Friday, November 9, 2007


Would you believe me if I said I did start running and I just got back?? No?? Didn't think so.

I didn't get up the nerve. I feel like a failure....

My sisters ran in the Run for the Cure in September, and I feel awful that I didn't do it with them. Next year, I will....

In 12 days, I will have my inspiration and support team. The love of my life is coming to live with me. He has promised to get me out, to keep me company, to help me be the best I can be. I will keep you informed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.........

I have been trying for a few months now to psych myself up to start a new fitness program. I find excuse after excuse after excuse to NOT do it. I had it all set in my head that I was going to start when I went on vacation to my mom's cabin. Well my mom's sister has turned a corner in her illness and my mom had to go to spend the rest of the time my aunt has left with her. So my vacation to the cabin had to be put aside for this year. Just another good excuse for me to not leap forward and get started. I already have in mind what I want to do.....

I want to run

My sisters both started running and have touted to me the wonderful feelings it invokes. I want to feel those wonderful things. I want to expend all this energy I feel building up inside me, manifesting itself into a restlessness, a nervousness that makes me almost feel like jello inside. I want to feel spent and feel my heart pounding in my chest, getting stronger and healthier with each beat. I want to feel good. I want to be healthy of body, mind and soul. I have a new life starting soon, with an amazingly wonderful man, and I want to be healthy and live a long time with him. I need to be healthy.

I am not unhealthy, I am overweight. I have no chronic health problems.....yet. There is a family history of diabetes, cancer, and even some heart disease. I need to make some physical changes and take control of my own health. I don't want to end up being 50 and needing to take handfuls of medications every day. I have overcome so many of the mental things. I no longer need medications for depression. I have found my self worth, and I think it is in finding this self worth that I have this need to take care of my body. Only one problem....

I have a fear of being outside alone.

It is not gripping fear. It isn't as though I can't go outside. But it does seem, the longer I am outside alone, the more the panic and the need to get INSIDE gets. I go places alone. I can easily go from the house to the car to work or wherever I need to go. As long as I have a clear path and know where I am headed. If I go outside to do anything, I am constantly looking over my shoulder and feeling increasingly nervous, until I just go inside. I need to figure out where this is coming from. I have been like this for over 20 years.

So, tomorrow, I am going to just try to suck it up, and go out and do it. I need to start small with the running anyway, so, I am just going to go out, run until I start to feel nervous, then run home, and then hopefully increase my running time and my tolerance for being outside. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love the help and some encouragement as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I have been neglecting this forum lately.....

And I am happy to say that I believe it is because my feelings of self worth have been elevated as of late. I noticed that the focus of this blog had shifted from my own journey to a focus on relationships. I have been in a healthy relationship now for a while. A truly healthy relationship where there is wonderful, meaningful communication, mutual respect, unconditional love, a degree of give and take that is unparalleled. Where we tell each other every day, several times a day, "I love you, you are important to me and I am so very lucky to have you"...and we both truly believe it.

Unlike the past relationships we have both endured, there is no, "I don't sleep with you often because then when I do, you appreciate it more", there is no, "Didn't we already do that?" when trying to kiss the other. There is no waiting for the other shoe to fall, walking on eggshells, feelings of impending doom. There is no wondering, "Is this the day the relationship is over?"

My man, and I have both been through some stuff in the past. We both carry baggage. We are both well aware of our baggage, we are aware of each others baggage and are willing to help carry that baggage. Isn't that is what a relationship should be all about? Accepting the person just as they are, and loving them for only that??

I once read something that really rings true to all my relationships, and is something I must remember in this new one, and something I must share with my man so he understands it too....

"A woman marries a man
thinking she can change him
but she can't

A man marries a woman
thinking she will never change
but she does"

I have changed so much over the years. I will continue to change. I hope always for the better. I will also never look at my man like a "work in progress"....I can only see him as an evolving masterpiece, a vision of perfection, no matter what metamorphosis takes place.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Relationships.....when to stay, when to go..

It is always such a difficult question when faced with pain, tension, stress in a relationship. To know what road to take. To even acknowledge that one has a choice. We all have choices, free will. When there is pain, the choices are hard to make. The thought processes become muddied. The emotions overtake the logical mind and people make choices and decisions that perhaps are not the best ones for them.

