If you don’t toot your own horn who will????
You might not be perfect but you are the perfect you. You might not look like a model but that doesn’t stop you from being beautiful. You might not have always been sober but you are sober now. You might not have a partner now but that doesn’t make you unloved.
You get where I’m going from here….right?
For the majority of my life I told myself everything I just said backwards. I told myself I wasn’t perfect, that I wasn’t beautiful, I would never be sober and I was unlovable. What a miserable way to exist. I say exist because that was not living.
So what changed? What made me turn that way of thinking around?
Well, it wasn’t just one thing, it was more of a slow and steady journey that I set myself on to finally enjoy and live my life. Let me see if I can draw the picture for that I had in my mind…this is how I explained it to my therapist.
I pictured myself standing on a large rock. This rock represented who I was and where I was in life, at that very moment. Un-happy, un-inspired, un-hopeful and just downright sad person. This rock was surrounded by dark (black) shallow water. On the other side of the pond was another large rock. This rock represented who I wanted to be and where I wanted to be in life. I wanted to be full of happiness, full of inspiration and downright happy. Now in between these rocks were a bunch of smaller rocks. The rocks were in no particular pattern, shape or size. I told him that my goal, my journey was to get across the water to the rock that represented happiness. I knew to the very bottom of my soul that I could get across the water. I just had to find the way. So I came up with a plan. I was going to keep my eye on the other rock and would slowly but surely jump from one small rock to the next. to the next. I knew I would have missteps and might even have to turn back around and take a different path, but I was getting across that dark pond one way or another. Now that I look back on it I believe the black water represented all the hurt, guilt, unhappiness or just everything that was shitty in my life at that moment. I envisioned myself one rock closer every time I changed a bad habit. Every time I had a positive moment I would jump to the next rock. I set goals for myself and when I achieved them I hopped. I told myself that I was good enough for happiness (hop, hop). I felt better about myself, jump to the next rock. Some jumps were huge, some were tiny little hops. I had to turnaround and try different paths a couple of times, but I kept going. Then one day before I even knew it, was standing on the other rock. Toot Toot Honk Honk.
So how do you start hopping?
Well, you need to want to get to the other rock for one thing. You need to tell you self you deserve to get to the other rock. Whoa lets talk about this last one.
Deserve..yes this I little bit of a detour but I feel it is an important one.
Deserve can either be your best friend or your worse enemy. You can tell yourself all day long that you deserved what happen to you. You can say you deserve not to win. You can say you deserve not to be unhappy. But you flip that around and tell yourself you deserve to win, you deserve to be happy and no you do not deserve to have bad things happen you – it gets all weird. Why is that? Why is it so much easier for us to be hard on ourselves, to be scared to be happy? Well, I think part of that is the people we are around or maybe just society in a whole. You have to admit, society can be a little toxic sometimes.
You: “I deserve to be happy.” Them: “What makes you so special?”
You: “I deserve to win.” Them: “Well aren’t you being self centered.”
You: “Bad things are not going to happen to me and I’ll fight back if it comes near me” Them: “Well aren’t you a Bitch.”
Me: “Yes I’m a Bitch and damn proud of it. How do you think I made it across all those damn rocks to my happy place?”
That is how I started tooting my own horn. It is just one version, one story and one example of what worked for me. Everyone has their own journey and their own list of things that will work or will not work for them. You just have to start trying and see what works. Try to figure out how you can get there and if you take a path that doesn’t work, hop back a couple of rocks and plot another path.
I always tell my sons that if you try something and you don’t like it or it doesn’t work out, it’s not a failure. It’s called life and you have to try so many things to see what works for you. If you are too scared to try out of fear of failure, you will never leave the first rock. You will be frozen where you are.
So start with a small goal, a small hop, never take your eye off the prize. I will be here if you need any words of encouragement.