We all have our weaknesses and “flaws” (or, as I prefer to call them, areas of opportunity). Poke them on the right day, at the right time, with just the right person, and you have a recipe for disaster. Like an old wound that’s nearly healed, the scab is suddenly and viciously ripped off, baring an old wound that’s now fresh and almost as painful as ever.
These days are hard to get through, and one day can easily become days, weeks, and even months. Yes, there’s always the opportunity to learn new lessons and remember some old ones, but this trip down memory lane isn’t a pleasurable one. The good news is that it is possible to get past these old wounds, but that requires the healing of change and a new approach. That’s easier said than done, but the answers come rather easily if we consider our behaviors and how they came about…
Learning To Work Against Ourselves
There are situations and emotions that will have us responding with the same knee-jerk reaction every time. This automatic reaction usually isn’t a healthy one either. But as harmful as our response can be to ourselves and others, we often won’t even see it.
For me, my most harmful knee-jerk reaction is to drown myself in self-blame. When hardships come or personal relationships get shaky, I beat myself up over every little thing I could have possibly done wrong. I treat myself like I’m some worthless, stupid piece of scum and take responsibility for anything and everything. Lost and hopeless, I throw away all my power and resent the very person I am.
I grew up with a mother who essentially taught me this behavior. While I didn’t see her beating herself up, I did see her victimizing herself and laying blame on others (me and my siblings included). As I approached my teenage years, she began drinking and soon developed an alcohol dependency that became a part of everyday life. Without either of us ever knowing it, she subconsciously taught me that life is beyond our control and there’s nothing to do about it but mope and turn it into a “story” that’s a part of your identity. But while she did this externally, I personalized these subconscious lessons and practiced them internally. Everything was my fault and I was the worst thing that ever happened to anybody; myself especially.
Seeing The Value Of You
Whether you’re knee-jerk reaction is blame, denial, anger, or depression, they all come from an unhealthy relationship with the most important person in our lives; ourselves. So there’s something I would ask all of you to remember… You’re the one person who will always be there for you. From the moment you’re born until the moment you die, you will always be there for you. There will be times that you’re going to forget how important you are and you’re going to be your own worst enemy. Those days you’ll treat yourself like crap and you may sabotage your own life. But, when the day is done, whether you’re happy with it or not, you will still be there for you. No matter what happens in life, you will be the one constant. If there’s anyone deserving of your love, it’s you!
You will always and only ever have you. So be your own best friend! Be a force of power and fierce determination and unwavering support. Then, when life comes ready to tear you down, you’ll be your very own guardian. You’ll protect yourself by deflecting the blows so you can keep pressing forward with your sights on the sunrise on the horizon.
A New And Improved You
Moving past self-sabotaging behaviors is tough. But creating a healthy relationship with yourself? It seems damn near impossible. It can happen though, and once you’re on that path new habits begin to come naturally and it just gets easier and easier. These are the methods I used to get myself to step away from the blame…
- No more should’s. Beating yourself up over what you should have done or what you should be doing accomplishes absolutely NOTHING. Either you did or you didn’t, or you will or you won’t; end of story. Either get the lesson or make a decision so that you can move on.
- Ask yourself what your closest friends, family, and mentors would say about you. Would they agree with what you’re saying about yourself? (Note: The answer should always be no. So stop!)
- Don’t think about the problem; think about the solution. Whatever situation you’re facing, put your focus on determining your goal for when all is said and done. Blaming yourself doesn’t change anything — although it will make things worse — but setting an objective… That will change things. Once you set a goal you can clear out all the crap so that you can focus on what matters and what you can do about it. Fear and anxiety is a call to action. Take it.
- Treat yourself like you a lifelong friend — because you are! The days are long and life is short, and through it all you have you. Take the time to do the things you love. Get excited and reconnect with those old passions. Make time for the things that you love, whether they be an old infatuation with painting or a desire to be a vegan baker. We make time to do things we can’t stand, so why in the heck wouldn’t we make time for fun and inspiration? Bliss awaits!
Your life is at your fingertips, so take action. Don’t get stuck being a “realist” who’s stuck living life within a box. Dream grand things and imagine all the spectacular things that could happen! Then take steps to make those things happen. Time spent feeling excited and inspired is never time wasted. Now get out there and make something happen!
Ash Stevens is a writer and wannabe shaman on a mission to better herself. She loves exploring and analyzing all facts of life at the deepest level, and playing with new heights and possibilities. When she isn’t being serious writing or talking family and relationships on her blog, she’s surely listening to stand-up comedy or soaking up some sunshine playing with the kids. Find her on Twitter or Facebook and make a new friend!