I was challenged this week to do something that that I absolutely loathe, and when I say loathe, I mean I honestly have such a hard time doing it that it causes my anxiety to spike. Realizing I am a strong person and giving myself some credit. So after spending a rare Sunday session with J, by starting to write a letter to my mother, she wants me to write about validating my strengths and giving my self credit during my trauma recovery.
Apparently this is so I can realize that even in the wake of the past trauma I’m working through at the hands of a mother who has narcissistic tendencies, that I am stronger than I believe. J thinks that by writing these out it will help me get more comfortable in giving myself credit. Knowing me how I know me, I have my doubts, but I’m willing to give it an honest shot.
Here it goes…
Because my mother never validated me, I feel like I am very passionate about and good at validating others. I don’t do it just for the sake of doing it though, it’s real and genuine. Throwing around support and compliments without having your heart behind it feels fake to me. When I see someone struggling in their life, or just having a bad day, I try to give them a smile, encourage them, and let them know that I’ve been there. Even if I haven’t been in their particular circumstance, chances are they are feeling something that I feel or have felt in the past.
I’m an encouraging person. I want others to know that there is hope, there is power in focusing on one good thing, and maybe by doing that they can feel just a little bit better. By reassuring people that I’m there for them and that I support them, hopefully that encourages them and lets them know they aren’t alone. There are countless people in the world who are hurting every day, and I want to do all I can to help as as many feel encouraged as possible.
We need to find a way to be strong in the face of adversity and discouraging times. It may not get better today or tomorrow, but if we don’t give up, we can find a way to conquer our pain.
I suppose I’m resilient. Minimizing again, ugh! Alright, let’s try this again. I am resilient! In case you haven’t noticed already on this blog, I write what and how I feel. I could have edited that first sentence out but I wasn’t feeling it at first, so I left it in. I have somehow managed to find a way to survive and keep getting back up in life. Between the childhood sexual abuse, mother wounds, being bullied, failed marriages, and alcoholism, I’m still here. I figure out a way, and God knows it isn’t easy, to get up every morning and keep going. Some days I really wonder how I do it. Am I destined for something greater than myself? Who knows, but if I don’t keep finding a way to be resilient, my kids won’t have a dad. I won’t have a job to support them and myself. I won’t be able to write in this blog, interact with the survivor community, play my music, or pretty much function at all.
Compassionate, I can admit that I have that strength. I feel for people who go through trying times. I have a heart for those that are hurting. It’s not enough to just feel though, I need to do something about it. It’s not for my own personal gain, to build up myself and be like, “hey look at me and what I did for so and so”. It’s because I hurt and I know how much I need support and compassion from others. It helps me so much and hopefully by me showing a caring and compassionate heart for people, they will know I’m genuine and that there are people out there who care and understand.
Non-judgmental. Given the fact that mother will pretty much judge anybody for how they dress, the way they look, their religious beliefs, taste in music, or anything else, I have made it a priority to accept people for who they are. Being an individual, wear what you want, listen to what you want, say what you want, I’m not going to think less of you. I have zero right to judge. None, not even a little. I have enough of own issues, so I’m not about to start casting stones at you whether I agree with you or not on any topic.
I know what it’s like to be judged, to be looked at and avoided by people. To have church people stare at me and talk behind my back, or have security guards give me a double take because of how I look. You won’t find me doing that, ever.
So that’s my attempt at looking at myself as objectively as possible and try to see myself as others see me. I’m validating my own strengths right now. You can do it too! It may not feel natural at first, or for a while, but in time it can be another step towards empowerment. Remember, it’s not about finding something that you are better than someone else at or even as good as you think they are at it; but rather it’s about realizing the strengths you possess and how they help you, and help others.
I’m not quite sure how I feel right now, giving myself some credit. Validating myself, if you will. Maybe this whole listing your strengths thing isn’t so bad after all.
I would love to hear your strengths in the comments!