What does it mean to love yourself? ♡

Is it wrong to love yourself?

What does it even mean?

We know what it means to love others and yet somehow loving ourselves can be portrayed as sinful & selfish.

Is it sinful or selfish?

Perhaps its how you define the word “LOVE”.

How can it be acceptable to love others and be frowned upon to love yourself. It doesn’t make sense?

To love others is to be there for them no matter what. To take good care of them and to do your best to protect. It means you take extra care to be thoughtful and kind. All you want for the one you love is the very best. You have there back. When the one you love hurts, you hurt. When the one you love is in trouble you are there. When you love someone you care about how they are feeling. When they tell you that something you may have done or said hurt them the most natural response is to feel awful and apologise. You make it right for the one you love. No hesitation. Its top priority!

Which brings me back to the question, what does it mean to love yourself?

As a young person i didn’t love myself i infact went the complete opposite and hated myself. This meant that i had no value in myself. This led me into making some very poor decisions. It was only natural to gravitate to people that treated me the way i thought i should be treated.

27 years worth of heartache and pain.

I married the person that matched their actions with my belief that i was not worth being treated properly.

Mistreatment followed.

Not many understood my journey except to see that on the outside i didn’t look happy.

Despite our church attendance and my occassional questions to other church going wives i was always left with the idea that i had to change and be the wife my husband needed me to be. That all i needed to do was PRAY and God would change my husband.

I prayed,  i cried, i felt hurt and angry, i was lonely, confused,  anxious,  i prayed, i cried, i hurt so much. I tried and i tried. I read books, i went to womans conferences, i asked for prayer. I was desperate. I was depressed.  I lived with so much confusion.

NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK.

UNTIL. …

I REALISED. …

That this man was never going to change and i did not need to stay in this unhealthy relationship any longer.

Over the last 10 years of our marriage i started to realise i was valuable.

I didn’t deserve to be abused and mistreated!

Abuse does not need to be physical. Its the silent treatment,  mistreatment, neglect, manipulation,  the hahaha moments when they make a joke at your expense in front of others. Rather than supporting you they leave you to take care of yourself. You aren’t their priority you are their toy. They hurt you by hurting those you love. They dont care about your feelings as its all in your head. Your too sensitive. There is no remorse to the hurt they inflict emotionally. While you are hurting they are laughing. Its hilarious to see peoples reactions they say! I love pushing peoples buttons to let the real person out that people hide, they tell you, you know their true colours.

Is that love?

Is it wrong to love yourself enough to recognise that someones mistreatment of you is wrong?

Loving yourself is knowing who you are and not letting another human being inflict harm on you. Its harmful to be manipulated, its harmful to be controlled,  its harmful to be ignored by the one that says they love you.  Its harmful to be laughed at or laughed about in front of others.

The damage digs deep.

It closes your heart.

You lose your own voice as you settle believing your feelings and thoughts mean nothing.

For me loving myself meant that i removed myself from harm. I realised my value and worth as a human being. I cant even imagine the outcome had i stayed any longer.

LOVING YOURSELF IS NOT SELFISH OR SINFUL, it is necessary in order to keep the balance and to know when enough is enough!!!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Self-doubt …… I don’t like you ……

Self doubt has a habit of performing routine checks unannounced. Self doubt likes to interrupt the process of moving forward. Self doubt sends niggling thoughts your way with no particular schedule. It just turns up!!!

It seems as though you get through some super hard stuff in life and just as you think  your on your way to an amazing future filled with sunshine and lollipops, self doubt starts to rain on your party. It can start with a single negative episode. Whether it be at work and you feel as though you are not performing  your best on a given day and the world suddenly IS flat. Self doubt attempts to hijack any confidence you had in yourself.

Perhaps the bills $$$ are pouring in like large rain drops and you have no way of earning any more than you already do…this is super frustrating especially when you are the only income earner in the household. As a single parent on one income all you need is for the X to not do their part OR worse, have left you with debt you have no way of repaying and suddenly life which appeared to be doing well OK financially is going into slow motion again.

It is not easy to push past self doubt when circumstances are lining up with those niggling negative thoughts!

In July this year I will have been travelling the journey of single parent for two years. I started with nothing financially and have been climbing slowly since. I have obstacles to get through which are not my doing and are a bit of a hindrance to my moving forward. In these moments when it is ever so tempting to throw in the towel and wonder what the point is, I cant help but wonder what options do I have?

HOW do you just throw in the towel when you have come so far?

