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On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like yourself?

by Kennedy Farr 11 days ago in advice

a ? to ask yourself when you are feeling stuck

"This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man."

- William Shakespeare

"On a scale of 1 - 10, how much do you like yourself today?" my best friend asked me. We were on our Sunday morning walk along the harbor, and I am guessing that the storm that was roiling inside of me must have been seeping from the edges of my eyes.

When it comes to feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, it’s not likely that I will ever win an Oscar for hiding it. I was trying to keep a smile on my face that day. I love our Sunday morning walks and the salt-scented winds off the water always have a way of clearing any stormy thoughts. My failed efforts to "look happy" were transparent to my friend.

I thought that I had been holding it all together so well with just enough breezy positivity to keep me afloat. In reality, my world felt to be a sea of queasy uncertainty with me bobbing about in its waves, eyes searching for shore and feet probing for a foothold on the ocean floor.

By Ruslan Valeev on Unsplash

I had voluntarily jumped overboard at some point in space and time and had yet to find a serendipitous life raft or buoyant timber amid all the bobbing and shifting troughs.

But it was just I, alone. And the water. And the floating. Was I even wearing a life vest?

My answer was, "I don't know. Maybe an 8?"

"An 8? Are you sure? You don't sound so sure."

"No, definitely an 8. Maybe even a 9."

My friend asked about some of the risks I had taken lately that hadn't quite turned out according to my optimistic plan. That I seemed sad. That it was okay to feel sad. That maybe I needed to forgive myself.

"Can you do that?" my friend asked. "Can you forgive yourself?"

There are times when the arrow of truth pierces the apple of deniability that I oh-so-carefully keep balanced on my heart. At moments like this, I go to my default: I burst into tears.

My friend's advice was gentle. "Tell yourself every day – out loud – that you like yourself. It must be out loud. Try it now."

I did as she suggested, my voice wobbly, and I did feel a little better. It could have been how self-conscious I felt saying it out loud in front of my friend, but I laughed when I said it again, this time a little louder.

"Okay, try that every day for the next week. See how it feels. Be kind to yourself. Please! You're my best friend, and I hate seeing you so down on yourself."

I took her advice and I stood in front of the mirror every morning and said aloud different versions of "Hey, I really like you." The result of doing this every day opened me up to some self-forgiveness. Hearing me speak the words that I needed to hear opened something inside of me. I realized that I had to be the one that pulled me from the boat that was being swamped by the daily waves. And I learned:

I could be the one who stills the seas.

And this simple exercise offered me some clarity. I learned that it’s okay that I went into Reverse when my intuition was nudging me to put it in Drive. That I still had options. That I wasn't stuck.

And it’s okay that life has taken a strange turn since then. Such is often the case with detours. Still, I have options:

  • Keep it in drive.
  • Rock the wheels when I get stuck.
  • Put it in reverse when things get too crazy.
  • Hit cruise control when it feels right.
  • Ditch the heap alongside the road if necessary and hitch a ride.
  • Fix her up and keep driving.
By Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

That was then, this is now.

I am here. Today in this moment. All is well. No one is going to take away my birthday. Deep breaths. Both the shoreline and the ocean floor are within me. I don't have to choose one over the other.

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like yourself?

How about you? Can you find it in your heart to forgive yourself for straying from your dream?

Can you believe that all things work together for good and that you are on The Path, although it might not feel that it is your originally intended path?

I see a lot of trails leading from this place in the road in a criss-cross of directions. And a lot of un-pioneered territory that awaits my footfall.

Today, terra firma feels to be more appealing than the sea. Time to strap on my intrepid work boots and start exploring new territory. I like me. Today is a solid 7. I’ve got this.

By Tanya Dusett on Unsplash

Kennedy Farr
Kennedy Farr
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Kennedy Farr

Kennedy Farr is a daily diarist, a lifelong learner, a dog lover, an educator, a tree lover, & a true believer that the best way to travel inward is to write with your feet: Take the leap of faith. Put both feet forward. Just jump. Believe.

See all posts by Kennedy Farr

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