Three Things That Help with Self Worth
I have been racking my brain to come up with something catchy to write about for this blog. You know, something eating disorder related and also inspired and unique. But what I have found is that it feels most congruent for me when I write more from my heart than my head.
I thought I would share with you all some of what I am working through right now. I am in the midst of a deep dive into myself. I am uncovering what is true for me; my values, my wants and needs, and the methods that feel best for me in order to engage in relationships in a healthy and fulfilling way. I will be honest. This work sucks. It is uncomfortable and heartbreaking at times, and it also feels crucial for self-preservation and for the development of a deeper sense of self love and worth.
It seems like the human (or at least my) tendency is to distract, numb, and avoid being in touch with my needs because with being in touch comes a lot of personal responsibility. It is a lot easier – at least in the short term – to suppress my own needs and placate everyone else. That way I have a copout – another person or thing to blame when I am ultimately unhappy. This path may feel easier in the moment and appealing because it keeps everyone around me seemingly content. What I have also learned is that it is actually like self-torture in the long run because ultimately the person who is most important to me (me!) is not valued.
I have taken to some self-discipline in order to get more in touch with my needs and wants as well as to better hear and feel my emotional voice as it whispers to me. Here are three things that have helped me do that, that seem to be working for me.
1. Journaling. I have been committed to daily journaling with the intention of the journal to be feelings/emotion focused. I have been purposeful in not writing about the goings on of the day – but focusing more on my emotional process – what I am feeling in the moment, what my emotions are saying to me, and how they relate to my wants and needs. This has been helpful because it has allowed me some stillness to get more attuned to what I am actually feeling. Our society at large does not value emotions and therefore many of us have learned to suppress them most of the time. Journaling can be a great way to externalize them and understand your feelings better.
2. Connection. Community and relationships are one of my top values. I have found that being intentional in my relationships is vital to my well-being. I have relied a lot on the people in my life who know me and can be a support as I am on this self-love journey. These are people who can also reflect back to me what they are seeing and help me to feel loved when it is hard for me to provide that for myself. Community is something that has to be cultivated and does not always exist in your family of origin. You get to choose your community. One of the basic human needs is relationship and being connected to others and can serve as a crucial support in times of hardship.
3. Therapy. I mean I know I am a therapist, but therapists need therapists too! I utilize my own therapy to process my feelings, to get to know myself better, and to see myself through the eyes of a compassionate and non-biased supporter. I love that therapy has helped me to see things in myself that I may not have seen otherwise. I love that it provides a space that is just for me to talk about whatever feels most pressing or up in my life at that time. I have also found that it really helps when I go into therapy with intentionality about what I want to process and also with goal of vulnerability. I have noticed that I get more out of my sessions when I am willing to be vulnerable and open up with what I am feeling related to the process I am in of learning to know and love myself more.
Diving into myself and learning more about my values and wants and needs feels important for me because it enables me to live a life that is more congruent with who I am and what I would ultimately like for myself. Despite this work being uncomfortable and painful at times it feels worth it to me because it is leading me into a more honest and grounded relationship with myself that is rooted in self-love and worth. As a therapist here in Denver it is such an honor for me to be able to sit with my clients in each of their journeys as well as with each of you on the interwebs as a supporter in your journey, in this thing we call life.