The thing to remember is, the decision to leave can be made unilaterally. If one person decides to leave, there is really nothing the other can or even should do, to try to stop it. The person making that choice may or may not have entered into it with eyes wide open, but there is really nothing the other person can do to open their eyes. It is something that just needs to be accepted. The person who is struggling with that decision should, in all actuality, step back and make sure that it is really and truly the road they want to take, since once started down it, it is really difficult to turn around and go back. The path becomes so littered with broken dreams, broken promises, broken hearts, that navigating your way back is almost impossible. You may make it part way may even make it all the way back, but you will be so battle scarred and changed that what you find when you get back, is not at all what you expected. It is a treacherous road.

The decision to stay and work it out has to be made by both. One cannot decide to work on the relationship and the other just be passive. It takes hard work to stay. It takes being able to look into yourself and into your relationship and come out with a new understanding of each other. A lot of pain has to be re-visited and dealt with. It isn't easy, and it doesn't always work out. Sometimes, at the end of all that work, the decision to leave still has to be made.

It is wonderful when even through the difficulties that a relationship can bring, the underlying reasons that brought the two people together in the first place are still there, and both people can still see them as worth fighting for. I have found someone like that.....finally.

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Sad Day in My History

Stop by my other blog today to see my post about this day....

Did I Just Say That OUT LOUD????

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Still searching for peace and enlightenment.....

I have been away a while. I took a small vacation away from the children and went to visit the most amazing man in my world. I always feel so wonderful when I am with him. He looks at me in a way that makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He loves me so unconditionally. He lifts my spirit and lightens my heart in ways that I have not experienced since he and I were together many years ago. It is good to be with him.

I have some good friends as well. Friends who will tell me exactly what they are thinking, feeling....they will tell me when I have my head up my butt and actually help me pull it out. I cherish those friends. Even though it has been years since I have actually had the fortune to sit down with either of them face to face over a bottle of tequila. We keep up a friendship online through email and chat programs.

My family is a few hours away from me. I miss them and try to spend time with them when I can. My mother was just here for a few days, helping with the kids while I was away, and stayed on to visit. I love her dearly, but I find our time together can be so strained. I feel like she still thinks I am twelve years old. She comes in and takes over my home, rather than just being here and enjoying the time together. I find it difficult to have her in my home, and that makes me sad.

I am fortunate to have wonderful people in my life. My life is full. I have four healthy children and I, myself, have my health. Yet.....I am still searching for that inner peace and enlightenment.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Will be away for a few days........

Go check out my other blog, Did I Just Say That OUT LOUD???? Post a comment on my 100th post there, and go ahead and ask me some questions on my Open Forum.

Will see you back here after April 24th!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Sadness Lifted Quickly....

The last post did seem rather dismal. I have been working like a fool lately, and so I haven't had the time to formulate an articulate post here. I fear this one may not be exactly it either, but that is okay.

The sadness I was feeling over the last weekend lifted quickly. For me this was a very good thing, very very important that those blue feelings do not linger long. My past struggles with depression have been difficult, so the fear of dropping back into that is very frightening. I have been medication free for over 4 years, and that is important to me. But as much as I do not want to be medicated again, I would do it in a heartbeat if I needed to. Not everyone can go off of the medications, and there is nothing wrong with that. But for me, I needed to be off of them.

But my sadness has gone. And things are looking rosier...soon I will be travelling to visit my friend and have a little R&R away from my crazy home and wild kids.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Feeling the ebb of sadness washing up on my shores again

It may be that it is Easter, and save for my youngest child, I am spending it alone. I have not ventured to church in many years, and that makes me feel displaced. My family is all scattered and spending the holiday with their own, not as a group. My love is far away, and could not be here right now.

I did not colour eggs. I did not buy stuff for baskets except for a chocolate bunny for each child. I just do not have the spirit to do it. I feel like a failure as a mother, as a human being at times. I feel that I am just barely existing at times in this life. Like I don't have the tools to take care of the things most people take for granted.

Last year at Easter, it was a large family gathering. It was my mother's 75th birthday. I was in attendance with my four children, the man I was living with, my three step-children. I was living this charade of a large, happy family. Everyone commented on how wonderful my family was. I smiled and nodded. Never letting on how unhappy we were.......not even to myself. Not wanting to admit that I had failed, had made a poor choice. Not wanting to hurt children that I loved so dearly ... loved as my own. Not wanting my family to feel that I was to be pitied for another failed relationship.

Life is happier now. On the whole. It is less tense for sure. It is not perfect yet. It will get there. But for today, I am just sad. And feeling sad always scares me a little, because of my history of depression. The utter terror of ever going down that dark road again makes my heart stop. I believe I am in tune to my own body enough to know when it goes beyond being sad to being depressed, but one never knows for sure......

Friday, March 23, 2007

Anger and Resentment: Identifying It and Owning It

The first step to letting go of anger is to identify it. Know what it is that is truly making you angry about a situation. Anger can be a blinding emotion. When you are angry about something, often that anger can be directed at anyone in your path. This is really not constructive anger, and it can hinder relationships with many people.

For example, when my first husband left me.....I was angry. I lashed out at him, my children, his family, my family, myself. Then after he got remarried, a lot of my anger was directed at his new wife, for reasons I will not go into here. Needless to really say, that marriage has since dissolved as well. I was destructive and damaging. It was not a good situation at all. I carried that anger with me for a really really long time. A while ago I decided to really reflect on that anger. I asked God to please help me let go of it, as it seemed to consume me. I realized that a lot of my anger was at myself. I finally admitted to myself that I was not blameless in the breakdown of the marriage. I made some fatal mistakes. Of course, so did he, and it was the accumulation of mistakes that lead to the final break up.

It was in the realization of what I was really angry about, that finally set me free of that anger. When I owned the anger, embraced it and admitted it, I could finally set it free. And by setting it free, it in turn set me free.

It is the key to freedom from debilitating anger and resentment, to identify it and own it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Resetting the Internal Set Points

Starting today, I am trying to find a way to reset my internal clock so to speak. I have fallen into a habit of using my size and weight to limit myself in how I think and what I do. I have been sucked into this vortex of the catch 22. My depression depleted my energy levels, then I started to gain weight. Then the weight held me back from doing the things I needed to do to boost my energy. My energy levels dropped even further, causing more weight gain. Throw a few pregnancies, a few more dips into depression, and you find yourself in a very low energy situation.

I am trying to find ways to boost my energy. I know sitting here blogging and watching TV in my bedroom is not contributing positively. One of my biggest issues is not really liking being outdoors. I am not sure if this is a low level agoraphobia or if it is more just a manifestation of the years of wanting to hide myself away from the world.

I feel vulnerable when I am out in the open. When I am outdoors, especially alone. I believe it is something about not being able to control my surroundings completely. Being open and exposed for the world to see and scrutinize. It is an uncomfortable feeling for me. I have always hidden myself. I hide under bulky clothing, I hide under my personality, I hide under my weight. I find it difficult to expose the real me to people. Even here, where I write these editorials. I want so much to lay it all out in the open. Strip myself naked and just let the world see what I really am. But even here I hide. I hide behind my words. I hide behind my insight and intelligence. People comment to me, saying I am so real, so raw, so open, and yet, I know I am still hiding.

There is truly only one person in this world who has seen the real me. And not because I really wanted to show him, but because he looked for me. He has taught me much about myself. Shown me strengths that I never knew I had. Given me courage to shed some of my armour and start letting myself be vulnerable and open. He doesn't expect me to change, he only wants me to discover myself, and love myself for who I am. He wants me to be proud of who and what I am, just as I am. I am starting that journey today. Baby steps..............

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I am sorry, but.......

This is worst form of apology that a person can try to offer. It is the most insincere form I can think of. By using the word "but" after the I'm sorry, negates the whole apology all together. The stuff that follows the "but" is always justification for the wrong doing in the first place, therefore, the person is not truly sorry. If wanting to make your point and justify your actions, then just forgo the "I'm sorry" part. If there is part of the action or the reaction that you are truly sorry for, you need to use the form below and be intrinsically clear as to what it is that you are apologizing for. Then, that for which you are not sorry, may then be discussed and your point can then be made, independent of the apology.

I know we have all experienced this, have done this. It leaves the person that is being apologized to feeling even less important than if you had said nothing at all. Apology is something that should never be entered into lightly, since if you feel the need to make an apology, you have done something that has hurt another human being.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Art and Anatomy of Apology

So often in life people apologize for things without really meaning it. In fact, in our culture we are so used to saying "sorry" for every little thing, that it has somewhat lost its meaning.

To make a meaningful apology one has to make sure to include all the parts.....the anatomy.

The first part of the apology is where you state that you are sorry and adjunct to that, exactly what it is you are sorry for. For example:

I am sorry for breaking your vase

Clear and to the point. But that is really not enough. You also have to acknowledge that you understand that it was wrong, inappropriate, hurtful, or whatever.

It was very irresponsible of me

Next you need to offer a way to make it better. A compensation. This will not fix the wrong, but does at least show that you do care about the other person's feelings.

Let me try to replace it or fix it for you

And finally, you need to finish up with a statement of intent to not repeat the offense. This is the way to show that you truly understand the impact of what you did and that you have enough regard and respect for the person to not want to ever cause that discomfort again.

