After the Cringe, Picking Up The Crumbs

You cringe. Your insides clench into a fist. That wasn’t me.

I’m better than that.

Ugh, why did I say it that way?

Why didn’t I tell them that?

Why did I have to yell?

These are the moments, the moments when you want to shrink into the furthest corners of yourself. You want to forget that you exist or that you can be so ridiculous/stupid/______(fill in the blank).

Wanting to be accepted for being “yourself” but then wincing at the memory when you were too much of yourself too soon, or too little of the good parts that you know are there.

How do we recover from these moments? Find the love to raise our heads up and lift ourselves out of the stew? The simple answer is: you just do it. And while many answers can be boiled down to that stark declaration, it’s also true that the doing comes from an internal inertia that first needs to be unearthed and brushed off before the doing can be done.

Lifting ourselves up requires more than wise words or well-meaning sentiments. It requires that little fleck of will that, in the moments after the cringe, is left swimming amidst all of the raw feelings of disappointment, shame and self-deprecation.

It requires us to pluck up that will and stop our squirming, just for a moment, so that the beginnings of a stronger idea can take root, an idea that soon transforms into a commitment to ourselves. A small one. A simple word that says, “Hey! That wasn’t the glowiest, most radiant version of me, yeah. But it was me. Some capacity of me, some potential of me, one I must embrace, no matter how spiky it may be.” We must swallow it down and dissolve it with our other dimensions, letting our lighter qualities flood into the holes and clear aside our insufficiencies. Only then can we look up; when we fill ourselves with the fullest definitions of our spirit.

The words of others can show us where to look, but the filling lies on our shoulders. And when we finally do complete the process, when the dust is left on the floor behind, what we dole out will come from a place of abundance. No indents will draw the energy away or tinge it with our darkest insecurities. The light will be pure, the words of positive intention and the actions rising from that place in our core where the good things well.

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