Tag Archive | Self respect

It’s Who I Am

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My journey of self discovery has included a program called Dressing Your Truth. It is an energy profiling system that resonates with me and has helped me more than anything else I have ever found to understand and love myself. The above is part of the description of Type 2 energy….the soft, subtle energy type.  It is me in every way. This has always been my nature.

All of my life, I have been criticized for….and beaten myself up for….not taking a stand, not speaking up. There are times when I should do so and have trouble. I am working on this.

But, I am finding a new freedom in embracing and understanding something about myself.  On any given subject…unless it is a completely morally reprehensible one…. I can see, understand and even FEEL where people are coming from on various sides of an issue. I speak to someone who is firmly on one side….and I can meet them there. Then, I speak to someone on the opposite side, and am able to equally meet them there.

In the past, I would beat myself up terribly about this. I would think there was something wrong with me. I would judge myself with words like “weak”.

I am starting to understand that we type 2 people are often called on to bring our gift of being peacemakers and mediators. It is an important gift that is needed.

The difficulty is that sometimes someone I love will feel hurt or betrayed that I didn’t take a stand with them. I am hoping to get better at communicating to my loved ones what it is like for me.

If I take a stand with someone, it is against someone else whom I also love. I hear and feel both. I love both.

What I DO take a stand on is love. But, for me that means loving both.

When I feel pressured to stand against a loved one,  I  literally feel sick. Sometimes I get sick. It goes against my nature so strongly that it manifests in my body through pain, digestive issues, anxiety, etc.

It has taken me so long to understand this about myself. I now need to find ways to be able to communicate it when feeling pressured. Writing about it here is the first step towards that for me.

Wow. …just expressing that feels like it released a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like I can breathe. I hope I can find ways to live my truth moving forward.

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Quiet Rebel

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I have been on an interesting journey of getting to really, truly know myself.  I’ve tried to do that all my life, but in the past, my journey of self discovery was always accompanied by self judgement.  Now, I am doing my best to learn who I am from a place of acceptance,  curiosity, and self compassion.  What a difference that makes!

When I came across this quote, I smiled and recognized myself immediately.  I am often quiet. I am in the background. …listening, observing, thinking, processing.  Many times, people interpret this as compliance or agreement.  Sometimes that may be accurate. But, many times, I am finding the words I need or drawing on that strength within me to take a stand.

And when I do…I am solid in it. I do not like to be told what to do or what to think or what to feel.  But, I also need time to check in with myself to know for sure what I do want to do, what I do think and what I do feel. I have noticed that my strongest relationships are with people in my life who have understood this about me and have the patience and wisdom to respect what I need.

With people who don’t get it…I will be polite, and then go my own way. I surprise people with my resolve when I do this. I do it in my quiet, respectful way. But, I do it with certainty.

I am embracing who I am and understanding myself is giving me much peace.

Soft and Strong

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My dear friend recently shared this quote with me and told me it reminded her of me. I  didn’t have a chance to process this at the time. But, now that I have,  I am stunned by that quote.

The reason I went back to read it again, is because I have been struggling with this part of my nature. I do have a nature that is like water. I am fluid, flowing, soft, and yielding.  I am always drawn to water. It is who I am.

This part of my nature has some strengths. I can adapt and go with the flow in almost any situation. I nurture and strengthen those who come to me. I can provide a refreshing place to rest from life’s troubles. I am often peaceful,  calm, and relaxed. It is my nature….always has been from the earliest memories I have.

Along with those positive aspects to my nature, there are challenges to who I am.  I need time to think and process. I need to have space and time in order for that to happen. I have to make sure there is enough flowing in to my stream to keep my resources abundant.  I sometimes too easily go with the flow before I give myself time to determine how I truly feel. I can be too adaptable, flowing over and around obstacles in order to provide nurturance to others. And then I don’t realize the flow is becoming a trickle…and I am drying up….until it is already happening.

But, I forgot the strength of water. I forgot about this until my wise and loving friend reminded me. Water…as soft and fluid as it is….wears away the hardest, most rigid rocks. It creates soft and smooth surfaces where there once was sharp edges. When water has a strong source, it is unstoppable. It is strong and powerful and has the potential to create tremendous change.

I am so blessed to be tapped into tremendous resources.  I have faith, spirituality,  friends, family, knowledge and experience.  I have the ability to create a powerful flow that can be unstoppable and create positive change.

Yes, I am soft, flowing, adaptable, and nurturing. But, just ask anyone who knows me well what happens when I make up my mind about something.  Heaven and earth can’t move me when I believe in my decision. 

Yes, I am also strong. I am not weak. My softness is my strength. Thank you my amazing friend for blessing me with that insight.

I Matter

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Why is this such a hard concept for me to truly believe about myself?

I don’t think this relates to my childhood, per se. I was a middle child…the peace maker type. I was born into this world with an emotionally sensitive nature that is deeply concerned for the comfort of others. Those factors contributed, I’m sure. But, my parents did not make me feel my needs were a burden to them. They were attentive and loving. If anything, they may have leaned towards spoiling us a bit, as they wanted us to have an easier life than they had.

But, my nature made me vulnerable to a charming, popular, good looking young man when I was 18 years old. My easy going nature made it easy to over look and forgive the times he was two hours late for a date or wouldn’t call me for days. The time he decided to work in a strip club as a DJ was expected to not be questioned because he was a Christian and would never do anything immoral. And on and on…..

We got married when I was 21 and our first son was born when I was 22. I was committed, loyal,  and believed we could create a loving family similar to what I had been blessed to grow up in.