I will be much more careful in the future

When all these parts are put together with sincerity and eloquence, the apology is much more heartfelt and it is received much more readily. It is those things that make it an art.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


One of the steps on this journey for me is to forgive myself for past mistakes and poor decisions. And also to forgive others for past mistakes that may have affected me.

I have done a lot of the latter. I have long forgiven my parents for their shortcomings when I was growing up. I recognize that they did the best they could with what they were given. Especially my mother. I love my mother. I make some jokes at her expense. I get upset with her from time to time for her way of reacting to things, but by and all....I love her. I love her strength, she had endured so much. I love her generous nature, she will give whatever she can to help out anyone. I love her for the way she raised me. She was not perfect, by far. But she did work hard, and she gave me everything I ever needed.....not always what I wanted......but always what I needed. She had a very difficult childhood. Far more difficult than I ever had for sure. But she has risen above and raised five children that are good, decent human beings.

My father, rest his soul, had a difficult life as well. He was plagued by depression and alcoholism. He was not the kind of alcoholic that you often hear about. He provided for his family always, he never hit anyone, he was loving and kind. But a lot of the time when he was drinking, he was emotionally unavailable. But I still loved him dearly. He was easy to love, really, even for all of his faults. I have forgiven him.

My first ex-husband and I together made a lot of mistakes and poor decisions. I do not hold him solely to blame for our marriage not working out. We each had our role in it. If I only tell my side, you will think him a bad person, and really, he was not. We were just really bad together. Having gotten together as teenagers, and neither of us being able to mature and grow from that point to make a mature marriage. I had my own demons of depression to deal with, and he didn't understand those either. But I have forgiven him for it all. I have learned from it and have changed my life in some very positive ways because of it. He and I are now able to be friends. We provide a united front for the children, we parent these children effectively, and that is so important. He is supportive of me and my new/old relationship, and I support him in his endeavours. We are very lucky as not many divorced couples can aspire to that.

My last relationship ended rather badly. We were not married, but we share a son. The relationship was a mistake. We both knew it, neither of us strong enough to admit it or do anything about it. Forgiveness will take time. Not sure if he will ever forgive me. Or I him.

I have forgiven myself though, for things in my past. Things I am not overly proud of, but realize were necessary in order to be where I am today. I have forgiven myself for not being perfect. I have forgiven myself for poor decisions that have impacted others, and I have made my apologies the best that I can. I do not seek forgiveness from those I have hurt, since just because I am sorry, does not mean that they have the obligation to forgive me. I have to be happy with just self forgiveness.

Of course, there are things that I am not sorry for. Standing up for myself, not allowing myself to be hurt anymore. I am not sorry for severing relationships that were damaging to me. I am not sorry for putting myself first for the very first time in my life. I am not sorry for taking care of ME.

TODAY: what I like about me.........I am happy.

Friday, February 23, 2007


From Wikipedia:

"Abuse is a general term for the use or treatment of something (person, thing, idea, etc.) that causes some kind of harm (to the abused person or thing, to the abusers themselves, or to someone else) or is unlawful or wrongful. Its close synonyms are mistreatment and maltreatment. The word "misuse" has a more distant meaning of incorrect, uneducated use, not necessarily harmful to a person.

Abuse can be something as simple as damaging a piece of equipment through using it the wrong way, or as serious as severe maltreatment of a person. Abuse may be direct and overt, or it may be disguised and covert."

Those are some pretty specific definitions of the term abuse. It would seem that there should be no mistaking it or misunderstanding of what abuse is. But it is not quite so cut and dried.

We all know of people who are in abusive relationships. We look at them and wonder, "how can they let themselves be treated in such a negative way". The thing with abuse is, it usually comes about rather slowly. What I mean is, you don't go out on a first date with some guy and somewhere in that first date he hits you, or calls you a "fat, lazy bitch" and you just say, "I love him so much, I will just put up with that". It is usually gradual and methodical.

Abuse takes on the personality of a chameleon. It blends into the relationship so seamlessly at first that the victim often doesn't even see it. The odd uncomfortable word here or there, a gentle push, ... then escalating to more increasing inappropriate responses to situations until the full blown abuse starts.

Not all abuse is physical. Emotional abuse is very real. Both have physical and emotional manifestations that are detrimental. Both do major damage that can take a lifetime to repair.

Another thing about abuse is how the victim perceives it. It is a personal threshold as to what a person will take and from whom. For some people they will accept rude behaviour from a stranger, but not from anyone closer than that. Others will be quite the opposite, accepting rude behaviours from a loved one, yet not from the store clerk. And what an outsider may or may not see is not necessarily what the person in the situation sees.

