The sky behind my gaze is never clear- often times it’s stormy, raging and flowing with the grayest of dark, ominous clouds. Sometimes it pours, the sharp twinge of raindrops suffocating every other sound in existence. After a while, the rain fades. The clouds part and float past leisurely, as if to tease the rage that the storm brought by. Always, the rage fades. The clouds float past, and time after time, the sky is crisp and blue again, making way for the rich sunrises and sunsets - never indulging in the exact same hues as the day before.
Finding yourself stuck in the middle of that raging storm of negative, doubtful thoughts is never easy. It’s never fun. The howling winds and sharp raindrops will sting your skin and push you around whilst alluding to a climate that will stifle your growth. There is one thing that you must remember through this storm - it will not stifle your growth. You are not a part of this storm, you are not controlled by it, you are not to blame for where it throws you, but you are in control of how you react to it. These negative thoughts can be overwhelming, they can take over your mind, flooding every inch of your body working to drown any certainty of worthiness and self-love. You must stay afloat. You are not your thoughts, nor are you the external experiences that move you. You are a culmination of what you’ve learned through these experiences, you are how you react to these experiences. You are a combination of body, mind, and soul- working for the progress within.
We live in a culture in which it’s relatively easy to succumb to comparing yourself to others as we’re bombarded by ads, magazines, and commercials urging us to use our money wisely in order to look good, feel good, and do good based upon examples of disfigured and illusionary realities. Will you ever feel good based upon an example--given to you by businesses that must get people to buy their products in order to succeed? Probably not. Of course, there are exceptions, but there are no exceptions to the fact that you are an individual: the notion that you will succeed on someone else’s exact lifestyle is false. The feelings of being unworthy and unfit to live the life you imagine for yourself are overwhelming and valid, but you must not let them engulf your reality. You must not let feelings of doubt, fear, and uncertainty fill your being. When you see these as your reality, that is indeed what they will become.
It’s all a brain game. Half of it is trying to work through what most of us have been classically conditioned to understand about ourselves and how we connect with others; the other half of it is trying to learn why it’s so important to be kind to ourselves, and then there’s overcoming a literal negativity-bias in your brain. Like any new language, treating yourself with kindness takes time and practice. It takes literal retraining of the brain to think in a new pathway, to focus on positive experiences and project them in different ways. One reason why this is such a struggle is because our brains are “actually wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. It’s a self-protective characteristic. We are scanning for threats from when we used to be hunter and gatherers. But such vigilance for negative information can cause a narrowing, downward spiral and a negative feedback loop that doesn’t reflect reality”(How to Rewire Your Brain for Positivity and Happiness). The best way to overcome this is to simply start retraining your brain until noticing the positive in yourself comes naturally- a positive pathway. Look in the mirror and notice what you love about yourself, notice how special it is to look so. uniquely. you. Look within yourself every day, notice how far you’ve come, how much you’ve learned throughout your journey, what you enjoy about simply being. Learning to appreciate others while not putting yourself down or comparing yourself to them is one of the greatest feats you may ever overcome. Working to retrain your brain will not happen overnight, you may still struggle with those loud, obnoxious, cruel voices in your head for years, but you can’t let them affect your progress.
You are not your thoughts. You have power over your mind and your life in order to manifest the reality you want, to overcome the self-doubt and fear you may be experiencing, to overcome and learn from any obstacle that may come your way. You are worthy of every amazing goal and dream you can imagine for yourself. You are worthy of love - both from yourself and others. The beauty within you radiates through your body. You are strong, capable, and healthy. Repeat these affirmations to yourself every single day. Repeat your goals to yourself every single day. No matter how much propaganda you see daily - to diminish your self-worth - you must not let it overtake you. Although we may oftentimes be stuck in comparison and a mindset that will threaten our growth, and it may be extremely difficult to escape the throes of it, it’s worth it. It is worth every tear, every question, every single doubt you may have.
Actually retraining yourself to think positively and treat yourself with kindness will eventually come back full circle- partly because you legitimately notice the positive people and situations in your life, and partly because you’re physically attracting these things into your life. Gaining control over how you view yourself as the protagonist of your life will give you a sense of control to some aspects of it. Negativity will always be there, there will always be uncomfortable and unfortunate situations that you experience, but the way you react to them and use them as fuel is what will be important. Understanding that you deserve to treat yourself with kindness and respect is the best decision you can make for yourself. Loving yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do- continue on that path, and you will thrive.
Let those clouds float on by. Appreciate the natural beauty that your unique sky holds - cherish every bit of the complex being that you are. You are worth it.