Know yourself – the never ending journey

Just to recap :
You’re worthy of love – especially your own.

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Photo credit : ronaibrummet.com

It’s their opinion. Possibly based on their own limiting beliefs. Possibly based on something you did – but they don’t know your why. 

At the end of the day, try not to make it your own opinion of yourself. Please try and allow yourself some grace – we all make mistakes. It’s what we do after we have made them that counts. Be kind TO YOU!

You can still love you.

And :
Slow progress is still progress!

Please try to not feel discouraged if your pace is slower than those around you.

its-slow-progress-but-quitting-wont-make-it-any-faster-inspirational-quote

And as Tony Robbins has been heard to say :

You’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying!

And today I am going to throw a third thing in the mix :

Get to know YOU!

I went to buy dog food and was chatting with the lady who runs the shop. I asked after her daughter and she was catching me up with regards to her, when she said to me, 
“You know, I am still struggling with that whole irrational fears thing. I even went and bought a book that someone recommended and said would definitely help me. But it hasn’t made any difference.”
I asked her if she likes reading. Her response was that she doesn’t like it at all, never reads – not even magazines. Can’t seem to focus for long enough and gets irritated.
Then I asked her if she likes movies and series and well, pretty much, watching stuff?
The reply was a huge yes! So I suggested to her that she search on YouTube for that author (because I know she has a channel, and have actually watched some of her videos) and find videos that relate to the book and watch those instead.
I have no idea if my suggestion was of any help. But I think you understand why I shared her story.

Aristotle said that to know yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. 

For me personally, this means that I need to pay attention to me – develop my skills of understanding ME! And what works for me NOW!

And it means acknowledging something that is just as important as loving myself and accepting that I may take more time than others : what works for other people just might not work for me. 

We need to be careful with that statement though – and that’s why knowing ourselves is so important. I am not the same person I was last year, last month, even last week. I am growing and changing – and with this comes an adjustment in my thinking, so to speak. What I mean is that there’s been a shift in what works for me as well. 

I’ll leave you with one last story, which is a little silly, but I am hoping it will help make my point :

When my children were younger, and pushing every button they could find on their ‘mommy machine’, I used to count to about 30…. and then give up. Because it didn’t work for me. I got irritated easily, didn’t manage stress as well as I should have, and had such low self-worth that it marred most aspects of my life. ”Count to Ten” was an attainable ‘dream way’ of coping.

I’ve worked hard on myself and over the years have developed really good stress management skills, am actually surprisingly patient, and have built up a mostly healthy self esteem. I’ve managed to supersede what I thought was unattainable. My kids are a lot older, but somehow they test me, (and boundaries) and push buttons, a lot more now! 
These days though, in probably 95% of the situations, I only need to count to 5! Suddenly it works for me!

Because I’m different now!

So if you haven’t tried something in a while, but you know you’ve grown, maybe try it again?

But please be kind to you. Other people’s stories and what works for them are just examples to perhaps give you some guidance. You are NOT them. Keep searching for what works for you, and don’t give up!

And remember,

As we grow, there are always new things to discover about ourselves. 😉

Simple isn’t always simple

At least once a week I either cut my finger, or burn myself while cooking – I never burn badly, but definitely enough to get a blister. I’ve decided it goes with my ‘unprofessional chef’ territory, so there is a box of Band Aids that lives in the kitchen and there’s always ice in the freezer. On Sunday I had myself questioning why I even cook! 😛

I burnt my right index finger and cut a slice into my left thumb. I dished up dinner with a Band Aid on one finger, and ice held against the other.

On Monday morning, the Band Aid came off in the shower, as they sometimes do. I chose not to replace it because it seemed okay. I didn’t inspect it closely enough though and it wasn’t actually ‘healed over’. I caught it on something at around lunchtime, and it opened up again to being as bad as it was, and bled profusely. I grabbed another Band Aid, and I’ve been wearing one ever since – which is ridiculous because this morning I could see it had closed over…. I’m just not taking any chances. 😛

If I had given it enough time to heal though, it wouldn’t have been a problem.

The thing is, the healing process is dependent on other things – how deep the cut actually is, and how well your body does with healing itself. So I don’t always know how much time to give it.

And I think we’re kind of the same way emotionally. Our healing is sometimes dependent on how deep the hurt has gone and what the circumstances that followed were; and how well we do with dealing with things.

I know a girl who had an eerily similar childhood to mine – eerily so because she even made some of the same mistakes/choices that I did in my teens, and for the very same reasons I had. Her circumstances changed when she was 18 though –  she met the most amazing man who was the complete opposite to the limiting beliefs she had had imposed on her. And she embraced him. He encouraged her, inspired her, and loved her unconditionally. And it had a very positive result. The greatest achievement was inside her – she was confident, and loved herself, and no longer let the lies from her past define any part of her.
By the time she reached 40, she was the boss of her own company and was raising three beautiful children, still happily married, still confident and loving herself. She’s gained weight, and her face has aged quite a lot – and she honestly isn’t even worried.

