Thursday, June 21, 2012

Learning to nurture myself

In the last few months, I feel that a hurricane has taken over my life. The intensity of my feelings in what I thought I had lost was extremely painful. Despite my attempts, catharsis was not taking place effectively. It was to a point that I needed to seek out and learn more about me. Sometimes, you need to experience pain and loss in order to realize what, if anything, is missing in your life. At least that was my case.

I learned that what I was seeking from others was basically something that I may have missed out in my early years. Not to say I am the only one that is lacking in this...I mean many people are better able to overcome and cope with this, but I still needed to feel nurtured. I needed to become a better mother to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom to pieces, however, I definitely do not have the relationship with my mom that is seen in the movies, the one my friends had with their mothers, or at least the one that I longed for. As I try to understand her, I can only see how my grandmother may have been overly nurturing to her and how this may have strayed her away; and how young my mother was when she had me. I often thought, it was my fault I didn't have this relationship and I didn't deserve to have these feelings.

Part of learning about me was also identifying with one of Karen Horney's (pronounced "horn-eye") theories. A theory based on how children perceived the actions of their parents. What I found, is that I am that little girl that seeks perfection and acceptance from others. I have the need to please others and be liked by them. Unfortunately, this theory falls true to me, and led me through the darkest path in my life.

As the good student that I am, I did my research to seek out my own happiness. What I am realizing is that I am an adult now and nothing can change my past; however, I am the owner of my actions and my thoughts. Therefore, I am the only one that can change and shape my future.  I landed on a few good articles on the 'tyranny of the shoulds', loving yourself, and on forgiveness.

Thus far, I feel that Tama J. Kieves' article on "How to Nurture Yourself & Be Your Own Mother" hit home with me. It wasn't a list on how to nurture me; I mean, I already have ideas like writing a journal, going to the gym, calling a good friend. Nope, this article shed a shining light. What I have to do is be my own mother! What would I want to tell myself when I feel down? How can I be good to myself?

Positive self-talk has never been at the top of my list. For the most part, I surrender to the negative feelings and the obsessive thoughts that clouded my thinking. As my own mother, I would hug myself and tell myself 'I am beautiful', 'they don't deserve your tears', 'you have done an amazing job!' Loving yourself unconditionally must be number one in your list. Don't be so judgmental of yourself; rather, you have to be your own cheerleader! Yes, it is difficult in the beginning. I too dwelled on the negative, but at one point or another you have to change that. You have the choice of being sad, being angry, and being happy. I say chose the latter and be your own voice of support. Be that one that nurtures you and accepts you for who you are unconditionally. You are who you were meant to be, so embrace yourself and forgive your mistakes.

Nurture yourself. Make it your responsibility. Treat yourself intentionally, buy yourself a small gift or a token of gratitude and support. Thank people around your for their kindness and their good thoughts. Remember, the world is full of good mothers, fathers, and lovers; including you!

1 comment:

  1. How very interesting! Great post, I know what you mean about nurturing yourself. I think there comes a point in your life where you can't keep falling back on the fact that your childhood wasn't perfect. And then you realise that you need to take care of yourself. And it's a very liberating thing to do. Thanks for sharing!


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