Last week I went to a laser clinic for information on removing a raised red bump on my scalp under my hair. It’s been growing there for some time, since Ava was a baby, and I checked it with my doctor a few years ago and he said not to worry about it.
Lately it’s been itchy around the area and I’m weary of warning those cutting my hair about avoiding it. So I went to a laser clinic.
Apparently, what I have is called a “ruby point”. I’ve left this one so long that it will be expensive to remove, taking several appointments instead of just one. The technician pointed out several small rubies developing along my hairline and on my neck and chest.
I went home from the consultation utterly dejected. I hate spending money in general, but certainly dropping hundreds of dollars on cosmetic surgery offends my thrifty ways. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I identified what my internal monologue was whispering to me after this appointment.
That persistent voice went something like this: Julianne, you are such an idiot. How could you let this thing grow on your head for over a decade without doing something about it? Anyone with sense would’ve known better. And what the hell is wrong with you that more of these ruby point things are growing all over you?
The voice was relentless, mean and forceful. I felt overwhelmed by a sense of shame and guilt. What was wrong with me? It was only when I finally sat down with my journal and tried to sort out why I was hurting that I could see how devastating this line of thought was. It’s not my fault I’m prone to these ruby points. And I did check the one on my head with a doctor who wasn’t concerned about it. Now it’s becoming an issue for me so I’m getting it removed.
Recognizing my unconscious nasty messaging to myself was so helpful, for it meant I could choose to mute those cruel words. I did not have to surrender my joy and peace to that angry noise. I am worth this money I must spend to take care of my health. I am not a burden to my family, like I initially feared. (Talking about this with Jason over dinner was so reassuring. He is usually kinder to me than I am to myself. He said, “Go for it, don’t worry about what it costs. You need to get this done.”)
I am loved and valued and it’s okay to prioritize my skincare. I made the appointment for this afternoon to laser off the big ruby point and after that I can make a plan to deal with the smaller ones.
It’s important to stop and look at what our subconscious is actually saying to us. Much of what we hear can be traced back to faulty messaging from our childhood or other critical points in our past, but the wonderful news is that we do not have to listen to that vitriol any longer. We can love ourselves through any hardship.
I’m grateful that this health issue is not a serious one. It’s pricey, but others are facing much scarier and more uncertain problems. I will hold that gratitude close, and work on making sure the messages I give myself are ones of love instead of scorn or derision.
How about you? What does your self-talk sound like?