I Love Me

Over the last week with Valentine’s Day included I worked on an art therapy project with most all of my clients entitled I Love Me. Valentine’s is generally about someone else loving us or that we are loving someone else. It is almost never about loving ourselves.

In fact, loving ourselves isn’t something many of us do with any regularity. We are very good at not loving ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we almost always find faults with ourselves. Things we do not love about ourselves. In our automatic thoughts, we are generally focused on the negative about ourselves. We think that these thoughts are our own but they all start somewhere else. Let me repeat that, all negative thoughts we have about ourselves start somewhere else. They come from what others say or don’t say, what others do or don’t do, what social media provides, etc. Not one of them originated in our own minds…not one. But these are what we think about, not loving ourselves.

When I came up with this project I thought it would be easy to think of six things I loved about myself. It was not easy. In fact, it took several days. The rules were that it couldn’t be something someone else has said they love about it and it couldn’t be something I think in relation to others. It had to be exclusively, only about me loving me. Not an easy thing to do. But eventually I did it.

Working through the week with clients I found that most had similar difficulty coming up with their own six things. Some had trouble coming up with even a single thing. So ingrained are the things we think we don’t love about ourselves that seeing anything we do love is almost impossible sometimes. We even weigh the things we do come up with against our ingrained lies. As if we do not deserve to love ourselves for anything. Another lie.

As the week went on and after several clients, I found that the pathway I had opened to things I love about myself that more things then came to my mind. Once we allow our brains to move in a different direction, it will find more information along the way and bring it to our attention. Once we push aside the negative and the lies, we discover that there is truth to be discovered if we can only allow ourselves to see it and then to accept it.

What do you love about yourself? Is it difficult to find? Do you have to have a discussion with yourself against the negative and the lies to feel that you can love anything about yourself? I know it can be difficult because we don’t get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say to ourselves, “I love this about me or that about me.” But we should.

Take a few minutes after reading this and truly think about the things you love about you. Do you love your sense of humor, your courage, your creativity, your determination, or any number of other things about you? Write them down, put them where you can see them daily, repeat them to yourself, and add to them as more of them come to your mind. Say to yourself daily, I Love Me.

Until next time,
Deborah Horton

I am currently accepting new clients (girls and women) for counseling. Call 406-413-9904 or email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com to set up a FREE initial consultation appointment.

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Response Time

Controlling your thoughts can control how you feel. I am sure you have heard this said a lot. It is true, however it is not the whole story. In fact, it is just the very, very beginning. Your thoughts are just a spark, the flame is the response to the the thoughts. It is the action that causes every single thing that follows.

It is the response time that has to be managed. Thoughts will come into our minds. We can have thoughts about anything. They come automatically. Most thoughts are not intentionally brought to mind. They just appear like a spark. It’s the what we do after. It is ALWAYS the what we do after.

The response time is only milliseconds long – shorter than the time it takes to blink. It is in that briefest of time that we decide what we will do with the thought. It is that decision, that response, that determines all that comes later.

In that response time, we can choose to recognize the thoughts just as thoughts and let them go. Physically watch them leave our minds and they don’t come back. Or we can let them sit. We can let them grow. We can believe that they are true. We can imagine our reality with these thoughts. We can project the future or constantly relive the past. We can make someone else’s words into the truth about ourselves without proof. In milliseconds, we can go from a blank piece of paper to a novel of lies, assumptions, false beliefs, and predicted catastrophes.

Making changes in the blink of an eye can be very difficult. Especially if we are used to responding in the same way every time we have had the thoughts before. We become conditioned to our own response. We turn into our own Pavlov dog. Thought, spark, same response.

The only way to affect change, any change, is to make a decision every single time that is different than what we have done. We will fail. We must try again the next time. Thought, spark, different response. Thought, spark, let the thought go. Thought, spark, watch them leave our minds. Thought, spark, recognize lies. Thought, spark, different reality. Thought, spark, stay in the present. Thought, spark, only our truth. Thought, spark, proof. Again and again and again until we control the response every time.

What would your life be like if you changed your response time?

Until next time,
Deborah Horton

I am accepting new clients (girls and women) for counseling. If you want to schedule a FREE initial consultation call 406-413-9904 email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com or click the Book Now button on our Facebook page.

Building Walls

Building walls has been a very popular topic for the last few months. I thought it might be a good time to talk about mental walls. The kind that many people construct every single day adding to them brick by brick until they are trapped behind a wall of their own making wondering why they are there.

Mental walls are constructed first by the negative messages we receive into our brains. These messages can come from family, friends, strangers, or ourselves. We can be imprinted with them from very young ages in the form of brain chemical messages. They become part of our environment when repeated over and over. We then start to believe they must be true, especially those from those we love and who are supposed to take care of us – mother, father, romantic partner. We believe them and we add a brick.

With time, we continue to add bricks from outside messages but add to those our own inside messages. We meet new people and these messages present themselves from the first words out of our mouths. They must be thinking I am (insert negative message here – fat, stupid, not good enough, ugly, and on an on). Immediately we begin to add bricks to forming any kind of new relationship. We shut down, we pull away, we create our own separation. We push others away by our own beliefs. We assume that we know what they are thinking because others have thought the same and said so and we have thought the same and believe it. It becomes our truth and our reality.

The wall grows with each and every negative thought. Soon we cannot see over it and we feel alone. Soon we cannot go around it and we feel trapped. Soon we cannot break through it and we feel helpless. But by repeating what we were told and by believing it, we have created the wall and our own misery.

So how do we break it down? The same way we built it, one brick at a time. By examining each one and asking, what evidence, what actual truth is there to support this brick? What are the positives I can put in place of this brick to destroy it? Can I allow others to say what they think of me before I assume I already know?

Most walls are built with the a very few beliefs repeated over and over. Processing them, questioning them, replacing them one at a time is how you demolish your wall. Pick a brick and get started.

Until next time,
Deborah

If you think you need help deconstructing your walls, set up a FREE initial consultation appointment with me to see if you think we can work together to accomplish this. Call 406-413-9904 or email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com to set up an appointment.