I’m going to get honest in this post. Like real honest: I have gone through life kinda sorta hating myself every (or almost) day. Yikes!
But I Never Knew You Felt That Way!
Some of my friends will be floored by this admission because I do a great job of hiding it. I struggle with loving myself: my personality, my feelings and even my body. I have a hard time accepting who I am inside: the things I love or hate, what makes me happy or sad, what makes me angry and my perceived flaws. Everything really.
Cracks Begin to Show
Most people never pick up on this but if you look closely you might see traces. Things like being hard on myself, brushing off compliments and avoiding attention from guys that find me attractive will give it away. I cannot accept money, say no to free drinks at first offer and practically have to force myself to let someone buy me lunch or take me out. It’s all very uncomfortable but I try to appear normal and easy-going; I am so not.
It’s such a sad, sad waste of my time and energy because the truth is I’m a wonderful person. I wake up everyday with good intentions. I give my all to my job, my friends and my family, but I often neglect myself.
I’ve grown tired of my ways. I simply must change the way I treat myself. You know it’s like this: I wouldn’t treat anyone else this way so why is it okay to treat myself this way?
So What Ya Gonna’ Do About It?
I’m currently completing a class that teaches you to focus on none other than yours truly. We post daily using the hashtag “itsallaboutme” to encourage focus on self-love. I’m reading a book that insists on taking Vitamin P everyday. What’s Vitamin P? It’s a catchy term for Vitamin Pleasure; as in do the things that make you happy and bring pleasure into your life. I’m reading yet another book that talks about allowing people to contribute to your life. Then it teaches how to be a gracious receiver; how to REALLY let the “good stuff” in.
Do you know how impossibly hard this is for me? It’s like when you are first learning to ride a bike and all you get are falls and skinned knees. I can’t balance without falling…yet.
It is changing though. I had a thought the other day, “Who else do I have to live for but myself?” It seems basic, right? Like “Duh”. But it’s not basic at all; it’s foreign to me. So there is my one thought in the right direction.
I’ve been slowly rearranging my life to be less stressful: I’ve quit my extra jobs and I’m working on rescheduling my late night yoga shift for a more manageable time. These actions are proof that the tapping I’m doing is working (surprise…EFT works yet again!) because before I only wanted to take what was available. Take what is given to me and deal with the inconvenience it creates in my life. Now I’m actively choosing then asking for what I really want.
Whoa. I need to take a breath.
Weaving Happiness Into My Life
How am I going about this? I’m working with life coaches every week to help me fully understand what stands in the way of my happiness. Like, why do I have trouble receiving? Why is it hard to be good to myself? Some things we’ve dug up are old feelings of anxiety from my childhood, the need to sacrifice myself in order to put others first and the need to feel invisible. This last reason (you know, the invisible thing?) is huge and permeates every part of my life. Can I get a giant erasure to wipe it off please?!
Cloak of Invisibility
I’ve discovered that “self-hatred and being invisible” makes me feel safe and protected. Somehow my mind formed the conclusion along the way that if I put myself down enough (this is the self-hatred part) to where people don’t focus on me (this is the being invisible part), I’ll be safe. Twisted, I know.
If you know anything about EFT you know that when something serves an alternate purpose (particularly around safety) it’s not that easy to just tap it away. You have to go around it and gently excavate it. You must figure out how you can feel safe and protected in a different way. In other words, since being invisible serves to make me feel safe I have to find an alternate way to feel safe and protected. I cannot simply drop it but rather must replace it with something better. Making sense?
Trip Down Memory Lane
I’m still working through this but it’s been really cool to use tapping on it because I’ve had many memories from kindergarten and 1st grade surface. Times where I was called on by the teacher or when the class’s attention was focused on me made me panic and feel shy. I had completely forgotten these memories ever existed! You think you just move on from these incidents but in fact they just become buried in your psyche and later affect your behavior.
Being invisible dives deep into your self-confidence. Think about it this way: if you think thoughts everyday about needing to disappear in order to feel safe, what do you think this does to your self-confidence? You start to believe you are worthless and your needs don’t deserve attention. You start to belittle yourself and your desires. You begin stuffing down your emotions which inevitably leads to unhappiness.
So I have a “Titanic” sized issue to turn around; luckily there is no iceberg up ahead. Only my desire to be happy driving me to change and I am totally and completely thankful for this. I think about this a lot: I’m so thankful I didn’t have to have a drastic wake up call to get me onto this path. I’m grateful I got to choose this for myself instead of being forced into it by something really scary like cancer or, say, a nervous breakdown. This drive is what makes me such a great life coach:) I have a natural hunger for progress and growth!
What’s Up Ahead?
“Just keep at it” is my mantra these days. Many times I simply cannot see the progress I’ve made and I have to take myself into my past to say, “See? You used to have this problem and now it’s all gone because you stuck with it and kept chipping away.” So then I begin again. I schedule another session or sit down to do more tapping. I remind myself that this self-hatred is a core piece of me and it’s not to be handled alone.
And on I go.
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