As we are well into our second week of the new year, I am noticing the influx of people who are in active pursuit of their New Year’s resolution to improve their physical health. I love hearing people talk about their refreshed motivation to fit exercise into their busy schedules while they are strategizing how to make the best food choices to maximize their results.
While most are pursuing resolutions related to physical health, I am continuing to pursue improving my emotional health. While I am very proud of myself for maintaining my weight for the past year on the most part, I have noticed I have still been struggling with the “loving myself” part. As 2016 came to a close, I had to face some very difficult truths about myself, some which may have cost me friendships that were once very precious to me.
As I reflected, I realized that there is nothing I could do to change anything I have done or said in the past, despite the amount of self-punishment, shame, pain, and hurt I felt and continue to feel at times. As I moved through my different stages of emotion, I eventually realized I needed to center my New Year’s resolutions on self-love to break my fall to rock bottom. I knew if I did not do something drastic to make some very hard and honest changes, I would lose everyone important in my life.
One of the best things that has happened to me was discovering Brené Brown’s books. She is a Ph.D level shame researcher / social worker who has spent years talking to people who have had ranges of experience with shame and how they were able to survive and later, thrive. She clearly explains (in a non-judgmental fashion) how deep-seeded shame from certain points of my life have affected how I presently function. She has amazing ways of illustrating methods on how to improve my connections with others. As I have read her books, I started to identify concrete steps I can take now to help shift my ways of thinking. For me, this is huge!
As a start, I am taking inventory all of the things in my life where I am #grateful. One lesson Brené Brown drives home often is that people who have joy in their lives show gratitude for what they have. This lesson has made me realize I need to show more appreciation for my family, especially my husband, who has been my main support in being present with me in this difficult journey. I know one of my biggest faults and one of the most difficult things to admit in any of my blogs, was taking him for granted and for often looking to blame him when situations in life did not go perfectly. I am not proud of this behavior, but I am realizing that despite everything I have said or done, he is still standing by my side, with a big smile on his face. I also realize that the 2 children we have created are amazing people who are teaching me important lessons about love and forgiveness. I am also working go on letting go of my unrealistic expectation for everything to be perfect all of the time.
While this is all a work in progress for me, I feel I am off to a pretty good start as I have looked inside of myself and identified goals to make myself a better person. In case there are readers out there who are having similar struggles, you are not alone! Let’s work together by sharing what makes us #grateful so we can all start feeling more #joy!
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Disclaimer: Brené Brown did not ask me to write about her work nor did she compensate me in any way.