Things weren’t the same way for me. I met, and stuck with, what I knew. And years of abuse followed. It’s no surprise that that led to even lower self esteem and I lacked self love to a terrifyingly staggering degree. (Which of course, in itself, paved the way for bad decisions and more mistakes.)

It’s only in the last few weeks that I can honestly say to you… Guess what? I love me! I AM worthy! I don’t just have the words to encourage others to believe it for themselves because I can believe it for me! I have the words FOR ME! 

About a year ago, someone who knows both the girl I mentioned above, and me, was overheard saying,
”Well, her childhood was pretty similar, but compared to Meg she’s a walking version of success. Guess Meg can’t be bothered to conquer her demons.”
I was devastated. It stopped me dead in my emotional tracks. I pretty much stopped trying. I let myself be defeated. 

So the point of me painting the picture above is this :

First of all – please don’t believe any comparisons. You can’t compare people because we’re all different – and we come out of different circumstances and come from different places. And try not to compare yourself either. Just because Peter or Mary got over it quickly doesn’t mean you’re supposed to. They are not you. They don’t feel like you do. They don’t experience things like you do. They can’t compare to you because they are not you!

Secondly, please stop putting pressure on yourself to achieve someone else’s timeline.
Yes, we need to have goals and dreams and aspirations. We have to have something to work towards. But again, we are all different. We work at different paces. Just because you stuck with the plan that someone else laid out, and they succeeded and you didn’t, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Maybe you just need a little more time than what they did?
It works the same with our emotions. Some of us ‘get over’ things more quickly – and there are those of us who have to deal with the root before we can successfully pull the weed… and that takes time. ‘Simple’ problems are not always simple.
Please try and love yourself enough to give yourself grace – you’re not a failure, you just need some more time.

And remember that it takes time to recover and rebuild… so if it doesn’t happen in a specific time frame that you have in mind or have as an example from someone else, please don’t give up. Keep at it!

Slow progress is still progress.

And you’re still way ahead of people who aren’t even trying 😉

Can you name yourself?

self love

I shared the above picture on my Facebook wall yesterday. And my heart broke.

People I truly care about and love responded with a sad ‘like’ emoji. Four of them actually commented… and basically? Their reply was, ‘never’.

For those who responded, I did what I do best, and popped off messages of encouragement to remind them that they have worth.

But guys and girls, isn’t this such a tragic epidemic? Because so many of us can identify with it. If you had asked me six months ago, I am pretty sure my response would have been ‘never’ too.

You know something? I love my kids. I really do. It helps that I have kinda great ones 😛 Thing is, that sometimes they don’t act or treat me in a way that they should – they ‘act out’ or make silly choices – and I get a little mad at them. But in every disciplinary action that I take, every word that I speak, I am always really clear :

”I love you no matter what. But what you just did/said, is not very like-able. So although I love you despite it, I really don’t like it.”

Why do we struggle so much to apply that to our lives?

I didn’t get that kind of unconditional love from my own mother. No! Please don’t feel sorry for me. And please understand that I don’t mean it as a disrespectful thing for her – because when I started accepting that she loved me the way she knew how, based on her belief systems and from her place of pain and bitterness, it made me see things a little differently. And it’s partly because of my experiences with her that I have been able to grow, and be a different kind of mother for my children. Moving on from that though, I want to say this :

(There’s a much better, and probably well-researched, way to get this message across. And there are more blog posts to grow from it. But sadly, I am pressed for time. So you’re just gonna have to get what’s in my heart for now.)

It doesn’t matter what mistakes you have made in your life. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you made bad choices. 

It doesn’t matter who DIDN’T love you. It doesn’t matter what people have said about you. 

And I know it’s hard to break cycles of abuse, and switch off those repetitive voices that tell you that you’re a failure, worthless, unattractive.

The toughest is when you ‘make another mistake’, or just made your third bad choice this week and it’s only Tuesday! But guess what? That actually doesn’t matter either.

Here’s the thing : when our friends come to us, broken by the things listed above, we usually say something like, ‘My friend, don’t be so hard on yourself, cut yourself some slack, all is not lost, tomorrow is a new day’….

But we keep forgetting to apply it to ourselves.

So to everyone who is taking the time to read this :

PLEASE cut yourself some slack. Yes, maybe you need to make positive changes. Yes, maybe you’re making the same mistakes. Yes, maybe your choices need some guidance.

BUT…. those are just things that we need to ‘not like’, and work on.

They do not define you. YOU CAN STILL LOVE YOU!

Because you ARE worth it!