Tweaking Parts of the Whole
Max Lucado wrote a children’s book about a village of Wemmicks. They were little wooden creatures carved into existence by Eli the Woodcarver. The Wemmicks all play their parts, just like we do. There were the beautiful ones and not-so-beautiful, the talented and not-so-talented Wemmicks and they wander through their village day after day, awarding each other stars or dots. The stars are given to the special and amazing Wemmicks. The dots were reserved for the unfortunate ones who seemingly had nothing to offer.
Punchinello is an unfortunate Wemmick until he meets Lucia, who magically seems to go through life without a single star or dot sticking to her at all, despite the Wemmicks best efforts. She introduces him to Eli the Woodcarver who reminds Punchinello that we are all special, no matter who’s handing out stars or dots.
While this story was written for children, it applies to adults as well. We often live our lives based on what others think of us, even if it’s at an unconscious level. We are like piggy banks and people either make deposits or withdrawals with their words, actions and deeds. This becomes the thread that makes the tapestry of our lives. We THINK we are looking for happiness but the truth is that happiness isn’t a permanent state. Wholeness is. And to achieve wholeness, you must uncover the authentic you and be unyielding and unapologetic to anyone or anything that stands in your way. The only question is how.
I’d like to invite you for just a moment to feel your space. Really feel it. Think about the chair you’re sitting in. The table in front of you. The width of your shoulders down to your backside and down to your feet on the floor. This space is you and the gifts you bring to the world. There is power in that. Is there any part of you right now that would like to apologize for taking up that space?
Then quit apologizing by playing small. By believing unconsciously that you deserve dots. Or that you cannot achieve or do not deserve every ounce of what you dream of.
But let’s be real. This is SO much easier said than done. The hardest part of this task is making the commitment to yourself and it's where you’ll start.
Commitment requires action. In order for action to become habit, repetition is key so the concepts have to be simple and implementable. I do want to emphasize here how incredibly important it is to flow with your life, to remember that you are human and that this isn’t always going to be easy. The first step is to uncover your own errant thoughts. They’re pretty easy to identify, once you get the knack for it. Errant thoughts have a sharpness to them, are drenched in ego-slime and chock full of comparisons. They sound like ‘she’s smarter, prettier, more put together than I am’ kind of thoughts that are, pardon me, total and complete bullshit. Unfortunately, we think thousands of thoughts per day – the jury is still out whether it’s 15K, 60K or more, and it doesn’t really matter – most of them are a repeat of yesterday’s musings. Start with one that bothers you the most. You’ll recognize it because it feels super critical and never fails in its attempt to piss you off or hurt your feelings. Changing it takes time and practice which means you need a trigger, something to help you notice when the thought shows up. For example, find something that is repetitive in your day to day world, such as time. Most of us look at a clock or our watch several times a day. This was my trigger. Any time I looked at the clock, I’d use it as a signal to check in on what I was thinking. Sometimes I didn’t know, but I had sticky notes everywhere…all over my office, on the refrigerator, on my mirror in the bathroom and they were my new thoughts. All is well. I am healthy, whole and complete. I live fully and completely every day. I am authentic. Think of them as seed thoughts and make a commitment to yourself to water them every day.
Next on the agenda is getting rid of one of THE most common beliefs we all have: I can’t. Well, here’s a newsflash. Can’t is a cop-out. It is. Let that sit for just a minute. Because there is a little cop-out in all of us. Marianne Williamson said it best, “Our greatest fear isn’t that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Except no one likes a braggart! Cockiness is unbecoming. Bullshit. There is nothing more beautiful in a human being than confidence. Confidence is what happens when our light shines from the inside out. When every ounce of your being is locked, loaded and ready to fire because you know, absolutely KNOW that who you are is amazing and beautiful and the-world-be-damned full-on fabulous. Those kind of people, they’re the ones that forgot the word can’t. Be one of them. Not only will you choose not to think it, don’t ever let it fall out of your mouth either. Never give that bitch a voice. Ever.
Another aspect of becoming whole is recognizing your own shadows. The dark parts of who you really are and even when you see them, what to do with them. Our past creates who we are, for better or worse. The neglected childhood, the abusive relationship, the reasons you were teased in school, the rejection and the criticism. Own that it happened and then do whatever it takes to put down what no longer serves you.
This is where a lot of people fall into the trap. This is how they know themselves best and that story serves to identify who-they-really-are. It becomes the cop-out so we never have to rise above. There is a place where we can validate each other – and the story serves this purpose. It’s so GOOD to know that someone else had a version of our experience. It is that helps us feel less alone, less vulnerable and less of a train wreck. But staying there will never make you whole. Learn to observe without attachment. So Mom was emotionally abusive handing out guilt points more often than she changed underwear? The kids at school made fun of you for that haircut you got in 7th grade and it stuck all the way through high school? Yep, notice it and move on. Circumstances are our greatest teacher when we allow it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I know without a doubt that I am an amazing wife, mother and business owner, but I also know I can be an absolute prideful stubborn ass when I’m inclined. And sometimes I have to apologize for it. But by owning who I am, I create a space for myself and no longer need to fit someone else’s description of who I need to be for them. The same goes for you.
Ultimately, this will mean you’ll also need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And making other people uncomfortable. You’ll be breaking out of roles and habits and this affects the people in your life that matter. Most of the time they’re not going to know what to do with the information, this change of pace, and they’ll wonder ‘what in the world’s gotten into her?’ Let them. Take a new class. Go for a hike. Read something that challenges your beliefs. Do something that grows your soul no matter what. And don’t you DARE apologize for it. Life will come up. You’ll try to get up early so you can work out and I promise, someone in your life will try to keep you up late. You want to take an online class? Well, someone is going to need something that’s going to cost that same amount of money and it’s ‘supposed’ to come first. Subconsciously you’ll be sabotaged in ways you’ll never dream, but remember the commitment. The commitment you’ve made to you and this means you HAVE to be okay with being uncomfortable. It’ll feel weird and scary at first, but hang tight. You CAN do this.
When we are whole, we’re more like Lucia. We remember who we really are and how deeply connected we are to our source and that no one’s opinion of us can change that. Tough times, difficult people and critical situations roll off our backs because we are centered and grounded.
First, commit to yourself.
Second, can’t never could do a thing.
Third, dance with your shadow. Get to know her, even like her and all the opportunity that comes with her.
Fourth, get comfy with being uncomfortable.
And finally, fifth, step into who you really are. The authentic version of you.
As the saying goes: Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are seeds. You can grow flowers. Or you can grow weeds.