Tag Archives: self love


I started writing as a way to process trauma and other difficult things that found their way into my life. It never lets me down. I’ve been doing some journaling over the past few weeks to deal with some family stuff, and each time I write, I have a cathartic cry and end up feeling lighter. Every single time! You should try it!

Over the past few months, the need to write has decreased. Sure, life continues to shit on me whenever it gets the urge, but  I’m kind of OK when life shits on me. I chalk it up to life sometimes being shitty, maybe have a cry about it, and go on about my day. Does this happen every time life shits on me? Nope. But way more than it used to, so I’ll take it.

My therapeutic writing transitioned into writing about amazing experiences I’ve had that had nothing to do with trauma at all..still things I needed help processing/understanding, I suppose. All I know is, when my soul tells me to write about something, I listen.

Tonight, my soul is telling me to write about gratitude. Not processing anything, not pages of angst, no questions…just gratitude for what I have, what I am, what is.

  1. I am grateful for my health. Even though I have two chronic illnesses which cause chronic pain, annoying discomforts and require time, effort, money…and I can’t eat bread, for crying out loud…I’m grateful for my health. I’m alive. I can work. I can drive my boat. I can love.
  2. I am grateful for my family. Of course, my sons…my reasons for going through all this shit. God, I am blessed with those guys.  But, when I say I’m grateful for my family, I’m also referring to the members of my family that have been a part of the whole “life shitting on me” crap. Despite all the heartache…and let me tell you, it’s a LOT of heartache… I’ve learned some valuable life lessons from them, and I think going through what I’ve gone through with them over this past year has allowed me to become something akin to angelic. I’ve learned to love when I’m not being loved. I’ve learned to forgive when I haven’t been asked for forgiveness. I know a lot of people know how to do these things, but for me…it took a lot of work. I think it’s a little harder when you have to give this love and forgiveness to people you’ve been craving love from your entire life. To be able to love them, and be OK with them not loving you back, well… that’s just something bigger than any words I can come up with, so I’ll stop here.
  3. I am grateful for failed relationships. Who would’ve guessed it? Well, not really all of them. Most of them I could do without. Maybe because they’re all really the same guy. But, the last couple, I’m grateful for those ones. With them, I was able to accomplish things I never could figure out how to do with the other guys. With one of them, I’ve learned how to stand up for myself, how to value myself. How to feel worthy…at least, for a little bit. At least, until I met the next guy, ha ha. Hey, that’s a pretty big deal when you haven’t done that before. And that next guy? Well… I can’t say the lesson is 100% complete, but I think I’m pretty close. The lesson I’m finally learning, the same lesson all the other guys came into my life to teach me…I’m learning how to let go of people I’m attached to. I’m learning to not take things personally if someone can’t love me. This is so important, because by learning this lesson in a relationship, I’m also learning how to do it with the people in my family. It all comes full circle. You know, you keep unconsciously seeking out the same situations you’re struggling with, in order to resolve them. Except you don’t KNOW that’s what you’re doing, so all you do is keep repeating the same pattern over and over and over, wondering why the hell you’re so unlovable…until something clicks (really, just therapy….just go to therapy. Everyone. Just go.) and you understand that saying, “Remember that time you confused a life lesson with a soul mate?” You learn that some people aren’t going to love you, and it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with how lovable you are. Yeah. That. I’m so close…
  4. I’m grateful for my practice. “Practice” is the word I use to put all of my “work” into a nice, neat little package. Therapy (which I don’t go to anymore, but don’t want to leave out how important of a piece it was in solving my puzzle), writing, meditation, going to church, surrounding myself with people who empower me and lift me up, consciously validating myself, not seeking validation from others, service to others…all of this is my practice. And my practice is what connects me to “source”…which is a long-winded way of saying I’m grateful for my connection to God. Without it, I’d be the lost lamb again. I’m not lost anymore. I am grateful… I am touched by grace… I am love… I am light… I am.



