To Love Yourself “As Is”

to love yourself 4

To Love Yourself “As Is” (Part 1)

“Be kind to others,” they told her.

“Be kind to yourself.” She didn’t hear much of that.

Maybe they assumed she just would be. But despite the radiant smile on her face, the voice in her head said, “Not good enough.”

It wasn’t enough.
It was never enough.

For years she tried to reach perfection’s highest rung, but she missed again and again and again.

And then she had little ones of her own. At first their messiness and mistakes reminded her of her own imperfections. She found herself losing it over trivial mishaps and typical kid issues. But living in the shadow of fear and inadequacy was not the life she wanted for her children. She made every effort to see beyond their mess and mayhem. And in her children’s disarray, their humanness, and in their silly little quirks, she saw something worthy of love and forgiveness. She offered them love without condition and restraint, and when she did, their little faces glowed with validation and acceptance.

To love someone “as is” was a gift, she realized.

So whenever her children messed up she’d say, “Be kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes.”

As the children grew, they started saying it to themselves and to each other. And one day, when she burned the bottom of the crockpot, the littlest one said it to her. “Everybody makes mistakes, Mama. Be nice to yourself.”

She wished someone had said it when she was young. But it wasn’t too late. Thirty-eight years of being unkind to herself was enough. It was quite enough.


“Be kind to yourself.”
“Only love today.”

She began saying it. Sometimes 100,000 times a day, she said it.

Only Love today.
Only Love Today.

Be kind to yourself.

She says it now.

Because it’s not too late.

To Love Yourself “As Is” (Part 2)

The mantra was working. “Only Love Today. Be Kind to Yourself.” Those empowering words were silencing the bully in her head. There was a crack of light. She could see the next steps.

She decided to stop beating herself up over past failures.
She decided to stop re-playing mistakes over and over in her head.
She decided to be open about her shortcomings, real with her humanness, and generous with her apologies.

“I don’t always get it right, and I never will,” she honestly admitted to herself.

But that was not something to be sad about because there was a silver lining.

Even on the days she didn’t get it right, her children were still learning valuable lessons about life, persistence, determination, failure, compassion, authenticity, grace, and forgiveness. Even when she wasn’t getting it “right,” it didn’t mean her children were going to turn out all wrong.

love yourself as is #handsfreemama

Her humanness allowed her children to be human.

Her courage to keep showing up gave her children courage to show up.

Loving herself despite her failures, flaws, and imperfections gave her children permission to love themselves “as is.”

As a result, her children discovered much sooner something she wished she’d known all her life: You can’t see the silver lining that comes from falling down until you get back up.

But she sees it now.

She sees it now.

Because it’s not too late.

********

If you follow me on The Hands Free Revolution page then you may know I posted these two pieces separately over the span of several weeks. I didn’t realize they were two halves of a whole until I noticed the similarities in reader responses.

“I needed this today,” was written again and again and again. I received personal messages from both an eleven-year-old girl and a seventy-two-year-old woman who confirmed these words knew no limits, no boundaries. “I needed this message,” they both wrote.

I’ve come to this conclusion: it doesn’t matter who we are or how much we have accomplished, there’s a lot of beating up going on inside our heads. There are a lot of people walking around feeling like they aren’t doing well at anything … in any area … at any time. And because of this realization, I am compelled to add one more part to this story: the how part.

To Love Yourself “As Is” (Part 3)

Learning to love myself “as is” didn’t happen overnight. This process began when I started my Hands Free journey almost four years ago and is chronicled in my book. However, it wasn’t until very recently that I realized I have been doing something very powerful to love myself “as is.”

I’ve begun to see good in the parts of myself that I thought were bad. You know that drill sergeant I strived to get rid of when I was learning how to live Hands Free?  Well, that is a part of me that I have come to love and appreciate because it helps me tremendously in certain circumstances. When I am trying to meet my publisher’s deadlines, relocate my family to a new state, or get a messy house in order for an unexpected showing, my inner drill sergeant always saves the day! I am learning to love a part of me that I thought needed to be extinguished. This is healing and freeing.

