Today I discovered that magical force fields–you know, the kind superheroes create–are real after all.
When I watched superhero shows when I was younger, I was always intrigued by superheroes who could make force fields to keep out all the bad stuff. I mean, if you you had a good force field, nothing could get to you–not death rays or poisonous gas or fire blasts or hurricane force gusts. I always wished I had the power to create a force field that nothing could penetrate.
And then today, while I was grocery shopping, I suddenly realized that I DO have the power to create a force field. Everyone does. (If this is starting to sound weird, hang in there. It will make sense in a moment.)
In other posts (like this one and this one), I have written about how increasingly over the years, I have begun to use loving thoughts and encouraging affirmations as a way to cultivate compassion and decrease anxiety and self-loathing.
This is a really important switch for me because for most of my life, I had a steady stream of harsh, critical, and nit-picky thoughts about myself running through my head. Giving up my self-criticism and self-hate and consciously speaking to myself in a loving, encouraging way has made a profound difference in my life.
A Grocery Store Epiphany
Today I was grocery shopping, and I was thinking about all of the good things that had happened that week and the wonderful ways I was growing and becoming a stronger person. I said to myself, “You are doing such a good job. I am really proud of you. You have come so far.”
I suddenly realized that I felt profoundly peaceful, happy, and content, and I thought, “Wow, it is like I have a magic force field around me, and criticism and hate cannot reach me because I have surrounded myself with love.”
Then I remembered the superheroes and their magic force fields that I envied so much when I was little. I realized that as I have learned to speak more lovingly to myself over the past few years, I have actually created a powerful force field.
This is Organic Goddess Dressing I purchased today to commemorate my newly recognized superpowers. If I could have, I would have purchased Organic Superheroine Dressing to celebrate, but Goddess Dressing is a pretty good second.
Protection From Cruelty
I used to to be so sensitive to any type of critical or cruel remark from anyone. One reason for this is that I, like many writerly/artistic folks, am a sensitive person, and cruelty towards anyone or anything has always bothered me.
But I believe another reason critical remarks always bothered me is because I was always already emotionally battered from my constant internal criticism. My own criticism battered my spirit into a place of constant rawness, and so any additional criticism often felt excruciating.
I realized that as I had been saying kind and loving things to myself over the past four years or so, I had not only healed my spirit, I had strengthened it tremendously against outside attack.
You Are Powerful, Too
To be honest, it still really bothers me when people are cruel to me (or to anyone else). But I have cultivated a strong internal reserve of love that I can always rest in when the world outside is too cruel. My love, I have decided, is my force field, and it gets stronger every day. It protects me, and when I am able to share love with others, I think it protects them, too. I really do have superpowers. We all do.
Dear Friend, you may be feeling like the world is a dangerous and cruel place, and it is understandable why you would think this. There is certainly a lot of darkness in the world.
Creating Our Own Personal Force Field
What goes on outside of us is largely outside of our control (the ancient Stoics were right about this). What we can control is what we cultivate inside of us. When we cultivate love and compassion for ourselves and others, we create tremendous inner strength. This strength definitely provides a safe space that protects us from the cruelty in the world. It definitely forms a type of force field. We really all do have the potential to be superheroes.
How have you noticed self-love and self-compassion serving as a special type of protection for you?
One tool I have used to cultivate self-love and self-compassion is to use selfies to better understand myself and also to take control of my own presentation. I have written about this and why I love my selfies and your selfies here:
Here are some other posts about how to cultivate self-love and why self-love properly understood is healing and confidence building, rather than selfish or narcissistic: