Knowing your (my) self worth

I had a bit of a light bulb moment last night. In the last year and a half I have been learning to love myself and recover from my abusive marriage. However I realised how easy it is to slip back into our old patterns. My journey to loving myself started when I took responsibility for my part in my previous relationships. Yes, men hadn’t treated me very well but that was because I had allowed them to because I didn’t think I deserved any better. I have been accused of being ‘too nice’ in the past.

Now I do. I know I do deserve the love of a caring, committed man.  And yes I am nice – I wouldn’t want to be anything else. But I need to be nice to myself too and I have to let go of the fear that I won’t find love. Of course I will, it is only that fear that is holding me back.

So here’s to loving ourselves first and foremost and knowing we are worth it.

 

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A tale of two crabs

Once upon a time there were two crabs who lived on the same beach. There was Crafty the male one and Cheeky the female one. Because they were crabs they used their shells to protect their sensitive insides. They were both getting on in years now. When they were younger they had different mates and used to sometimes play together. They then went their separate ways. Later Crafty’s mate swam away and Cheeky’s found another and then died.

Unbeknown to Cheeky though, Crafty had still been watching her from his end of the beach. One day when Cheeky thought it might be time to start looking for a new mate, she noticed Crafty was looking her way and they both came out of their shells for a little while and had some fun together. Of course, being crabs, they would both still hide in their shells from time to time because they sometimes found it hard to be vulnerable.

Then Crafty decided to start digging a big hole in the sand. Cheeky, as her name suggests, was a little more audacious and from time to time she would go and tap on Crafty’s shell. Although she often went back into her shell she was now older and wiser and realised it was quite lonely in there. But he was very busy digging and also retreated further and further into his shell. He still liked Cheeky but told her he did not have time to come out to play because he needed to finish his hole.

After a while Cheeky got a little bored waiting for him to come out. By now the tide was coming in. She decided to ride on the waves and have fun on her own. As the tide went out again she swam with it and started to have some exciting adventures. Crafty was so deep in his hole though the tide didn’t catch him so he was left behind on the beach. At low tide he came out again and saw that Cheeky was gone.

So how does the story end? Well that really depends on Crafty. He knows Cheeky likes him but she can’t wait for him forever. He could carry on digging his hole or he could take a break and swim out to meet Cheeky and have some amazing adventures together…

Doing away with negative self talk

I guess like me you are probably your own worse critic. My one intention for 2017 is to love myself more. We are only 11 days into 2017 and I have messed up spectacularly a few times already. Or have I? Is that just me being overly critical of myself? Probably, because when I have confessed to friends they have reminded me I am only human.

I have been practising meditation and mindfulness for about 10 years now. If anything that can make it worse because I can see my patterns and sometimes I feel powerless. I have noticed in the last few weeks that I can still feel just as insecure as ever. So what do I do? Beat myself up even more. I am now trying to laugh at it – not at myself – but at the human condition in general. I have been setting very high standards for myself. I think I should be a good Buddhist and because I am a coach I should be calm in all situations. And there’s another thing. That word ‘should.’ We should be this, we should be that.

So how am I going to stop criticising myself? I can practise more self-compassion. I can choose to be connected to my inner child and recognise when she is hurt and be kind to her. I have had many challenges in the last few years so I am also choosing to give myself a break. If a friend had been through similar I would be there for her so why can’t I be there for myself? I am also accepting that it’s ok to lean on people sometimes. That’s what friends are for after all. I don’t do it very often so I’m going to let myself be carried sometimes.

So if you’re stressing already about your new year resolutions, look at them again. You are good enough already.

Love Helen