Unless you loosen the hold that your past has on you, your future will unfold in much the same way . . . it is time to begin writing a new script that accurately reflects the beautiful, powerful, and worthy being you are.” ~ David Simon
Many of us have lifelong struggles from past influence that get in the way of our ability to love ourselves. You can rewrite your story.
Some relationships are bad for you and in order to be your best self, you have to let go. There is no other way to rebuild your self-esteem. It’s unhealthy to be around someone who continues to tear you down all the while making you feel like it is your fault and you are weak and damaged. You are not weak. Damaged? Probably. Whether it is permanent or temporary is up to you.
We can’t change other people. “It’s all lies!” That’s what I used to be told when I questioned or pointed out what was clearly happening. I call it mind fucking. Some call it gas lighting. They will stand in front of you and deny something that you experienced and saw with your own eyes. And…. you’ll begin to doubt your own ability to see the truth. Trust your instincts and get out of the situation.
It is difficult to break away. Some stay because they are accustomed to the pain and suffering and are afraid to deal with the pain of leaving. Also, it is nearly impossible to care for yourself when you feel so broken. There are stages of grief that will happen when breaking away from an abusive situation. I went through all of them. (My Skin by Natalie Merchant felt like the theme song for that part of my life.)
Forgiving is a continuous process. Sometimes I feel like I have forgiven and then there are times when something triggers a memory and I feel anger or even loss for not having that person in my life. It’s okay to mourn the loss.
In having this experience I found out how strong I really am. I learned to be kinder to myself and I’m working on the “perfectionist” issues. Being human is far from perfection and there is beauty in embracing that. I’m learning to face my fears. Learning to accept help and letting myself get close to people and trusting that vulnerability can be strength.
ALL relationships have good and bad, and just because you have a disagreement or get mad at someone doesn’t mean you have to hold in your feelings or explode, or kick them out of your life. Just talk it out and listen. Be mindful of your words.
Don’t feel ashamed. Trust and speak from your heart. If someone treats you with disrespect or malice, let them go. There are plenty of people more deserving of your attention. People who are more than willing and capable of showing you how valuable and loved you are. You deserve good things.
This video by Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love expresses the phases of breaking away and healing.
Are there people in your life that you feel the need to walk on eggshells around? Do you sometimes get a little irritated with friends, family or coworkers and feel guilty for standing up for yourself? Does the mere act of experiencing an angry emotion, or doing anything that will make you unpopular, fill you with remorse and guilt? Do you spend your life trying to be what others expect you to be or avoiding anything that would make you unpopular?
This video from TEDxBoulder 2012: Rethinking Unpopular by Erika Napoletano is enlightening and funny. Erika talks about how at an early age we’re taught to down our honesty knob and turn up the one on polite. “It’s no wonder that by the time we get to be adults, we can’t honestly tell anyone around us who we really are, what we love, and what we’re feeling.”
Sometimes we’re just too polite because we are afraid to be honest. We can’t seem to distinguish between real honesty and “bat-sh*t crazy.” I believe that when we’re not honest, we eventually become “bat-sh*t crazy.”
- Stop apologizing for being human. In other words, do it when you have a valid reason but not for every little thing that you think someone will find fault with.
- Be sincere, honest and true to who you are.
- Surround yourself with people who belong. Not everyone belongs in your circle. Don’t allow someone you wouldn’t be close with block you from expressing your authentic voice.
People who put up a good facade, appearing perfect….. well, they make me nervous because it feels like I have to live up to their expectations. Don’t you hate that?
And when I see beyond the face they show the world, and see their humanness, their vulnerabilities, and strength to be unapologetic for being human; I feel a connection.
Real, authentic, flawed, human, sincere, courageous, humorous, (I should add humorous X ten because laughter is the BEST!) Anyway…. you get what I’m saying.
I was raised in a passive aggressive family. You know, the angry smile?
Always be yourself.
Never try to hide who you really are…
The only shame is to have shame.
Never regret the past…
it is a waste of time.
There is a reason for everything.
Every moment of weakness….
Every terrible thing
that has happened to you.
Grow from it.
The only way you can
ever get the respect of
to show them
that you respect yourself.
And most importantly…
do your own thing and
never apologize for
being you. – Unknown
I adore this man.
Being an introvert isn’t the same as being shy.
