I am no different than you

Have you ever noticed that while we are kind, caring, and thoughtful to others, we often say really mean, critical, and punishing things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dare say to another? Others make a mistake, and we find patience and forgiveness. We make a mistake, and we doom ourselves to failure, punishment, even self-sacrifice. We trick ourselves into believing that we need to bastardize ourselves in order to grow, learn, be our best. We find clever ways of excluding ourselves and think we are being humble when we reject compliments and appreciation.

Today, I’m instigating a new paradigm. I’m upleveling the well known message “do to others as you would have them do to you,” and I’m suggesting this: “do to you as you do to others.”

It is time we honor our innate, immeasurable value, no matter what messages we may receive from society, culture, religious institutions, family of origin, schools, etc telling us otherwise.

I had a most profound healing experience recently where I came face to face with the intensity of my “mean voice.” It’s been on such auto-pilot for as long as I can remember that I have just accepted what it says as truth: “Nicole, you’re disgusting.” For nearly 30 years, this belief has been at the root of my core. From feeling “different” at a very early age, along with societal messages, culture, the pain and unmet needs of my parents and siblings, oppression related to gender and socioeconomic status, and a world who greatly misunderstands sensitivity, it didn’t take much for me to swallow and accept this cruelty-and to not even think twice about it.

In finding the courage and willingness to look this belief in the face, I gave myself permission to deeply feel the lifetime of pain that accompanied it, grieve it, and create space for something new. I discovered a most beautiful gift waiting for me underneath. I saw an image of the globe and of my heart: my heart was so big and so wide that it enveloped the whole planet and then some. This image brought me to my knees and filled my eyes with tears. It was one of the most profound and humbling experiences of my life.

In opening up to this most beautiful and sacred experience within myself, it made something else really clear to me: I am no different than you.

While there may be vast differences between us on the surface, the magnitude and capacity of your heart is more expansive than the globe, too. While the things we say or do from our places of pain and hardship may not always reflect this magnitude, I am absolutely certain of this truth. No matter how much pain or struggle may accompany your journey (be it parenting or otherwise), there is no doubt in my mind that you are loved and more powerful beyond measure. As parents, you’ve been entrusted to raise some of the wisest, most compassionate, sensitive, gentle, kind, caring, passionate, creative children on the planet. While they may also be some of the toughest children to raise in a world that often rejects difference and sensitivity, they are the teachers, healers, leaders, and change-makers the world most needs to help restore harmony to the globe. No one is more fit for that job than you.

I am beyond grateful to be walking the planet at the same time as you and your child(ren). My gift to you this holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, is the invitation to accept the profound and abundant magnitude of your heart-for yourself first, then for others. May you treat yourself with love, gentleness, and acceptance, knowing that you are loved beyond measure and deserving of infinite love and harmony. May you forgive yourself for the inherently fallible nature of being human. May you pause to honor your sensitivity, to trust in the power of this sensitivity to bring forth greater gentleness and harmony as a humanity and globe, and may you deeply accept that your unique expression of self is exactly what the world most needs.

Infinite blessings and gratitude,

Nicole

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