I’ve also came to love that overly sensitive side of me that I used to chastise for being a thin-skinned weakling in need of some toughening up. I’ve found myself saying to that part of me, “I love you. You cry when others cry. You remember to ask people about the challenges they are going through. You listen and care when someone speaks.” It is because of that sensitive part of me that I feel life. It is that part of me that allows me to articulate through my writing what others feel but cannot express. I am learning to love a part of me that I thought needed to be abolished. This is healing and freeing.

Seeing my once perceived “weaknesses” as positive attributes in certain situations allows me to look at myself with more kind and loving eyes, just as I do with my children.

I am not saying I don’t have bad days; I do. But the tendency to go easy on myself is stronger than my tendency to bully myself. This is significant because it used to be the other way around. My knee-jerk reaction was to criticize, condemn, and not-good-enough myself to death. That was a brutal and hopeless way to live.

Four years, my friends.

It’s taken four years of baby steps to get to this place of loving myself as a whole. But it began with a single mantra: “Only Love Today. Be Kind to Yourself.”

Those words shut down the bully and threw me a lifeline.

And when I grabbed it and pulled myself up, I saw two little girls looking upon their authentically messy, hopelessly flawed mother with love in their eyes and relief in their chests.

That’s when I saw the silver lining. It shined so brightly I could see every blemish, every imperfection on my tattered soul.

I couldn’t have hidden them if I tried.

But I didn’t want to–I have two very good reasons not to hide anymore.

to love yourself as is 2 #handsfreemama

*****************************************************

Friends of The Hands Free Revolution, tell me about the bully in your head. Is self-criticism something you struggle with? Does it impact the way you treat the ones you love? Please feel free to share your struggles and triumphs in your own journey to love yourself and others “as is.” So much hope can be found when we reveal our scars and share what we’ve learned by getting back up after we’ve fallen down.

Recommended resource:

I have spent the last few weeks pouring over Mike Robbins’ beautiful new book, Nothing Changes Until You Do. Being a storyteller myself, I was drawn to Mike’s highly authentic and relatable way of sharing powerful insights from his life. This book made me do something I don’t normally do: I went back and read certain chapters again. The truths Mike shares from his own journey have a way of flipping a switch of awareness and inspiring change in one’s own life. Nothing Changes Until You Do shows us how we can have more compassion, acceptance, and love for ourselves, others, and life itself. The book is divided into 40 short chapters, which you can read straight through or one at a time in any order. If you are looking for a tool to help you love yourself “as is,” it doesn’t get any better than this. You can read about Mike’s incredible work here.

Lastly, if you are in need of a daily, visual reminder to love yourself “as is,” check out the ONLY LOVE TODAY bracelets in the Hands Free Shop. There are three colors to chose from–two are made with distressed leather and one is a non-leather alternative for our vegan friends. There is also a gorgeous hand-lettered print with the ONLY LOVE TODAY message.

Thank you for walking beside me on this journey. Your beautiful messages and comments keep inspiring me to share the difficult truths of my own journey. I appreciate you. 

 

Signature

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Good for you Rachel! My favorite quote of the moment is “Objects in motion stay in motion” I think it relates to so many things in life. Even when we can do only ONE TINY LITTLE thing right, it keeps us going in the right direction. You are an inspiration to so many and so many little ones out there are benefiting from the lessons you are teaching the moms (and grandmas). Keep up that forward motion. You are valuable to so many.

  2. 2

    B says

    This post speaks volumes to me. I’m currently where you were four years ago. To get to where you are now seems so unattainable. I am a first time mom of twin girls (2.5 yrs) and I’ve just recently started to “lose it” on those I love the most. My outbursts I know have them and my husband shocked and horrified. All I want is to be a good mother, who is nothing like my own distant narcissistic mother, but I am becoming her. At this point in my life I can truly say I hate who I am. I’m so afraid I’m ruining the two most precious things in the world because I can’t get it together. I honestly believe that the relationship between a mother and her daughters is a fragile one and can easily be broken and can take years to repair. I know there’s hope… I just can get a grip on it at the moment.

