Reflections

At my age you would think that I would be wise enough to understand there are people in this world who will take advantage. I’m an idealist, I’ve always been and it’s lead to my demise many times. Simply because I am unwilling to believe people would knowingly do harm or want to profit from others. However time and time again I find people taking advantage of my kindness or willingness to help. I’m discouraged by the behavior of others

Starting over

It’s been over a month since my last post. I started a new job as a unit manager on a rehabilitation unit. The staff on my unit are hostile and most of them have never worked elsewhere. These ladies are very resistant to any kind of change and quite content with complacency. “This is the way we’ve always done it”. I’ve been attempting to maintain a positive attitude regardless of their hostility which has been almost a full-time job. I’m putting in 12 hour days 5 days a week. Initially I was working every day of the week. I stopped working weekends in order to maintain my mental health and my commitment to Self-Love. However the working 12 hour days has to stop! I’ve struggled with leaving work at a reasonable hour because the expectations and workload is unrealistic for one person. My unit is 37 beds but the turn-over rate is the killer with constantly changing patients and health status. In order to honor my commitment to Self-Love, I have to put a limits – learning to work 8 hours then quitting for the day regardless of the amount of work left to¬† be completed. I struggle with not taking the hostile behavior personal. It’s easy to internalize someone’s negative behavior as a personal a problem if you haven’t learned that someone else’s problem is not your problem and has nothing to do with you! I’ve been successful at constantly reminding myself I don’t own the problems of others. When my staff act like jerks towards me I let it go and remain productive. In the past I would have wasted precious time on wondering what I did wrong to cause he/she to act in such a way. I’m still working on personal growth but I have to acknowledge that and I’ve made progress!

Art credit – “The Honorable Edith Helen Chaplin” by Philip Alexius de Laszlo

Losing hope but gaining peace

Life is ever changing. I have been resistant to change but it’s become a necessity to change for me. I have been in an unhealthy relationship for too many years. Afraid to say how I feel and afraid or unwilling to face the facts of the situation. Today I made the decision to end this relationship. I will feel a lot of pain and loss. But I’m finally being true to myself and advocating for my wellbeing. I’m apprehensive about the future but I’m finally at peace within myself, because I chose to respect myself. Setting limits on those that disrespect you isn’t mean, it’s loving yourself wholeheartedly. Compromise is an important and a valid part of every relationship but not when it comprises your thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. I haven’t been strong enough before and I’ve struggled with this decision. I hope the new year will be more positive.

Day Thirty-One of Self-Love Challenge

Day Thirty-One Challenge – GOING FORWARD, HOW CAN YOU COMMIT TO LOVING YOURSELF EVERDAY?

The end of the challenge is here…this challenge took longer and was harder than expected. I have had to face and accept who I am and my current situation. This year has brought a lot of changes for me: the ending of a friendship I thought would last a lifetime and changing jobs among many revelations. There have been situations that made me question who I am and my choice of profession. In hindsight I have shown courage and perseverance, I have survived it all and didn’t faulter. In order to unhold HIPPA regulations I cannot discuss the situation that assulted my core. I can divulge that I was harassed by a bully who threatened my livelihood which put me and my license under scrutiny and questioning. I went through months of mental torture and thankfully my integrity won. I discovered who was truly a friend and who wasn’t.

As this year draws to a close I am ready to put the past behind me. I forgive myself and I forgive my bully. Someone who creates pain in the livesof other is often consumed with pain himself/herself. I hope life gets better for my bully.

One way I can commit to loving myself daily is to live life without compromising myself. For example setting limits and not tolerating disrespectful behavior. This blog has been instrumental in my growth. Putting my thoughts down is cathartic and freeing. I finally allow myself to be me publicly. Thank you for this privilege I am grateful. I will continue the blog. I am committed to growth and being true to myself. Change is difficult and I have been resistant to it. However as this year has demonstrated change is inevitable.

Artwork credits “Julie Manet” the first by Pierre August Renoir and the second by Berthe Morisot

Day Thirty of Self-Love Challenge

Day Thirty Challenge – WHAT LABELS (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) DO YOU ASSIGN YOURSELF?

This challenge really forces you to take a look at yourself. Which quite frankly is a difficult thing for me to do. In my job and taking care of my son, I haven’t really set aside time do so. It’s very interesting that until this blog I haven’t given much importance to my own personal growth. The inclination to start this process was largely due to my unhappiness and my wanting to change my situation. So here goes the list –

Positive – Kind, caring, supportive, compassionate, funny, intelligent, energetic, organized, devoted, honest, independent, spontaneous

Negative – defiant, perfectionist, clean-freak, judgmental, impulsive, blunt, reserved

Being aware of your qualities and flaws is key to knowing yourself. Acceptance of the flaws is even more important. You can change your behavior at any time and in turn improve yourself. Be mindful what others think of you is none of your business. Only your acceptance matters

Artwork credits both by Clare Elsaesser

Day Twenty-Nine of Self-Love Challenge

Day Twenty-Nine Challenge – WHAT WORDS OR BELIEFS DO YOU (WANT TO) LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

“Never put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket”

“Remember when you forgive, you heal. And when you let go, you grow”

Throughout this challenge I have learned the most important relationship is the one with myself. There is a direct correlation between loving myself and my happiness. I cannot expect to experience happiness if I don’t first love and accept myself regardless of my flaws or the aspects of myself I don’t feel comfortable with. Happiness can’t be found in the future or in the past but in the now. You cannot control the exterior world or situation although you can control your reaction to it. You cannot be dependent on outside sources such as relationships to derive happiness because they’re ever changing. Knowing that you’ve be authentic, honest, and true to yourself in your actions and words is all you can control.

I believe in being honest and loving towards others but that doesn’t mean I will accept disrespectful behavior. I believe in setting limits. I don’t believe in compromising myself in the process of loving another.

Acceptance of my current situation has helped me alleviate the pressure I used to feel to be perfect/to have everything together. Once you’ve accepted where you are in life and you don’t like it, you have the opportunity to change it.

Forgiveness is a process. When you think of the betrayal you relive the pain it caused you. Reliving the pain is counterproductive and only makes you miserable. Forgiveness means to me that I forgive myself for not knowing, realizations are always easy in hindsight. Forgiving the betrayer doesn’t mean you have to allow them back into your life, it simply means he/she no longer has power over you, you no longer relive that mean you just let it go permanently.

Acceptance and forgiveness had liberated me from the pressures I used to feel. Happiness comes more naturally to me. It doesn’t mean I’m walking around with a smile or I’m giddy all day, it simply means I don’t dwell on the negative and I don’t give power to those negative thoughts. I still have bad days where the negative thoughts seem to have won out over the positive ones and I stew in self-pity. But I usually wallow in self-pity for too long because I’ve been changing and challenging my previous thoughts.

I want to live life without drama or negativity. At my age I’m still young but I’m old enough and have enough life experience that I seek peace always. It’s not worth it to be miserable daily. Change is always going to be difficult but change is also necessary for growth. I want to live in peace and love and I refuse to compromise myself. God Bless you!

Artwork credit – “La Comtesse de Beaussier” and “Portrait of Madame Charton-Demeur” both by Edouard Louis Dubefe

Day Twenty-Eight of Self Love

Day Twenty-Eight Challenge – WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS AND WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU SHARE WITH THEM?

My parents and paternal grandmother have always been my role models and have impacted who I am today. My mom was a school teacher and my dad was a social worker and later became a director at a psychiatric facility. The fact that I wound up becoming a nurse and serving my community is no coincidence. My father had several degrees and careers prior to becoming a social worker. He passed away suddenly without warning April 23rd, 2008 and left a huge hole in our lives. He was a very intelligent man and placed great value on education. He was fair, diplomatic, and had a way of making you feel heard and never judged. He believed everyone had a voice and should use it. I remember him going to protest in Quebec City at the 2001 summit of the Americas. He always stood up for what he believed in and that’s a quality I believe we both share. My father spent a lot of time with his patients often sacrificing time with his family. I used to be resentful however after my dad passed away on the blog his colleague created in remembrance I realized the profound effect he had on so many lives. His niche was substance abuse and suicide prevention. He believed people could change their lives and we his help many people did. I am a proud daughter. Even ten years after his death, I still feel his absence in my life.

My mom is a great role model. My mom and dad agreed before they had children that my mom would stay home. My mother has made many sacrifices in order for me to have a proper upbringing. She graduated college prior to my birth and went back to school when I was nearing adolescence. I admire the mother she is. Although I don’t feel deserving of it, I know I have been a devoted mother to my son. I have made sacrifices and will always put my son first. I remember the day he was born, staring at his beautiful face realizing the gravity of responsibility and privilege that I have been given. A true blessing from God.

My dad’s mom, Eleanor Theresa Devlin was a force to be reckoned with. In a time when a woman getting an education was not a priority she graduated from college and worked at Honeywell Insurance company. She believed in fostering my growth and always made me feel special. When I got a divorce and was feeling like a failure and disappointment to my family she lifted me up as did my mom. I have always been surrounded by strong women. I am forever thankful because I learned to empower myself. I wouldn’t be the successful person I am today without these role models in my life. I feel truly blessed for having such awesome role models.

Artwork credits – “Pinkie” and “Blue Boy” both by Thomas Gainsborough