I have spent most of my life giving myself a hard time. If something went wrong or if someone got upset, I would be the first person to put my hand up thinking it was my fault – even if it wasn’t. I have been very quick at putting myself in the doghouse, so to speak. This has been a pattern that I always remember having; it has been my normal.
Because of this belief I often attracted situations and relationships where I was also given a hard time, which simply to me confirmed my belief that indeed something was wrong with me. Giving myself a hard time was part of my foundation – so much so that until recently I didn’t even realise the extent to which I internally battered and beat myself.
Since coming to the work of Universal Medicine and being a Student of The Way of The Livingness, I have already made quite an inroad into developing a way of living that is self-honouring and self-loving. This has brought much clarity and joy on a day-to-day basis, however I can now see that this default program of giving myself a hard time has been capping my expansion and evolution.
Having had a Universal Medicine practitioner lovingly point out that this was a pattern of mine, I decided to explore the possibility of choosing another way. First of all, I recognised that I had been saying ‘yes’ to this pattern and I began to explore why I was choosing it. I became aware of the cycle that played out in my self-abuse.
Whenever anyone would question me on something that I had done or said, I would be quick to doubt myself, then I would disconnect from my body to go into more doubt, become very confused, give up on myself and then internally bash myself over the head for not getting it right: the whole time, not assessing or feeling if what had been said was indeed true for me or not.
By acknowledging that this was a recurring pattern, I started to make inroads by seeing just how debilitating this pattern was and how much it was holding me back.
The Game Changer – Self-Appreciation
This was when I began a self-appreciation program where on a daily basis via text message I began to share with a friend at least two things that I appreciate about myself on that day. Because I already had a strong foundation of love in my body from the self-loving choices I had been making over the last four or five years, this opened up a fountain of appreciation for myself that I never knew was there, dwelling inside of me waiting to burst out.
I began to see very clearly just how awesome I am and just how much there is to appreciate about myself. I began to see daily that the amazingness of who I truly am far outweighs all the little things that I had been giving myself a hard time over.
As I have begun to deeply appreciate all that ‘I am’, the ‘what I am not’ has started to fade into the background. It is something that I need to lovingly work on, but I no longer identify with it as who I am.
No more doghouse for me! I found that my innate way of being really is to express from this appreciation.
Along with the appreciation of myself also has come hand in hand a deeper appreciation of others. As I focus on seeing the beauty in me, I cannot help but see the beauty in those around me. My foundation is shifting quickly and I now see how giving myself a hard time no longer serves me. It was a pattern that I chose as a way of keeping myself small, of not showing the world the glory of who I really am.
By Donna Gianniotis, Age 41, BA Communication, Dip Health (Yoga)