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This is the first time in my life that I have felt I’ve had the freedom to find my own self-worth. I don’t have my family judging me anymore and I’m single, I’ve realised for the first time that my happiness is up to me, all of my life I have searched for this happiness from others.
I mainly put this responsibility on my boyfriends, which always ruined our relationships. When you are looking for happiness outside of you, you will always be miserable.
Looking back on my last relationship, I can see how this contributed to it failing. I couldn’t make myself happy, so I looked to my partner to make me happy. He couldn’t do that because I wasn’t happy, so no matter what he did it wasn’t good enough. Then I would blame my unhappiness on him.
My constant search for happiness outside of me meant that I would try and find it in detrimental ways, like drinking myself to oblivion or taking drugs to get out of my head.
I was searching in all the wrong places, hoping someone or something would come along and fix me, make me happy.
But no one could save me; I could only do that myself.
Of course I knew that it didn’t matter how people treated you, only how we reacted to their behaviour but I never really managed to implement this into my life.
When I lost the one thing I thought I never would, my partner, it was the biggest shock of my life. I realised if I carried on the same way I was, I wouldn’t survive.
So this is my journey to creating true self-worth in my life, to feel truly happy with myself, no matter what is going on around me. The first steps I have taken on my journey have been extreme self-care. The list below are some of the things that I have been doing over the last month
This was the most important thing for me on my journey to self-worth. I had spent the last few years using alcohol and sleeping pills to get me through the hard times. I was running away from my feelings and this meant I could never truly be happy. Not only was I masking the bad feelings but I was also masking the good.
When you’re not dealing with how you feel you’re a hot mess!
Over the last month I haven’t taken any sleeping pills and I have one blip with my drinking. After I hadn’t drunk alcohol for two weeks I thought that I could handle it again.
I was so wrong.
It took me a whole week to recover from that one night out. I felt depressed and tired and for what? One drunken night out, which I don’t remember all of it.
This was my wake up call.
I WILL NEVER DRINK AGAIN
So now I’m on week 3 and I’m really starting to feel better.
Being sober is challenging, you have to face your dark feelings, you have to work through them but it really is worth doing as you get to feel the good feelings too…..and they feel amazing!!
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober was an amazing read and has helped me see the benefits of being sober and helped me stay focused. It’s also a great idea to read books like this as it helps me see that I’m not alone with the struggle of alcohol.
I’m actually a trained EFT practitioner but over the last few years I haven’t used this tool very much. So I decided to work with another practitioner to get the best results.
Working with someone else and using EFT is like therapy on speed. You get to your root emotions and troubles but because EFT is so powerful, you move through them a lot faster.
As well as working with a practitioner, I have also started to use EFT daily, especially when something upsets me.
This gives me a chance to clear the stress, anger or resentment around the issue so I can really see clearly about it. It helps me quickly drop any negative emotions without ignoring them.
I’ve found when I ignore my emotions I’m simply burying them away for them to explode out of me at any given time!
Dealing with them face on lets me clear them and let them go in a healthy way.
If you have never heard or used EFT, I recommend you check out this video to get you started.
I’ve been doing Yoga, on and off, for the last 7 years. I know how powerfully healing it is but for some reason (well we all know it’s self-sabotage!) I have never been able to commit to it for very long.
So over the last month I have been doing Adriene’s 30 day challenge, you can find it here. I’ve showed up every day (well I missed the odd day but I’m getting better!) to give myself at least 20 minutes of total self-care.
Not only does yoga strengthen your body but it strengthens your mind. I notice if I have missed a day, I don’t feel as connected or calm.
It helps release tension, emotions and fear out of your body. I’ve cried my eyes out on the mat but I’ve kept going and felt so much lighter at the end.
If you want to find a healthier way of dealing with your emotions, some you may not even realise you have, then give yoga a go.
When I was younger I was obsessed with being healthy (apart from my massive binge drinking of course). I was vegetarian since I was 15, I never overate and I didn’t really like chocolate or sweets.
My friends would tease me because of my love for avocados (I ate them every day)
This all changed of course when I started working for a big chocolate company, I worked in sales so we had access to all the samples and my healthy eating went out the window.
The more I felt depressed, the worse my diet became.
It was a big downwards spiral for me.
I really noticed how unhealthy I was last year, when I was so fatigued I found it hard to leave the house sometimes.
I can’t remember how but around November last year I discover Medical Medium on Instagram and I was so intrigued. I bought his first book and everything in it made sense.
I could see that my unhealthy eating was really a way of self-harming my body.