Mr. Tin Man

I cried at the gas station today. Just a little. It came out of nowhere, I think. Well, I’m sure all the country music I’m listening to isn’t helping. All in all, I think I’m doing pretty damn well. I’m continuing to make impacts with my patients at work. I’m loving having routines again with the boys being back at school. Family dinners are the best! I’m keeping social with my good friends, the one’s who love me and check in on me and value me. I’m meditating, and attending my meditation class every week. I’m going to therapy, working on getting back to being happy just being me. I’m getting there. But today, as I’m driving around to see my last few patients, I became sad. For some reason, I started thinking those stupid unlovable thoughts again. I hate them. Why can’t they just stay away? I’m doing EVERYTHING I’m supposed to be doing to rid myself of them. Fake it till you make it, then fake it some more, I guess.

I’m standing there, pumping gas, with one more patient to see. The sun is shining warmly. There’s hardly any wind. A perfect afternoon to sneak a few hours in on the boat. But work is work and you just can’t predict how long it’s going to take, and today took longer. That’s probably another thing contributing to my sadness…putting the boat away soon. For all I know, I could’ve had my last day out there already. So anyway, I’m standing there, pumping the gas, and I see a man across the way, finishing fueling up. I look at him. He glances at me and carries on. Nothing special about it. Just an average guy who happened to be pumping gas at the same time as me. Next thing you know, I’m crying. Flooded with the thoughts of my inner critic, or inner child, or whoever the hell it is that knows I’m never going to find the love I’ve been craving my entire life. Boom, back in an instant. I’m swallowing hard, blinking away the tears, wondering why the fuck I’m crying at the gas pump over love. God, what is going on with me? Last year, I was perfectly fine to never have even a conversation with another man again, and now I’m aching with emptiness at the knowing of it’s not ever happening for me.

I think my problem is that I finally opened my heart enough to admit I wanted it to be loved. Yeah, I think that’s it. It’s easier to not want love when you seal that sucker up. Safer. You’re protected that way.

But no, I had to go and open the damn thing up, exposing its vulnerability. And when you open it up, and nothing happens, it’s a weird kind of fragility. It kind of starts to close and harden, like it’s going to heal,  but not like the old shell. Just a light scabbing occurs, and as soon as you move, it cracks open again. And it bleeds…right out your eyes and down your cheeks at the gas station. So yeah, I suppose if I just stay home, lying around, doing nothing with anyone, just being still, stuffing it all down, numbing myself with TV or Facebook or nothing…it might harden enough to last. Harden, mind you. Not heal. Big difference. Because I don’t want to harden my heart. That’s armor. Protects you enough, but doesn’t let anything in at all. I also don’t want it to be raw and hurting, either. Because then, when nothing comes in at all, it burns. Neither one is significant of good living. What I truly want is for this heart to be loved and nurtured and adored and held gently. I want it to be needed. I want it to be healed. God, that’s vulnerable just to admit, isn’t it? To acknowledge I want my heart to be loved, yet admit it isn’t? Admit it hasn’t ever? Admit it most likely never will be? Not the way I need it to be. I’ve learned that lesson. Excessively. Doesn’t mean I won’t still try, even though I know the lesson. I just don’t like the alternative. Which I guess is why I cried today. I don’t like this alternative at all, and apparently, I’m totally onto the fact that I’m faking it. Damn.

I’m getting better, though. I kind of love myself enough to know what I deserve and not to take less, just because that’s all that’s offered. Kind of.

I’m turning 46 this year. I think that’s kind of a long time to go without being loved. Or loved in the right way. I know some people never find love. Never have children. Never got to grow up having family. So many of us never find what we yearn for. I’ve been told by just about every man I’ve been with that I want too much. I always felt so ashamed for that, trying to figure out how to stop being so needy and how to just be happy for what’s offered to me. I’m trying to not do that anymore. Though there’s not really any men in my life to try it on, so I guess the “trying” part will have to wait. However, I’ve just recently discovered the concept of “attachment types” and let me tell you, it’s opened my eyes. (Thank you, Deborah!) You can read about them here. I’ve got to figure out how to stop being attracted to these “avoidance” types. Or, figure out how to change myself to a “secure” type. Not happening any time soon, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m filling my days  with work, my kids and my friends. (I’ve got my drum lessons in an hour…working on a Metallica song!) Trying to fill up as much of the day as I can so I don’t notice what’s lurking. But I notice, anyway. Funny how you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely. I know I won’t be able to stay this way forever. It will either harden back up, or it will just break. So for now, I’m just protecting it and loving it the best I can, and hoping someday, my love for myself will be enough.