    • 3

      says

      Hi B- my heart hurts when I read this. I know these feelings. I remember the hopelessness and the self-loathing. I began my transformation with small steps–for me it was the only way. “Seeing the flowers instead of the weeds” was very helpful. You can read about that strategy here: http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/09/24/taking-away-my-daughters-smile/. I don’t know if you have read this post, but this is another one that may help: http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/05/22/the-important-thing-about-yelling/.

      Here are some other small steps to get you started:

      Andrea Nair is a brilliant author who specializes in the connection between parents and children. Andrea wrote a post that describes a practical and powerful strategy that we can all start implementing today, right now. Here is the link to “Seven Steps to Being Less Harsh on Our Kids”: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/andrea-nair-button-pushing/20131212/steps-to-being-less-harsh-on-our-kids

      Sandra Blackhard is the author of “Say What You See For Parents & Teachers,” and she often helps me answer reader questions when they fall out of my area of expertise. Sandra provided these tips for strengthening or rebuilding relationships with children and yourself:

      • It’s never too late to turn around your relationship with your child. A key factor in your relationship with your child is your relationship with yourself. When you become aware that you want or need help, or believe your child might, trust your instincts and DON’T WAIT! Help is available in the form of books and professionals such as coaches, counselors, therapists and doctors. They can help you bring love and understanding to yourself and your child and provide tips and tools for keeping your relationship intact.

      • To rebuild or strengthen your relationship, the first step is ALWAYS connection. This step helps you understand the child’s perspective, underlying motivation, wishes and intentions while helping you remain objective and calm. Listening, observing and objectively describing what you see and hear is the easiest way to start. Avoid judgment, criticism, questions and advice while connecting. Hugs, play wrestling and other forms of physical contact also bring connection.

      • Children don’t think like adults, but this doesn’t mean the way they think is wrong. You can consider childhood as the testing phase for cause and effect logic to a child anything really is possible. What they tell you is a window into that world – the world where fantasy becomes discovery. You can provide facts as a child requests, but remind yourself to listen with wonder, not skepticism.

      • Acknowledge children’s good intentions, especially when things have gone badly. Your child’s good intentions tell you who your child really is. The accidents and problems that their actions may create are valuable learning experiences that you can use to help the child achieve their goals and fulfill their intentions. It takes a while to figure out how this world works. Your job is to be their guide.

      • Children welcome do-overs. Do-overs really do rebuild connection. Blame and “I told you so’s” are not part of a do-over. Do-overs are all about seeing the child’s point of view, apologizing for your emotional explosion or mistake, and working together to solve the problem that set it off. Even though you would prefer to catch yourself in the moment or stop yourself before you started, do-overs can be your saving grace – now and always. Do-overs let children (and us) see who we really are – a loving, understanding parent who sometimes forgets themselves when feeling mad. But the loving, understanding one is the real one, and our kids know it. They hate it when we disappear and they can’t reach us (that’s the tears), but they remain surprisingly ready to welcome us back. It’s up to us to take the first step.

      Sandra Blackhard and her colleagues have kindly offered their contact information so people can reach out directly to them about issues they are facing.

      If you feel like there should be something you can do to turn things around but you don’t know what it is, feel lost, stuck or overwhelmed, contact:

      Sandra, parenting/life coaching: http://www.languageoflistening.com

      If anyone reading today feels hopeless like nothing you do will ever work, or if you or your child(ren) are experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, attention problems, self-inflicted injury, suicidal thoughts, or are simply wishing for healing, contact:

      Theresa, PhD, licensed psychologist: http://www.theresakellam.com

      More recommended Books:

      Brene Brown has written several books that helped me overcome my inner bully. I highly recommend these two books by her:

      “The Gifts of Imperfection”: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/159285849X/wwwbrenebrown-20

      “I Thought It Was Just Me”: http://www.amazon.com/Thought-Was-Just-but-isnt/dp/1592403352/ref=pd_sim_b_2

      I also highly recommend this book:

      Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: http://www.amazon.com/Peaceful-Parent-Happy-Kids-Connecting/dp/0399160280/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387183818&sr=1-1&keywords=dr.+laura+markham

      Dr. Markham also has a blog that is a valuable resource to parents with children of all ages: http://www.ahaparenting.com

      I hope I have provided some additional resources that will help you take further steps toward the life you want to live & the person you want to be. It’s not too late, my friend. There is hope. Today holds the first step.

