April 5, 2010
Alright. I need to vent. Bear with me here…
I do stupid things. I’m a big dork. Sometimes I say the wrong thing. I make mistakes all of the time. I can be really lazy. I’m nowhere near the person I want to be yet. I am a complete scatterbrain. I don’t like going places by myself. I have a phobia of talking on the phone or answering the door. I get nervous around people. I jumble my words when I’m tired. I have to force myself to eat vegetables. I wear mismatched socks. Sometimes I wear my pajamas all day. I leave the cap off my toothpaste and squeeze it from the middle. I leave cupboards and drawers open. I’m clumsy, especially in heels. I get irritated with slow drivers. I’m addicted to sugar. I suck at small talk. I feel awkward most of the time. When I have to speak in front of people, my legs shake. Singing in front of people makes me physically ill. I don’t like my voice. I’m terribly self-conscious. I wear jeans two sizes too big for me with multiple holes because I have an irrational fear that any other jeans I try on won’t fit. I hate doing my hair so I usually put it in a ponytail. Doing the dishes grosses me out. I’m always losing things. It’s hard for me to recognize the good in myself. I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I don’t eat enough or I eat way too much. Sometimes I fake being sick to get out of socially stressful situations.I can be a flake. I hate office jobs and I will never work in one again. I take pain killers every day. I always think people are looking at me. I haven’t gone swimming in years because I’m too self-conscious. I get bored with myself a lot. I think I’m addicted to caffeine. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 19. I studied all the time in college and barely had a social life. I wear the same shoes every day. I throw things when I’m angry. I’m pretty hard on myself. I wish I was more confident. I have a hard time believing people when they compliment me. I make stupid typos. I regret a lot of things. Sometimes I eat noodles with my fingers.
Now that I’ve subjected you to Edde’s Imperfections 101, I’m going to turn things around a bit and share a list of “Affirmations for Self-Acceptance” that I came across today. Check it out:
1. I am worthy of love and respect regardless of others’ opinions or behavior.
2. My self worth is totally independent of how I compare to others.
3. My self worth is totally independent of any external factors.
4. I am worthy of love and respect regardless of the results of my efforts.
5. I am worthy and will be loved even when others are being given more attention. I am happy for others when they receive love and attention.
6. My self worth is within me and totally independent of whether I am loved exclusively by someone on or not.
7. I am worthy of love and respect even when I am not perfect in what I do and even when I make mistakes.
8. My self worth is totally independent of how much I accomplish.
9. I am worthy of love and respect even when I feel weak or needy.
10. My self worth is totally independent of whether others agree with me or satisfied with me.
11. I deserve love and respect even when I need to say “no” and not respond to what I am asked to do.
12. My self worth has nothing to do with how much I give or receive.
13. My self worth is totally independent as to whether some people trust me or open up to me or not.
14. My self worth is totally independent of how people behave towards me.
15. My self worth is totally independent of how much others work or how they work or what they believe about me.
16. My self worth is a reflection of my divine nature and not my gender, religion, social class etc.
17. My self worth is totally independent of whether others recognize it or how they feel towards me.
18. I accept and love myself as I am with my faults and weaknesses.
19. I am intelligent and capable enough to succeed in any endeavor which is important to me.
20. I deserve to be loved and respected exactly as I am.
21. I have the inner power and strength to deal with whatever life brings me.
22. I am capable of handling any possible difficulties which might occur.
23. I am beautiful exactly as I am – just as all aspects of nature.
24. I am a good person, a worthy person.
25. I am worthy of love and respect regardless of how others behave towards me.
26. I respect and love all persons without feeling any need whatsoever to live my life according to their beliefs or values. I live my life in harmony with my inner values and beliefs.
27. I am in no way responsible for others people’s reality but only for my own motives and behavior towards them.
28. No else is responsible for my reality. I am totally responsible for what I feel and experience in life.
29. My self worth is based on my inner being, my existence itself, my inner divine nature and on no other external factors.
30. My self worth is a simple function of the fact that I am a unique aspect of divine creation. My self worth cannot be increased nor decreased. I can never be more or less worthy of love and respect than another.
31. Although I am not perfect and have various faults, I deserve to be loved and respected as I am, just I as I love and respect others with their faults.
32. When I do not love my self, I am not loving an aspect of divine creation.
33. I often accept in others traits which I reject in my self. Why?
34. I am in a process of personal evolution and am attending to that process.
35. All beings deserve my love and respect, including my self.
(These are adapted from the following link: http://www.holisticharmony.com/lcp/list/affirmations.html)
So there you go.
I’m me. And I’m myself. Any questions?
March 28, 2010
My therapist once gave me a list called “My Bill of Rights.” It was during a time when I was struggling with inappropriate guilt and lack of assertiveness in relationships. She said to keep a copy in my car, in my room, at work… Wherever I would see it often. I had actually forgotten all about it until the other day when I found it in a random pile of scrap paper. I still have a difficult time with some of these things, so it is good to be reminded.
MY BILL OF RIGHTS
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO AND NOT FEEL GUILTY.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR WHAT I WANT.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR INFORMATION.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE MISTAKES.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO LESS THAN I AM HUMANLY CAPABLE OF (seriously!)
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACT IN WAYS THAT PROMOTE MY DIGNITY AND SELF-RESPECT AS LONG AS OTHERS ARE NOT VIOLATED IN THE PROCESS.
Virginia Satir said the following, which I think goes right along with the concept of our rights as individuals:
I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.
February 26, 2010
Right after I wrote yesterday’s post, I went to see my therapist. During the session I was able to process more of what had happened the night before, as I was still struggling with whether to trust my own opinion of myself or believe someone else’s perspective of who I am. While I just couldn’t believe that I am permanently broken, I was still experiencing doubts about my worth and my chance of recovery. I mean… I know I have things I need to work on, but I don’t want to be made to feel like I’m doomed to forever battling these demons. Like this is who I am and that will never change… If that’s true, why not just give up now? I just couldn’t accept that, but there was still that voice in my head saying “See? It’s true. You’re a horrible, weak person. Someone else doubts your ability to succeed, so you must just be a failure.”
It’s that same voice that leads me to hurt myself, to binge, to run away, to lie, to ultimately give up on myself. It’s that voice that I fight every single day. Sometimes I can make it shut up. Sometimes it screams so loudly I can’t hear anything else. But my therapist helped me see that for the first time… there was another voice in my head that was even louder than this one. It was the voice that said “No, you don’t have to believe that. That’s just his uneducated perspective. You’re better than that. You know who you are. You know you don’t have to give in to self-doubt and self-hatred. You can get better, and you will.”
My therapist helped me see just how far I’ve come. Just a little while ago, an experience like that would have destroyed me. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from cutting or maybe something even more drastic. I would have believed those negative things, because I had absolutely no sense of self. But now I do have a sense of who I am, even if it’s just an inkling. At least I have developed enough self-knowledge and self-respect to be able to disagree with someone else’s opinion of me instead of adopting it as my own, as has been my habit for my entire life. That is huge progress for me.