I got pulled over for speeding the other day. I’m sure some of you are judging the fact that I was speeding and others are empathizing with how much that sucks. It’s amazing how something like a speeding ticket can really bring many different opinions to the forefront and frankly I used to be on the side of feeling like I had committed a crime but now, it doesn’t really phase me because
the lesson that I have derived out of getting speeding tickets over the years has been a great opportunity to learn, exercise, and deepen my practice in self-love.
In the past when I’ve been pulled over for speeding I used to freak out a bit. I would launch into an internal attack on myself: “Why had I been so stupid as to not pay closer attention? I’m obviously a bad person because I’m breaking the rules. And omg not to mention what a waste of money, such a precious commodity and I’m throwing it away on something I could so easily be more mindful about. What a stupid thing to do.”
This attack was so automatic it took me a long time to gain awareness of how I was avoiding self-love.
A couple years ago (on my birthday no less) I was last pulled over for speeding…I started my usual assault on myself but this time I did something different. Firstly, I HEARD the attack going on in my head so I STOPPED it and I asked myself what it would look like if I had an unconditionally loving partner or friend sitting across the table from me that I told this story to…what would I want them to say to me to make me feel better? Then, I started saying all of those things to myself instead. To be your own unconditionally loving partner/friend/family member you have to be THERE for yourself even in the times when you are feeling like an ass or have actually done something really stupid. And you know what happened when I started talking to myself like that…I no longer felt like an ass. All the STRESS and emotional upheaval I had been creating only moments ago to persecute myself lifted away. I realized that there was absolutely no point in doing that to myself. It was not true AND I absolutely was doing it to MYSELF. We all do this! And typically it isn’t huge matters that we do it over. We do it over little things that trigger our deeper wounded beliefs about ourselves. Like me, having this belief that I’m a bad person. Obviously I’m not but there’s a wounded place inside of me that feels like I am so whenever I do anything “wrong” I get triggered.
Fast forward to the other day… I didn’t go into the “bad” place that I would have in the past.
I laughed it off and thought “you know what; this doesn’t have to ruin my day, it really isn’t that big a deal and I’m not willing to give it that much power over me”. I reflected on the place I used to be internally and where I used to take myself with my own personal assault…I was living in shame. How far I’d come in my relationship with myself now that I didn’t even for ONE SECOND think about being a bad person.
This isn’t just about a speeding ticket of course because the more opportunities you have to practice self-love when you might otherwise ‘throw yourself under the bus’ the more it permeates out to the rest of your life. You learn to do it at ALL times…because it FEELS so much better. It is such a kinder, gentler approach to life that creates far less drama AND STRESS.
Whenever you can eliminate the stress you increase your personal power!
So why would you not just always have your own back, right? Unfortunately this isn’t the case because we all have our wounds or our areas of insecurity that when triggered, we get stressed. Not addressing your wounds or trying to pretend like you don’t have them is like trying to make your way through a mine field hoping to avoid stepping on a mine.
You might be wondering at this point HOW this all affects your physical health?
…I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, “80-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments”. And it isn’t the event that you are going through that is causing the stress; it is your REACTION to it. Just like how in the past I berated myself for getting a speeding ticket. The story I told myself about getting a speeding ticket was 100% of the cause of the stress that followed, not at all the speeding ticket itself and my story was 100% coming from the wounded place inside me that I had yet to address head on. When you talk to yourself negatively like that or create a negative story about an event or experience you’ve had; shaming yourself or putting yourself down (whether conscious or not); it creates tension in the body. This tension affects how things are flowing or working in our body. Processes can’t flow as smoothly when there is tension. Cellular communication is altered or shut down and this affects our hormones, our neurotransmitters, our ability to digest, etc. ALL electrical communication is affected. Without healthy electrical communication we don’t breakdown food properly, we don’t absorb nutrients properly, we don’t detox properly. This all creates stagnation. Stagnation creates illness.
To rid yourself of the stagnation you have to change the story so that the tension can be released and flow can be restored.
So, next time you are finding yourself getting worked up over something small (or maybe even not so small), try to STOP and notice the thoughts passing through your mind. Ask yourself what a loving friend might say to you instead and then give YOURSELF that. You can thank me later for how much more amazing you will feel 🙂
If you need help stepping out of the stress cycle please connect with me. I am always happy to chat with you about improving your health and your life!
Dr. Kim Gowetor
Naturopath Sherwood Park
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