      • 4

        Connie says

        Thank you Rachel for providing this additional info! I have been reading for over a year now…and this bully one is still tough- although there are baby steps. “Children’s good intentions and Do-Overs (again) resonate with me today.” Thanks!!! :)

      • 5

        says

        Rachel,

        This really resonates with me: “Her humanness allowed her children to be human.” There is no greater gift to your children than the ease and inner joy that comes from embracing and loving oneself “as is.” Beautiful sentiment and so important for the world to hear.

        And thank you for sharing my tips and contact information. Theresa and I are happy to be there for you and your readers.

  3. 6

    Emmelien says

    I don’t really have the time to read your whole article, I don’t have time right now but will definitely do it later. I just wanted to mention how beautiful those pictures are! :)

    • 7

      says

      Thank you, Emmelien! My 10-year-old daughter takes most of my pictures. My husband takes the ones of the girls and me. I will be sure and tell my family that you enjoyed them! Much love.

  4. 8

    Alissa says

    I don’t even struggle with the bully in my head anymore. I just accept it. The effort it would take to roll that stone over and push it over the ledge would be too much. A better person would probably follow your advice. This is a nice post for other people who have it in them.

    • 9

      C D says

      Alissa… don’t give up! You’re worth fighting for, and the bully in your head is worth silencing! We all have it in us… we just need to find a friend to help us along the way!

  5. 10

    Lorraine says

    Hi Rachel,

    I had tears swimming in my eyes after reading this. Your blog has helped me grow so much. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have been in therapy for a long time dealing with my bully – she’s still there – but I’m working on it. Only love today!

  6. 11

    Marisa Tompkins says

    Rachel, my ladies Lifegroup is currently reading your book! While it’s not an actual Bible Study, we are learning to quiet ourselves, limit distractions, and hear what God has to say to us. Last night on my screened in porch, on a warm spring night in South Carolina, we reviewed chapter 8 of Hands Free Mama. As an exercise I suggested we go around the group and give ourselves compliments–one about our physical appearance and one for something in our personality we like. It was challenging for most, but it was beautiful. Most ladies commented on their ears or eyes , but when their own compliments didn’t satisfy the group, we all chimed in and added on to the beautiful things we see in them. It was such a spiritual experience as we all loved, and nurturered each other in broken places. Confidence grew, hearts swelled and smiles spread ear to ear. Then we prayed God would work through out fear and bring out out our most authentic selves so that others could see Christs love in us.

    You are a gifted writer and your book has been a joy to read as you delicately touch out hearts in all the necessary places.

    I hope the blessings are returned to you 10 fold.

  7. 12

    Niki says

    I can’t tell you how perfect the timing of getting this in my inbox today is. On the days when everything seems to be too much and my patience disappears and my tone is so harsh, I worry that I’m going to ruin my 3 1/2 year old daughter for life. And then the heaviness of the guilt on those days is suffocating. I open my inbox and there is a new post from Hands Free Mama. Thank goodness I found your blog! Thank goodness I bought your book! I’m trying to be a better me every day. Your stories give me so much inspiration and encouragement on these days. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your journey. You are right, the progress seems slow, but it’s still progress. Thank you.

  8. 13

    Tracy Johnston says

    I read one of your articles (the bully close to home?) published on MSN months ago…and it struck me like a ton of bricks. I literally cried in my office at work. I’m so glad I found your blog. I have 3 very wonderful but challenging and strong-willed little boys 4,6 & 10. I love them more than I think is even possible, but I feel constantly very close to the edge with them and often lose it. Then feel shame and regret and disgust and sadness. Thank you for your beautiful & honest writing. You have helped me be more aware of the mother I want to be. And your “only love today” has really struck a cord in my head & my heart. Change is possible and I am working towards it…baby steps and it’s not ever too late.

