Day Twenty-Seven of Self-Love Challenge

Day Twenty-Seven Challenge – WHAT’S ONE CHOICE THAT YOU CAN MAKE RIGHT NOW THAT YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU FOR?

As I’m nearing the end of this challenge. I have come to the conclusion that how I see myself and my self-confidence directly affects how I experience life. I’m learning to accept myself for my flaws and my qualities. A choice that I can make right now that my future self will thank me for is to commit to seeing myself in a positive light regardless of what happens. Which also translates to cutting off access for those that mistreat or disrespect me.

When someone mistreats or disrespects you and the only consequence is a conversation, you are letting that individual know it’s ok to disrespect you. Cutting off access to you sends the individual a clear message that you will not tolerate that behavior. I used to think a conversation would be sufficient to change the behavior. The severity of disrespect does play a factor but nonetheless tolerance of that behavior teaches the individual it’s ok and the behavior is likely to happen again. If the behavior reoccurs after the conversation that individual does not value you or respect you and cutting off access to you is the only solution for self-preservation.

I’m a human being and I’m imperfect. I used to put so much pressure on myself to have everything together. I may not be exactly where I want to be in life but that’s ok. Every day I’m making progress…I’m committed to growth and change…the changes may be small but they’re impactful.

I’m currently changing jobs and about to embark on a job that will be stressful. I am mindful that l have to set limits in order to be successful. I can’t work 80 hours a week and be healthy. My mental health has to be a priority.

Activities that help me de-stress have to be a priority too such as – going to the movies every Tuesday with my son, going to the gym, doing meditation and yoga, writing for my blog, taking relaxing baths, spending time with friends, making healthy meals, watching my favorite shows like “Sherlock, Call the Midwife, Victoria, The Crown” etc.

My expectations are realistic…I am aware there will be setbacks but I’m confident my commitment to growth will help me overcome these obstacles. As the saying goes don’t focus on the problem just on the solutions.

Artwork credits – “The Honorable Mrs. Graham” and “The Honorable Mrs. Duncombe” by Thomas Gainsborough

Day Twenty-Five of Self-Love Challenge

Day Twenty-five Challenge – WHAT THINGS ARE YOU REALLY REALLY GOOD AT?

I grew up in a couple of different communities in Canada. My dad would attain his goals and want a new challenge bringing my mum and me with him. I became quite adept at making new friends. I learned to adapt to every new town.

I’m really really good at taking care of others. As a child I preferred to always be the nurturer. I had several baby dolls and stuffed animals that I took “care” of. With my ability to make friends I quickly became the mother hen of every new neighborhood.

I am empathetic to the point where I have to work very hard to maintain a positive attitude and not internalize the problems and heartache’s of others. One day when I was a teenager, I was out running on the road that wrapped around the mountain where we lived. I witnessed this giant groundhog getting hit by a car. It was laying in the middle of the road. It was still alive and visibly suffering. I picked it up with no regard for getting bitten. I held this heavy creature in my arms until life left its body. My mom thought I was nuts and my father scolded me for the risk I took picking it up. But I knew my empathy was a gift I must share with others preferably humans who didn’t have the potential to bite me.

I mentioned our moving around because of its pertinence to my ability to be a nurse. Moving around developed my ability to be friendly. I have what they call the “gift of gab” and my friendliness has been an asset as a nurse.

Of course being really really good at taking care of others has helped me excel in my nursing career.

Artwork credit – “woman with bouquet” and “portrait of a woman” by Laura Wheeler Waring

Day Twenty-Four of Self Love Challenge

 

portrait-of-madame-f-edouard-louis-dubufe

Day Twenty-Four Challenge – WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD SAY TO  YOU?

In the last blog I wrote about a friend I’ve known my whole life who disregarded my feelings and withheld the truth. I wish this particular friend would say that she is sorry for disrespecting me and being untruthful. If it’s not genuine however “save your breath.” I’ve always been very opinionated and vocal around those I feel comfortable with. I’ve received criticism in the past for being too brutally honest. I believe honesty is always the best policy.

I wish the man I spoke of in day twenty-two of challenge would say sorry for his treatment of me. I also wish he would say, “I love you.” I  don’t feel that day twenty-four’s challenge is productive for me in the self-love challenge. It would be nice to hear the words you wish someone would say but you’re wishing for words that might never be said.

I am a firm believer that you cannot base your happiness on the outside would. Happiness has to come from within…from the decision to be happy regardless of what is said or done. I try to be realistic in my expectations and wishing for these words is unrealistic for me. Hoping and wishing can and will probably lead to being disappointed.

