for more, click on A test in self-worth
Posts Tagged With: Self-acceptance
“When someone comes to me with a problem, I don’t care what it is: poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or self esteem issues… there is only one thing that I ever work on, and that is LOVING THE SELF. I find that when we really love, accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.” – Louise Hay
I wrote about a the Lesson in the Lesson, my experiences in a class I attended last week. But something I’ve carried with me since are the words shared by a woman who sat next to me. She’s a nurse and a practitioner of Reiki; her work is done in hospice. It was her comment about Love that struck a chord with me.
She commented that the greatest hurdle she works to overcome with patients isn’t the cancer or other diseases they’re fighting: it’s the self-loathing. It’s the inability to forgive. It’s the hanging on to past hurts and the continuation of old fights. It’s the heartache and it’s the fear.
Her work takes her to a place of deep intimacy with those who are very ill and who want their time here to mean something.
What are we waiting for? Do we really want to be standing at death’s door before we finally accept who we are?
“The road to freedom is through the door of forgiveness.” – Louise Hay.
There will come a time when you will catch your reflection in the mirror and stop to really see yourself.
You will see … you.
You will see a person who’s made their way in life, who has caused hurt, been hurt, laughed, cried, stumbled, loved and been loved.
You will see you as you really are and you’ll notice … when you lean in to look closer … that the creases around your eyes and the lines near your mouth …only go where the smiles have been.
You’ll notice the shape of the body that carries you every day and maybe you’ll take a moment to be amazed at all it does .. and tries to do … when asked. You’ll feel sorrow for the times you’ve taken it for granted and not rewarded it for hard work.
You’ll contemplate the many thoughts and ideas that cross your mind every day, every hour, every minute and you will realize who’s in the reflection; you’ll finally see your spirit living inside.
This moment may cause you to step back.. but then … you will take inventory of those who occupy the warmest spaces of your heart; those who love and support you and those whom you love and support. And you will begin the eviction process for those who’ve wounded you and left marks upon your soul.
You will realize that the time has come; the time has come to accept all that you are and to finally see all you bring … to the world.
The time has come to be thankful, to be accepting, and most of all, to be loving. For if you cannot do this for that person in the mirror, how can you pretend to do it for anyone else?
We are more than the sum of our parts; join me and give thanks for every step of life’s pathway.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E. E. Cummings
I have a strong need to be in control. Examples:
- I plan gatherings, parties and vacations, down to the last detail.
- I tend to be a perfectionist and am my own worst critic.
- If you ask my opinion, I assume you want to know. I get irritated when you don’t take my advice.
- It’s difficult for me to trust.
- I drink socially, but I can count on one hand the times I ever felt drunk … and that feeling? Far from fun, try horrifying.
- I make lists for everything.
- It drives me crazy not to have enough to do.
- Conversely, while I love a day off with no schedule I only love them if they’re by my design. (I.E. sitting around waiting on someone else? Drives me c-r-a-z-y).
- I do not like to be the center of attention, unless it was my choice to be. Example: I’ve never thrown anyone a surprise party; I think they’re vile and I’d never want to be subjected to one. I know some people love them; it would be pure torture for me.
From an evolutionary standpoint, cultivating a sense of control over our environment ensures we will survive it. Do I need to be in control as much as I need a sense of control over the outcome?
I’ve been thinking a lot about life and my next steps. I asked myself, “What are you afraid of?” At first, I couldn’t think of anything. OK there’s the obvious big stuff that frightens most of us – war, an environmental disaster, something happening to my husband or children, etc. I realized that, for me, what I am most afraid of is lack of control over my being or my life.
It started young; I’m the youngest of five. My parents enjoyed a hobby (horse racing) that sometimes took them away from home. I remember being frightened when they weren’t there and more scared during the parties that were held with loud music and strange people in my house. I remember being told to go to bed even though I could hear the kids hooting & hollering in the room not far from mine. I think about the trouble my siblings sometimes got into, and my vows to not follow in their footsteps. So, instead, I became the good kid; the teen who could be left alone because she was always responsible. I became the friend who would drive her drunk boyfriend and his friends home because she kept a level head. I became everything .. to everyone else.
I created a façade for myself; someone who takes care of everyone else and I became an expert at it. Professionally, it helped that I am naturally organized and pay careful attention to detail. Making lists was rewarded. Soon, because I was responsible, on time, and someone others could count on, I was rewarded with more – more work, more responsibility, more to organize, more to care for, more to do. More.
During college, I didn’t date because I had three part-time jobs + a full time course load. Don’t get me wrong, I was no saint, I went dancing with friends and we drank a little and flirted a lot and had fun, but those times were few and far between. Consequently, I have very few memories of my college experience. What I do remember is always working, always being exhausted, always over-performing. What I do remember of that time is intense loneliness and a desire to be something.
At 21, I left Canada and came to the United States. I had $178, a guitar and a few friends. Auspiciously, I planned on staying for a season; I’ve been here 27 years (and I’m a citizen now .. yay!). It never occurred to me to fail, and I didn’t. But now, years later, I can see how terrified I was. I was so afraid to fail; afraid that all my big dreams wouldn’t come true and I’d be one of those girls that came slinking home to her parents with no job and no prospects. And to me, failure was to be feared.
