I wrote a very private and personal email to the tribe the other week about a bit of a nerve-wracking and stomach lurching thing I did at one of my previous events, that has since allowed me to move on from some long ago feelings of jealousy that I needed to release. I received so much positive feedback and responses back from some tribe members that I decided to throw it up on the blog as well.
As some of you know, I (along with a couple of other fantastic ladies) have been hosting these Reconnect events in Lethbridge, AB (and since then, on the road as well) for women wanting to prioritize self-care, quiet their inner critic, talk about rarely discussed topics like vulnerability and compassion, and how past shame and guilt can hold us back from living our fullest and most authentic lives.
I often monitor the ticket orders as they come in just to keep track of where we are and to see if we should be opening additional spots up, while also learning the names of the attendees. The week leading up to the last event however, I noticed someone sign up that made my stomach lurch. Though I consider myself a strong and confident person, this one threw me for a bit of a loop.
Have you ever felt paralyzed when you run into someone from the past? Someone who may not have done anything to you at all, but simply reminds you of another person that did, or a painful time in your life?
I had never even had a conversation with this woman, but she reminded me of a very painful time in my life. From what I had heard, she was as kind, sweet and compassionate as she was beautiful So I'm even more ashamed to share that when I was in one of the darkest periods in my own life and due to my own insecurities, I held a lot of negative and toxic feelings towards her - feelings that showed up in the form of jealousy and resentment - the worst kind.
At my event that day, I was giving a talk about discovering and embracing your authentic self, and one of my takeaways that I shared was about making amends with people that you had experienced feelings of jealousy, judgement or negative emotions or thoughts towards. (Even if they were aware if your thoughts, or not). I have learned from my own experience and in working with clients, that these toxic thoughts take up space in our mind, utilize our personal power, and prevent us from feeling like we are worthy or deserving of the life that we want. (Because we associate our identity with those less than desirable thoughts we hold onto, as a constant reminder that we are a bad, judgemental, resentful, angry and jealous person. I locked eyes with this particular individual at the moment this takeaway came out of my mouth, and though I tried to make an excuse to avoid it, I knew I had to speak with her at the conclusion of the event.
And I did. Completely nervous, hands-shaking, heart-racing, I approached her and asked for 30 seconds of her time before she left the event (literally while we were being introduced). And unsure of how she would respond, I dove straight into it. I shared that how, when I was younger, I carried feelings of jealousy and resentment towards her. It was during a time of my life when I was suffering a great deal internally and I wasn't in a place to think positive, compassionate or loving thoughts to even myself, much less towards others. I wanted to apologize from the bottom of my heart, and express that I had carried a lot of shame and guilt around the false story I held about her in my head.
And how did she respond? With kindness and compassion of course. She shared that she had experienced the same feelings towards me, and she wanted to apologize as well. By releasing my own made-up and unnecessary jealousy and resentment (towards someone I had never shared a conversation with) I felt lighter as I was able to remove those toxic thoughts from my past. And as I apologized, her shoulders visibly relaxed as well. And just as I had imagined, she was as kind, sweet and compassionate as I had heard. Isn't it awful the judgements we can place on an individual, without even knowing and understanding who they are and taking the time to learn their story? What's worse, we carry those toxic and negative feelings towards others as a dark cloud over our head, utilizing our own personal power that could be better spent on more positive and uplifting thoughts towards ourselves and others.
It's a shame what our own insecurities can do and the stories it causes us to create about others in our head, but they don't have to keep us feeling shitty about ourselves, forever. And I can assure you, the more you release those feelings of resentment, jealousy, greed or whatever toxic thoughts you may have or still carry towards others, the better you'll feel about yourself while reminding others of the good, honesty and compassion that's within each and every one of us, at our core.
So, if you are ready and willing, (and if anyone in particular comes to mind while reading this) reach out to someone this week that you've carried (or still carry) negative or toxic feelings for and give them the gift of being able to do the same.