Re-write Your Gospel
I did something wonderful and adorably dorky tonight in the name of self-love.
I worked on my new gospel. For 30 minutes on my car ride home, I spoke out every damn thing that went right. I accounted for every person I could think of who I met at the exact right time, who taught me exactly what I needed to learn. I channeled Al Green and transformed my ballads into sweet love songs. That old friendship that broke my heart? It taught me to walk away. The boss I thought was a doofus? Inspired me to start my own business. The client who dumped me? She taught me not to be desperate. I added all the times I was surprised and elementally perfect rendezvous that I couldn’t have ever anticipated. Meeting my husband, a New York Jew just like me, in my living room in uh, Portland, Oregon?! Eating popsicles in Maui that were crafted by a woman who bestowed upon me the phrase “attitude of gratitude,” with her sidekick, Wolf. Finding my future, perfect business partner at a Yeshiva. Re-meeting my best friend from childhood through Facebook and starting up where we left off. A bus ride in Ghana that made me laugh without inhibition at the insanity of it all.
I remembered how often life has been on my side. Amen.
While I was at it, I added everything that is right, now. I’ve got a vibrant baby girl, a partner who’s got my back no matter what, work that revs me up, a healthy body, devoted parents, brilliant friends, an ongoing conversation with the cosmos. And I have a cute haircut and drank a great cup of coffee today. Preach it!
Just to round it out, I spoke out (rather quickly at this point, and sort of in tongues) all that is ahead, the unseen that will bring forth more glory. Not the same old, same old. The successes I’m anticipating. The excitement about moving to a new place and the friends who are waiting for me there. The places I haven’t yet seen.
If you have noticed your fears and are wondering what the heck to do next, give yourself a perspective makeover, and pinky-swear that you are going to get rid of the rest. Create a new story that highlights everything that worked, and vow to start forgetting the rest.
Look for things to appreciate right now, big and small: the banana muffin you ate today, the ten minutes to yourself, light traffic on your commute, Bob Marley, Gaga, kittens, bunnies, and balloons — whatever hits your happy button.
Get curious about what hasn’t happened yet. What are you excited for? What’s in the works? If you’re stuck, the phrases, “I’m looking forward to…” and “I’m anticipating” are surefire starters to hopeful thoughts. Follow up with Amens.
Each time those old fears start with their wah-wah’s and poor me’s, speak out your emerging litany. Literally. In your car, in the shower, on a walk. If you’re worried about looking crazy, put in your headphones and act like you’re talking to someone. However you do it, hearing these new thoughts out loud carves out new neuro-pathways that are fertile and luscious. By actively creating new thoughts, you are doing something about it.
Helaina Altabef is on a personal and professional hunt for clarity.
Photo credit: Corita Kent