Updated: Aug 5, 2021
If you’re reading this, you’re probably the kind of person who wants to make a difference in the world. However, there’s one obvious problem with wanting to make a difference: The thought that you have to do something “big.”
Yet, the BIGGEST difference you can make in another person’s life is to learn to be a place where they feel safe, seen, and heard.
There’s a trick to being a place where others feel safe seen and heard. To successfully be this for another you must first learn to be such a place for your Self. We each must learn to feel safe, seen, and heard with and by our Self. This is the epitome of Self-care.
When you complain about your Self, see your Self as not good enough, harshly criticize your Self, or undervalue your worth, this is Self-rejection.
We all know what rejection feels like. The silent insult of Self-rejection is worst. It leaves you feeling disconnected from yourself. It instigates all kinds of addictions and accommodates unhealthy and abusive relationships.
You can prove to your Self the damaging effects of Self-rejection. Bring to mind any event that causes you great emotional pain. Then consider this question. What hurts most, the circumstances of the event, or the negative way you see and judge your Self because of the event?
Do you see yourself as less than because of something that has happened in your life? Do you attack or harshly judge your Self because of events that took place in your life?
Self-rejection punches below the belt and can leave us feeling disabled.
Self-acceptance strengthens. When our Self-acceptance is strong another person’s judgment of us is like water rolling off a duck’s back.
Remember what it felt like to be hugged by a grandparent, or parent; how they would light-up at the very sight of you? (If you didn’t have this experience, you probably have seen it happen with others and yearned for it.) When you can show up with this kind of love for your Self, then you are “full” enough as a person to give this gift of love to others—even strangers.
When we learn to listen to our Self without judgment, we can listen to another. We can see their value and, with empathy, support their growth because we understand the confusion, struggles, and uncertainties that come with life.
We start the journey to a strong Self by contemplating the spiritual idea that we are born innately creative, resilient, empowered, whole and worthy. This makes us more than any circumstances we might face. When we realize that who we are is more than what we face, then everything in our life can change for the better.
This is the understanding needed to be a place where others feel safe, seen, and heard. This makes an everlasting difference. Just think about that story you love to tell about how someone stood up for you, had your back, mentored you, or saw the best in you.
In today’s rush, rush competitive world, most people rarely experience feeling valued for who they are. Most often our value of our Self and others is attached to what we or they “do.” You can make a big difference in the world starting today when you stand in front of the mirror and commit to seeing your innate undeniable value as a human being. Forget everything else. Then, when you stand in front of others, no matter what they are going through, see their innate worth as a human being.
Starting today, ask out loud to the universe, “How must I change, so that others can feel safe in my presence?”
When we feel safe we feel hopeful. How you show up today can give a lot of people a lot of hope.
Tina Lifford plays Aunt Vi on the critically acclaimed television show, Queen Sugar. The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness is her first book; released by Harper Collins, November 2019, and is full of the kind of internal “actions” that will transform your thinking and your life. You can also join her at a workout in her Inner Fitness Studio to practice strengthening your wellbeing and making it actionable in your day to day life. Don't miss the latest news from Tina Lifford and The Inner Fitness Project. Sign up our monthly newsletter here.