Sometimes it’s hard to remember the thoughts we try to forget about. That one childhood memory that brings everything back or even the ones that happened just last year. And even though we thought it was behind us, in a split second it’s staring us in the face. The feelings flood back and so does the pain, frustration, and confusion, too. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the memory and pretend it’s not real, to repress it, of course, so we don’t have to feel.
But, as hard as it is to relive those painful memories, the ones we avoid with every part of us, they resurface.
Those memories are telling us to feel them. Without feeling them and processing how they shaped us, we hold that pain within our bodies. We often see those memories wanting to come out; in our dreams, our behavior, through our fears. To process pain and memories is to honor and love ourselves. We are not meant to hold baggage and to suffer unnecessarily. We do not live to suffer, although it seems this way.
Process the memories and express how they made you feel. What did you learn from that memory? How do you see yourself moving on from it?
Empowerment is the constant processing of pain, thoughts, and perspectives into ambition, potential, action, and advocacy. Our stories are what empowers us.
In times of uncertainty, shift your perspective from what you can’t control to what you can. Allow yourself to create a safe space within yourself when what’s outside isn’t serving your needs. There are things you can control and your actions and self-awareness are two of those things.
Often times we stay stuck in the reality of our past. We dwell and ruminate on the what-ifs and maybes. We stand in what we can’t walk away from. But, that doesn’t have to be where we are forever. We can give ourselves permission to move forward. We can dissect and navigate our mistakes, regrets, and pain in order to clear the path of progress for ourselves. The more we become comfortable with our discomfort and adjust our eyes in the darkest parts of ourselves, we learn to forgive what we were and make room for who we can become.
Make room for yourself to walk forward. Clear a path so that you can forgive and lift the weight that’s been keeping you standing instead of moving forward. Manifest something different. Manifest clarity and grace. Manifest wellness and peace. You deserve to feel free. This is your time for freedom.
Stand firm and know that what you feel and experience is valid. There is no checklist or standard to what makes your story enough to cause pain, growth, or transformation. Wherever you are in your journey, whatever frustrations, confusions, turmoil, or changes influence how you are perceiving the events that happen to you is your call to make. There is no shame in feeling what you feel.
No need to compare yourself to anyone, downplay what you are feeling, or over-explain any part of your story. You are valid in whatever stage you are in. Receive the support or help that is necessary to get you where you need/want to go in your growth and healing.
Growth and Transformation Through Awareness: Pain and Toxic Traits
We all have a way in which we think and act based on our beliefs and ideas. Sometimes, however, our judgment and growth are clouded by the pain and trauma we often recycle through our toxic habits and behaviors.
The tricky thing about pain is how deeply rooted it is. We don’t see our behavior as toxic or hurtful until it’s too late and we’ve already hurt someone we might care for.
In order to identify those toxic cycles, we must grow in self-awareness. The more self-aware we become, the more we are able to catch ourselves and understand why we act the way we do. Although some behaviors may appear harmless, like numbing our feelings and trying not to cope with our pain, if repressed for too long, will eventually appear in our behavior.
Projection occurs when we place how we treat ourselves onto the people we love or want to love. Often unconsciously our own self-abandonment is how we begin to treat those around us.
The first step in feeling our pain is to accept that we’ve hurt someone and forgive ourselves. If we hold onto the pain and regret, it will stay with us and lead how we treat those who enter our lives.
Once aware, begin the process of identifying in what ways we can improve and begin to love ourselves in that process. Although we can’t undo another person’s pain, we can improve and heal through our own. We must learn who we are and the pain that guided our past self.
The growth that self-awareness brings can resurface memories and thoughts that created the original pain, but that process will birth a transformed perspective.
We learn through experiences and wanting to do better. Without the urge to do better, the pain will validate itself and remain how we see ourselves.
Important note: This process can be difficult to do on our own but I found therapy, self-help books, meditation, writing, reflective exercises, support groups, and mental health resources to be a great help in beginning this process.
“Experiencing a panic attack is exhausting, draining and can take days to recover from. While we sometimes do our best to prevent an escalation into a panic attack, they still can happen. How do we feel like ourselves again following a panic attack? What are some positive coping techniques we can use to improve our self-care?”
For 2020 and beyond I am prioritizing self-care and self-love that is defined by me and only me. With each week reflecting on various ways to reflect and process my feelings, this week is redefining my worth to MYSELF.
Having a past of people-pleasing is hard to realize and even harder to overcome. Not seeing myself as valuable or worthy of love has influenced a history of constant “doing” in order to prove myself to those around me.
This habit ends now.
So, I’m saying no to:
What is not for me.
What makes me uncomfortable.
What doesn’t serve my needs.
What I don’t have the energy for.
Being available to everyone.
Giving away all of my energy.
“Fixing” other people’s problems.
And, I’m saying yes to:
What fills me with joy.
Building lasting connections.
Feeling good about myself.
Expressing my needs.
Allowing myself to be seen.
Reaching out to others.
Doing things for fun.
Being open to love.
Affirmation: I am open to loving myself unconditionally and unapologetically.
For the last month and a half or so I’ve been seeing a therapist for the first time since that one semester in my senior year of college. Although it’s difficult to manage all the emotions that come up as I talk through all of “my stuff”, I’m continuing to come in contact with the parts of me that were previously tucked deeply away. The more I talk and navigate my experiences, the more I’m able to identify the parts of me that need healing.
In these few weeks I learned three big things about my personality, habits, and tendencies:
1. I’m a highly sensitive person and a hopeless romantic.
2. I have issues with feeling good enough and loving myself in the same intensity that I love others.
3. I’m a recovering perfectionist and still struggle with “doing” too much to feel seen. I try to “stay busy” in order to distract myself from feelings unlovable, worthless, and enough. I crave outside stimuli to try to fill a void inside.
The Creative Cure
As I’m learning about what it means to be me, the good and the bad, I found that creativity and writing are my most helpful tools for feeling better.
Because I’m aware of my perfectionism, I’m trying to reverse and redirect the energies I put in “doing”, “pleasing” and “overexerting” back into myself. As I practice what feeds my passion, I’m beginning to realize what love means for me. The more I see what love is for me, the more I can pour back into myself the void of practicing and feeling self-love.
Passion and Learning Self-love
Passion is the manifestation of self-love — It’s love in doing. Passion is one of the only feelings (along with ambition, for example) that can not be given to someone else. To feel passion is to come in contact with something in yourself that feeds your needs and fuels your purpose.
When I create, write, and tell my story I feel passion. Doing what I feel passion for allows me to access peace and satisfaction perfectionism never can.
As I move closer to reclaiming my self-love, allowing it to travel to all parts of me (including my perspective of myself), I will use writing and creativity to help heal me of my self-love wound.
Find your passion. Find what helps you feel good and accomplished. Learn about yourself and learn what love means to you. Feel and access the energy of love. Once you’ve found the peace that comes with love, you can practice love for yourself and with others.
Self-care with unbreakable self-love is powerful and can help you build a healthier you.