Monday, August 24, 2009

Accept yourself !

Notice that the title said "accept yourself ", not "love yourself". Though both are important and some might say synonymous, I beg to disagree. Acceptance of oneself requires confidence and healthy self esteem, both of which are sorely lacking in many people.
It seems that often people put others down to gain a quick reprieve from the feelings of ineptness or inferiority or jealousy. They take pleasure in attacking other people for their looks, finances, abilities...the reasons are endless.
That is the bad side. Now, here is the good: accept myself you say...hmmm - you make it sound so simple. Not by a long shot! There will always be things you are unhappy with about yourself, but they need not define you! That is what is so great! In accepting yourself, you will also become more compassionate and accepting of others.
Let's start with an exercise. Look in the mirror. No not at all the wrinkles or pimples or any of that. Focus on your eyes - look into your eyes. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so where else to find yourself than there?
Now, while looking into your eyes, practice telling yourself that you are beautiful. Think about it -remember a happy moment, so that the smile that curves your lips reaches up into your eyes. THAT feeling- right there-is the beginning of acceptance.
My mom gave me a beautiful card for my birthday and she gave me a compliment that brought tears to my eyes: "Your eyes light up the world. When you look me in the eyes and tell me something, I FEEL the conviction and the love & I never question how you feel for me.". Wow!
I have had periods of intense self loathing for mistakes, but I cannot regret the bad, for as trite as it may sound, without that I might never have appreciated my inner strength, my capacity for survival and my ability to adapt to the curves life has thrown my way.
Thus began my acceptance of myself. Start by appreciating the little things about yourself: the way you style your hair, the confidence in your stride, the ability to recall the waitress's name at a familiar get the idea. ACCEPT YOURSELF!
START TODAY! I CHALLENGE YOU: look in that mirror and see the beauty of YOU!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Awesome blog post

Just had to come back and add this link from Problogger's post about blogging not being dead. I loved it.
So here it least I hope so -this is my first attempt at a link..let's see how it goes. :)

Nature versus nurture

I was reading the latest Problogger posts (I love his blog, there is so much useful info there, no matter your experience level) and he was discussing creative thinking techniques and this thought just popped into my head: nature vs nurture?
It is an age old question and if you have ever taken a psychology course, then you have probably had some lively discussions about it.
Why did it come to me now? Well, who knows how my brain comes up with stuff (lol), however, in part, I know it has been on my mind because my husband has been caring for a friend's 2 dogs and it breaks both our hearts the callous way he treats them. They stay outside and he only feeds them once a day, no play's just sad. At any rate, that led to a talk about pets being what the owner makes them. No dog is inherently bad, it is how they are, or have been, treated that determines their behavior.
This is also true of people.
So I am firmly in the nurture camp. I believe we are all a product of our environment. Now, before you get up in arms, I DO NOT believe that a bad environment or childhood is an EXCUSE for bad behavior. That is too often the defense for criminal activity or abusive treatment. Just because someone was abused as a child or was poor, etc. does not mean that they are pre-destined to repeat such actions. My husband is a perfect example of this. He was adopted to people who, in today's age of screening, would NEVER have been allowed to adopt a child. They were physically and emotionally abusive to him until he left home to join the army.
After that childhood and 3 tours in 'Nam, he could well have turned out to be abusive, violent and generally a product of his environment. HE CHOSE not to be that person. He was determined NOT to be like his abusers. He is a caring compassionate man who would not raise a hand in anger to me, no matter the provocation.
I had a good childhood and yet made a poor choice (some would say a choice predicated by my upbringing/environment) that led me to jail. That experience did make me harder, a little less compassionate, a lot less trusting, but not a criminal. I paid my dues and have never had trouble with the law since. MY choice - learn from my mistake - it does NOT define who I am.
I am going back to school, building this blog and trying to get my nursing license endorsed here in Alabama. Hence my choice of the picture on today's blog - building for the future.
So, I ask, nature or nurture? Where do you fall on that spectrum and why? I eagerly await any and all viewpoints.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Family: Try harder or sever ties?

This post is for feedback - I am tired of struggling - so many things unsaid between me and my father. He is not the man I used to know. Who is this callous man, uncaring of the emotional damage he inflicts, especially on the one person he vowed to never abandon? Being alive doesn't mean he is THERE. Speaking words, does not qualify as TALKING. Why can't he SEE?
Have I tried to talk to him? Of course. Lately - no. Why bother, when he has made it abundantly clear that he will not change, nor compromise, not even when he is breaking my heart, so I will not give him more power by admitting my hurt out loud.
Day by day I am forced to go to work like everything is ok. I know it is not, but I don't think he does. Can't he see the big elephant in the room that we just keep pretending does not exist? I cannot live like this.
Thank God for my husband- he is the one constant - the one I can depend on no matter what.
Mom & I are getting back on track -it's been a long road- but we are learning to trust one another again. I don't see that hope with my father. So sad, I was always Daddy's little girl...
My question is: when is enough enough? How do you sever ties with your blood? Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated.