Self-worth, self-love, self-esteem all start with "Self" and for good reason- You cannot attain these things from outside sources.
You were born worthy and lovable. No matter what happened to you. No matter what lies someone told you- Your birthright is love and worthiness. It cannot be lost or stolen, but it can be forgotten.
The journey isn't so much about going out there searching for how or why. It's a returning to home. A remembering of Who you are.
Remember your birthright and claim it every day. Every moment you take action to show yourself your worthiness, you level up. You start to fill up your self love container that only you can fill.
It doesn't take a huge overnight endeavor. It doesn't take perfection. It starts with a choice to choose you. How will you choose you today? Small, consistent actions add up to big progress. 💪💗🌟
Growing up in the 90's, there were these popular pictures going around. It was a computer generated image that didn't really look like much besides a bunch of confusion on the page, but when perception was shifted, it would reveal a 3D image. Googling to find what this was called I came across stereograms so I guess that's what they're called.
I remember wanting to see the 3D image my friends had seen and yet I couldn't get my eyes to focus. I couldn't see anything but the jumbled mess in front of me. Friends would give me directions like "Hold the picture close and slowly pull it away. Let your eyes cross." Still, nothing. I remember feeling frustrated. Why couldn't I get it to work like they had? What was I missing? Why couldn't I do it right? And also thinking maybe it was a joke. Maybe there wasn't another picture. And then it happened. I experienced the shift and I saw the 3D image they were talking about.
When I first came into recovery, it didn't make sense to me. How was focusing on me going to change him?! My life looked a lot to me like that page of jumbled confusion and the more I focused on that, the more confused and angry and frustrated I became. I tried listening for other's guidance on how to get the serenity they had seemingly found, but I wanted to have it all figured out before I started. I thought I had to understand everything first. All I needed to do was get started and the rest unfolded for me. Somewhere in there something shifted for me. That shift from focusing on the problem to working the solution. And that shift continues to grow.
It doesn't mean I never find myself back to focusing on the problem again. That's where working on me comes in, because I know it works when I work it. And like building a muscle, I become stronger and faster the more I work it.
Things I've learned about Boundaries:
They are for me, to protect me. Not to control someone else. I can't make someone else do something. I can make a request of them. They always have the right to agree, disagree or talk about making a compromise. This has been the hardest for me to accept.
In setting a "consequence", it's not a punishment, it's still about protecting myself and has to be something I can do. Again I can't make anyone else do something.
I absolutely have to follow through with what I say I'll do. It's for me and it helps me build trust in myself. If I'm not ready to follow through with say- leaving the relationship, I do not threaten. I whittle it down until I find something I know I'm willing to follow through on. It's a place to start. And the more I practice, the more I build up my boundary muscle.
Boundaries were not so helpful to me until I really got into working on myself. Mostly because I could set them but I had trouble holding them. And in hindsight, it was still about trying to control. When I started really working on me, everything changed.
It's important to identify your values in combination with your boundary work.
Why? Because it's important to know your "why". Why is the boundary important to you? What values are you honoring by setting this boundary? If you don't hold this boundary, what values are you allowing to be trampled?
Values are either fear based or conscious based. If a boundary is set because of a fear based value, the follow through will have the same fear attached. Making it difficult to hold the boundary. Which is where most people feel stuck or they feel the boundary simply "didn't work". Fear based value boundaries can cause power over or power under responses.
Power over would be trying to "make" someone do what you want and is really more an ultimatum than a boundary- "You do this, or else...". The truth is, people have a choice in responding to your boundaries. You don't have the power to "make" an adult do anything. You can however, make a request and take the necessary actions for yourself if the other person doesn't respect a boundary you've clearly set.
In the case of power under, you may not speak up or may not even try to set a boundary because of fear of the other person's response. You may feel afraid the other person will feel angry- which is a very real possibility. When you start valuing yourself and setting boundaries, there may very well be backlash. People don't like change. It doesn't mean you shouldn't honor your values with boundaries. It takes practice. It's like building a muscle. You don't walk in the gym and go straight for the heaviest weight they have. Start with something small and build on that success. Small, consistent actions build trust in yourself.
The goal is to own your power in a balanced way. Getting clear on your values is the first step in creating boundaries in alignment with who you are. You get to decide who that is. When you are firm on who you are, holding the boundary becomes much easier.
