July 6, 2010 grateful
first off, i’m sending a million thank yous, hugs, and love to ilana, jackie, sara, and natasha for your heart warming comments on my last post. i teared up while i read them. i appreciate the time you took to write them and the fact that you wrote them at all. my gratitude runs deep.
yesterday i planned to make it a good day. yesterday i completed a great HILT work out. yesterday i went shopping in downtown san francisco with one of my best friends from high school. yesterday i practiced positive affirmations. but mainly yesterday kicked butt because yesterday i ate at a restaurant for the first time. a vegan mainly raw restaurant (!!). talk about face melting good food! i stared at the menu for way too long trying to
but besides the food, the ambiance of the place which, by the way, is called cafe gratitude, bowled me over. it was bright. it was open. it felt like someone was hugging me the entire time. weird, i know. i was just too happy to be there. all of their plates are affirmations. so a raw pizza might be called “i am AMAZING” or a juice might be called “i am WHOLE.” so you order by saying an affirmation out loud. what a concept!
my waitress, though not necessarily on the speedy side, treated me not like a customer but like a person. she explained cafe gratitude’s purpose (all about spreading the love folks!) and offered me help in picking out a dish (i eventually settled on the yo so mucho bowl. steamed quinoa, shredded kale, guacamole, salsa fresca and a side of spicy nacho “cheese” sauce. after lunch i really went for it and ordered a slice of their raw cacao hazelnut mouse pie. a la mode. with free caramel sauce. oh yeah. it WAS that good.). she even asked me their “question of the day”: what was beautiful about me? a restaurant with a question of the day? BRILLIANT.
the best part about my cafe gratitude experience? the abounding river boardgame. oh yes, this place plops on each table cards from their very own board game. some are personal cards you read just for yourself. others are conversational pieces, such as “name three things you like about the person sitting across from you” and so on. i read several which struck a chord with me. like “i am a divine being” or “i am worthy of all good things”. all of these statements the card instructs you to read out loud three times and contemplate. though i did not read them out loud, i did contemplate them. and i realized this:
some where along my life’s path i decided acknowledging my good traits was an entirely bad thing to do. admitting i was beautiful or smart or remotely talented was some how taboo. i much preferred drowning in my own self-pity. i thought by rejecting my good traits and fooling myself into believing i was good at nothing i would avoid wearing the label of “narcissistic”. the only thing i got out of that belief though was pure unhappiness. i’m slowly seeing now that maybe all of these compliments i receive from everyone do hold a shred of truth. maybe i am beautiful. maybe i am smart. maybe i am a good friend, sister, daughter, niece and person. maybe.
i never accept compliments (another habit i learned from my mother). if i do, i am no longer modest. sure, i smile and show my appreciation but internally a voice goes off: “are they fucking serious? what a liar.” or i dismiss the compliments altogether by shrugging and saying “oh thanks, but (insert reason why i am not x,y, and z). i never allow myself to believe these comments to be at all truthful. once, only a few months ago, as i waited to cross the street, two boys idled at a red light. the one in the passenger seat held a mega-phone out an open window (why? no clue. boys will be boys.). he looked at me, dressed in work out clothes and sporting the giant cyst that choose to appear on my face on my birthday, and shouted into the mega phone: “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!” then the light changed and they drove off.
did i believe him? of course not. in fact, i thought he was making fun of me. and i found it incredibly sad that i thought he was kidding, then and now. i find i turn the compliments i receive into sarcasm. no one can possibly believe i am all these amazing things, can they? apparently they do. only i am the sole non-believer.
if you make yourself unavailable to love, love will never come. it will keep trying to beat down your ridiculous fortress but eventually, it will give up all together and simply stage a sit in until you lower the bridge over that moat and allow it to come in. you are always worthy of good things. you are always, always, always worthy of good things. because you are you. and you are amazing. no one else is like you, after all.
funny how one little cafe can open your eyes. i am so grateful for being here. i am so grateful for this life. now i need to start being grateful for myself.
what are you grateful for?