Shifting themes: grief to self-worth

A couple of years ago, I had a therapist who helped me understand some truths about myself on a deeper level.  Being a more right brained thinker, I’ve known for awhile the need to grow in my ability to feel feelings…not just analyze situations.  He talked about integrating the heart and the mind, so that both feelings and thoughts were equally present.  He also gave me some tools for identifying and responding/reacting to feelings.  And while I’m confident that this will be a continual struggle, I believe I’m making progress.  I’m aware, I have some tools, and I’m spending some time feeling, being fully present, being aware…

In that “life theme,” he also helped me see my need to grieve.  He said I’d be entering a period of grieving…  and jokingly, I still wonder “when will it ever end?”  Since then, in addition to ending a 7 year relationship, being fired from a 19 year career, and losing a style of living that went with that career, I’ve faced the loss of my mom and grandmother as well as several close friends.  Call it the journey of entering my 40’s.  I’ve also done some deeper work on realizing and grieving losses from my childhood that have hung over my head and heart, keeping me stuck in patterns that weren’t healthy or aligned where I wanted to be.  And again, while I believe grief is a feeling or process that is with me for the long haul, and I will probably uncover things I still need to grieve, or situations I need to grieve on a deeper level, I’m making progress.  I’m aware, I have some tools to understand and feel grief and loss, and I’m spending some time accepting those losses and moving on…

So while I hesitate to say I’m done with learning how to feel or how to grieve, I’m in a 3 month sabbatical period, and I believe I was enlightened today and this week with the “theme” of this sabbatical — which like other topics, will probably extend beyond the remaining two months.  But two close friends and a devotional reading highlighted the same theme for me – so in my world, three data points make a trend, and I should listen!  The concept:  self worth.

At the heart of me sexual addiction (which played out in a nasty way last month…), and my competitive nature which drives me to overachieve and my depression is this feeling of low self-worth.  It plagues me, and has for much of life – despite many “successes” and external praise.  I hear what others say about me, and discount it…unable to love myself (at times) for just who I am…a beloved child of God.  The devotional today talks about our “inner door” — how nobody can go through the inner door with us, and until we sufficiently “walk through” the issue or issues that face us in life, we will continually return to them — face them head on — bang our head — and wonder why we are going crazy.  For me, I believe it’s self-worth.  

When my counselor told me about grief, my immediate question was “Ok, so how do I grieve?”  He laughed, and said that was the wrong question.  In fact, there wasn’t a question to be asked.  I just needed to let go, and allow my body and mind and Higher Power show my the path I needed to follow.   I believe much of what I faced in the following years were part of that path of enlightenment…

So, as I face this question of “how do I learn to love myself?” – I want to get answers from the world out there (your comments), or read books or somehow find the fix.  But, I’m reminded that this is my inner door — my path of enlightenment.  And while others can help me along the way and shine light on the path, the only answer that is true and authentic is the one that I find for Todd.  So, for now, I will “anoint” this remaining two months of time to explore the journey of self-worth, of loving and accepting self…

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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