Everyone has values, even if they aren't aware of them. Think of a computer. There are programs running in the background even though you don't see them. Values run in the background of the mind and are a blueprint for decision making. If you aren't aware of your values, you may be making decisions off of fear based values that formed many years ago and aren't serving you any longer.
Get clear about the values you want to honor instead of values that were assigned to you as a child. Many adults are still running the programming given to them by their parents or caretakers without questioning if this value is important to them.
When you become aware of your values, you're able to determine if they are fear based or a conscious value you choose to honor to get you closer to your goal or ultimate vision.
Have you ever been stuck on making a decision? I call this a Values Collision. This is what happens when you have two or more values tied to different options. Without being aware of these values, you can end up in a stand off and feel stuck in making a decision, so you do nothing- which means you aren't honoring either of your values. You can learn how to filter decisions based on your conscious values and vision. Ask me how.
"No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around." -Unknown
When I realize I am not heading in the right direction, the way to turn around is a YOU-turn. Which to me, means focusing on myself. Getting present and clear with what's going on with me. What thoughts am I having? What am I feeling about those thoughts? What am I feeling about the situation? What's my part in the situation? What choices do I have here? And finally, how can I put that into action?
In was sitting on my deck this morning when I noticed a robin with 2 sidekicks. The adult was going into the yard and finding worms and returning to feed them. I wondered what was going on. The sidekicks were about the same size as the adult but clearly lacking the skills of the adult. I wondered if they were supposed to be in their nest. We had a storm here last night and I was afraid maybe the nest was destroyed. So I googled. What I witnessed were fledglings. Apparently they leave the nest fairly early but still lack skills to care for themselves. They are in training.
I couldn't help but think of how this relates to my own recovery. After being broken open, I was a fledgling. I didn't have the skills. I felt open and raw and vulnerable. I felt lost and clueless. I saw no end in sight. That period between being broken open and actually learning the tools was brutal. I had to learn to trust. I had to learn to trust the process, trust my support team, trust the universe, and trust myself!
So grateful for being able to witness this today!
As a kid, I remember when someone would apologize, my response would be something like "It's OK. no big deal. It didn't even bother me." I used to think I couldn't forgive unless I could say that. Today I see there is a difference in saying "It's OK." and "I forgive you." I found it helpful to define what exactly forgiveness means to me. Looking at my beliefs around forgiveness and then asking "How true is that?" helped me come up with a new way to see forgiveness.
I used to think: They have to apologize in order to get forgiveness. I have to accept that behavior in order to forgive. Forgiving someone is giving them a free pass. If I forgive, it means I can't be mad anymore and they need to see how mad I am so they know how hurt I am so they never do it again. If I forgive someone, I have to carry on like nothing happened.
Today I see forgiveness as a process. Things I try to keep in mind during this process is that forgiveness does not mean what happened was OK. I only have to accept that what happened, happened. It's in the past and nothing can be done to undo the past. Holding a grudge does not change someone else's behavior. Forgiveness is for me. It's releasing myself from the pain of having to carry this around any longer. I can forgive. It doesn't mean I forget and it doesn't mean the relationship stays how it was or that I even have to continue the relationship.
I'm no longer answering ads like this. Now that I know better, I can do better. ⬇️
Now Hiring: People Pleasers
Job duties include:
I can't stress self care enough! Make a list behaviors that support you. It's tailored to fit you. You get to choose. So if you like getting massages, that could go on your list. Taking a walk, being in nature, meditating, visiting a friend, listening to music, singing, dancing, reading, writing, going to a meeting, step work, etc. The goal is to have a large list to pick from.
It can be helpful if you know your love language too. What really makes you feel loved and is there a way you can do that for yourself?
It's especially helpful for me to be mindful of my self talk. I used to be so mean to myself. I would say things to myself that I would never say to another person. Now when the tape starts to play, I can turn it around quickly but it takes practice.
Also being mindful of how I talk about myself with others. I think it's great when I can look back at something and laugh at myself but there is a line there.
Speaking up for myself in a loving way.
Not pretending to be who I think someone else wants me to be. It's important for me to be authentic.
Defining boundaries and holding them increases my self trust. I know I will do what I need to keep myself safe.
Is there something I've been avoiding doing for myself? Taking steps to get it done are very important to show myself I'm worth it!