What if you let yourself off the hook?!Jan 26, 2022
Decisions and consequences sew together the fabric of our lives. We decide how we'll judge the decisions we've made and how acceptable (or not) the consequences are. We quilt together story (thoughts), meaning (emotions), and consequences (behaviors).
Throughout any given day, we make 35,000 decisions, according to some sources. And 226.7 of those decisions are on food alone. Imagine how many decisions you make on self-perception each day.
Our quilt of many choices and consequences
So often we are propelled on autopilot throughout much of our decision-making. This default mode is comprised of the conditioned and well-grooved narratives we have running through our subconscious mind and the associated feelings that accompany those thoughts.
What we think and feel about ourselves drives our actions. If the storyline in your mind weaves together all the ways you "should" be taking care of others and their needs, then you'll likely make another decision that puts in you in the role of caregiver. If the conditioned narrative of "not good enough" creates a significant seam of self-doubt in your decision making, it's likely that you'll be in a position to judge or be judged for the consequences of your decisions.
These thought patterns manifest into shame, self-judgement, resentments, doubt, fear, scarcity and separation. This is the hack job of your inner critic running around waiving scissors in the air and threatening to impale any semblance of joy and inspiration.
The nervous system senses these threats so fast and activates all your instincts to make a decision as if the whole quilt is at risk of becoming an utter pile of poo. You might go into overdrive and your beautiful brain goes offline—inspired action is left in the dust of frayed threads.
But what if you just let yourself off the hook? What if instead you invited beliefs of potential, possibility, hope, love, wisdom, and creativity to inspire your next decision? If you can even imagine that, I bet your heart beat slowed down a touch.
Breathe into that idea.
You can zig zag your decisions from an activated nervous system or you can hand stitch conscious choices of inspired action together.
Let yourself off the hook. The quilt will not unravel if choose to love yourself. In fact, it will be reinforced with stronger stitches than you ever knew possible. These stitches well up from nurtured internal systems.
Ways to let yourself off the hook
I recognize and acknowledge how, in theory, you've known this to be true. And I know firsthand how an actualized experience of this notion is a whole other thing. I'm all for practical ways to get into inspired action to embody a lesson.
So here are a few ways you can start practicing letting yourself off the hook from demanding and diminishing narratives:
- Try breathing consciously for three minutes and offer non-judgmental observance of your thoughts. How many decisions showed up in those three minutes? Can you recognize what's propelling the narrative? Notice what you notice.
- In your journal, write a letter to your Inner Critic and thank her for the ways she's kept you safe. Let her know how, when, why she's allowed to show up moving forward. And when she's absolutely not allowed to chime in on your choices.
- Vent out onto your journal page whatever is circling in your mind. Let it rip! Say whatever you want to say. Be as expressive as you can. Now, go back and read what you wrote and tune into your body. What is the body sense of what you wrote? Now, write yourself a love letter from your Inner Wisdom. How's that feel in comparison.
- Use EFT Tapping to reduce any anxiety and stress that's coming up around the strong narrative in your mind. This profound modality engages the body and moves energy quickly. You can access a free EFT Tapping session here. When our nervous system is regulated, our brain can come back online to make a conscious choice (and maybe even one from self-love)—and take inspired action.
- Developing a regular journaling practice is one of the most powerful ways to access your inner wisdom. A community of folks on the same path can be very supportive to hold yourself accountable to letting yourself off the hook. Join us in the Muse & Meander Community. We'd love to have you!
- If you're stuck between two choices, exploring the potential outcome for both choices. Write one journal entry as if you made choice A and another as if you chose B. Write it out past five years ... how does either choice impact the trajectory of your life? I'm not encouraging trying to control an outcome. However, by writing out the possibilities, you'll like feel something different about each choice. And those feelings will offer you a clue on how you truly want to move forward.
Only you can really let yourself off the hook
You are in relationship with so many folks, and those relationship dynamics can influence much of what you think about yourself and your decisions. And, of course, we want to be considerate of others when making decisions. However, if you are not tuned into the narrative driving your next decision, you're still on the hook. Only you can make the choice to allow an intuitive and loving thought to patch together your next action.