Recently a friend of mine was telling me about some stress she was having at work. Something had happened and while it wasn’t directly anything to do with her she was still getting it in the neck from her boss who’d been unprofessional and, frankly, mean to her. As I listened to her speak my overwhelming reaction was: but don’t they know who you are?! Didn’t they know how funny and talented and incredible she was? Because all I could see in front of me was my brilliant friend who inspires me to do my best and supports me when I get scared. The one who knows the fire of bereavement herself and navigates the world with such kindness and style. And I said that to her — don’t they know who you are? Don’t they know how awesome you are?
I was thinking about that moment this morning as I dried my hair and prepared to start my day. It’s so easy to see the best in our loved ones. It’s easy to criticise and judge too, don’t get me wrong, but the feeling I reach for first when I think of the person I love is… love. I feel proud of them. I see the spark, the originality, the unique-ness that is them. I know of their struggles and torments and I also know how they try to do their best. How they are wonderfully and completely human and I wouldn’t want them to be any other way.
You know what’s coming next, don’t you. Why can’t I think about myself in this way?
I have moments when I do. Fleeting ephemeral moments when I catch myself thinking “I did okay” “that wasn’t too bad” or even “go me!” but they are so few and far between. I have never thought of myself as awesome let alone said it out loud, though I believe this is a good thing as people who genuinely think they are awesome are generally extremely loud and annoying ;)
But what about the middle way? The quiet confident knowing that I am deserving of my own kindness. My own respect. My own appreciation. Not ego. Not bravado. Not self-agrandising. Just being okay with liking ourselves (woo, that’s a big one, right there. BIG.)
I’ve been chewing on this a lot recently. The imminent book publication/book tour/ promotion stuff is making me feel… well, just making me FEEL a lot. of. stuff. Not everything has to be turned into an opportunity for personal development, but geez, sometimes you can’t help yourself. A while back I found a pin on Pinterest that said: Always wear your invisible crown. It’s become bit of a mantra for me lately. Not because I want to swan around like a princess, but because it simply reminds me to stand tall and be proud of what I’m doing. For someone who grew up feeling very small, this is huge.
Always wear your invisble crown.
If I promise to wear mine, will you wear yours?