This post has taken the longest amount of time for me to write and I’ve figured out why. It’s because I am not 100% there yet.
I’ve heard and generally agreed with the analogy “how are you going to fill someone else’s glass if yours doesn’t have anything in it?” I understood this intellectually, but when it came to truly applying this mentality I noticed resistance. Why?
Why did I resist taking care of myself? I oftentimes put other “things that needed to be done” ahead of my needs. Serving other humans has always been fulfilling, so what was wrong with scheduling time for myself—a human, with the exact amount of worth as all other humans—and making it just as important as any other appointment on my calendar? Who am I not to put my essential needs at the top of my priority list?
I used to think this was selfish.
The betrayal trauma pierced me to my core because I was borrowing beliefs about myself from external sources (be it friends, family, accomplishments, and especially my spouse).
I had these untrue deep-rooted negative beliefs about myself I chose not to address.
Instead, I found external sources in a vain attempt to feel the opposite. Recognizing that I had leaned on my husband, his actions, and his words of affirmation to prove this belief of mine was the wrong way for me to go. I have come a long way.
I needed to learn to accept myself completely—and I needed to believe this internally. This is where thought work comes in.
My idea of complete self-acceptance is accepting ALL of me: mind, body, & spirit.
I’m going to show you a progression that I have been though starting with where I was and where I am now. I wanted to include a sequence of thoughts that I used to work towards 100% self-acceptance (theme here is ‘my body’).
I started with thoughts I used to think. Optional thoughts that didn’t serve me—if anything they did the absolute opposite.
– Ugh, I hate my body.
– This isn’t me (caused complete dissociation)
– Ugh, how did I get here?
Intentional thoughts to neutralize or lessen the negative emotion:
– My body has endured some serious stuff and I can see the physical effects of the life stressors (elicits self-compassion)
– I have a body (believable at the time)
– My body has been the vessel for all the hard things I have accomplished over the past three years
– My body is working properly.
Intentional thoughts that provoke positive emotion:
– My body has done some seriously kick-ass things. This body has delivered 3 kids, gotten multiple degrees, completed a few triathlons, climbed a lot of mountains, done construction work in Thailand for a summer, etc.
– I’m grateful for the incredible feats of strength my body endured.
– My body is strong.
– I like that my body is strong.
– My body is intelligent and when I’m in tune with it, I know what it needs.
– My body is an incredible physical artifice.
– I am grateful for my body.
– I love my body.
– I freaking love.my.body.
– I believe that I can get to a place where I fully and completely accept my body.
– I fully and completely accept my body
Shifting from those earlier thoughts to believing the final ones will not come immediately. Each of these thoughts elicited different feelings and feelings need to be processed.
It isn’t a simple matter of getting to the next thought as quickly as possible.
Processing and metabolizing the negative emotions will facilitate understanding of how much the negative emotions are driving your results in life.
This is empowering because thoughts are optional!
I eased myself from the earlier thoughts slightly better thoughts that were believable.
As I practiced the new thoughts, the new neural pathways got stronger and became more dominant than the previous ones.
What if I could just feel amaaaazing about myself regardless of I do or don’t do?
What if . . . my love for myself was unconditional?
Can I get to a place where I love and accept myself, right now, for simply existing?
Loving myself unconditionally will lead to 100% acceptance of self, and will flow into to increased confidence among other things.
I’m not 100% there, but I am closer than I have ever been.
I will get to a place where I accept and love my body, mind, and spirit completely unconditionally for existing.