I am currently on a quest. The quest involves learning to love myself. This follows on from yesterday’s post about ceasing endless striving for what we want and learning to love what we have to do. (Or learning to enjoy the ‘daily grind’ instead of always wishing for something else.) As with many of us, there are events and experiences in my youth that have left some unwelcome and unhelpful side effects – like not liking myself much, not really loving myself (my core self) and this has lead to some of the issues I currently battle – a lack of confidence, low self esteem and a lack of belief in myself. The issues from my childhood caused me the develop thoughts and beliefs about myself which are (at the very least) unhelpful but also there are probably lies I have chosen to believe about myself from a young age which have eaten away at my self belief and self respect and caused a sense of disconnect with God, my family, friends and certainly with myself. There are issues around love that I just don’t get, and that has impacted my behaviours and led to some self sabotage… I would possibly go so far as to say self hate. And certainly contributed to my issues with depression.
I have been through some counselling in the past and found it really helpful. It has helped me work through some issues and experiences, but I’m currently aware that there’s more stuff that needs to be addressed.
It’s never an easy process (in my experience) and seldom enjoyable but I am convinced that the progress and awareness I gain about myself is really valuable. And if it results in more healthy self acceptance and self care then that’s successful & worth the process & pain involved in getting to that point.
Consequently you may have noticed a bunch of quotes about self love & self acceptance – and they are my reminder to me that I need to give myself positive messages and make sure I’m getting my daily dose of positive influence or reinforcement and positive self talk.
So the easy stuff to identify is the low self esteem and lack of confidence and belief in myself and my abilities. It’s the reasons underlying this that I am struggling to understand. I’ve always had a sense of not being good enough (regardless of what I did) and lately noticed a sense of ‘not fitting in, not feeling accepted’ and through the counselling process I’m trying to uncover what beliefs I’m holding on to, which I learnt at a young age, which need an adjustment. Like instead of reinforcing the idea that I’m not good enough, maybe I could be saying ‘I AM good enough’ – and perhaps I need to reinforce this message in meaningful way for me – “I am good enough and I am worthy of love. I was made with this personality and I love myself the way I am” – that sort of message.
OK, so that’s where I am right now – wanting to put it out there and share my ‘stuff’ in the hopes that by sharing: a) I will receive a little more clarity about my self beliefs, and maybe b) I can encourage someone else to take a positive step in beginning or continuing to address their own stuff. (I hope for ‘a’ but ‘b’ would be an added bonus!)
I’ll share more as I learn more, but I find it helpful to be honest and up front about my issues in the hopes that as time goes by, I will receive more insight and therefore be able to work through some of this stuff so that it doesn’t limit me anymore than it already has. I feel optimistic about the process I’m going through and look forward to sharing my progress. I believe I’m on the right path for me at this point in time and I’m trying to honour the little girl I carry inside -and I’d like to see her be cherished, to see her become truly free, and to see her flourish.