Tag Archives: self worth

We Are All Enough

We are all enough….

Those of us that grew up in the 1970’s remember what a treat it was for certain classic favorite movies and television specials to play once every year.  Remember, there were no video tapes, dvds, or recording devices for our televisions, so we relied solely on what the big three networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC were going to air for our viewing pleasure.

My all time three favorite annual movies were The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind.  There was a lot of build up and fanfare including popcorn popped on the stove top and if we were really lucky, we’d get some Pepsi instead of the normal drink…Kool Aid. I still could belt out every tune Julie Andrews meticulously sang including the yodeling from The Lonely Goatherd, “yo Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo.”  You can trust that I’m singing it right now.

Animated specials were especially exciting.  Most of the time, cartoons were only available on Saturday mornings, but around every major holiday, prime time rolled out dozens of half-hour classics.

About a year and a half ago, I started delving into the world of healing my inner child.  I had finally come to the conclusion that it was time to face the pains of my past in order to heal and grow and to stop self destructing through unhealthy behaviors as a means of escape.  I started to realize that even though I had considered myself a successful business woman and a pretty good mother, that deep down, I didn’t feel worthy, and I didn’t feel like I deserved good things in my life. That’s a hard pill to swallow, and I needed to put some kind of reminder in place to help me affirm that I am not indebted to a life a shame.  I contacted a local artisan jeweler and had a ring made that simply states “I AM ENOUGH.” I have worn the ring religiously every day as a visual affirmation. Every morning when I slip it on my finger, I read it aloud and proud.  It is a necessary start to my day. I rank it up there with my trip to the bathroom and my first drink of water.

About a month ago, while having my monthly full body massage (a reward that I have been indulging in as a means of self care), I showed it to my massage therapist, Krissy, as she and I were having a meaningful conversation and I was opening up about the shame that I had been carrying for so many years. She and I have become friends through our professional association as we talk about everything from our aspirations, our shared love of writing, the importance of spreading light in the world, to our similar childhood experiences.  We have deemed ourselves soul sisters, and the connection has been very rewarding as we encourage each other on our respective journeys.

As I walked into Krissy’s house, I handed her the book and told her “Big Magic will give you the kick in the butt you need to keep writing.” As I was finishing my sentence, Krissy is simultaneously slipping something into my hand, and as I looked down, I felt warmth, a little leap from my heart, and the most special feeling that included joy, my eyes welling up with tears, and a chill that came right up the back of my neck.  It was a simple, painted flat rock that says “You Are Enough.”

Krissy explained that she had been given a box full of hand-painted rocks, and as she sifted through them, she came upon this particular message and knew exactly who it was meant for…it was meant for me. 

This moment was sweetly serendipitous, at the very least.  Anyone who doesn’t believe that the simplest of gestures like a smile, a gentle touch to the hand, a kind word, or even a painted rock, doesn’t matter is probably someone who has never been shown such a kindness.  

The story became even sweeter as Krissy explained that a dear friend of hers hand-colors each rock with inspirational messages and gives these beautiful mementos to others.  Sometimes they are hidden so others can delightfully find them just when they need a sign from the universe, and others are stored away in a box waiting for the perfect moment to make someone smile.  Krissy explained that the creativity and passion behind these rocks belongs to a woman who has many health issues and just finds joy in spreading the love. I was so inspired, I wanted to meet this amazing woman and find a way to share her story here, but unfortunately, after asking, the artist wishes to continue to quietly reap the reward of joy in the therapy of creating them, and I have to respect that boundary. 

As I’ve been trying to find the best way to tell this story, I kept coming back to a famous line from one of those annual animated specials that aired on tv when I was a child.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, from Peanuts It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, comes the most famous line from the show when Charlie Brown sadly exclaims “I got a rock” as the children compare their trick-or-treat goodies. 

Charlie Brown never really catches a break, and we are always left feeling sorry for poor “Chuck”. I did some research on this episode before I wrote this blog, and I found that Charles Schulz may have created Charlie Brown as an extension of his own feelings of low self worth and maybe as a means of expressing his sadness and lack of belonging.  

It’s the Great Pumpkin was first aired in 1966, but in 1975, the Peanuts comic strip depicted a version of the story in which Peppermint Patty was convinced by Linus to sit in the pumpkin patch and wait for The Great Pumpkin.  Of course, she was upset that The Great Pumpkin never appears, and she said “ I sat in a pumpkin patch for a week and I didn’t get ANYTHING!” Charlie Brown then said “Do you want my rock?”

I interpret this as sort of a redemptive message in that Charlie Brown is trying to show Peppermint Patty some empathy and to show that he can relate to the disappointment, and maybe it even fosters the belonging he felt when Peppermint Patty was equally as unlucky.  

Imagine if the rock that Charlie Brown had received was not just a rock but instead a beautifully hand-painted sign from the universe that he mattered.  If Charlie Brown had received a rock with a message of hope, love, and inspiration, the disappointment would have instead been joy, a heart that seemed to leap from his chest, and a chill that went right up the base of his neck into his bald head.  And if serendipity was as sweet as it is said, when good old Charlie Brown would have offered that rock to Peppermint Patty, she would not have needed to say, “Do you like me more than I like you, Chuck?” She would have already known.

You are enough.

