“It’s not fair! Why am I always at fault!” I used to think, “This can’t be true; there are two people involved and no one is always to blame.”
I was living in a marriage where I shouldered the blame for everything that happened. I would swallow my voice and refrain from speaking my truth. I allowed myself to be the recipient of pent-up frustration and hurt that my husband held onto; much of it stemming from his childhood.
I now realize that I was responsible for all the behavior in my marriage; not in the way my ex-husband insisted that it was all my fault, but because I allowed him to treat me the way he did. I made the choice, at the beginning of our marriage, to not set boundaries. Further, I made the choice for the duration of our marriage to not set boundaries. I made the choice to set myself and my needs aside.
I now realize that I made those choices because I did not value myself. I had been raised in a toxic environment with an alcoholic father. I learned that I didn’t matter, that I should be quiet and keep my mouth shut, and that men did not treat women well.
This environment was not conducive to teaching young girls to value themselves. I remember feeling not lovable in elementary school, in middle school, and during high school, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. I continued the path of not valuing myself in both my marriage and my work.
I might have lived my entire life in this way, had I not experienced a major disaster that caused me to question the status of my life. The Tubbs fire of 2017 not only burned my house, it woke up a burning desire inside for me to live my best life, in alignment with my values.
I finally started to really embrace self love in the last year. And once I made the choice to put myself first, my life began unfolding, in ways I never imagined. I was able to realize a long held dream of becoming an author. I began holding workshops designed to help women accept themselves. I am living the dream of helping people to step into life with confidence.
How can you, dear reader, begin on a path of self love? One option is to forgive yourself, for all of your inadequacies. There are several methods and tools for self forgiveness; one that worked for me was Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian meditation consisting of four statements:
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
The four simple phrases are a powerful way to forgive yourself and others, when repeated daily.
I also did mirror work, placing my face close to the mirror and telling myself 7 things I am proud of myself for, 7 things I forgive myself for, and 7 things I can commit to for myself on this day. Taught by Lisa Nichols, this mirror work can be a powerful way to begin on a path of self appreciation.
Meditation has been one staple in my life, lending me a calm center that is unshakable. This peace in my heart smooths over the inconsistencies of life, helping me to be present and to accept whatever comes without drama.
I challenge you to pick one of these methods, or find one that works for you, and commit to performing this practice daily for at least 21 days. As you begin to love yourself, watch as your life unfolds!
Sending you blessings…