As a single parent there are moments of feeling completely alone despite the people you have in your world. Its all up to you to keep motivated and push through the barriers and obstacles.

This can be exhausting.

While there are areas of my life that are moving forward at a steady pace I am still faced with self doubt when circumstances are not as favourable as one would like them to be.

Perhaps there are areas in your life right now which are causing self doubt.

At the very least after reading my blog you are now aware of at least one other person who is also fighting self doubt.

My guess is that the two of us are not alone.

I don’t like interruptions at the best of times and I certainly am not a fan of self doubt.

I prefer progress over pain and yet it seems there will always be pain in order to progress.

As I have been whispering to myself lately to just keep going, I whisper to you today to do the same.

Keep going, one step in front of the other my friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setbacks<<<

Setbacks can be circumstantial, or a part of a recovery process. When we experience setbacks in our circumstances we can become frustrated. As an example we may be traveling well in our finances satisfied that our savings are on the increase as opposed to decreasing. Then unexpectedly a situation occurs in which those savings must be accessed due to an unforeseen expenditure. Suddenly we feel as though we are going backward as there are no savings left. With every good intention of saving some dollars for the future we are faced with having to start saving again.

Good intentions don’t prevent setbacks.

We may be recovering from something physical such as a broken bone or a debilitating illness. The future is looking bright however another setback occurs!

Setbacks can leave us feeling disappointed or confused. Especially when hopeful that life was looking up, finally…..

Life often resembles one step forward and ten steps back.

Most of humanity would agree that moving forward is always so much better and natural, who likes to take steps backward?

Why would anyone in their right mind want to revisit the past especially when the intention was to move forward, to a better place.

The reality is that we all recover at different speeds.

For broken bones to heal often times surgery is required as the fracture is quite bad and needs extra assistance for recovery.

Then we have our emotions and feelings.

Dependent upon what we have gone through in our life experience, the recovery time can vary.

There are a myriad of situations that can happen to an individual however I’m going to talk about my experience for a moment as I’m speaking from a current, passionate and open heart.

If you have been following my blogs over the past 9 months or so you would have read about some of my own personal struggles in terms of marriage break up and the unhealthy relationship that I struggled through which finally ended.

Unless you have been in an unhealthy emotionally/psychologically damaging relationship it can be quite hard to grasp the impact it has on a person. The impact goes deep and challenges a person on so many levels.

The wrestling that goes on in your mind at times can be overwhelming. The longer you have lived with someone in a relationship in which you were programmed to mistrust others including yourself the harder it is to overcome.

Trusting one’s own judgement or the lack thereof is what keeps a person in an unhealthy emotionally damaging relationship. It took me years to find out that in fact it was NOT NORMAL to be in such a struggle. Having had my eyes opened to the reality that the relationship was in fact unhealthy and was never going to change has moved me on to a brighter future with every good intention of not going through the same experience again.

There is much unraveling to do on my part emotionally speaking. Everything that I learned in order to cope I need to unlearn.

I have to learn that it is OK to speak about my feelings, fears and thoughts. That even though I was in a marriage in which speaking about my feelings usually resulted in world war III that it was not my fault. Every human has a right to talk about their feelings.

My feelings were mostly irrelevant and portrayed as something which was a fault that I carried. I was made to believe my feelings I experienced at various times were something I needed to put a stop too. The trouble was that the other party was always doing or saying things that hurt my feelings.

Unless you are someone with absolutely no feelings at all you cannot expect to stop hurting when someone hurts you. It’s as ridiculous as believing if someone hits you that you are not allowed to hurt!

It is the hurting that lets us know something is in fact wrong!!!

Our bodies are wired that way. Our bodies tell us when we feel pain that something is wrong and that we need to tend to it.

Emotional pain is no different.

On this journey that I have been on I’ve experienced myself overcoming and moving away from the ways in which I previously had to cope. In saying that though there have been times of setback!

I’ve been revisiting various emotions at different stages. Certain situations can trigger me back to those places. Suddenly I may find myself back in that place of mistrust, unsure if my own judgement is correct or whether other people can be trusted. I may find myself scrutinizing situations far more than another person would.

Why? Simply because I’m determined not to go through the same experience I have come away from.

Everything within me wishes that I didn’t need to be so fragile or sensitive.

The trouble is that when you have been hurt to such a depth and treated very poorly for a long time the journey to recovery can be long and require a lot from you.

Situations that look anything similar to what you have come away from can have you shaking in your boots for fear of going through it again. It may be just one word, phrase or body language.

The only way through, is THROUGH!