I’m defiantly not perfectly healthy right now but I’m taking it at my own pace.
Knowing that the mind and body are connected is essential to true self-worth; you can’t heal one without healing the other. It’s a holistic approach.
Doing things that I love
When I was looking for happiness outside of myself I was constantly waiting around to be saved. I stopped doing the things I loved, I became so depressed I stopped seeing my friends and I focused on my problems all the time.
Now I make an effort to do things I love, see the people I love more and focus on all the good in my life.
It was hard at first and I still sometimes feel myself wanting to go back to my comfort zone of binge watching Netflix and hiding away from the big, scary world but I know this is the fast track road to depression again.
I have a tendency to push people I love away when they get to close, it scares the shit out of me (read the book Attached if you tend to do this) and this is one of the hardest things I’m trying to change.
Being around people who I love and saying yes to things I love to do is filling my life up with joy. Yeah it’s scary sometimes but I’m doing it anyway, I know it will get easier.
Some of the things I love to do have been –
- Going for coffee with my beautiful friends
- Taking my daughter shopping
- Being silly with my kids
- Joining a women’s support group
- Doing yoga everyday
- Going to the gym
- Applying to do volunteer work with my favourite charities
- Reading fiction
- Listening to new music
One of my favourite self-love teachers is Gala Darling. She has the most amazing energy and she explains self-love, the law of attraction and spirituality so well, it doesn’t even feel that woo woo.
I have been following her for the last year but I’ve only started to implement the things she teaches over the last month.
Loving ourselves for who we are is one of the most important steps to true self-worth. Before I was looking for love outside of myself, I forgot how much love I have to give, especially to myself.
Every day I tell myself how much I love myself, this is huge for me as I used to tell myself how much I hated myself. I was so harsh on myself, I criticized everything I did, I put myself down and kept myself small, all so I could wallow in my self-petty.
Now I’m a lot kinder to myself, I treat myself with respect and show myself love every day, it’s a daily practice and something you have to work on constantly. I’ve spent my whole life hating on myself, so it does take a lot of effort to change this pattern.
Changing My Mindset
One of the most transforming books I have ever read is the The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read this book about six times in the last month. It explains how we make all these agreements that are damaging to us, when really there are only four that are important.
The first agreement – Be impeccable with your word.
This is what we say to ourselves and what we say to others. Being impeccable with your word means using it without sin or going against yourself. Our word is very powerful and can be very damaging if used incorrectly.
The second agreement – Don’t take anything personally
We are all living our own life and when someone does something to you, whether it’s good or bad, is never about you. It’s always about them. When we stop taking things personally, we stop unnecessary hurt and pain.
The third agreement – Don’t make assumptions
We can never know what is truly going on in someone else’s mind and assuming we know just creates worry. If you don’t know something always ask, get clarity on the things you are unsure of.
The Forth Agreement – Always do your best
You can only do your best, nothing more, nothing less. If you are always doing your best, you will create a much happier life.
It’s not the easiest habits to change and I have to remind myself of these agreements several times a day (that’s why I’ve read the book over and over). I recommend reading this in depth and putting the agreements somewhere you can see them every day.
Holding on to pain and hurtful things that others might have done to you is like taking poison. I’ve held onto pain that happened to me in my childhood. I’m not saying these are easy things to let go of, I know as I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD.
Our body holds on to trauma and our mind creates patterns of behaviour that can be harmful because it’s holding on to the past.
So forgiveness is an essential path to happiness but I also think it can be a tough one.
I find it hard to think of forgiving certain people who have caused me a lot of pain, instead I have been trying to let go of the pain.
I no longer need this pain and I have really focused on letting it go.
Take baby steps with this one if you find it hard to forgive. I started with forgiving others with small things, like being late or cancelling plans. I actively forgave them fast and used EFT to clear any hurt around this.
Once I started forgiving people for small things, I’ve slowly started to work on the bigger things.
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian forgiveness practice that I do often and it’s very simple to do.
All you need to do is think of the situation or person you want to forgive and say the following:
I forgive you
I love you
Keep practicing this until you feel like you have let the pain go.
Remember to practice forgiving yourself too, I know it’s hard!
Even though I’m only at the beginning of my journey, in just one month I feel so much lighter, happier and secure about my life.
I know I have a long way to go and sometime the hardest thing to do is to maintain new habits but I’ve never been so determined to create a world where I’m responsible for my own happiness.
I’ll be posting regular updates, so keep an eye out and let me know in the comments below what you do to make yourself happy!!