For years, I’ve assumed that no one liked me, and when I say no one, I mean no one. That sounds crazy, I know, but I’ve believed it deep down in my self that people just didn’t want to talk to me or be around me. I’ve written about this in my other blog (http://lindseysfrantz.blogspot.com/) many, many times, and I’ve written about possible solutions many, many times, but it wasn’t until this weekend at yoga teacher training that something really, truly, deeply clicked in me and completely changed the way I saw myself and my interactions with others, and when it clicked, my mind was blown.
During Month 1 of teacher training I felt alone for a good part of it, which I expected, because I went in not knowing anyone yet. By Month 2, I had formed a small group of friends in which I felt comfortable, but I hadn’t connected with everyone in my class, yet, but that was OK. This past weekend, in Month 3, I went in with the subconscious belief that the reason I hadn’t connected with everyone yet was because there was something inherently wrong with me. I believed, without really consciously thinking about it, that everyone believed that I didn’t belong there.
This is when, as Erin would say, I got my wink (or hug) from the universe. Both Erin and Lisa Miller (our guest teacher) spent Saturday talking and teaching about how our perception of our reality becomes our reality. My mood and my level of happiness depend not on what’s going on in my life, but rather on how I interpret what’s going on. If I focus on the good, or choose to find the good in the bad, I can change my level of happiness. I can change my reality. I can choose to look at my past experiences and relationships, acknowledge them as part of my unique backstory, and live a life separate from those things.
Now, what do these things have to do with my believing that nobody likes me? EVERYTHING.
Day 1 of Month 3 ended, and I went home. I was not only scared of day 2–an arm balance workshop with Erik Rose that scared the bejeesus out of me—but I was tired physically, mentally, and emotionally, and sad that nobody liked me (just think Eeyore). When I woke up this morning to get ready for Day 2, something about the talk the day before clicked (insert hug from the universe). I decided that today I would go into class and believe that the people I wanted to talk to (which was every single person there) would want to talk to me back. I decided to believe that the reason I hadn’t had this big, huge, awesome connection with everyone yet, wasn’t because there was something wrong with me, but was because I hadn’t gone and said, “Hey, let’s do this friend thing.” I didn’t do anything big and drastic, but I did go and just talk to people without letting my fear of rejection stop me. I was myself without fear, and I didn’t let the idea that someone may not want to talk to me stop me from talking to them.
I know this seems like something really small. All I did was go and talk to people that I’ve known for three months (and if you know me, you know I talk to everybody, anyway). No big deal, right? Socializing is something I do well, so this shouldn’t be a big deal at all. But today, under that surface level of, “Hey, how are ya?” there was so much going on in my head, my heart, and my soul. Today, something that was rooted deep, deep, deep inside me shifted and shattered. Today, I learned that by changing the way I perceived things just a little tiny bit, I could change my reality in a huge way. Did the people around me know what was happening? No, and that’s a good thing. My reality was made up entirely of my perception of the way things were, and that reality was painful and damaging to me (and the people closest to me, like my husband). This realization, in a single day, has already changed my reality in a way that I am so incredibly excited about.
Why have I always believed that people don’t like me? I have no idea, and right now, in this moment, that’s not an important question to me. I know now that just because I’ve believed a thing for as long as I can remember, doesn’t mean I have to keep believing it. I don’t have to believe that people don’t like me. Instead, I can believe that this group of amazing, wonderful, inspiring people welcomes me as I so desire to be welcomed. They accept me as I so desire to be accepted. I don’t have to wish for this, because it is my reality.
For so many years, I’ve lived in the dark. I’ve created these little caves of self doubt and anxiety and self hate for myself, and I’ve lived there, curled up, alone and cold. I thought I was there because others put me there, but I was so wrong. I was there because I was choosing to be. All I had to do was look outside and walk out into the light of day. Thanks to this weekend, thanks to the amazing, beautiful people who I got to spend this entire weekend with, and thanks to Erin and Lisa, I’ve taken my first steps out into that light, and it feels amazing.