Remember that light bulb moment I blogged about when my brain short circuited in the kitchen telling me that my thinking and what I tell myself about myself, not a person, place or thing outside of myself will save me from sinking while trying to adapt to all the changes in my life of moving to the Middle East?
Well…..since that time, I’ve been paying close attention to my self talk, altering it to be positive, to raise my self-awareness and self-confidence and step into the person I know I am. But something happened along the way…..the person I know myself to be came into question because I thought I should be someone else. I have been allowing myself to be haunted by a ghost. A ghost I thought I should be more like because I tell myself the ghost’s qualities are more important/better than mine. Some of you who read this may understand my inference. I hope you understand I mean no disrespect. This is about my coming to understand how powerful self-acceptance is. Knowing that this comparing myself to another behaviour isn’t new to me but it wasn’t until NOW, being stripped down to my raw self to start rebuilding me, have I EVER truly felt and understood how suicidal this destructive behaviour is.
Just like it is said in the rooms of 12-Step Programs how members read or hear a slogan over and over again until one day….THAT day…. the slogan clicks. This past weekend and after a series of powerful events (explained in closing paragraph) at work today, self-acceptance clicked for me. Accepting my own uniqueness, my own gifts, my own shortcomings is what will set me free from the prison of thinking I’d be better if I weren’t myself and had the qualities (which I don’t have) that a ghost had.
My true self. This past weekend was when I started thinking about that and started researching self-acceptance. What stuck out for me was getting rid of the “musts, shoulds and ought to” and to accept my true self.
So, I started listing what I know about me to get a better idea of my true self:
I am fun, funny, happy, positive, communicative, enthusiastic, joyful, open and a hard worker. I’m genuinely nice. I’m a neat freak – everything has a place and there is a place for everything. I’m exceptionally organized. It’s all about the details. I follow a budget and make grocery lists. I have zero discipline with exercise and diet. I can drink too much. I love to party, dance, laugh and have fun. I change my mind from one minute to the next, have a hard time committing to anything, get bored easily, am an adrenaline junkie and am loud and excitable. I can energize an entire room. I take pride in my appearance, obsessed with having clear skin and white teeth; a great haircut is important to me. I absolutely love children and their playful energy. I believe in bringing out the best in people and seeing the best in all those I meet (not always easy, and yes Yoda I try and make my way to do!). I still have people pleasing tendencies, because I want people to like me. That said, I’m working on changing my thinking from “What do they think of me?” to “What do I think of them?” I overanalyze. Am oversensitive. I think too much. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m reactive/overreactive and emotional. As well as all or nothing. But incredibly tolerant and accepting. I see the beauty in small things and a smile from a child can bring me to my knees. I love deeply, feel deeply, hurt deeply. I run scared when someone wants to get close. Trust is a scary thing for me. I have a tendency to keep people at a distance. I crave connection, believe in connection, and am terrified of it too. I am fearless. And scared to death.
Then today happened.
I believe in Divine Intervention. In Angels. That everything happens for a reason. Today at work, after a series of planned fun events that purposefully brought me front and centre because of my positive, fearless, playful personality; my day ended with the Upper Elementary principal calling me the “Happiest Person on Earth.”
ps………I’m so, so lucky to have a great support network – first, my husband who has held me tightly through all my ups and downs, and a group of AMAZING WOMEN at work who “get” how difficult it is adjusting to living here while starting a new life and a new job AND a new marriage!!! I’m told it takes about a year to settle in and that the emotional roller coaster ride is PERFECTLY normal and will eventually level out!!!!!!!
Love Stephanie xoxo