As we practice being gentle and kind with ourselves, we actually help to speed the process of helping our lives become more positive!Tamara Kulish
Like many of you, I came from an abusive past where I was severely damaged emotionally, physicallyu and spiritually.
I parented my mother, boundaries were crossed or non-existent, shame and blame were used as currency in everyday conversations, and underneath it all, a victim mentality held it all together.
My mother sadly proclaimed that she was powerless over the way she was because of how she herself had been raised. She blamed her mother for not only all her areas of damage which created co-dependency in her relationships, but also for her out of control temper and her inability to speak kindly without also giving an insult.
I know she carried a lot of inward shame, and that she projected outwardly what she was feeling inside of herself.
This kind of role model had me following the victim mentality too for my early adult years. While I was still a teenager, I had determined for myself that I wouldn’t be like her, so I read many types of self-help books over the years. I was able to choose my behavior towards others so I didn’t follow her patterns, but in spite of all the reading and the inner work I did, I still struggled with not feeling happy but instead was anxious and depressed.
When I heard or read things like “we need to love ourselves” I’d cringe inwardly. I just didn’t know how to do that!
I had not only internalized all the negative things which were said to me in my life, but I had become very, very proficient at telling myself those things when events in my life weren’t working out. Then I ended up internalizing my own negativity towards myself, so that over the years it grew and grew.
It didn’t take much to trigger me to start speaking harshly and unkindly towards myself, which in turn led me to become more and more anxious and depressed.
One day I decided I wanted to change all that. I decided I wanted to teach myself to LIKE myself!
Speaking positively to myself was VERY difficult in the beginning; so difficult it almost made my skin crawl!
Speaking positively to myself was VERY foreign to my spirit! I had to start saying very general and light things, so I could believe myself! Gentle things like “Always believe that wonderful things can happen!“
While in the beginning I didn’t feel comfortable saying nice things to myself, I found over time I was able to handle it better and better, so I could bring up the positive phrases a notch or two and say more specific thoughts to myself.
Over the course of a few weeks, I started to notice subtle shifts in my inner thought patterns; I no longer was automatically jumping in to say harsh things to myself, I became better able to suspend that inner judgement!
I also found that I was BELIEVING myself more and more when I said something kind to myself!
(I still find myself at odd times feeling a little resentful or jealous over the success I see someone else in a similar life situation, but I see that I still have deeper work to do to deal with my own sense of inadequacy! As deeply as we work, there can still be more lying beneath the surface. Louise Hay wrote about that too, about the need to keep working on childhood messaging, even quite late into her life.)
Lastly, I noticed I was starting to feel more positive overall in my life! I was becoming more and more open to the concept that good things could happen to me too!
I was feeling more and more positive about life in general!
Rewiring our brains takes time and persistence! Our old inner tapes constantly want to kick in, but over time they do fade away, while the new messages take stronger and deeper roots!
Even if all you’re able to do right now is to say “I think I might be an okay person”, that’s still a start!
Find a positive thought which you can believe and hold onto that! Then add another, then another!
You can do this!
Here’s some thoughts which can be helpful:
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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