What’s scaring me today is one word: change. I am turning 48 in a few days and while I am not afraid of aging, I am unfamiliar with who this woman is. I have always been able to count on myself. Now, someone else is showing up and, what’s more confusing, I don’t always recognize her. I don’t know if I can trust her.
Naively, I assumed that I’d become more patient, more giving, and more, well, everything, as I grew older. Meh .. not so much. With my grandkids? Absolutely. Other’s idiosyncrasies? Best I just step away. “Pick the hill you want to die on” is a quote I love but, of late, I’ve picked unfamiliar hills and walked away from known ones. Weird.
My life is full and, most of the time, I’m content. I’m thankful that I’ve cleared out the toxic people to make room for the good. I eat well. I exercise regularly now. I sleep great. I listen. I express my ideas. I share and I pull back.
Things are coming together and changing all at the same time.
I don’t know. But I do know this: while some of what I’m experiencing feels foreign to me, I’m trying my hardest not to be afraid. I’m trying to just have faith and not be so worried about controlling the outcome. I no longer have to be in survivor mode. I will get through this; I just don’t know who I’ll be on the other side.
Have you struggled through a transition of late? Please share.
Music is a big part of my life. Always has been, always will be. Lucky for me that the same can be said for the hubbs: he loves and appreciates a wide range of music and we’ve introduced each other to our favorites.
After a long week at work, or just a day at home doing house stuff, we enjoy time together with a tune playing in the background… could be outside, could be inside. Doesn’t matter. There are many that get us singing along but these are the ones I love to sing with him:
To Love Somebody … the Bee Gees. (Not too much beats the harmonic perfection of the Brothers Gibb)
I’d really love to see you tonight … England Dan and John Ford Coley (Takes us back to our 8 month engagement with 6 states separating us)
And, of course, the song he chose for us to dance to at our wedding…Something in the way she moves .. James Taylor. (He chose it and that’s enough for me).
Everyone has that song they love: what’s yours?
P.S. – Hubbs and I have known each other 20 years & today’s our 19 year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary sweetie!
I’ve been off work for more than a month recovering from foot surgery. I have another 2 weeks to go before the doctor will release me.
In my mind, I had a vast list of things I was going to accomplish during this so-called “down” time.
I was going to:
- review & file EOB (Explanation of Benefits) statements from last year
- catch up on watching recent Academy Award nominated movies (2009, 2010 etc)
- shred credit card statements and receipts
- reorganize the top of my dresser (it’s a humble-jumble of jewelry, perfume, buttons and receipts)
- read at least half of the books stacked on my end table
- and much more that I barely remember
I didn’t do any of those things.
It’s not what I did .. it’s what I didn’t do.
- Use an alarm clock… instead, I slept until I woke up. Letting my body reset itself has been most restorative
- Mind letting the answering machine pick up calls (couldn’t get there in time anyways)
- Watch any Academy Award winning movies. Instead, I snuggled up with old favorites like “Hitch” and “Notting Hill”
- Cook for weeks at a time (unheard of, especially for me)
- Try to be a hero; I took pain meds when I felt “the pinch”
- Read anything more challenging than “Readers Digest” or “People”
- Blow dry my hair; too tiring, too hard to stand, and too easy to pull my wet, clean hair back into a ponytail and let it air dry
- Forget to say “please” and “thank you”
- Call the office or respond to emails with any particular regularity
- Resist the urge to nap when necessary
- Refuse friends who offered to cook for us
- Miss an opportunity to greet our boy after school
- Fail to appreciate everyone who helped me
This morning, while listening to an April thunderstorm thrash our house with rain, I reflected on this time of recovery.
Some of it I don’t remember (Hello Vicodin!) and much of it I do. What did I learn?
We think we’re in control. Our bodies have a way of making us take a time out.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl
Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. ~Francesca Reigler
So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ~The Eagles, “Already Gone”
The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders. ~Foster’s Law
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer
No life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it. ~Ellen Glasgow
Misery is a communicable disease. ~Martha Graham
A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror. ~Ken Keyes, Jr.
Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true
What are you wishing for today?
Find a picture of yourself as a little kid and say to that little person what you say to yourself when you look in the mirror. Would you tell her that her thighs are too big? That she needs to lose weight? That her hair is wretched? That he’s not good enough? Would you tell him that he’ll never be enough, have enough, make enough? No you wouldn’t.
If you wouldn’t say those things to a small child, why do you say them to yourself?
A balanced diet. Exercise. Enough sleep. Vitamins. Health products. You name it. I think it has to start at the core. Reinforcing my self-worth comes from thinking about how I would talk to that grade school girl. I would treat her with kindness; I’d encourage and support her. I’d tell her she could do anything, be anything, go anywhere and that she is most certainly.. good enough.
What we do to ourselves, we end up expecting and accepting from others.
What’s that quote?
Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Ghandi.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a decision that’s before me; one that I admit to feeling hesitant about.
Yesterday I heard this quote: “Doubt means don’t.”
Today I found this picture at left.
Think the universe may be trying to tell me what I already know?
It doesn’t matter what the decision is … this can apply to any of us at any time.
I’m going with my “gut.”
“Holding onto a grievance or a resentment is like drinking poison and thinking it will kill your enemy.” – Nelson Mandela
Let it go.
Holding on to it … becoming friends and partners with past hurts?
That’s a burden far heavier on you than the person who first put it there.
We all have baggage; let’s resolve to only have carry-on.