Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Worst Enemy

"Are you the kind of person who is your own worst enemy? Do you live your life with doubt, always trying to live up to the standards others set for you?"

"Building self confidence means learning to love yourself. Learn to believe in yourself. Learn to accept the things that cannot be changed. Learn to accept that you're not perfect, nobody is. Learn to accept that you cannot change someone's opinion of you. Quit wasting time dwelling on what is negative in your life and concentrate on what is positive. Stand up and be counted, because at the end of the day when you look in the mirror, you should see your best friend."
~Rose DesRochers~


Until this past week I had thought I had gotten past the living of my life in the search for approval from others...and I think I have gotten there....mostly.

But a few things, just a few negative comments, comments from someone I don't even like (insomnia didn't help either)...allowed me to allow myself to fall so low, so quickly. It took me several days to pull it together, realize the trap I was setting up for myself, and just tell myself STOP, STOP NOW!

As a woman with a history of living with different forms of abuse, seeking the approval of others had become a way of life for many years.

I have desperately tried to not let myself place blame there, when the abuse reared its ugly head over and over through the years, or when I allowed a new kind of abuse to enter my life...I would face it, face the fears, the tears, the anger, the rage, the denial. The resulting depression, and self-deprecation. I would do battle and move on, thinking for a time that I had won. Occasionally it would seem a small skirmish would pop up along the borders of my self-esteem, and I would once again pull out the big guns and fight again....each time telling myself that I had won. I have won.

I truly believe that we cannot allow things from childhood to rule who we become now. But they do color how we view our world, and the people who enter it.

So those same things that I have refused to allow to define who I am, and how I deal with life.....whether I like it or not, have defined me, have shaped me.

Being a victim as a child, makes it much easier to become an adult victim, makes it easier to perhaps unconsciously seek out ways to continue to be a victim. I am no longer a victim of anyone else's though. I have become my own victim, when a few misplaced words can affect me, affect how I think of myself, affect me in such a way that I want to curl up and hide from the world, then I realize the war is not over, there are more small skirmishes to fight, more borders to cross.

It's the choices I make now, and the not making of choices, that affect how I feel about "who" I am. There are days when I know that the choices I am living are the very best for my circumstances, the very best for the people I love. I accept, I live, I love, I enjoy, I give, I work, I laugh, on rare occasions I cry. The choice that is hardest of all to make though, is to love me, just me, exactly how I am now, full of fears and shadows. But to love me, I have to accept that I am more than fear and shadow, I have to accept that there are things within me that can make me happy, that can make someone else happy, that there truly is something about me that is loveable, likeable. Because when I set all outside influences aside, and just "be me" I am so content, and there are people who want to be with me, want to spend time with me, want me...they want me in their life, in whatever form that takes. On those days, when I can accept that....the joy I feel is so wonderful, so freeing.

My courage, to fight the battles, comes from a very simple place, deep within me, it is there to protect me from me...I just have to remember to look for battle-armour is looking inside...seeing me...really seeing me....and liking her.

Fi--thanks for my new battle cry... ~BUSTYGURLZRULE!!!~ *VERY BIG SMILE*


Phil said...

Sunny, I think we all can slip into self-doubt at times if we don't get the approval of everyone all the time. It says something positive about you that hearing something unkind said threw you for a loop. It says that most of the time you feel well liked by all and were shocked when for a moment you learned that wasn't universal. It doesn't say anything bad about you or your coping skills that it upset. You still rock, and busty girls and all girls rule as far as I'm concerned, but you're one of the best. : )

Sunny Delight said...

Phil, thank you, you are a gem among men. ~smile~

I know I am not universally liked that is a matter the circumstances. It is when my abilities at work, or home come into question...the two areas of my life most tied to my self-esteem, then the cuts go too deep. Finding the proper protective armour without it blocking out too much is a fine line, one that I don't think I have quite yet achieved.

Fiona said...

And has a lovely smile too ;)

Well hon, look at it like this...I've met a few people who really do love themselves and I'd not want to be one of them. Just the other day, after a meeting, I handed one of my colleagues an envelope and said "I think you dropped your humility"...and just walked way.

Part of our charm is a slight edge of self-deprecation and being humble.

I agree that it's easy to feel we have let ourselves down when we get a chink in the armour we all wear. But you know Sunny it's our armour and even our chink!

Wear both with pride hon.

Fiona said...

aaah here it is - ever since reading your opening quote I've been trying to figure out where I heard something similar:

The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgement upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he's with you clear up to the end,

And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,

And think you're a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you're only a bum

If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Sunny Delight said...

fi darlin'--I love the coworker humility thing...I may have to use that someday *S*

The poem from Dale Wimbrow...once I read it through I remembered it too...and it does read soo true...just so hard sometimes to not take the blame/complaints/etc. that others lay at my armour is so full of dents and chinks no wonder some barbs slide through.

Fiona said...

Sunny hen (a scottish term of endearment for a woman *L*)

I know what you mean, it's hard some days....and bloody hard on others. And there are days I tell myself what a stupid, insipid failure I am when I look in the mirror. But there are also days I look and see pretty eyes or hair or lips and say ... today you can rise above whatever life throws at you and smile no matter what.

I wish you more of the latter than the former hon....coz I know you have pretty eyes and hair and lips too ;)


Rose said...

Sunny, I'm glad that my words opf wisom have made you take a closer look at yourself. Perhaps together you and I can learn to love ourselves and quit caring what others think.

Sunny Delight said...

rose--i hope so, i truly hope so