Having suffered different abuses over my lifetime, I like to believe I am a pretty good judge and can spot an abusive person a mile off. I have vowed never to allow myself to ever be abused again. I will not allow myself to be physically hurt. I make that very clear very early in a relationship, that if he were to ever strike me, even once, that would be an instant deal breaker and there would be police involved. I will not allow myself to be emotionally demeaned. There is to be no defamation of character, no "jokes" where I am the punch line, no name calling. Those too would be met with great resistance. There is no room for engaging in any activity that feels uncomfortable or is degrading or demeaning. If someone says something or does something to you that leaves you feeling like less of a human being, that is abuse, plain and simple.

I will never be victim of abuse again............

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


What does trust mean? We hear and use the word so often in our daily lives, but what does it really mean? It means to hand over the power you hold in a situation and let someone else hold that power. To trust in someone is to believe that they have your best interest at heart.

I am a very trusting person. I have never really been suspicious of people's behaviours. I have always projected my own behaviours onto other people. If I wouldn't possibly think to break a trust, neither would they, right?

As we all know, this is not always the case. Promises and trusts are broken every minute of every day. People are hurt, and disappointed. In some cases they are even harmed physically. Trust is a very powerful tool, and one shouldn't enter into it lightly.

When there is someone in your life that has proven time after time without fail that they can be trusted with your most intimate secrets, your physical well being, and your emotional stability, you are a lucky person. But you are also a very vulnerable person, because by giving them that trust, you give the the power to destroy you as well.

To trust and be trusted are very wonderful things....don't ever take that too lightly.

Friday, February 16, 2007

To thine own self, be true

This is a quote I have always loved. It is what I aspire to. I have tried to instill this in my children as well. For them to find within themselves that which truly makes them happy and pursuing it with vigor. It is what I have always wanted for myself as well.

I have always admired those people who have been able to do this and make no apologies for it. They live their lives according to their own set of rules while still maintaining the universal law of Live and Let Live. I am not speaking of people who cause harm and pain to others in order to fulfill some perverse pleasure. I am talking about those people who love and accept themselves and make no apologies for such, even if others do not.

I am in such a situation at present. Life has presented me with an opportunity to fulfill a dream, a happiness that I thought was lost forever. The dilemma and the point in which most people seem to dwell on is that this opportunity arose around the same time as another change occurred in my life. The life change that happened first, just paved the way for this opportunity. Almost as if God Himself were the chess master and those of us involved were merely the pawns. I am a believer in God and that He has a definite plan for us. Who am I to mess with that?

There are people in my life who feel the need to impose their opinions about my opportunity and life change on me. I am not sure what they hope to achieve with this? Do they hope that I will look at them and promptly change my course of action? Do they think that I will look at their life course and feel envious that mine has been so fraught with trials and tribulations? Do they feel that I am unaware of the poor choices I have made in the past and that maybe I should just do my penance and never feel joy again? Do they not know that every bad choice, every good choice, every decision, experience, and action has made me who I am.

The person standing before them, the person I am, is the culmination of everything I have experienced, whether it be from choices I have made for myself or choices that have been inflicted upon me. The belief system I subscribe to, the moral code I live by, the personal law I abide by all had evolved over time. It has changed and grown. Not everyone is like that, and that is okay. There are people who have lived by the same set of rules and morals all their lives, making every choice based on that moral code...and there is nothing at all wrong with takes a lot of strength and conviction to be true to that. It also takes strength to be able to change the things that are not working. In either case, the ultimate goal is to be true to yourself. That is what I intend to do. I will no longer make excuses for wanting to be happy. I will not apologize for seizing the opportunity that eluded me six years ago. I will not be ashamed of the situations that were not ideal, for those situations all taught me something, and those lessons are all what were needed to bring me to this point. This point of being on the brink of finding immense joy and fulfillment. Of embarking on yet another adventure, only this time with eyes wide open, fully aware of what I need and want to achieve. To have found a mate who sees all of the flaws I see, yet, does not see them as flaws, but as enhancements, as beauty, as perfection. I will make no apologies for finding the one thing that every person aspires love and be loved for exactly who you are.

TODAY what I like about me: my strength and adaptability.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A word about love

Happy Valentine's Day

Being in love is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. You feel giddy, and light. Everything looks right with the world. We all know there are many types of love as well. The most profound being that of unconditional love.

Most people think of unconditional love as the kind of love you have for another human being. A parent for a child, or child for parent. A woman or man for their spouse. This kind of love you feel when you know that no matter what happens, you will still love that person.