“Do you ever want to run away and start over? Wipe the slate clean. Being all over again with a blank canvas? It’s okay, we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your life or the people in it. It doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t give your last breath to see them happy. Sometimes when we yearn to be selfish, it means we have been selfless for too long.” – Lang Leav

marquise d'aoust by edouard-louis dubufe

Artwork credit – “Portrait of Madame F” by Edouard-Louis Dubefe (one of my favorite paintings) and Marquise d’Aoust by Edouard-Louis Dubufe

 

Day Twenty-three of Self Love Challenge

Day Twenty-three Challenge – WHAT DOES YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT STRONGER?

I want to start off today’s blog by acknowledging that I have been unable to keep up with my busy schedule and the blog. I am still committed to putting my thoughts and self out there but not at my own expense. There just hasn’t been enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

My support system consists of my mom and my friends. My mom has always provided love and support throughout my life. I have been very fortunate in that respect. Although at times the mother-daughter relationship can create growth it can also encourange dependence, there has to be clear boundaries in order for the relationship to be beneficial for both mum and daughter

One of my best friends Shannon needs to be acknowledged for her support. I have known her for over ten years. When my father died she took a week off from work and was there for me every step of the way, I could not have gotten through such a devastating time without her. We communicate almost every day. She is instrumental in my growth and maintaining my sanity. She doesn’t spare my feelings and I’m thankful for her brutal honesty. I would “walk through fire” for her.

Recently I have lost one of my best friends. Everybody makes mistakes however lying is not something I tolerate. I have distanced myself from her almost entirely. She still makes attempts to rekindle our friendship but I’m nonresponsive. I receive a lot of flack from my entourage about how I should be forgiving and understanding given our history. Here’s my point… she disrespects me and has no regard for me. Ever since our twenties we had a dream to travel to Europe. Over a year ago I finally had the cash to make such a trip happen. Let me preface by saying I declared to her prior to any purchasing or planning anything that if she was planning on getting married or having a baby in the next year I am not interested in traveling with her. I am a nurse and do not want to take care of someone on my vacation. She stated no I’m ready and excited for this trip our plans/dreams are finally coming true. Fast forward more than six months later she sends me a text message with two positive pregnancy tests. Excuse me but I spent well over 20,000 dollars on the trip of a lifetime and you get knocked up by some guy you have known less than one year and have no commitment from whatsoever after I specifically and bluntly said I don’t want to travel with a pregnant woman. The entire trip she lagged behind…you could see the exhaustion in her face. Her lower extremities swelled beyond recognition. I was impressed that she never complained about her condition however she still lied and never apologized for her blatant disregard and disrespect for the time, money, and planning I put into this trip. Let me be clear I am ecstatic that her dreams of having a child are finally coming true but there is a time and place for starting a family. Starting a family should not be taken lightly and is forever life changing. When she tells me it was unplanned let me be brutally honest…if a man ejaculates his penis in your vagina on a regular basis without birth control you are going to get pregnant….she is an intelligent woman and knows the consequences of such behavior. If she had declared months prior to the trip that she was trying to get pregnant I would have had no problem and would have wished her well and made plans with someone else. However she did not and insisted that she couldn’t wait for our trip. She sent the text the picture of two positive pregnancy tests several weeks before our date of departure leaving me with no opportunity to make alternative plans without losing lots of money. She is in her late thirties and has no excuse for such behavior. In order to make my support system stronger I have cut her out of my life. I am hurt by her behavior and we have been friends since birth. We were introduced when only weeks old. Throwing that friendship away might be dramatic and drastic to some but I need people in my life who are in my corner. Her blatant disregard cannot be ignored, her disrespectful behavior cannot be ignored. I still feel wronged but I am committed to forgiveness and letting go.  Now that I have said my peace I relinquish my energy to this situation. I wish her the best. In loving thy self and setting limits one cannot allow disrespectful behavior. I don’t even need to vocalize my justification. My feelings are valid and trustworthy. My friendship has been true and unwavering however my love is not unconditional. My acceptance of other’s behavior is in direct correlation with his/her respect for me and value he/she places on me. I am no longer willing to accept behavior that is disrespectful.

two sisters berthe morisot

Day Twenty-One of Self Love Challenge

Miranda
*oil on canvas
*76 x 101.5 cm
*signed b.r.: JW.WATERHOUSE

Day Twenty-One Challenge – What’s something you’re working on… believing that you deserve? 

I am working on my own personal growth, increasing my self-esteem/self-confidence because I believe I deserve to be happy. This journey has not been an easy one…I have had to face the darkest parts of myself. The parts of myself that I am ashamed of. Past events that have affected me profoundly but I have denied their existence for some time.

Although as difficult as it is I am learning to accept my flaws and moving forward I am learning to set limits and make myself  a priority.  You don’t just wake up one day in a state of complete self-acceptance. It’s a process you go through. When you take care of yourself and accept yourself you are in a state to offer the world the gift of you.

When I first found the 31 day self love challenge, I thought to myself how presumptuous…how narcissistic! However as I read the questions and attempted to answer these questions I discovered I truly see myself in a negative light. I realized through a recent event in my life that it was time for some personal growth.  Lacking self-esteem doesn’t allow you to share your gifts with the world. Each and every person has a gift to offer the world, I truly believe that.