Love breakthrough

Emotional roller-coaster. That’s the best way to describe my feelings this year. Ever since that one ugly marital fight a year ago in September, I’ve felt it all. Well, almost all. Frustration and resentment stemmed from that day, and lasted through couples therapy. It  transformed into sadness and longing as I transitioned into individual therapy to process my Mom/abandonment issues. After I peeled off that Mom layer, all hell broke loose as I processed the sexual, physical and emotional abuse that followed. Fear, shame, sadness, anger, disgust, guilt, depression…basically months of negative emotions. It seemed as though it might never end, but it did. Little by little, I started having happy moments, empowered moments, fun moments. Like a pendulum, I would swing back and forth between the highs and lows, though luckily I could see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I kept up my “work”… therapy, writing, meditating, nurturing myself… trying to love myself.  Sometimes, I was just going through the motions, but that’s just part of the process. The positive moments eventually started to outnumber the negative ones, and I turned the corner.  I started believing in myself. I started to feel a little less unworthy. I shed a lot of that heavy guilt and began to learn, appreciate and accept…me. Though, throughout it all, one thing kept bothering me. I couldn’t feel love. Through my painful, exhausting work, I rewired my brain enough to believe that the people around me loved me. I knew it to be true, in my head. I just couldn’t feel it. So many times, I would find myself nervously admitting to my therapist that I couldn’t feel anyone’s love or caring for me, not even my children. I was ashamed of this. It made me feel ungrateful to admit it, like I was not appreciative of the people around me. Especially when I said I couldn’t feel the love from my children. What kind of mother says that? This type. This mother who is nothing but raw, open and honest sitting on that couch. I give therapy…I give me…my all. I’m not wasting time playing games or pretending. I want to be “normal” so desperately, so I tell Susan everything. Everything. Each time I told her this, I looked down in shame, imagining her thinking I’m ungrateful or selfish or whatever it is I’m thinking of myself when I say it. She didn’t.  Each time she reassured me, “It will happen in its own time”, smiling. Smiling, like she knows. I never believed her, because I knew I was different from her other clients. She thinks she knows, but she doesn’t know.

Well, she does know. I’ll be damned if there’s a thing about the human soul this woman does not know. I’ve been not feeling love since…well, since…hmm. I don’t know. I guess that’s a long time. I’m sure I’ve felt it at some point in my life, but right now, I can’t recall. I can remember feeling it, but with conditions. Knowing it was at risk if I didn’t play by the rules, and is that really love? Anyway, it happened. It happened at my butterfly party (see last post). I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol, or maybe the song, or just that I was with a fun group of people, or I was tired. I felt like I had to blame it on something, because I was afraid to let myself think it really happened. If it really happened, something else would happen to make it not real, or go away, and I would be left feeling empty. Feeling loss. Feeling that hole inside my soul again. It’s much easier to just set myself up to not let the things I want to happen occur, then I won’t be disappointed. But you know what? It happened. And it wasn’t the booze. And it wasn’t the song. I know this because it happened Saturday night, and each day since then, I’ve thought about it…and cried. Oh sure, I cry all the time, but not this type of cry. This one is hard to describe…a feeling of love, joy and belonging, mixed with the sadness of knowing it’s something I’ve been missing for so many years. As I was surrounded by that circle of friends, as I looked into each of their eyes as they smiled and sang to me, I felt it. I felt love and I cried, because I honestly thought it was just never in the cards for me to feel that…to have people want to give me that. This is what I’ve been working on all year.  I went from a girl who felt she didn’t deserve a damn thing in life… not love, not kids, not attention, not even going to therapy, to a girl who felt she deserved to throw herself a birthday party. A party to acknowledge her freedom from the heavy shame she’d been carrying around from her childhood. A party to acknowledge her bravery in getting divorced so she could preserve her true self. I stood right in the middle of that freaking love circle and accepted it all. I felt no shame. That’s when I realized I had accomplished my greatest feat yet…I had learned to love me.

“People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one….”