Heart palpitations...Puppy love? Or Anxiety. Shallow breathing…Exercise? Or Fear.
“What are you feeling, in this moment?” This was a question asked of me by a therapist many years ago. My answer: “What do you mean by feelings?” It took me years of therapy and ‘work’ to be able to break through, go in, explore, find and feel. The shellacked exterior was strong. It was glossy, beautiful to the eye, nearly perfect. “Oy, what’s my problem?” I asked myself repeatedly.
I became lethargic, gained weight, felt alone. I kept it together expertly well during the day on the job. At home, I resented a lot; I yelled a lot. Then I hated myself. And gave myself more excuses to eat and not do the ‘work.’ I’m so busy…I don’t have time for myself…What do you mean go to a gym…Sex? You’re kidding, right?
I’ll never forget the day I got on the scale and it tipped over 160 pounds. I ‘saw myself’ as weighing as much as my husband. But he worked out and ran and had lots of heavy muscles [it was just a baseless and thoughtless negative comparison]. Now, I know it was self-hate showing her ugly and sometimes mean face. During this time, my husband kept tell me something that I resisted until I had my breakthrough [AKA breakdown]: “It’s not ok to be nicer to ‘others’ than you are to your own family.” Ouch. I resisted and argued and cried False! But, it was True. And, I’ve never forgotten it.
Eventually, I broke. Ended up home in bed, seeing only gray in my peripheral vision; uncontrolled crying. Meds helped, family support and love. I laid in bed thinking. Is this the life I wanted to live? Is this the modeling I wanted to show our daughters? What would I tell them in this situation? Now, I know what I would tell them: “Honey, love yourself more.”
Then, I rejected ‘self-love’ by saying it was ‘selfish.’ Really? Today, I know that it’s the most selfless thing you can do: just love yourself more. When you give yourself permission to love yourself, you can find clarity, strength, courage, meaning and pride! [Don’t you want these things for your daughter, niece, granddaughter, mentee? Why not for yourself?] When you find these things, you find Confidence—an ability to not get it right all the time, assurance that you are doing it right for now, that you’re on track; you find Purpose that is an astonishing driver.
I found it! I started with a Values Prioritization [this took me months—here’s a great resource, I encourage you to use it!], then I moved through purposeful literature and exercises [Tim Kelley’s True Purpose book! and thank you Napoleon Hill for teaching me the power of thought!], then I learned about Affirmations from Louise Hay [thanks Sis for introducing me to Affirmations!] and started creating my own Affirmation Pix and Transformation Tips that I now share! Then, of all things, I began to figure out how to find a meditative space to ease my chaotic mind and now I write guided meditations for others. THAT was a miracle.
How? I got quiet inside. That took commitment, practice, time. Then, I went from just getting quiet to listening, to hearing, to speaking love language to my soul [the voice within]. I learned that tears are just your soul crying out to be heard; don’t be afraid of them, let them come, listen, converse.
Eventually, I said goodbye to my old personality [she still visits sometimes!], and hello to a new self. A self I could love.