As single mothers, most of us have a natural nurturing gene embedded inside of ourselves. We want everyone around us to be “good,” and if they’re not, we want to help fix their pain (whether physical, emotional, or mental). We want them to feel joy and happiness, to be confident and exude strength from within, and when we don’t we step in yet again to remind them of their worth. We compliment others often, whether it is on their new shoes or an accomplishment they’ve recently made. We get excited about their wins and feel saddened for them when they take a loss. We cheer others on with fierceness, as we should. However, why don’t we put that same level of ferocity towards cheering ourselves on? When do we worry about our joy and happiness-the things that make us so darned loving and caring, an easily be depleted when you try to pour from an empty vessel. When do we focus on whether or not we feel confident or whether or not we’re exuding strength not only for the world to see but for us to feel? When do we compliment ourselves, not only on things such as, “dang this outfit is cute”, but also on how we kept our cool when a 3-year-old has a total meltdown in the grocery store over the $5 toy that she did not earn nor deserve and was just not in the budget to be so frivolous? When do we celebrate ourselves; our good decisions, or the ability to pick ourselves back up after a crappy decision? When do we make sure we’re “good?
I have noticed that especially we single moms; we tend to treat ourselves with hatred, judgment, and harshness. I personally am guilty of calling myself “fat,” or “old”; focusing on only the crow’s feet around my eyes instead of the really cool dark brown ring that encircles the much lighter iris in the middle. I’ve focused on how many more grey hairs are on my head, instead of the really great haircut my stylist helped me accomplish when I sat in his chair. Focusing on the negative, in turn, feeds more negativity. It spirals out of control until you totally lose sight of who you are, whose you are and how precious you are.
Recently, I had a young client reveal to me that she had no idea how beautiful she was. I was amazed that she had no idea of her beauty because the very moment I looked at her, I instantly noticed her big beautiful blue eyes, her deep dimples that accompanied a glowing smile, and cute girlish figure and an adorable hairstyle. Not only that, knowing this young girl’s story, I thought to myself, wow, she’s also so brave, and THAT alone should be celebrated. I expressed all of my observations to her, and I asked her to please stop selling herself short; to realize not only how externally beautiful she was, but also her internal beauty and her endless worth.
When I returned to my office after that conversation, I thought to myself how easy that was for me to express to her, and to see in her. However, am I not doing the exact same thing; discounting my worth every time I believe anything other than the simple fact that I am me and that in and of itself makes e worthy? We need to learn to embrace all of our positive truths and discount those negative distorted ways of thinking. While it may be true that I’m not 25 anymore, am I really old? No, OLDER, sure, but not old. Although I may have gained a few pounds to go with the years I’ve gained, am I really fat? I’m more like that newer saying “thicker than a snicker.” I lost my girlish figure but gained a womanly body. I need to embrace my worth, and so do you.
I encourage each of you to write down three positive truths about yourself) whether you believe them right now or not) that counter a negative, distorted way of thinking about yourself. Post it in your car, bathroom, and office (anywhere and everywhere). Say it often. Speak it out loud. Fake it till you truly believe it about yourself. Then grab one or two more. I encourage you to start seeing yourself the way others see you; precious and worthy, and beautiful inside and out.