As poorly as I used to think of myself I still knew deep down in my heart that I deserved to be happy. I had been through such hard times that there had to be a light at the end of the tunnel…there had to be a dawn after a long night…sunshine after the storm. I’m working on myself, there have been set-backs and there will be more but at the same time there is progress, growth, and enlightenment. I just have to stick with it after all it’s called a challenge!

“Love Yourself…enough to take the actions required for your happiness…enough to cut yourself loose from the drama-filled past…enough to set a high-standard for relationships…enough to feed your mind and body in a healthy manner… enough to forgive yourself…enough to move on.” – Steve Maraboli

“Whether he knew it or not, the life he lived was his penance. Punishing himself, for what he believes are his sins. Consciously or subconsciously, he creates the world he lives in. Never believing that he is deserving happiness, deserving joy. His self destructive nature, in his eyes, and his eyes only, is justified. Everyone is deserving of absolution, but he needs to understand, that he is the only one able to forgive himself.” – Marc. P Robinson

 

Miranda a tempestade waterhouse

Artwork Credit – “The Tempest” and “Miranda” by John William Waterhouse

 

 

Day Twenty of Self Love Challenge

waiting-for-the-ferry-at-the-falcon-tavern-james-tissot

Day Twenty Challenge – How can you give yourself a break today? (mentally, physically, or emotionally) 

If only all of the daily challenges could be this easy! This morning I was called by my agency and offered to work an extra shift today…I declined giving myself an emotional and physical break today. I also decided not to hit the gym today giving myself yet another physical break.

This last week I wasn’t too successful in setting limits or taking care of myself. I accepted extra shifts all week. On Friday night I was exhausted and in pain, I decided to take a hot bath and ended up falling asleep while in the bath. Fortunately I only nodded off for a moment and didn’t drown. Thank the Good Lord I wasn’t on the road driving either. In hindsight I realize I should have declined the extra shifts and not pushed myself so hard at the gym. I have such enthusiasm at times that I forget to put limits. I am accustomed to putting my needs last, a habit I am trying to break through this self love challenge. At least I am aware of the mistakes I made this week. In moving forward I know I need to be more mindful of my needs and overextending myself.

 

Tissot_Garden_Bench

artwork credit – “Waiting for the ferry at the Falcon” and “The Garden Bench” by James Tissot

 

Day Nineteen of Self Love Challenge

James Tissot [French Painter, 1836-1902] - The Japanese Scroll

Day Nineteen Challenge – How are you making the world a better place?

I am a nurse. I take care of the sick that’s how I make the world a better place. I have sacrificed time with my family especially my son and my own time doing multiple overtime shifts taking care of others.

I have mostly worked in the long-term care setting such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centres. I consider my job a privilege. Being a nurse is a very difficult profession. I remember one particular case that stands out in my memory. We received a gentleman at our facility who was falling at home and had become violent with his wife. She was no longer able to care for him safely in the home setting. This gentleman was of short stature with beautiful blue eyes the colour of the sky. He had dementia and he would become combative. He fell multiple times at the facility regardless of the safety measures we had in place. He would get sent out to the hospital for scans but always return. During his moments of happiness he had this infectious smile, he grinned from ear to ear. He loved the Dodgers and would talk incessantly about baseball. As the supervisor I tried everything to find his “happy” place where he was not violent. One day I discovered that he enjoyed a particular intervention, taking a bath in the Jacuzzi tub. When he smiled at me I was humbled. Those baby blue eyes glistening. This patient taught me humility and patience. As months went on he his dementia worsened. He stopped eating and the light in his eyes dimmed. The night he was dying I was present. As a nurse I am not allowed to show emotion I am supposed to be neutral in order to be able to be supportive towards the family and patient during this difficult time. Also showing that emotion would not be appropriate around my colleagues as I am their supervisor and must maintain my composure. However this particular patient had a profound effect on me as a person. When he died I stayed with the family and I kept my composure. I did my job. When the family left I locked myself in the bathroom and I cried. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. In the nursing home setting you see your patients every day and you form this bond. I genuinely care for them as I would my father or mother. To some nursing is just a job, a paycheque so to speak. Nursing is my niche, caring for others allows me to feel fulfilled in life.

I am no longer in the nursing home setting. To be completely honest I needed a change and losing my job was necessary for growth. I am now working in the home care setting. I have a permanent case working with a young girl with cerebral palsy and seizure disorder five days a week. I enjoy the change and a new setting along with a new patient demographic which is encouraging professional and personal growth. Caring for others is how I am making this world a better place.

V0017068 A girl reads to a convalescent while a nurse brings in the p

artwork credit – “Japanese Scroll” by James Tissot and “A girl reads to a convalescent while a nurse brings in the patient’s medicine” by R.H. Giles