Chain, Chain, Chains
Most women, and many men, have stories about self-doubt, shame and some self-loathing. My butts too big, my butt’s too small. If only I was…taller, shorter, lighter, darker, smarter, neater. The stories become your slogging chains.
I have several stories of my own; I’ll share a few.
At age eight, my two teenage sisters regularly belittled me for having fat thighs. That summer I recall awaiting my first swim lesson, feeling ashamed of my chubby legs. So much that I jumped in the water to conceal my legs, gulping water as I started to sink, then quickly rescued by a lifeguard. I was terrified and ran out. I’ve spent nearly a lifetime unable to swim. Embarrassed to tears. Ashamed. Around age 10 I was proudly and loudly singing in the church choir when a nun told me to mouth the words because my voice was unpleasant. Inadequate. I’ve struggled to even sing alone in the car because of that less than perfect pitch. As a 20’s & 30’s year old parent, program administrator and later college faculty I experienced extreme oppression being the only female in my role. Oppression invaded my personal life. I lacked control. Anorexia became the antidote for control.
I expect you have your stories. They are painful, they are deep, and they are burdensome. These stories become weighty chains. The chains can be broken. But gosh, where to begin?
Self-compassion is the first place to start. This step and process is very challenging. Loving yourself is paramount to loving others. An exercise to get you started is to make a list of all of the things you love about yourself. You may be rolling your eyes and saying I don’t know where to begin. Start with one physical or personality trait. What compliments have you received? Your hair, eyes, smile? Consider your accomplishments. Were you selected for a job among other candidates? Did you ace a math course? Perhaps you have the discipline to work out on a regular basis. Maybe you have some artistic abilities. Don’t dismiss what you do well. Not everyone can draw, play a musical instrument or dance well. Keep the list in a place you see regularly. Continue the list. If you feel frustrated ask a family member or a friend what they like about you.
Compassion for others. The more we extend kindness and compassion to others the more we can give it to ourselves. Refrain from gossip and pettiness. Demonstrate those random acts of kindness. It feels so good!
Detox yourself. Would you watch a vegetable being sprayed with toxic chemicals and then consume it? Not. Expel the toxic relationships in your life. Not easy to do. However, being a martyr or victim to someone’s unhealthy agenda is exposing your heart and head to toxic chemicals.
Change. What do you want to do better, more of, less of? What about that cooking course you’ve wanted to take? How about splurging on a personal trainer or download an app to learn a foreign language?
Start slow. Less is more. Focus on one trait or skill and commit. Don’t expect perfection. It sets you up for failure.
What I’m suggesting is not simple. Good things don’t come easily. Protect yourself. You are worth it!
I’ll be thrilled to have you join my 30 minute webinar “Screw Shame”, about shedding the chains on Tuesday April 24, 2018, 7:00 pm. Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lHD8Jy2aTkS5g68h7-DynA
IF DATE & TIME DON’T WORK, REGISTER ANYWAY AND YOU’LL BE SENT WEBINAR RECORDING.
And, please check out my website: yourturnlifecoaching.com.