and I feel like I want to add another thing in there too:
** Self-Responsibility **
right before the Self-Love bit…
My Mum has been in hospital this week, and after spending a very “enlightening” day in the emergency dept, I’ve had a lot of time to ponder on what has happened.
Long story short, there was a lady (mid-20’s) bought in and put in a cubicle a few down from us. She had taken drugs and was having a reaction. She became very violent and verbally abusive, and after many attempts by many staff to calm her down, they had to restrain and sedate her. I said to the nurse looking after Mum that it was so sad that drugs had that affect on people.
Her response came as a shock and wake up call to me.
She said that the drugs this girl had taken would not be causing her to act out in such an aggressive and abusive way. That was her behaviour. Nothing to do with the drugs. It was simply her behaviour. And while she had empathy for the circumstances that led to many people going down the path of substance misuse, not all people who have unhappy or traumatic childhoods end up being abusive and violent. There is an element of choice and self-responsibility to go down a different path than the one that their parents/caregivers took.
Now I don’t want to get into a debate on the lifelong effects of a traumatic childhood. That is a whole other topic and a very complex one.
But it was her comment about “Choice” and “Self-Responsibility” that stuck with me.
We talk a lot about SELF-LOVE these days…
But what does Self-Love actually mean?
After having the conversation with the nurse, it occurred to me that one of the most Self-Loving things we can do for ourselves is to take SELF-RESPONSIBILITY for EVERYTHING that shows up in our lives.
As a recovering Co-Dependent this has been really hard for me to hear over the years and equally hard to do.
In the past I’d often feel completely powerless within my previous toxic relationship with a narcissistic, manipulative bully. There was nothing I could do to change his behaviour.
However, what I failed to do back then was to take responsibility for my RESPONSE to his behaviour.
My weakly asking him to “Please don’t speak to me like that”, “Please show me some respect”, “Please don’t treat me like that” etc etc just fuelled his bullying even more.
The Self-Responsible/Loving thing to do would have been to leave him many years before I actually did.
However I didn’t have the Self-Awareness or Self-Acceptance at the time to take the Self-Loving step of being “Responsible” for my “Response” to his behaviour, and just getting the hell out of there. It took me to hit rock bottom before I did that.
There are many pathways to Self-Awareness, and many awesome tools to help you. It comes down to personal choice as to which one/s you work with at any given time. And as you progress on your path of Self-Awareness the methods you use are likely to change as well.
Spending some quiet time in nature, grounding yourself, meditation, journaling, creating artworks are all ways of exploring your inner-self.
Talk-therapy (counselling) with a therapist that you connect with can help you to work through and clarify your thoughts leading to a much greater level of Self-Awareness.
One of the most powerful Self-Awareness tools I have used is Inner Child work.
Getting to know your Inner Child and other Inner Child parts, your Inner Adolescent parts, and your Grown-Up Aware Self will help you to make much better choices for YOU. And taking care of YOU will ultimately have a positive flow on to the people you love and care about in your life.
If this is something you can relate to, I’d love to work with you.
Call me for a free 20 minute consultation to find out how I can help you.
It doesn’t matter where you live, sessions with me can be in-person at the Nambour Wellness Hub or online via Zoom.