This is little me at ten years old. Before self-doubt and constantly questioning my own worthiness of being loved and taken seriously took hold of so much of my brilliance, ease, and joy.
I love to look at this photo because it connects me to that loving sweet essence of me...especially when that self doubt sneaks up on me once again.
Funny that I've struggled so much with this...because one of my great gifts has always been to easily see the beauty and goodness in others--in you-- and help them see it, too.
Harder, by far, to see that beauty in yourself, right?
As a woman who grew up in this time, you likely relate. Most women I speak have had this same experience in one form or another. Especially those more sensitive souls. You were probably told a million different ways that you don't measure up, that you aren't quite enough.
And, though you see how amazing your dear friend is, even when she's unhappy, or irritated, or hasn't washed her hair this week... you have trouble seeing your own goodness (at least sometimes).
This causes so much suffering in our love lives. Because when we feel insufficient, we see evidence of it everywhere:
your partner's distraction is interpreted as...he doesn't find me interesting
his complaint is interpreted as...I'm not capable enough
his dismissal of something you say as...I'm silly and lame
his stinging comment as...I'm not lovable enough
his doing the dishes instead of asking you about your day as...he doesn't care about me
his forgetting your anniversary as...I'm not important enough
All of those interpretations lead to feeling anger, resentment, hurt, sadness, disappointment. So painful. I know from experience. I've been a master at feeling all those things!
But what if you knew deep down you weren't lame, or uninteresting? What if no matter what others said or did, you felt enough as you are? How would your relationship, your life, be different? Ponder that for a moment...
It can be different. I know because I've come so far myself. I still have work to be 100% free of that tense grasp of insufficiency and self-doubt (especially as an introverted HSP entrepreneur -- sharing myself openly everyday with people I don't know).
Mostly, though, I've climbed, one step at a time, into a deep sense of good-enough-ness, self-confidence and love.
My work as a relationship coach helps me face all those shadows because I actually apply what I teach. Every single day. This conscious action- taking changes my inner world, and makes my relationship with myself and my husband ever stronger and more loving.
That's where the photo comes in.
Looking at this image of my young self is one of many ways I reconnect with that self-assurance and strength.
Because this bright little girl is who I really am. She is so obviously enough as she is. She is more than enough. She is important and fascinating. She is lovable and deeply loving. She is goodness and love itself. She is me. I am her.
When I know that, I feel strong and confident, relaxed, lighthearted.
And when my partner chooses other activities over me, though at first it may sting, I know it isn't because of any lack on my part. I'm still interesting! When he is short with me, I know I'm still important, still oh-so lovable. I know it and feel it. What he does or doesn't do matters so much less.
How about you?
Do you have an image of yourself as a young child that reminds you of your value and love-able-ness? That's who you really are! Put it on your fridge or an alter. Look at her daily to remind you what I know deep down about you:
You are enough. You are important, interesting, good, beautiful, and oh-so lovable!
What’s it like for you to see that sweet essence in that photo of you? Sit with her for a bit, then share what came up for you below in the comments. NOTE: I've made comments more user-friendly (you can be anonymous now if you like) and I'd love to hear from you! Scroll down.
I WAS INTERVIEWED ON A PODCAST: #TheRewireShow!
We dive deep into growing our self-worth as sensitive women so...Listen in (or watch the video interview) as Ashley Stamatinos and I have a conversation about
Minimizing Challenges In Relationships
as a Highly Sensitive Person
You'll get practical life skills, tools, tips, and stories to give you clear examples that you can take-away and implement into your relationships immediately. You'll learn a lot about me--and yourself!?!-- and have some good laughs along the way. Listen here.
You can also find it on iTunes (or YouTube, Stitcher, SoundCloud and GooglePlay)