So, when my ex quit a good paying full time job when I was pregnant the first time so he could go into Christian ministry, I was asked to support his calling. We had to fund raise his entire salary by asking friends and relatives to contribute to the ministry. So, I had to go back to work as soon as possible after our son was born.

This was just the start. If I went through every expectation placed on me throughout 20 years of marriage to put my needs aside to support his dreams,  this would be many pages long.

I did these things willingly, even though I  sacrificed much. I  believed he would be like my dad, and give just as much back. I waited and waited to see that….always convincing myself that eventually it would be my turn. But, he was always too stressed and overwhelmed and couldn’t believe I would be so selfish as to ask for anything from him knowing everything he was always going through.

This went on and worsened over the years. Over time, I came to believe I, and my needs, truly were a burden. I came to believe I did not matter. I remember feeling cognitive dissonance about this….knowing on one hand that everyone matters and everyone’s needs are important. …with living with the daily reality that this wasn’t true for me.

Having been on my own for over 5 years now, I have resolved a lot of those faulty beliefs. I get it on a cognitive level that I matter and my needs are not a burden to others.  But, this was deeply conditioned into my psyche and this conditioning plays out in so many areas of my life to this day.

When I am in a relationship, it takes tremendous courage for me to ask for what I need and overcome the anxiety that I will be in trouble for asking. I still expect to be punished with silent treatments or verbal reprimands.

With my friends,  I have to remind myself it is okay to make mistakes and also to ask for something.  I do know that they genuinely want me to be happy.

If I think I am going to create discomfort for someone,  it causes me fear and anxiety to speak up. I  still expect to be told I am being selfish. I am still often surprised when that doesn’t happen.

Even the simple act of checking in with people makes me feel like a bother. When I  call or text anyone, I still have to overcome the feeling that I am bothering them. It’s embarrassing to admit how often I have to say to myself,  “you are not a burden ” just to send a simple text.

I am making progress, but it is a long journey.

One step at a time.

Never Too Late

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Of all the challenges that come with the end of relationships,  the silver lining always is that I am once again able to evaluate what I want my life to look like.  I am in charge of my life and the direction it is going.

The truth is…I always am. But, when in a relationship,  there is always some accommodating and compromising. It has to be that way to blend two lives together.

For now….I don’t need to do that. I can make sure I am once again grounded in who I am and what I want for my life. Then I will be able to do that accommodating and compromising once again without losing myself.

That is my goal.

Free to Be Me

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I  have been on an interesting journey of self acceptance and self compassion.  It has been, at the same time, the most freeing and empowering journey,  while also being terrifying and challenging.

I am learning a lot about my true nature and who I am at my core. Instead of the constant judgements and recriminations I used to berate myself with, I am working on embracing who I am and learning to work with that.

I am learning that I function best when I take things slowly and take the time to plan and think through what I need to do. I used to judge myself so harshly for that. It seems to me that we live in a society that values the ambitious, decisive go-getters.  I value having people like that in my life too. We need them.

But, we also need the thinkers and planners. We need the ones who are behind the scenes considering every angle and taking action at a pace that works for them. People like me. We need to value those people too. I  need to value those people too. I need to value me.

My ex-husband often criticized this about me. He told me often that he needed me to be more decisive and action oriented. I  accepted his perspective that I was flawed in this way. I tried very hard for over twenty years to change my nature. I kept trying. I would get so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t make myself be different.  I struggled with anxiety and a constant sense of dislike towards myself.  I  developed patterns of self talk that were mean and even cruel towards myself.

In reality, when I work with my true nature…when I give myself time to think, consider, plan…. I  make good decisions and I accomplish a lot. Decisions that need to be made are made and I feel at peace with them. Actions that need to be taken are taken, within time frames that feel comfortable to me. There is no anxiety and no mean self talk. There is peace.

I have this week off from work. I had such ambitious plans for what I wanted to get done. But, instead I have been doing a lot of relaxing, thinking, journaling, reading, and planning. I found myself starting some mean self talk again. I am so glad I caught myself doing that. I don’t need to answer to anyone about how I spend my time. I am not going to be disapproved of any more. I am not going to be criticized any more. Unless I do it to myself! I  deserve better. I  deserve to love myself for who I am and value my true nature.

It has slowly dawned on me that what I need more than anything right now is exactly what I have been doing. It is not lazy to give my body,  mind, and spirit time to rest, reflect, and just be. It is healthy.

If I am true to that, the things I want to accomplish will get done ….at a time and pace that feels good to me. That will be much healthier and much more fulfilling for me.

Ahhhh….that  feels so much better. I am going to make some tea and go back to my book now. 🙂

Aha Moment

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I have been really down today.

I was trying to figure out why and was coming to some conclusions that I knew didn’t sit right with me.

I  just went for a walk, and that’s when it dawned on me.

Tomorrow would have been my 25th wedding anniversary.

Ouch.

Even though it has been years now, and I don’t miss him or the marriage anymore ….there is sadness.  The sadness is about the loss of the dream. I always thought there would be a wonderful 25th anniversary celebration.  I am Facebook friends with two other couples who got married the same year.  I  remember attending their weddings.  They are still together and seem happy. I  have watched their posts about the celebrations they have been having. I think the sadness has been building for a few weeks as I have been watching this.

It’s all part of the healing process.  I know I did what I needed to do for myself and my kids.  I have no regrets about that. But, the grieving goes on, in layers, year after year.

At least I  can make sense of the heavy heart I was feeling.  Just that realization helps me breathe a little easier. And it is preventing me from letting that emotion come out towards someone or something else when that’s not where it belongs.

One more hurdle to jump over. Keep breathing and moving forward. As always, it will be okay.