  9. 14

    Heather says

    Rachel…I am always so inspired by your writing. Your words hit home for me so often. It is comforting to know we are not alone in our struggles, and even more, it is uplifting to know we can come out from them together. Thank you for sharing such personal stories and your life experiences. My Dad used to tell me ..you are exactly where you should be…I am embracing that this morning, living in the today and loving myself through it, faults and all. One day at a time.

  10. 15

    Melissa says

    I still LOVE the reminder of Only Love Today and Be Kind to Yourself! I got impatient this morning because as we were leaving, my oldest said I need something for show and tell. We don’t have the time was my response. When we got to school, I kept thinking, yes we did have the time and I chose to rush instead of be patient for one last item. A year ago I would have dwelled on this and beat myself up all day. Instead I was kind to myself and apologized that I rushed out the door and promised we would prepare something tonight and be ready for a brand new morning. He seemed happy with this idea, I gave him kisses and hugs and he was on with his day. It is beautiful to recognize when your bully has gotten weaker! Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing your ups and downs on this journey!
    Much Kindness and Love to you!

  11. 16

    Melissa says

    Rachel….. I am an avid reader of your blog and a mom of two beautiful babes (6 & 3). I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. Your words have blessed me in more ways than I can count, and I know that God is using you to reach out to others. May I request that the quote, ” be kind to yourself” be included as a choice on the bracelets that you sell. I know I need that daily reminder. Thank you for all you do!

  12. 17

    Tami says

    I’m sitting here crying. I wish I had heard this many, many years ago, but I’m thankful to read it today. I’ve always expected much more of myself than I do of others, and I extend others much more grace than I ever would give myself. I’ve even started doubting my abilities because of this inner critic. I, too, grew up hearing “be kind to others” but never “be kind to yourself.”
    My daughter and grandchildren recently moved in with me, so hopefully I can teach these precious babies to be kind to themselves. The oldest has already been beat down enough (he berates himself already at the tender age of 6). It breaks my heart.
    Thank you for these wise words. I’m writing them down until they are written on my heart. “Be kind to yourself. Only love today.”

  13. 18

    says

    This piece is like a cup of cold water on a hot day – quenching, beautiful, necessary. Thank you, Rachel. As a fellow perfectionist, I look up to you, and I’m inspired by the down-to-earth sharing.

    Your words help me to be less ashamed of the parts of myself that I don’t like, the parts I’d call ‘faults.’ But then I remember one of the most profound comments I’ve ever heard, from one of my friends with special needs at L’Arche.

    When asked, “What does it mean to be human?” he responded, “To be humble.” I thought that was a pretty profound answer, since human and humble have the same root, humus, from the earth. But the questioner followed up by asking, “Ok, but what does it mean to be humble?” And my friend said, “Well … I don’t know. But I think it helps … not to be afraid of your faults.”

    It took my breath away. And it’s definitely connected to what you shared here, that you’re beginning to see good in the parts of yourself that you thought were bad. I needed to hear it then and now. Thank you, friend! xo

  14. 19

    M Payne says

    I needed this today, like so many others. Thank you for your honesty and for being real- it inspires me to do the same. I’m doing a Brene Brown ecourse right now and this week we’re working on finding our superpower and seeing what our kryptonite is in response- your post totally resonates with loving all parts of ourselves and seeing how even those aspects we beat ourselves up about can be loved. I’m so happy to have found your website! Just waiting for your book front the library!

  15. 20

    Bridget says

    This book and your post have helped change my life and the lives of my children. This is an amazing journey and I love being on it. Thank you for ssharing your heart and soul.