But the most uncommon thing I have ever encountered is Unconditional Self Love. Very few people love themselves unconditionally. To do this one has to accept their own limitations, accept the flaws, accept the whole package and love it just the way it is. Unconditional love also means loving despite any changes that may occur.

It is this unconditional self love that I am striving to achieve here in this blog. I have come such a long way in the short time since I started this exercise. I am so much more comfortable in my own skin, happier with myself and my interactions with others. I still have some way to go, but I am happy with my progress.

Friday, February 9, 2007

A discussion about agenda

a list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc

Everyone has an agenda. Our agendas are all scripted in a way to accomplish certain tasks in life. Not all agendas are well thought out or scripted, others are so well scripted that there is no way that the goals will not be accomplished. Sometimes a person's agenda is very transparent. You can tell by their words or actions just what it is they are trying to accomplish, even if that person cannot see it clearly them self. Then there are those that are so opaque that they leave you shaking your head wondering what the heck the person is thinking.

For myself, I have a few goals in my life. I want to be happy. I want to be loved. I want to be appreciated. I want to feel self assured and confident. My agenda in order to get to these goals in my life has changed over the years. With maturity and experience we adjust our agendas to become more successful.

We change our approach, our agenda, according to what works and what doesn't. For the most part healthy, well adjusted individuals can recognize when a certain behaviour isn't getting the desired result. We can rewrite the script several times in a lifetime, but also the actual agenda can change over time. Or new agendas can be added to the old.

It is a complicated matter that one cannot fully explore in a few words on a blog. The actual goal of this entry is to have people identify their agendas and the scripts they are using to achieve their goals. Are you being successful? Are you rewriting your scripts to further your success? Are you recognizing when your scripts are not working?

Monday, February 5, 2007


An epiphany is described as a sudden realization of something. A light bulb moment. The great big A HA!!!

My epiphany wasn't quite to "all of a sudden". It has been a more gradual progression, and I know I am not quite there yet. I know I am getting there though. I no longer immediately turn away when I look in the mirror. I am starting to see the good points. I see my smile, and I know why the man who loves me has become addicted to seeing me smile. I look at my eyes, and I know why he wants to spend long hours just looking into them. I can look at my face and see exactly why he tells me everyday that I am beautiful. I can walk past people and I no longer feel that people are looking at me and picking apart my faults, they are seeing the positives. And actually I believe that even if they aren't seeing my positives, shame on them, they should be.

The other side of this is that I am changing in the way I see other people too. I am no longer so critical of other people. I can see the positives in everyone around me too....and that feels good.

I do not feel so miserable or so cranky all of the time. I am truly so much happier. I smile at everyone I see. I feel so light! Lifting the burdens of the poor self esteem has made me walk taller, walk lighter, my heart feels so much lighter too.

I am happy. I feel proud of myself. I feel like I could accomplish almost anything.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today I had an exercise in Self Confidence...

I was booked for a CPR class today. I was running late, as per usual. I went in and sat down. I have been through so many of these classes in the past, it isn't like it was all new to me.

We were having a discussion about doing CPR and bagging a patient. He asked the class if anyone had ever done it, there were two of us who had. The discussion went on a little longer then he asked for us to get into groups of three to practice the bagger.

The two women beside me were both PCA's from the nursing home across the parking lot from my hospital. They said, "Oh, we will take you!! You have so much experience." I just smiled and joined them. The CPR instructor pipes up in his offhand humour way, "Oh, from being picked last for the team to being picked first!" Without even thinking I looked this man in the eye and said, "I have NEVER been picked last for ANY team." At first I didn't really realize the power in the statement I had made.

Only after a few minutes, when his respect for me had obviously shifted to the positive. When I found myself very at ease, did I realize how I had empowered myself by that simple statement. In essence, I had told him, "I am worthy, capable and intelligent, do not belittle me". After the class was done, I thought about this some more. I felt so good about myself. The fact that I didn't get 100% on the written test afterward didn't even matter anymore.

I relayed this story to my sweet dear friend, the one who has been the fuel to this fire I am creating in myself. The one that is always telling me how wonderful, beautiful and incredible that I am. As I told him the story, he just said, "You know, I love you so much". He was just so proud of me for taking that step, he so completely understood what a milestone it was. I know it was just a simple statement, but to me, it has given me a profound sense of self.

Today, what I like about me.......ME!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I wonder if the self esteem issues ever really go away....

Or if one just learns to cope with them differently? I have done so much work, so much positive self talk......and not just from the beginning of this blog......but from years of this up and down thing I do with my self image. I still have probably more moments than not where I look in the mirror and zero in on the negatives. I don't know what to do to stop that. I am getting better at correcting it once it happens, but I am really aiming to have it NOT happen at all.

