How many times in a day are you engaged in an activity, thought or behavior that results in inflicting emotional wounds upon yourself or exacerbating an emotional wound?
Sometimes our internal thoughts are more vicious than anything anyone in the external world could say to us. If you want to know how you truly feel about yourself, listen to the dialogue you have with yourself, especially during times of challenge. Are you loving or abusive?
Fitness: when you embark on a new fitness activity or regime which is challenging do you encourage yourself ‘Come on bud! You can do this! I am proud of you! We are making progress!’ or are you demeaning, ‘Ugh! I can’t do this! I am too fat, slow, uncoordinated, etc! I will never master this! I suck!”
Body image: When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Do you critique the reflection in the mirror? ‘OMG! Look at my belly, thighs, skin, etc!’ Ewwwww!
Professional Life: Do you pursue opportunities or talk yourself out of applying? “I am not smart, talented, skilled, etc. to quality.”
Throughout my years as a professional relationship therapist, I have had clients who engaged in behaviors after a relationship ended that exacerbated their emotional wounds and prevented their ability to heal.
For example, stalking an Ex on social media to see what he/she is doing. Although the relationship has ended, continuing to contact their EX and with each unanswered/returned call, text, email, inbox message, etc. they relived the feelings of rejection again. In some cases, instead of doing the work to heal their emotional wounds, identify the lessons learned and tools gained they enter immediately into a new relationship taking all of their emotional wounds with them hence setting the new relationship up for failure. This behavior is very unkind, unloving and quite harmful because it presents an inaccurate picture. This is NOT who you are, instead this is a projection of your unhealed wounds. This is your fear acting out. This is not love, because love does not hurt, but fear is very painful and results from the erroneously belief that 'this' is your only chance of happiness.
Now, think of someone you love, someone you absolutely adore. Do you have their image in your mind? If you are like me, a smile has also spread across your face and your heart may have increased slightly. Take a moment, close your eyes, inhale deeply and allow your mind to connect with this image and all of the beautiful memories and feelings it elicits.
- Can you imagine harming this individual?
- Can you picture yourself yelling, screaming, cursing, and using derogatory abusive language towards him/her?
- Can you imagine looking at this person with disgust in your eyes and feel it in your heart?
If you said no, good for you! Love does not hurt nor harm. The way you feel about this special person in your life is the exact feelings you should have about yourself. Love means to do no harm and to love self means to do no harm to yourself. As we prepare to transition into 2016, I implore you to begin to take the steps to drastically change the relationship you have with yourself. Begin to make your health or ALL levels a priority. Stop allowing others to abuse you (on any level) and for goodness sake, STOP participating in the abuse. It is time to understand, REALLY understand that EVERYONE is on their own journey (as are you) which means all of us are living, learning, revising, implementing, etc. in real time. Life is not a simulation. This is not a practice run. Each of us are making decisions, choices, etc. that we feel are best for our lives. As a result a decision that is best for someone may seem absolutely horrible for you (i.e. when your partner wants to end the relationship, the very relationship in which you want to remain).
The sooner you master the art of letting go and allowing love and life to flow, the sooner you will begin to open both your heart and mind to the infinite possibilities of what happiness and your best life can be. There is more than one version, however, you must stop limiting yourself via your words, thoughts and behaviors. – Misha N. Granado