February is the month where we celebrate LOVE. Hence this post...
Have you ever felt like your own worst critic?? I know, stupid question...of course, we all do that at one time or another. I seem to go through spurts and when I have a spurt, I seem to rip myself up one side and down another. I hate that I do it, but still, I do it.
I have always been a bit of a perfectionist which may be a big part of the reason that I am so hard on myself. I probably have some OCD tendancies (not bad, but still there) and I love order. That's just one small component of why I am so hard on myself. The bottom line is, I have struggled with low self-esteem and always have. I have come MILES over the years and have learned that I am here to make mistakes, but I still fight the "Voices" in my head that tell me I'm not good enough.
Recently I was mistreated by someone close to me whom I love and respected dearly and whom I thought loved and respected me back. This person has a drinking problem and when she "went off" on me, she had in fact been drinking. She assumed that I had "wronged" her because of her perception of what she thought she heard (it's so stupid, really). Anyway, she tore me up with her tongue. And even though I apologized repeatedly for making her feel bad (which was the FARTHEST thing from my mind), she shut me down and cut me off. So naturally, I left feeling totally at fault (even the witnesses were shocked at her behavior) and even though I knew that alcohol was a major factor, I beat myself up and those pesky Voices in my head told me that I was a bad person and not worthy of being loved. I shed many tears and, because of her cruel behavior, I ended up hating myself for several days!
I have since moved on from that experience. I have forgiven her and I now just pity her because she is a very sad and lonely person whose best friend lives in the bottom of a glass! I'm not angry, just sad that she has decided to shut herself off and live in her anger.
We have ALL been hurt and wronged. We have all been damaged. It's just the way it is!
So this is what I have done...I have made a list of the good things about me...this was most difficult because naturally, the Voices wanted me to make a list of the bad things...but in my attempts to silence them, this is what I have come up with...
1. I am a very forgiving person. I truly forgive and forget because I know that we are all here on earth to make mistakes. We are going to hurt others, maybe not intentionally, but we do it and we ALL deserve forgiveness.
2. I am a positive person...for the most part! I DO look at the glass half full and give people the benefit of the doubt. This has hurt me at times, but in the long run, it has benefited me more.
3. I am a smart person! I try to keep myself educated. I observe and learn. I look for the lessons in experiences and I try to grow from all of them even though the Voices tell me that I should know more and should be smarter for my age...
4. I am a loving person. I truly do love people.
5. I am a fun person to be around...most of the time...I admit, when I wrote that last statement, the Voices tried to tell me that I was the only one who thinks I'm fun and that really I'm just annoying...
6. I am a good mother. Yes, I have made a multitude of mistakes (and the Voices remind me of this constantly) but nobody loves their kids more than I do! All you mothers out there know exactly what I mean!
7. I am a good wife. When I got divorced, my ex-husband told my new husband that he was the luckiest man on earth to be getting me because I was a great wife! (this same ex-husband cheated on me and, in my opinion, added greatly to my low self-exteem issues...but that's for another day!)
8. I am a generous person. I will give you anything you want...to a fault.
So that's about it. I'm learning to love myself. I made the list. The Voices are taunting me as I write and telling me to erase this silly post. But for my sake, I'm publishing it!
"Self esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves" ~author unknown