This reminds me of a very dear friend who does a great deal of charity work, mostly through anonymous donations to those in need.
Visit the Urban Initiatives website for more information about the organization: http://wigs.ly/RhtUhK
You are not what happened to you.
I focus on being positive and for the most part, it works…but for some reason there’s this little window of time…right after waking up, that my mind starts to think about betrayals, deep hurts or recent things that bothered me and it feels awful. Places I don’t want to go!
Things that happened in the past will be on my mind and I’ll feel angry as if it’s still fresh. It’s not healthy and not worth holding on to. I don’t intend to think those thoughts but they pop up and my body reacts. I can feel it around my heart and sometimes my back will spasm between my shoulders. Not only am I feeling the negative emotions, it physically hurts my body. Sometimes I wake up with a pounding headache that goes away once I realize I was only dreaming. The subconscious mind holds onto memories that seep into the present and it’s like reliving the trauma, again and again. Who wants to go though that?
There IS a way to make it stop.
A friend of mine, who is a hypnotherapist, introduced me to tapping, otherwise referred to as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She’s not the first one to recommend it. Many therapists, counselors and physicians also use it in their practice. Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, talks about using EFT to release negative emotions and events from the past so you can make the law of attraction work for you.
What happens when we don’t address something is that it remains incomplete. We may shut it down for the moment, but that energy remains within us. We can get stuck with resentment, blame, anger. Nobody wants to admit that they are secretly wallowing in their own stinky thinking. By denying or being ashamed for feeling this, it only gets bigger and makes us more anxious and less accepting of ourselves. On the outside we may appear happy, healthy and confident but on the inside there is a war being battled between who we want to (or think we should) be and who we think (in our own mind) we really are. “Don’t compare your inside to somebody else’s outside.” We never know what’s going on with another person on the inside.
We’re taught to put on a smile and carry on. Move forward. It’s how most of us survive. There are times when we truly do feel connected, happy, healthy, and confident. It’s in us too. Our physical body responds to our emotions. EFT is used to reset the automatic nervous system so that it doesn’t go into crisis mode when we’re triggered by our negative thoughts. It helps us get back to the essences of who we truly are as divine, creative, and beautiful.
Whenever we experience trauma or are scared, hurt, betrayed or deeply saddened our body records the experience on an energetic and a cellular level – trauma specialist Bessel Van der Kolk says – “Your body keeps the score.” Even common day language picks up on this mind/body connection – for example if I were to say “I have butterflies in my tummy about having to give this presentation – what would you think I mean?” Of course you would understand me to be nervous.
Here is a good example of EFT that I have used. I use it often to lift myself and it works for me.
Photo credit: Sara
In a 70 year old comedy, Charlie Chaplin plays the role of a poor Jewish barber mistaken for Adolph Hitler. This is a speech Charlie gives at the end of the movie that seems like it fits pretty well with the events of the world today.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’ve often felt that it was not a good trait. I’m sensitive to my environment. I need to feel connected and at the same time it opens me up to the fear is so real that it shakes me in my boots. I have to work at having courage.
What I got from Dr. Brené Brown’s Ted Talk:
People who have worthiness are those who have a strong sense of love and belonging. They BELIEVE they are worthy. Whole hearted people live from a sense of worthiness.
Courage – Whole hearted. To Speak your mind with your heart. Courage comes from the latin word, Cour, which literally means “heart.”
Compassion – to be kind to themselves and others.
Connection – as a result of authenticity.
Fully embrace vulnerability. It’s not comfortable, but necessary. The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. Willing to invest in relationships. Willing to be the first to say, “I love you.” “I’m sorry.” “Sharing a story from your life.”
How much of ourselves do we truly accept much less share openly and honestly?
Let go of who you think you should be and embrace who you are. Vulnerability is beautiful. Stop controlling and predicting. Leave your measuring stick behind. (This is me talking to myself.)
Shame, fear, worthiness, joy, creativity, belonging, love are all born out of vulnerability. These are what connects us. To be connected it takes courage to be imperfect.
We numb ourselves…. discharge pain and discomfort.
Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, where she has spent the past ten years studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions: How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to embrace our imperfections and to recognize that we are enough — that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy? Brené is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power (2007) and the forthcoming books, The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and Wholehearted: Spiritual Adventures in Falling Apart, Growing Up, and Finding Joy ( 2011).