Monday, March 15, 2010
Today's assignment for the March Challenge, Learning To Love Myself As I Am Now, is to evaluate my own progress in the challenge at the half way mark.
This challenge has been a good one for me because I'm so self critical. I often expect myself to be perfect. It has helped me to see my tendency to counter positive statements about myself with "but" statements. Example: I have a big heart and trusting nature but this sets me up for being hurt. I need to learn to make positive statements and carry on positive self dialogue without putting a condition on it. I have made some progress with this as you can see if you read yesterday's blog. As I was writing the blog, I had to catch myself to keep from writing conditional "but" statements. This made me very aware of this action. I tend to do the same thing in conversations with other people and also make self depreciating remarks. I know that I do it because I'm trying to relate to other people and make them feel good by trying to make a connection. Sometimes, however, I'm doing it at my own expense. Doing things at my own expense is something that still needs a little work. The challenge has helped increase my awareness.
Another thing that the challenge has done is make me more aware of how "helpful/loving actions" affect my own feelings and the feelings of other people. When I took the time to think about it, it heightened my sensitivity to how others feel. It also made me aware of how good loving actions make feel too! When I feel good, my own actions/thoughts tend to be more charitable towards myself and loving myself is easier. I am seeing that everything is connected in one way or another.
The challenge has made me think. I've had to ask myself some tough questions. What prevents me from loving myself as I am? For one thing, old tapes from my childhood sometimes run through my mind. I learned to treat myself the way my parents treated me when I was young. As I became an adult, I looked at their treatment and had to decide if it had any validity. Although my parents taught me manners, it was painful to admit that they treated me badly most of the time. How can I undo the damage to my self esteem? I have to re-teach myself how to treat me. How I treat myself affects how I let other people treat me. I have to admit that I've let lots of people treat me badly. This stops now. There is a fine line between facing reality, being honest with yourself, and beating yourself up. I'm breaking the habit of being brutal with myself. I am learning to treat myself the same way I would treat a beloved friend. Love starts with yourself and moves outward. I am making progress. This is just one part of my journey.