“You are a child of the Universe, you have a right to be here….” Desiderata
Hopefully the people in your inner circle honor and respect you. If you have not been valued growing up, there is a good chance that you have not learned to value yourself and that you have chosen in your life partners who are the almost exact copy of your caregivers. Germaine Greer said something like “you do to yourself as an adult what was done to you as a child”.
The problem with not being valued as a child is that you have learned to not expect much from anyone. When you have received nothing in the past, crumbs feel like a gift. Your job as an adult is to revisit some, if not all, of the beliefs you have about yourself, others and life and to start expecting better and more.
How do you know if you are honoring yourself or not?
. Honoring yourself or have you abandonned your own heart? You are not happy but are not taking action for fear of hurting someone else, because you don’t believe you deserve more
. Honoring yourself or finding excuses. You find reasons to excuse how your partner or friends treat you.
. Honoring yourself or hiding what’s happening. You hide to the world what is happening in your relationship because you are ashamed and you think it’s because you are unloveable.
. Honoring yourself or repressing your feelings? Your way of handling you emotions is to always have the “I am fine” answer, whether or not it’ true.
. Honoring yourself or repressing your needs? You convince yourself that things are not so bad and that you are just asking too much.
. Honoring yourself or giving in to fear? You dismiss your needs because making changes is scary. You don’t know where to begin, so you settle
. Honoring yourself or dismissing your wants? You don’t think you have the right to what you want. You are afraid to be seen as selfish.
. Honoring yourself or mistreating your body through poor eating, sleeping or exercise? You eat your emotions; stress keeps you awake at night; you don’t have the energy to exercise.
. Honoring yourself or spending time with people who do not respect and honor you? You make little or no time for people who you know love you because you know they will see in your eyes that you are not honoring yourself.
. Honoring yourself or accepting less than what you would want for people you love? You would be totally up in arms if a loved one tolerated being treated the way you are.
WHAT HONORING YOURSELF WILL LOOK LIKE
“The reputation you have with yourself–your self-esteem–is the single most important factor for a fulfilling life.” Nathaniel Branden, Honoring the Self: The Psychology of Confidence and Respect
. You stop lying to yourself about how you feel. This is scary. Because once you tell the truth out loud, it gets very difficult to lie; It causes cognitive dissonance.
. You start listening to people in your life who tell you you deserve better..
. You learn to be loyal to yourself and catch yourself when you excuse someone’s bad behaviour.
. You create boundaries to protect you from disrespect. You stand up for yourself. First you speak up and if the other person violates that boundary again and again, you do not let that person in your environment
. You stop trying to prove your worth. If someone only wants you around when you are “useful”, they don’t love you. They are using you as valet service.
. You work on realizing that you are not responsible for anyone’s feelings. Respect them enough to let them be responsible for themselves. (read on co-dependency)
. You work on being as loving, generous, empathic, etc. to yourself as you are being to others and stop calling yourself loving, generous, compassionate, etc. unless you give as much to yourself as you do to others. (Remember the Bible, “love thy neighbour AS thyself”, NOT MORE THAN)
. You stop believing that others are like you – some are mean and unhealthy and will never change. Read the newspapers.
. You catch yourself doing something to be loved. You start doing things because you love, not to pay your way to be loved. You stop trying to please at all costs. You stop being a doormat.
. You tell the truth. Truth about how you feel, what you want, what is not acceptable, what you need. The truth will set you free, but first it will feel horrible.
. You do not use the people who hurt or devalue you as your confidant. Ever because they will use it agains you. You talk to happy people who love you (and show it).
. You make space in your life for those who you know care deeply for you. You clean up your Rolodex of people who constantly disrespect, dismiss, insult, or otherwise make you feel like you are difficult to love. Relationships are not therapy but some are therapeutic, others, not.
. You keep a diary to keep track of the highlights (good or bad) in your life. Seeing it written helps counteract denial
. You make a list of everything positive your real friends and loved ones have told you about yourself (that’s what you bring to the table)
. You remind yourself that you are no longer a powerless child. You can take care of yourself better than you think. Only a helpless child can be abandonned. You are a grown adult and you can take care of yourself.
. You look for and find professional help with someone who is familiar with childhood trauma and invest in your well-being.
. You imagine how a great life would look like, feel like and work toward creating it for yourself. You finally start giving yourself a chance.
Are you ready to honor yourself? If so, contact me through the contact form or by phone at 613-744-1538, during regular business hours to set up a short no-obligation phone session to determine if we are a good fit and if you would like to work with me to create a better life.
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