I really would like to look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good" before I spend an hour on makeup and hair. Not always see all the imperfections. I want to actually just see the Imperfect Perfection. What that means to me is to know that they are there, but to be able to really embrace them and see that they are part of the sum total of what makes me, me.

I have many imperfections, some are physical, some are emotional, some are personality.......they are the things that have hindered me in so many ways. Yet, it is funny how I have been so easily hanging onto the way people see me negatively, and having a hard time when others, seeing those same traits, do not see them as the imperfections at all.

since it has been brought to my attention by two people that I had forgotten to post it......
Edited to add:
Today what I like about ability to touch people with my writing

Friday, January 12, 2007

My attitude is certainly changing.........

As I was discussing my views and my blog with my dear, sweet friend....I came to the focus has definitely changed direction. I have come to see that it isn't so much about the weight anymore, but more about how I feel about me. I am not even so much concerned about what others see in me.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that in a few short weeks, I am all of a sudden cured of all of my insecurities and self esteem issues.......I am not. What I am saying is that I am starting to feel good about myself and I am liking myself more. I am proud of myself for being able to put into words these feelings I have, and be able to see them for what they really are.

I am delving into the reasons why I have developed these insecurities, and coming up with some very interesting answers. I have also come up with some interesting answers as to why I have put on the weight as well.

I am finally starting to acknowledge the worth that I have and not try to dismiss it anymore. I have always known it was there, I was just conditioned to not allow myself to believe it. To admit my own intelligence, my own beauty, my own self worth.....that would be boastful.....and being boastful was considered a poor trait to have. To tell others that you were smart, or that you felt you were pretty, those things were egotistical and wrong.

It has taken me 40 years just to be able to say, "I am pretty, I am beautiful, I am smart" And really mean it.....and really not care if the person I am telling it to believes it or not. I know that I have inner beauty as well. I am just finally seeing that by allowing people in to see it, will make it resonate on the outside as well.

Do I still want to be thinner? Yes......I will not deny that. Do I believe that being thinner is the only road to my happiness.......not for a minute. I know my road to happiness lies with what is inside, not with what is outside. And once I can bind the two together, meaning being happy no matter what the outside is, not letting my outward appearance hold me back from anything that makes me happy....then, and only then, will I be able to move forward.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What does it take to have a good sense of self esteem?

This is really the age old question for me here.

As a nursing student, I studied Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This was the basis in which defined the motivations of peoples actions and reactions to certain situations. For those not familiar with them, here they are from .here
Physiological Needs
These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction.

Safety Needs
When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.

Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness
When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging.

Needs for Esteem
When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless.

Needs for Self-Actualization
When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization.

The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for self-actualization. Maslow believes that the only reason that people would not move well in direction of self-actualization is because of hindrances placed in their way by society. He states that education is one of these hindrances. He recommends ways education can switch from its usual person-stunting tactics to person-growing approaches. Maslow states that educators should respond to the potential an individual has for growing into a self-actualizing person of his/her own kind. Ten points that educators should address are listed:

1. We should teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices.

2. We should teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens.

3. We should help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.

4. We should teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.

5. We must accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what to build upon, what potentials are really there.

6. We must see that the person's basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.

7. We should refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.

8. We should teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.

9. We should teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death.

10. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.

I am posting here about education and educators only because I believe truly, that we are all put on this earth to teach someone else something. We only leave this world when our lessons have all been taught and learned. If one looks at the list of important things that educators should do, try to apply them to your own life and in your own interactions.

I remember talking to a woman once, who was sitting by her husband's bedside. He was dying.....he had been dying for a long time. She asked me, "how much longer can he hang on like this?" I told her about my belief that people only leave this earth when they are done their tasks. There was still something that he was to teach someone. She thought on that for a while. A day or two later, I was back on shift, and this man passed. The wife asked me to a quiet place, she said, "you were right, the final lesson had not been learned. I had to learn to have patience, and that I wasn't in control of everything." She and I both cried. I do believe that lesson will have stuck with her for the rest of her life too.

So as for my own lessons, of course I do not know what it is I am supposed to be teaching others, or what I am supposed to learn from others. I know that this forum, the interactions from the people who read, those all give me lessons and insight, and I feel that in turn, the people who read here take away some lessons and insight. I guess what I am saying is, be a teacher and a student all the time. Once you get past the hinderances, you can achieve your fullest potential. And the education I am needing is in how to change my thought process in order to see myself as a wonderful, unique, deserving and worthy human being. And when I see it, to treat myself with the respect I deserve. It is coming.....I feel it closer every day.