 

~Blanche Bouvier 

tenderlovingsoulcare.com

 

Out Of Control With Control

I find myself easily frustrated when my plans and instructions aren’t followed. I will get over it, if I can be provided with an in-depth and logical account for why things were done differently. It better be well thought out, more efficient, or cover some detail that I might have missed. I find that it is hard for me to take direction without explanation as well. I want to know why I am being asked to do something and how it fits into a bigger picture. I will most likely have suggestions or amendments as well. Rather than a character defect, I used to pass my behavior off on just being analytical. To be honest, I just get out of control with needing control.
There is so much weight placed on us on a regular basis. The demands of family, friends, bosses, and society are heavy and never ceasing. When one lets up, there will surely be another that remains to fill the emptiness. Managing it all without something falling through the crack is a tall order and being controlling seems to be the best fitting solution. That solution never really works though. I have found I always end up frustrated because someone didn’t go fast enough, they weren’t precise enough, or they needed constant intervention to get things right. Worn down from trying to control others, I found there is massive variability in my own work when I get too controlling. Things take longer because I am micromanaging others or I fear delegation, putting a massive amount work on my own plate. Further, I stunt the growth and creativity of others. Not allowing them the freedom to own a project or assist in their way can hinder them from learning the whys of life. It creates this feedback loop for the next time a tasks arises. Direction is needed constantly because the reigns are never handed over for people to learn and grow on their own. This is when the need for control is wildly out of control. There are other, more effective tools exist to manage our lives without having the overwhelming burden of every detail on our own shoulders.
Respect
The biggest tool to grab a hold of in our efforts to release control, is respect. People are people. They aren’t pawns or pieces to accomplish a task. Children are individuals rather than mini-mes waiting to take directions. When we begin to look at people clearly, we notice all the amazing talents they possess. Their potential to do and our desire to teach rather than direct, creates a healthier interaction. This also causes growth in us. I had a coworker, whose strengths did not include anything with technology, quickly rig a malfunctioning printer tray with a towel. I thought she was unqualified, but since she wasn’t trying to analyze the problem from the same technical perspective I was, she discovered a quick out of the box solution.
Routine 
Taking the first tool into account, building room into routines for variance eliminates the pressure to micromanage or do things ourselves. When we manage our routines well we can make room for grace. These allowances for reduce the stress of having people moving at their own pace. My son takes about 45 minutes to eat his breakfast. When I choose to calculate that into my morning routine it becomes a norm not an inconvenience. Instead of spoon feeding my 4 year old each bite, I am able to let go of controlling his pace and let him just. Even though it isn’t my pace, there really isn’t any harm in adjust the schedule to accommodate his needs. This also gives us permission to give ourselves grace. We have our own variances in our productivity. Extending the proper leniency increases the chances that we will meet or come in before deadlines rather than after.
Rest
A large consequence of controlling behaviors that get out of control is our in ability to rest. Downtime isn’t peaceful. We remain stressed about work, relationships, household management, and a constant barrage of other cares. Overtime our lack of rest decreases our efficiency. The result is we get less done in a given period and are more stressed as we see control slipping from our hands. I am the worse at leave my computer on for weeks and months at a time without restarting or shutting it down. Inevitably the computer RAM gets bogged down or those much delayed updates become a necessity rather than an option. Simply put, technology even needs to shut down so it can reboot and be at peak performance. Little times of rest help clear our hard drive giving us the ability to think more clearly and function more effectively.
Implementing these three “Rs” will help stop control from getting out of control in your life. We don’t have to constantly be doing and overseeing for us to be important or to boost our self worth. We can choose to loosen our tight grip of control and be a part of life. Enjoy life because the difficulties will surely come. We shouldn’t let ourselves be so worn out with the everyday ebb and flow that we are incapable of coping with anything else.
Shon W

Teaching People How To Treat You

Teaching people how to treat you….

If you have any friends worth their salt, you have heard the phrase “you deserve better than that.” But here is my question, when it was said, did you believe it? Did you believe it on a soul level? And if you did, what did you do about it?

In my life, I have been terrible at believing I deserve the bad things that have happened. There were disturbing things that happened to me in childhood that I always felt I somehow invited. There was the high school boyfriend who cheated on me and I believed that I somehow neglected him into the action. The same boyfriend who was jealous and controlling and I thought that was somehow okay. Looking at it through eyes that are very removed from the situation, it is easy to see that people who cheat, often project. 

There were bosses who didn’t see my worth. I see now they were so concerned with their own worth, they did not know how to mold and develop their employees. There were friends who saw me as a different person than I am. I thought I deserved it because I did make some mistakes (because I’m human). There was an ex-husband who did not treat me like a woman, but rather someone to take care of him. I thought, I made the choice to marry him, and that’s that. I made my bed, and now I live in it. 

But here’s the truth; I had some responsibility in all of those things. Truly. It just wasn’t the way I saw it at the time. With that high school boyfriend, I should have refused to be treated that way. I should have told him to deal with his own feelings of guilt and stop projecting on me, or we were finished. In the workplace, I should have been more confident in my abilities and more forceful with my ideas. And if I couldn’t be in that company, I should have been willing to leave for other opportunities. With friends, it is difficult because the easiest thing to do is walk away, which is essentially what I did. But I should have let them know why and how I saw the things they were doing and saying behind my back and their attitudes toward me. Maybe then I could have ended things with cleaner conscience. 

The marriage is harder. I thought I was clear about how I wouldn’t be treated. There were several times I refused to be treated certain ways. In the beginning of our relationship, he got jealous for no reason and I told him that it was his problem and he was going to have to get it figured out, and he did. And he never threw another jealous fit again in 17 years. I stood up for myself when he told me to shut up, and he never did it again. But I don’t think I told him what I needed enough, but it is also possible he just wasn’t capable, and sometimes we have to be smart enough to know that too, and to accept that and walk away.  

But when you find the people you know you want in your life, you have to be willing to teach them what you need and what you will not put up with. You have to be willing to say, when I act like this, I need a little extra patience. You need to be able to say, I will not be spoken to like that, I don’t deserve it. But most importantly, you really have to believe that you deserve it. It boils down to you really having to believe you are WORTH it. And you are. 

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice