Accept what is
Don’t push feelings down
Let them come, recognize, let them flow
Emotions are natural
Resistance creates negative energy
Be open to all feeling
Be true to yourself
“Acknowledge your pain
Let it surface and spill over
Give it permission to
Make an uncomfortable mess
Healing can happen this way
And so can emotional freedom
Face it all
Free it, too”
All is well, whole and complete.
I am exactly where I need to be.
Life loves me for exactly who I am.
Who I am is good. Who I am is who I’m supposed to be.
Life loves me unconditionally.
Life will be what I need it to be.
Hi all. The above is an entry I wrote in my journal on 11/03. I’ve been reading Life Loves You by Robert Holden and Louise Hay, so I was inspired by that. The books includes 10 spiritual practices for healing. The first is to simply practice the phrase, “Life loves me”. Sounds simple but it’s not!! It’s hard to really mean it. At first I found it much easier to say “Life loves me if I…” or “Life will love me when I…”. I still struggle. Bottom line, it’s difficult to love ourselves. But like anything, it gets easier and improves with practice.
I love myself. I love me for exactly who I am. And you should love you too 🙂
“I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.” – From You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Sorry for not posting in a little while, friends. I was waiting for something to come to me that I really wanted to write about, and here we are! Learning about self worth and changing my opinion of self worth has been a critical turning point in recovery for me. I used to base all of my self worth on my actions and the things I was doing. If I was doing lots of good things such as going to work and keeping up with my self-care practices of yoga, meditation, reading, and journaling, then I would feel awesome about myself. I would feel deserving and worth something because I was doing things that I thought made me worthy. But then my depression and anxiety will creep up and I would slack off on my “worthy” activities and I would feel like utter crap about it. I would talk down to myself about being lazy and staying in bed and not doing anything except feeling sorry for myself. I would feel extremely unworthy. I would equate inactivity with unworthiness and activity with worthiness.
I thought this way for a very long time without even thinking about it. I thought this way up until about a month ago. Then I was reading a chapter from David Burn’s Feel Good Therapy that said self-worthiness is the same for everyone. It is constant. Your self worth never changes no matter what you do. This was hard for me to grasp at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense, and I felt a sense of relief and calm. We wouldn’t tell a child who couldn’t tie their shoes “you’re worthless!” so why would we tell ourselves that we are worthless when we are struggling with something? Every human life has the same worth.
Having this newfound knowledge is a real source of power for me. I feel stronger knowing that I am worthy no matter what I do. It has helped me overcome potential depressive episodes. Just this past weekend I had a few too many drinks and I was feeling very out of sorts on Sunday and Monday. I felt fatigued and ill and my body was really punishing me for the liquor I had consumed. Normally I would have felt awful about myself for having drank too much and spent a lot of time in bed feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I accepted that I had made a mistake and decided I would focus on feeling better rather than feeling sorry and worthless. My mistake didn’t change my worth. I said out loud to myself, “I love me” and it felt true.
I know the whole self worth concept might seem simple and maybe even a little cheesy, but for someone like me who has struggled my whole life with self worth, this was an extremely important learning experience. I hope some of you will be able to relate and maybe even let go of some feelings of unworthiness.
Thanks for listening ❤️
“The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.” – Rumi
I have a confession: I’m a bit of a self-care addict. When I’m feeling good, I throw myself into self care like I’m going to be tested on it. I loved school and learning so I think not being a student (for now!) means I need to get my “school” fix elsewhere. I LOVE self-help books and learning and practicing ways to be healthier both physically and mentally/emotionally. So, of course, I love meditation! I started a regular meditation practice about a year ago and the benefits are pretty amazing. At first I thought it was a silly thing that only “hippies” did and it probably wouldn’t help me feel better. I quickly learned that there’s something special about totally disconnecting and just focusing on your breath for a short amount of time. I rarely meditate for longer than 15 minutes at a time, but the difference in how I feel from before to after is usually pretty intense. This is not always the case, I’ve had a few nights with such high anxiety that meditation couldn’t help. But for the most part, meditation is a quick and effective way to reduce anxiety and over time lead to a healthier well-being. The best part? Anyone can do it, anywhere. I subscribe to the Calm app, which does have a yearly subscription cost, but there are tons of free apps/trials and YouTube videos that are amazing.
Here are some tips and things that I do for my meditation practice 🙂
- Find a quiet, peaceful space: this can be as simple as finding an empty room or actually having a special area set up for your meditation practice. I meditate either on my couch in the basement or on the floor in my bedroom!
- Focus on your breath: just breathe and let it be. Don’t try to control your breath, just focus on the in and out. If I’m feeling distracted I find it helpful to think “1” on the inhale and “2” on the exhale, and repeat that over and over.
- Switch it up!: I don’t think I’ve ever listened to the same meditation twice in a row. The Calm app has so many different ones to listen to, and Youtube has an endless amount. That way you never get bored 🙂 And if you don’t feel like listening to anyone speak and just want silence, do that! Calm has a timed silent meditation that I use when I just want to listen to my own thoughts.
- Keep it regular: the key thing about a meditation practice is that you have to practice to experience the benefits! I aim to meditate at least a few times a week, preferably daily (even if just for 5 minutes!). Time of day really doesn’t matter but the morning and nighttime are good times because meditation is a good way to get focus ahead of your day or wind down before bed. I also use meditation is acute situations where I’m feeling really anxious or overwhelmed and just need to take a time out.
