It started then
In Japan they have a strange custom of putting down their own family in public. It is thought to be a polite thing to do. I, like all other people in Japan, experienced it firsthand.
One deceased family member of mine in particular, did so habitually. I would have been 7 or 8 years old when I first noticed how my family spoke of me in public.
Neighbour to me: Kayo, you are getting so tall!
Family: Yes but she is growing sideways too fast (shaking her head in disappointment).
Neighbour: Kayo, you look so grown up now.
Family: Oh it’s so embarrassing. I wish she grew up mentally as well (shaking her head in disgust).
Can you imagine saying these things about your loved ones, right in front of them? I truly believed that this family member of mine hated me.
Comments like these were a frequent occurrence and continued until I left home as soon as I turned 17. I could not wait to get away. I chose to live as far as possible.
Perhaps I was over sensitive. But my belief was created –
“I’m not good enough. No one loves me.”
Not wanting to show any signs of weakness, because it would emphasise my being “not good enough” even more, I kept it all to myself.
How it affected my life
Growing up in a society so negative and harsh, trying to get approval and acceptance became my life’s objective as a child. But I never got it.
Too busy blaming myself for being not good enough, I missed out on fun, positive experiences. But as a child, I didn’t know any different. I was wrapped up with self-blame and guilt.
I continued on believing “I should do better” for many years after I grew up. All the stress and negative self-talk accumulated within me. Trying hard for too long without much reward, my adrenal glands were overworked! My body was under so much stress.
A glass within us
Let’s say we all have a large glass. Every time we come across a challenging situation, the stress we experience is stored in this glass. Once we have resolved or removed ourselves from the situation, the stress level goes down over time.
Some of us use a resource, e.g. a hobby, exercise, or meditation to help empty the glass of stress. As we empty our glass regularly, we create a larger capacity to deal with other challenging situations in our lives. We then have the energy to achieve goals, and the ability to deal with difficulties with confidence and grace.
My glass started filling up when I was a child. And finally overflowed in 2011. I had absolutely no more room to deal with stress – even easy daily tasks became a huge chore.
Breath running out walking from the bedroom to the kitchen. Tears flowing while brushing teeth because it is too hard.
My naturopath asked me what part of the day I felt the best. My answer was “When I’m asleep.”
The first 2 steps
Step 1: Awareness (Realisingand noticing)
The very first step for me was to be aware of the different symptoms that I had been ignoring for many years. When viewed as a collective I realised that my body was struggling, big time.
I didn’t even know I had such negative self-beliefs until I became sick. Realising my core belief was a major eye-opener for me. I found it out through journalling and energy healing sessions.
If my core belief is “I’m not good enough.”, then how can I be well? I also gained a lot of insight from the book ” You can heal your life” by Louise Hay.
Step 2 : Accepting
Accepting that I have Adrenal Fatigue, that I cannot exercise like I used to, that I need to work on myself. This was the hardest but most important part of my journey. As I gradually started to accept myself as is, my life so much became easier. No more pressure or expectations!
I had a better understanding of myself, therefore I was able to be kind to myself.
The necessary SHIFT
I stopped blaming myself for being not good enough or not loved by others. Instead, I started talking nicely to myself.
Resting without guilt, celebrating small achievements, being grateful for what I have. Learning to accept myself even on “off” days (Instead of pushing myself to meet my own expectations).
Very slowly but surely, my beliefs started to shift. And knowing that I don’t have to carry my old beliefs anymore gave me the hope that life ain’t that bad.
Remember, you are not alone.
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PS. My next blog will be from Dharamshala, India!