look forward to using this tool in the future. I see that it's all redirecting until eventually you've replaced the bad with at least some of the good. I also know it's work. Constant and everyday - like exercise or eating well. It's never going to go away...it will just get easier.