  16. 21

    Lori says

    Rachel, I’ve followed you for quite a while, but this is the first comment I’ve written…

    My dad always said, “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.” I never really understood these words until this last year. My health was declining and taking my thoughts along with it. I have a precious 4-year-old and I sadly lost this last year with him because of it. Day in and day out I would repeat, “I hate myself and I want to die.” This was not me, but I allowed the daily stresses of a working mom to consume me. It took a change in diet for my health and a change in thoughts for my spirit to start to reverse this. So, besides dad’s words about loving yourself, he also always preached, “Keep it simple, girl!” And that’s exactly what I’m doing thanks to beautiful women like you. We are not alone, we have each other!!!

  17. 22

    Claire says

    I have just learned to love my drill sergeant, my soft-hearted sweetie-pie, my hormonal girlie….. Love = unconditional acceptance of whatever is, and my boy knows that mistakes are just one way that didn’t work. I LOVE this post and will be sharing far and wide. It took me a personal catastrophe to learn the lesson and your exploration here is authentic and potent. Thank you!

  18. 23

    says

    Wonderful, wonderful. We need to tell ourselves this much more often. I’ve seen my teen daughter pick up on my self-insulting habits. It’s so hard to see her put herself down, but I have to remember where she learned that, and make sure she can learn something else while she’s still under my roof. God willing, I’ll find a mantra of my own. Thank you!

  19. 24

    says

    Thirty years twins age four boy girl and one amazing husband. My own bully holds me back as well as my own fear. This is probably the best thing I have ever read. I allow my hubby in but cannot explain it very well. I will make sure he reads this too! Thank you so much. I worry about my little girl already not being happy with herself I see it and it terrifies me. For her to feel this way already and to know it came from me but this helps me see it’s not too late and we can change it. Thank you again. Lots if love

  20. 25

    Julie Mann says

    Oh I needed this. My inner critic is so cruel and your message is a great reminder to soften that voice and find ways to love all parts of me!

  21. 26

    says

    I found your book at my local library and cry every time I pick it up to read a little each day. I find I am drinking it in but can only read a portion to fully absorb it all! Its like your writing my story, except for the fact that I have 3 boys ,lol. I’m gonna need to purchase a book because there was soooo much I wanted to highlight and underline !
    I was wondering if there was a discount code or sale in the shop for Mothers Day? I am looking to purchase quite a few items and wondered if these items ever go on sale or are discounted?
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  22. 28

    says

    I hate to be redundant, but…I needed to hear this today. I’m just learning about the concept of self-compassion – who knew that I was missing that for over 40 years? Ah, well…I’m grateful to be learning about it now. I hope that it’s in time to send some different messages to my kids – and that’s what causes me the most anxiety some days. I’m paralyzed – trapped between trying to figure out what I missed out as a kid so I can give it to myself, AND trying to give those skills to my kids. It’s daunting and I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by it all.

    But your post reminds me that it’s a process. A long process. I can’t expect myself to wake up tomorrow and have it all figured out. So if tomorrow I have one positive moment of self-compassion, and 37 moments of “Don’t you realize what awful messages you’re sending to your kids? Don’t you see that you’re not good enough at any of these responsibilities?” – well, then, it’s still progress. Itty bitty progress, but progress nonetheless. And I can be grateful for that progress, and proud of myself for doing even that much.

  23. 29

    Debbie says

    Your blog is by far the best blog I have ever come across that speaks to my heart so proufoundly. I found your blog after watching some show our local TV station just picked up. Living Well Network and it was the Steve and Chris show I think. Since seeing it, I have scoured your blog for insight, wisdom, and help.
    I grew up with a highly critical and fly off the handle mom and I am a perfectionist. These things are not helpful when trying to be the best parent I can be. I am recognizing that I am becoming her, something I thought would never happen. I yell, am critical (to myself and my girls), and expect perfection.
    I am crushed by who I have become.
    BUT, I feel so encouraged by your words to not let history repeat itself with me and my girls. I refuse to let it happen.
    I refuse.
    And I have found so many wonderful ideas from your blog on how to change.
    Thank you SO much.