As scary as it is with all the setbacks and fears the only option to recovery is moving forward despite every battle you face in your mind. The recovery may take longer than anticipated however it will come.

I’m not out of the woods yet.

I’m aware that there will possibly be many moments in the future I will need to face my fears and overcome those mind games that start replaying and repeating previous scenarios I have been through.

Trust the process.

Look for the small wins!

Be kind to yourself and others while you are in the process of healing.

Don’t despair if you find yourself setback for a moment you will eventually move forward regaining more ground and eventually becoming the person you always knew you were.

♥♥

 

Afraid to Feel ….

When life has hit you with a massive blow leaving your feelings scattered on what feels like a hot and dry desert it is difficult to phantom ever to pick those scattered pieces back up again. Feelings that have been left out in a desert to dry up and be forgotten like a ghost town in an olden day cowboy movie leaves you walking around as an empty shell. All of the equipment to keep you functioning is still present however those ‘feelings’ you once held close have settled back in time where everything  went wrong.

To feel makes you human! We have been created to experience emotions from devastated to ecstatic. Usually experiencing more of the in between of both extremes. Whether it be a moment in life that left you devastated or an ongoing battle that leaves you exhausted, those feelings or emotions seem to be in what I can only describe as ‘protection mode’. To feel gives you the potential of being hurt. When you have been hurt enough you start to NOT want to feel.

It is almost like an automated version of yourself keeps doing everything necessary from day to day yet holding back from allowing to ‘feel’. You may struggle to let yourself feel happy, positive, excited and adventurous.

Regular disappointment has a way of scaring you into a corner, reminding you that if you allow yourself to be happy you may get disappointed all over again. Once you have experienced enough letdowns in life it is difficult to believe for anything to change? You become accustomed to life not working out for you. You begin to believe that life only works for other people.

Nearly six months has passed now from personally experiencing a devastating blow to every part of what makes me…. ME! As I sit here thinking about the past six months and every moment that has come and gone such as Christmas and New Year I recognise that it’s all a bit of a blur. While I know that I have in fact been going through all of the motions to get by, I’m also aware that my feelings have been on holiday in that dry desert back there in 2016.

Those pieces of myself that are still back in 2016 are waiting for me to go back at some point to pick them up.

How long that will take I have no idea?

I may experience tiny glimmers of happy feelings now and then yet I know that the most part of me is still back where the hurtful event took place.  A couple of months ago I told my counsellor that I find it hard to believe I could ever be happy in the future. She went on to say that when someone has experienced A LOT of disappointment in their lives or relationships it is only normal to feel as though it is impossible to ever experience HAPPY! She continued by telling me I should just dip my toe into different situations and allow myself to feel happy.

It is scary to consider the possibility of being happy. It is so much easier to sit back here where the feelings are protected from any further devastation.

Perhaps as more time passes those long lost feelings once held close, the ones that make you, YOU, have the courage to come back. Once those feelings return do we have the courage to hold on to them or do we send them back to where they were for so long?

It is good and healthy to guard our emotions, to not allow for them to be misused or misplaced in the same way. From my perspective having experienced such hurt and betrayal has left me wondering if it will ever be possible to trust again.

When significant people in our lives have left us hurt and broken it is only understandable to remain guarded for some time. The time it takes to bring those guards down who knows? There are no rules for how long it takes to heal. We are each unique in our personalities and experiences so what may take someone six months to heal could take another twelve months.

While I had thought most of my sadness had disappeared I’ve been surprised at how unexpectedly the tears can invade any given moment of my day. The important part to this is that we allow ourselves to experience those moments of sadness. Tears themselves are healing.

It’s OK to cry.

It’s OK to admit that you can’t do it on your own.

It’s OK to have a lapse along the way.

It’s OK to not feel OK.

Of course we are going to hurt when devastating situations happen in our lives. To not hurt would mean we have no feelings to begin with. Everyone has some experiences in life which impact our sense of self. We feel trapped in the fear that it may happen again. Somewhere along the way though comes a time in which we must accept that to live life to the full we need to take risks. These risks don’t need to be huge ones simply tiny ones to begin with.

With every tiny step (risk) you can rebuild those areas that have been lost such as; trusting in others again. We have to believe that not everyone out there is going to hurt us the way someone else has. It’s wise to take it slow in any sort of relationship whether it is a new friendship or potential partner.

There is still good people out there!

Good people will be supportive of your journey and appreciate the fears you may have in trusting again.

You may feel as though you have lost yourself, despite that reality continue to interact with others as they may help you to find YOU!

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it REAL…