Today, what I like about me is my way of abstract thinking

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Today, things are feeling a little easier.........

I am feeling good today. I feel happy. I feel pretty. I feel loved. I feel energetic.

I don't know what has really caused all these good feelings, outside of a pretty good nights sleep, and the fact that the killer headache I had yesterday was gone when I woke up this morning.

My moods at times seem so labile. I swing from highs to lows, dependant on my work schedule, my body schedule, my environment. At one time, during my depression and during a session with a psychiatrist, he asked me if I thought myself as bi-polar. I actually laughed at him, saying, "I only wish I could have one manic day in my life to accomplish something" I know I am not bi-polar, because bi-polar cannot be cured, it can only be controlled. I am not on medication, I have not been on medication since January 2003. I am not depressed, nor am I manic. For the first time in my life, I feel.......normal.

I still have issues with my self esteem, that is what this exercise is all about. Writing out my insecurities, in the hopes of being able to read them and see them for what they are, to be able to get past them and really start living my life to its fullest potential. Not allowing myself to bind myself against what I really want out of my life.

I do not just write here, hoping people will read. I write here, to make my thoughts tangible. I read, re-read, and re-read again the words I write. I try to read it from different perspectives, as myself, as a stranger, as someone who loves see what my words do to affect those around me. That is why your comments, positive or negative are so important to me. I know there are a lot of people reading here, I can see it in my stats, but so few comment. This national delurkers week, so please, let me know you are here.

Today, what I like about me........I have some pretty damn incredible eyes.

Monday, January 8, 2007

I saw a lady on TV the other day..........

I believe it was on the Rachael Ray show. She was very overweight, and needed to lose weight for her health. The way she did it was by getting people in her life to "sponsor a pound" So for each pound she lost, someone did something with her, for her, in her honour, etc. The pounds were all numbered and people knew which pound they were sponsoring. I believe she had already lost about 100. see her story here

I wonder if this "one pound at a time" attitude is what would work for me??? Almost sounds like the beginning of a new blog..................

Today, what I like about amazingly warped sense of humour.

Now that I have had some time to think........

New Years Resolutions

1. Make a conscious effort to say, "Thank you" when someone pays me a compliment with no argument. This is something I have tried to do for a long time, but I still fail at it miserably. Instead of just accepting the compliment, I have always tended to go into an explanation as to why I WASN'T worthy of the compliment.

2. Find something I like about myself every day. From the simplest to the most profound.

3. Do things every day to make myself feel beautiful. Get my nails done, a pedicure, my hair done, or even just putting on makeup.

4. Get pictures taken of myself professionally. This is something I did once, a long time ago. Since then I have not felt I deserved it, or looked good enough to do it....but, this is the year I do it again. Maybe they will even be boudoir type photos!!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

New Year, New Life, New Resolutions

New Years Day is always the day that people make ridiculously difficult resolutions to change their lives. Most fizzle out long before the month of January does. Some people carry through and make their resolutions stick. I believe that those people who do that were just in the right frame of mind, and it wouldn't matter what day they made that choice, be it January 1st or June 23rd, they would stick to it anyway. I admire those people. To have the will power to stick to something in order to get what they really want. Or perhaps they just really know what it is that they want and go after it.

I wonder if that is true for myself and if that is why I have never been able to get what it is that I want. Maybe I just do not truly know what it is that I want.

I think I want to be thin. I equate thin with beauty. I want to be viewed as beautiful. I want people to see me and really see a beautiful woman.

There is really only one person in my life who has ever said that I was beautiful. Neither of my ex-husbands ever just walked up to me out of the blue and said, "You are beautiful". They would say I looked nice if I got all dressed up to go somewhere, but usually only after me asking them. They may say something about "looking pretty today". But as far as truly seeing me as beautiful, if they did, they never told me.

There is one man, a man I have known for years. A man with whom I have a deep connection, one that surpassed time apart and separate marriages and children. A man I have fairly recently become reconnected with. He tells me I am beautiful. He tells me this on a daily basis. Several times a day, actually. I know that when he looks at me, I am beautiful. The problem is, I still do not feel that way to the general public. I still feel they look at me and see something less than that.

I think though, that the problem is that the general public sees me as I see myself. I see myself as less than desirable, so people around me see me that way as well. When I am with this man, I feel beautiful. I notice that people around me see me differently, because I feel differently.

So, my New Year's Resolution has to be to make the conscious effort to do things that make me feel beautiful about myself. I just have to figure out what those are.