- Don’t take it too seriously: I meditate because I truly enjoy it, so if I viewed it as a chore and like something I should do to feel better, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it and I wouldn’t practice it. I try to make my practice my own and really appreciate the benefits it gives me ❤️
- Tools: the beauty of meditation is that all you really need is yourself and your breath! But for some added enjoyment, you can use a meditation mat (I found mine second hand at a foreclosure) and burn candles, sage, or incense. I also have a scented “eye pillow” that I use sometimes for sleep meditations. Another cool thing I received was a stone at a meditation workshop. I keep this at my desk and hold it when anxious as a reminder to take deep breaths and slow down.
That will be all for today! Things have been going well for me the last two weeks, my anxiety has been low and acupuncture and therapy have been effective. I feel more balanced than I have in a really long time. I know low moods can creep up at any time, so something I discussed with my therapist today was making a couple lists; one to list triggers that send me into a down period, and another to list things I can do to help me feel better when I’m anxious or depressed. Perhaps I’ll share some of that next time. Thanks for listening 🙂
Happy Sunday all. I had a great day that included sleeping in, puppy snuggles, a walk through a haunted house, and pizza ❤️
For today’s post I wanted to share a piece that I wrote about two years back. I was just getting over the end of an abusive relationship with my first boyfriend, and writing and sharing this piece was a huge moment in moving on. I still think about this relationship probably every day, but no longer with the feelings of sadness and pain that it used to cause. It’s now just a part of my past, something I went through and learned from. It also makes me feel so grateful that I am now with an amazing person who loves and respects me for who I am.
Why My First Cut will Likely be the Deepest
It’s hard for me to put into words what you were to me. First real boyfriend, first love, first person I felt like I could be my complete self with. The beginning was beautiful. You arrived at just the right time. You were exactly what I was looking for. I was vulnerable and I latched on to you because you made everything feel safer. We both fell hard, felt too much too fast. What I was too naive to realize at the time was that by putting so much faith in you, I lost myself.
My world revolved around you. And you crushed me.
I remember one morning waking up with your arms around me, you breathing one word into my neck: “happy.” I remember how you’d look at me, how good it felt to be wanted. I remember how excited you were to introduce me to your mom, how nice it felt to be someone you were proud to bring home.
I remember starting to feel like something was wrong. I remember wondering why you acted like you didn’t want me around your friends.
I remember the first time I thought I had to break up with you. How we laughed and held hands at a concert, in my head happier than ever, but how afterwards, walking to a bar, you yelled at me so much in front of your friends that I cried and turned around to walk home alone.
I remember how you didn’t come after me. I remember the next day, how you didn’t immediately apologize. How when I brought it up you told me, “You must have done something to piss me off,” when what I remembered thinking that night is that I had done everything right for you to accept me.
I remember staying with you anyway. Because I was afraid to lose what I thought I had.
I remember moving in with you.
I remember how things got worse after that. You yelling at me in the car, me with silent tears wondering what I did wrong.
I remember you coming home multiple nights, blacked out drunk, making it to the door of our building but me having to try to support all 6 feet of you into our apartment and into bed.
I remember Thanksgiving. How my family invited you to dinner but you told me the night before that you weren’t going to go because you’d be “too hungover.” I remember us fighting, me not understanding why you were putting drinking ahead of our relationship. I remember that night, going to a party at your friend’s house. How I drank too much and how you left me there with people I barely knew. Not remembering anything from you leaving until I got home that night to an empty bed, feeling bad about something but not knowing what.
I remember the next day, coming up with an excuse and lying to my parents about why you weren’t with me rather than telling them the truth: you just didn’t want to be there.
I remember the first time I felt scared.
You were beyond wasted, and I had just gotten you inside when something in you snapped and you pinned me against the wall. I remember freezing, not knowing what to do. I remember being relieved when you let go a minute or two later, but telling you of this the next morning and neither of us expressing much concern. I remember letting it go.
I remember how the next time you were sober. How you were driving me home from my shift at work, yelling at me for holding you up on your lunch break, me with silent tears again. I remember not having my key, so you had to let me in the apartment door. I remember walking up the stairs crying, you behind me, and not expecting it, a hard shove that made me stumble. More crying, and you laughing and going out the door and back to work. I remember the sick feeling in my stomach.
But I remember letting that one go too.
I remember the second time I thought I had to break up with you, laying in our bed crying myself to sleep one night when you were out with your friends. And the next morning, telling you that I had thought this, but changing my mind in the same moment.
I remember Christmas. How happy I felt to be loved by you. How naive I didn’t yet know I was.
I remember a few days later, you calling me drunk in the middle of the night and breaking up with me. I remember the next 24 hours were a blur, in the end only to realize that you were breaking up with me for one mistake I didn’t remember making that night before Thanksgiving in the midst of feeling completely rejected by you.
I remember the next four months desperately trying to get you back. Trying to hold on to what made me feel so bad in the first place.
I remember the months after that until now, with the help of a social worker, finally seeing our relationship for what is was. Finally seeing that what you did to me was wrong. How I loved you more than anything and you treated me like shit in return.
It’s been almost a year since you called that night and broke my heart into a million pieces that I’ve been picking up ever since. I’ve learned three important things: (1) No one should be made to feel like they are less in a relationship, (2) You shouldn’t base your entire self worth off of one person, because it gives them the power to take all of that self worth away and (3) It is possible to deeply miss someone but never, ever, want them back.
Thanks for reading. Sharing this piece two years ago released a huge weight off of my shoulders and validated my experience. I blamed myself for a long time over this relationship. I was a psychology student at the time and I had learned all about abusive patterns and warning signs, but being in it myself I was blind. It wasn’t until I was out of the relationship and talked with a therapist that I saw the relationship for what it was. I don’t regret the relationship because I’m stronger today for all the pain I went through then.
Peace and love,