Challenge accepted. This question was posed by a friend on the interwebs. I’ve been actively processing narcissistic abuse. Some days I remember my inner awesome but most days, I question IF there is anything to love about myself. The rebuild of Self is hard. I ask myself: Am I far enough in my healing journey to have anything to love about myself? Is my perception of me the same what is projected out? It’s clear that I love life but do I love me? Am I still viewing myself through the cloudy lens of those who have abused me? Am I strong enough to dissolve comments of others and believe in my own personal AWESOME?
Well… considering I’m actively addressing & rewiring myself from over a decade of mental and emotional abuse, I’ll accept the challenge.
*Deep breath and canvass my being*
I know what I’m grateful for, but the question is what do I love about me?
- HEART: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the purity of my heart. This entire blog has been geared towards trying to purify my heart. I had a LOT of pain in my heart. Some posts were difficult to write and equally as difficult to re-read. Through it all, my heart still beats. That resilient muscle just beats harder when challenged. And that is probably one of the most beautiful things about me. My ability to love through pain. Love through heartbreak. Love through the ups. Love through the downs. My heart continues to beat through it all. Such a magical organ. Or muscle… I LOVE MY HEART!
- MINDSET: Gosh, I’ve experienced some pretty traumatic and challenging things in my 34 years of existence. And through all of it, I have still been able to find the silver lining and keep things in perspective. The recent chapter has proven to be VERY challenging as I’m not always willing to accept certain truths but I’m getting there. Slowly. This current set of goals is by far the biggest challenge I’ve set for myself thus far. Keeping perspective is the secret to success in my journey to peace. As a form of self-preservation, my mind automatically searches for the silver lining or lesson in a difficult situation. Unconsciously, I am able to compartmentalise things so I’m typically emotionally void. This year, I’m actively interrupting my thinking process. I’m allowing my emotions to bubble out [rather than supress] as a means to heal my deep-seeded pain. I continue to make mistakes every day but my saving grace is apologising once I realise I have projected pain as opposed to love. I’m still learning to be gentle on myself. I’m still learning NOT to take responsibility for other people. Today, I LOVE HAVING A MINDSET THAT ALLOWS ME TO VIEW PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS AS LESSONS. (allowing me to fail forward).
- My LAUGH: Seems odd but someone once said that when you laugh, it’s when you are closest to The Man Upstairs (our Creator). I believe this. I’m not religious but I believe this with every ounce of my being. Even yesterday, my laugh infected a complete stranger. It happens more times than not but for some reason yesterday, the stranger complimented me and shared a completely random and completely perfect moment of pure joy. I LOVE MY LAUGH.
- SAYING NO: Saying NO is a new thing to people in my past. Important to outline that I have no issue saying no to new people; it’s the people of my childhood that have difficulty being respectful (and kind). I’m starting to enjoy saying NO. I like telling people that something no longer serves me. I enjoy standing up for myself. I enjoy telling people NO if they are causing me harm. I’m not a fan of the consequences as most of the people I’ve been saying NO to as of late are from my younger years but each NO that results in a pushback just reinforces that I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m demanding the respect that I deserve. I am treated well by people around the world and now the people from my childhood are learning how to behave when I say NO. It’s a beautiful thing. I LOVE SAYING NO.
- CONVICTION: When I believe in something, I believe with my entire heart and soul. This is a double-edged sword but it’s one of the things I admire about myself. I often find myself alone and that’s perfectly OK because one of my mantras is “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” The cause that I’m currently fighting for is mental wellness with a focus is on recovery from domestic violence. Difficult topics to discuss and even harder processing but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. I LOVE MY CONVICTION TO SEE A GOAL TO THE END.
- FORGIVENESS: It happens often that I remove people from my life and I recklessly allow them back in. I keep my heart pure and forgive people almost immediately after they wrong me. I do this for my health, not theirs. Forgiveness is for ME. Part of forgiveness is letting go. I didn’t realise until recently that I was good at this. It was part of my being. Perhaps I was good at this because my abuse was too great to process any other way? Who knows. But during a dinner conversation with my mommabear, she reminded me of my ability to forgive (and forget). I need to work on remembering things and accept that some people are unwilling to change. She thinks I trust too easily and need to stop seeing the best in people… Something I’m mindful of and working on… But at the moment, I LOVE MY ABILITY TO FORGIVE.
- SNEEZING: Random Fun Fact about me. Each time that I’m about to write or say something that I shouldn’t, I start sneezing. Almost as if the Universe is literally disrupting my flow to stop me in my tracks. Each time that I’m about to put my foot in my mouth, I start a series of sneezes. Generally speaking, it’s just enough to bring me back to the present moment and prevent me from doing something that would warrant an apology. I LOVE MY SNEEZES.
- PRESENCE: The last thing that I’ll share that I love about myself is how I gamified interactions with people without knowing it. It’s almost as if I accept, as a personal challenge, to flip someone’s frown upside down. Usually, this happens in restaurants or a service-based environment. Compliments, using their name or just making them feel seen typically results in them turning their frown upside down. I had an opportunity to do this today. The woman who sat me was not having a good day. I complimented her posture. She said she was a softball player. I said she had the same presence as Powerlifters at the gym. Broad shoulders and walking with purpose. *huge compliment*. She smiled and grew a few inches taller… I LOVE MY ABILITY TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL SEEN.
I will admit, I was apprehensive about writing this piece. I’m glad I accepted the challenge. There are plenty of things to love about myself. My mind can whip out a series of things and my heart is finally starting to believe it… healing takes time. Sometimes it’s one day at a time. Other days it is one hour at a time. There is magic in my existence!
YOUR TURN! To all those on their healing journey, please leave a comment with things you love about yourself. I’d love to hear what you have to say!
2 thoughts on “Self-Care Challenge: What do I love about me?”
I read and reread every sentence and I can understand the emotions and positive ways of thinking about different situations to help us all.
Thank you Bill! My life has always been about finding the silver lining and this chapter is about shattering that rose colored lens so I can accept reality. Reality of abusers. Reality of being treated poorly. Reality of dysfunctional people. And through forcing my heart to accept this, I tend to fall into darkness. I question if perhaps the judgements of others carry weight. And so this post was kind of my victory song of despite everything, I still love so many parts of me. Felt good to get the words out! The healing continues…