Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

woman-tagged-with-qualities-low-self-esteem[1]What are you saying to yourself? Whatever it is, you probably believe it–because that’s how it works. But it’s a good news/bad news thing. If you are engaging in daily negative self talk, those ideas help shape your self image. AND if you are engaging in daily positive self talk, those ideas help shape your self image.  We have done more damage to our self esteem than our enemies, our abusers, our haters, and our culture. We have self destructed—based on the self-insults  we have had in our own heads. Self talk is the discourse between your ears based on your world view and self view. It can manifest emotionally, mentally, spiritually, even physiologically. The words you use about yourself fuel your self-regard. Where is your fuel taking you?  Think about this: You have access to YOURSELF 24 hours a day, and your self talk can convince you to bypass opportunity, avoid risk, skirt around intimacy…BUT can also take you to the highest levels of yourself and help you attain your assigned purpose. If you do not learn to recognize that voice and shift it in daily purposeful ways, it will rob you of all you value and all you deserve.

Every day for at least a year, this woman (that would be me) said to herself, “you’re so stupid—you did it again,” “no one will love you if you don’t control your emotions,” and “you let everyone down because you are a fraud and you’re worthless.” Those words did tremendous damage to my heart and to my soul. Today I do mirror talk EVERY DAY (per my therapist): my five affirmations——
1. You are so fucking beautiful!
2. Your love is abundant and returned to you ten fold.
3. You make glorious mistakes and gain wisdom every day.
4. Every wound prepared you for this purpose you are stepping into.
5. You are kind and empathetic, and you are changing lives, starting with your own.

I encourage you to make your list of 5. Change it up. Be outlandish if you want. I know–it’s hard. But guess what? You don’t even have to believe it right away. Just stand at the mirror every single day and pronounce your worthiness TO YOURSELF. Over time, you will believe it.  Be ridiculous. Be celebratory! Be magical! You will be transformed, I pinky promise.

In truth and love,

Alinda

Letting You Go

I am responsible for what I write,
But I am not responsible for how you feel about it. 
I am accountable for the truths I tell,
But I am not accountable for your denial of those truths.

I own what has happened to me, 
and what I have done,
But I will not own what has happened to you or what you have done.

I am free to feel my shame,
But I will not chain myself to yours.

I can forgive you,
But I cannot make your amends.

I can walk beside you through my grief,
But I cannot carry you through yours.

I look into the mirror, and I examine my reflection,
And I leave you to gaze into your own.

I will one day look into the eyes of God and seek atonement for my sins,
But I will no longer pay for yours.

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Connecting the Dots

 

“I’m not creative at all.” How many times have I heard friends say that? Most recently it was at a fun and engaging youth event in which one of the volunteers, a friend of mind, had put together a program for a group of young people. It was a weekend of activities, all of which were interconnected by the theme of looking to others for our identity. No, I’m not kidding. This clearly talented woman could not see that she had created an experience of diverse and meaningful opportunities for expression and had literally made something big and powerful where there had previously been nothing. With only a general theme and a handful of guidelines offered her, she birthed something purposeful, something that evolved over three days into a narrative of self for a hundred young people. If only I were that creative, I thought.

The jury is still out (sort of) on exactly what creativity is. There are plenty of ideas about it, and some are more sinuous, while others are more restrained. In a completely subjective way, I do believe we all are creative. We all have the ability to create something where there was once nothing, and we do it every day. You can’t make a sandwich without it. Some of us are gifted at it, while others have to work a bit harder. Some of us like to color in the lines, and some of us need to be messy. Some of us are impassioned with these activities, while some feel frustrated by the effort, and others are completely indifferent. But I argue that most of those distinctions do not matter much, in terms of defining creativity, and the real issue for me is that those who are invigorated by the act of creating—ought to be doing it. And doing it often.

One of my favorite notions of creativity is expressed in the now famous statements made by the late Steve Jobs, who mused that “creativity is just connecting things.” I don’t know about that “just” part, which implies a simplicity too basic in my opinion, but I think for me and those I have mentored, the connections are a key foundation of creating. It is also in part about rejecting the traditional in lieu of the unusual. We all have it inside us to see the unusual. It has just been stifled by our routines and dulled by our habitual ways of living. But to see with new eyes is to be creative. To connect those nebulous dots and give them form—that is how we make things new. And isn’t that what my friend did? She took an idea: identity-self-other, and she connected the dots in a way that was new and meaningful for a bunch of 16-year-olds. Pretty impressive.

I know some of you are doing impressive things, too, and probably not giving yourself enough credit. I encourage you to spend some time exploring what creativity means to you: the definition, but also how it manifests for you. I hope you’ll share those insights with me here or email them to me at alinda@scribewoman.net.

In truth and love…

Redefining American Greatness

be the spark

Happy Independence Day! Today is a day to celebrate freedom from oppression and freedom to believe as our consciences dictate. The signing of the Declaration of Independence was a hallmark moment and a precursor for the development of the democracy that Americans hold sacred. Our country is in a painful place today, and our community connections and our international relationships have sustained damage that at times feels irreversible. We are watching horrific injustices unfold on our own soil and struggling to find the most effective use of the power afforded us in a democracy to make desperately needed changes. But the American spirit that I cherish, characterized by service, honor, diversity, and personal and religious freedoms is a fighting spirit, and there are too many warmhearted, intelligent, progressive, and generous souls here to warrant my ever giving up on our ability to do the right thing. I value the ideals upon which this country was founded, even in their imperfection. I value our history of offering asylum and freedom and opportunity to the marginalized and the suffering. Those ideals and these passionate, truth-seeking individuals will be the spark that TRULY makes America great again.