Ever felt weird/a misfit/defective/abnormal…?
Accept yourself ~ just as you are ~ right now.
Author and psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel shares about issues of shame and feeling abnormal or defective. She includes an example from a client who asks, “Am I normal?”, along with some healing insights and questions for transforming judgement of self/others.
Every part of you will exist for some reason. Bring acceptance and compassion to the All of you.
We are all different at a personality level. We all have countless aspects, quirks, ideosynchrocies, strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and so on. There are reasons for whatever those are, and may be gifts connected with them, or buried beneath them.
Your flaws may be doors to gifts and strengths you may yet know are yours.
We are also all very much the same, experiencing reaches of the vast expanse and commonalities of our humanness.
All the above aside, your essential self is beyond any personality self, beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, experiences, behaviours, and so on.
There is a ‘you beyond you’ that exists beyond the conditioned self and limited perspectives of the conscious mind.
Whatever you believe yourself to be, expect yourself to be, judge yourself to be or not be, feel you need to be or should be, may not have bearing on the wider spectrum of your consciousness. (More on the Unconditioned/Higher Self to come).
Is there something about you that you feel is wrong/defective/abnormal or that you feel judging/ashamed/shy/inadequate about?
The only thing wrong with you is ever thinking there’s anything wrong with you.
Self-acceptance, self-love, self-forgiveness and owning the Truth of who you are can help heal feelings of shame.
You can feel ashamed of things you believe are ‘negative’ about yourself, things you think are faults, or things you’ve done, thought or felt, or even physical things about your circumstances, body, health, and so on.
You can also feel shame for no ‘reason’ at all, or at least no conscious or obvious one, simply because you BELIEVE that there’s something wrong with you and hold negative self-concepts. This ‘shame of being’ can stem from buried negative self-beliefs formed during childhood; experiences and messages you received about who you are, your worth, value, loveability, and so on, beliefs such as “I’m bad/wrong/not good enough/unloveable…”.
It’s even possible to feel shame about ‘positive’ qualities or attributes if those have been judged, ridiculed, criticized, wronged or condemned. Perhaps you were told growing up that you were “too sensitive/quiet/loud/slow/fast/dreamy/smart/this or that….”. Perhaps certain attributes or qualities weren’t or aren’t accepted or understood by your family/community/culture/peers/environment. This can happen for any reason.
You are totally acceptable just as you are right now, and the only person who needs to accept you is you.
In a desire to belong, be accepted, or seen as ‘normal’, do you ever alter or hide aspects of who you are?
The dictionary definition of normal is “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected”, yet as Hilary shares, normal does not apply to humanity; we all have quirks, unique preferences, and are “infinitely complex, highly imperfect one-of-a-kind creations”. Humanity’s consciousness is itself changing and evolving.
Check out Hilary’s wonderful post here: www.globalloveproject.com/2017/06/am-i-normal
Any fear of being abnormal can stem from other fears, such as a fear of rejection, abandonment, loss, disconnection, judgement, humiliation, ostracisation, not belonging, and so on.
Ever become chameleon-like to fit in or attempt to be normal in relation to a given person/group/environment/situation?
It can be a natural part of human nature to adapt to connect or build rapport. That becomes unhealthy, however, if you lose your centre or sense of self, people-please inauthentically, slide from your truth, or negate or reject yourself in some way.
The more we accept ourselves, the more we can authentically BE ourselves. The less it will also then matter who does or doesn’t accept us externally. Plus the more accepting you are of you, the more accepting you’ll be of others too.
Seek not to be accepted, seek to be you, and accept yourself for who you are.
Check out Hilary’s post for some supportive self-compassionate perspectives: www.globalloveproject.com/2017/06/am-i-normal