  24. 30

    Laura says

    I am sitting here with uncontrollable tears… beautiful post and it hit me like a brick. Most of your posts do but this one and the one that you described running and falling to your knees in painful realization have hit me the closest. I love reading what you post and I bought your book. My kids are 16 and 13 and I fear that I am too late in letting go of the insanity that is my life. All the years that I have lived an over scheduled life, thinking that I was doing it “for my kids”, I now look back on and feel sad and at a loss…I long for the days when they were little. I pray its not “too late” to rekindle an incredible relationship with those kids that mean everything to me.

  25. 31

    Dessica Albertson says

    I was shocked when I received my copy of the Hanoverian this week. I am a dedicated follower of your blog and I had to idea you were a fellow Hanoverian :0)

    • 32

      says

      YAY! I love Hanover! Met my amazing husband there as well as life-long friends! Sandra Guthrie at the Hanoverian has been such a supporter of the Hands Free message since the beginning. I am so grateful to her. Thanks for letting me know we share 2 things in common – Hanover and living HF!

  26. 33

    Pam says

    I really appreciate your message , I have always bully myself and I can’t stand it anymore. I also have two beautiful daughters , so I really want to change I just don’t know how.
    Thank you for sharing, it gives me hope

  27. 34

    says

    As I sat here in my bed on the computer, avoiding having to get up and get moving because today is a tough day (my nephew would have been 33 today, gone 16 years, and I’m missing my Mom who has been gone for 6), I was led to your page by a link from a friend. After reading your blog post, I am now in tears but getting up, grabbing my daughter and going out for that bike ride she suggested a few minutes ago. She learned to ride a two-wheeler yesterday and is so excited to get another ride in. Had I not read your blog, I would’ve probably stayed in bed another hour. But now I’m signing off, getting up and going out. Today I will live life! THANK YOU!

  28. 35

    Bakoly says

    Thank you for this.
    I’ve managed to crush my sensitive part to be part of the tough ones.
    I bitterly regret it.
    ‘Please make me feel again’ says my heart of stone.
    Each time I read your blog, a tiny beat moves it.
    Baby steps. There’s hope.
    Thank you for this.

  29. 37

    Shauna says

    This post reminds me of a verse from the Book of Mormon. I hope you don’t mind if I share it with you, these words have helped me when I saw no purpose in my weakness, and it is just like what you were saying:
    “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
    (It is the Lord speaking to the writers of the ancient american records, who worried, coincidentally, that they would be mocked for their weakness in writing.)
    I am also waiting for your book from the library, but love to read your blog as a reminder of what my kids (four boys and a baby girl) need from me. Love, acceptance, eye contact. You have already helped me strengthen my relationship with my kids and I am ready to continue to improve!

  30. 38

    Stefanie says

    Rachel,
    Thank you for your blog. Self-love is so important and somehow we are always the last people on our caring list.
    I recently realized that my daughter (5years) started to loose trust in me, her mother: she started to be afraid of my outbursts. She has become vocal about this, e.g. when a mishap occurs she immediately apologizes and asks me not to yell at her. These are the moments I now find it the easiest to be empathetic, understanding, and nurturing, telling her that mishaps happen and that it is not a big deal.
    I have been in therapy for 2 years and during the last 8 months, a major breakthrough has happened. You wrote earlier about the parts in you (your drill sargeant, you thin-skinned weakling) that you have come to love. In therapy I worked on my inner parts as well. I also read books on this subject. Robert Schwartz has developed the Internal Family System and Jay Earley developed the Pattern System which deal with inner parts and their communication. I was put in touch with my Angry Part, the yeller. Ever since opening up communication with that part and learning about its intention, I have come to appreciate what it does in my life. I was able to calm it down and I find myself reacting to the “trivial inconveniences of life” much less intense. Reacting to spills, messes, and accidents is much easier now and no longer an explosion. I feel that my daughter will come to expect me as the calm and warm mother I know I can be.
    Ever since coming about your blog, I have read and frequently cried because I find myself in your words and I am comforted in the knowledge that it is not too late, that things can be turned around, that there is hope. I consider the work I do on myself (reading books and blogs and therapy) the greatest gift to my children (5&2).
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and thank you for giving hope.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply