Hate-Loss Challenge: Group Therapy Day
Welcome to Week Four of the Hate-Loss Challenge
I’ve been working on this Challenge for 27 days. It has not been easy for me; we all know that in order to make a change we have to do the work, whether it’s physical change we’re seeking or emotional. Change is not always easy, but things that are truly worthwhile never are.
I’ve had to dig up and uncover emotions and memories I long ago buried but never really dealt with. I was 30 years old when my husband left me for his department secretary. In an instant I lost my best friend of 13 years, my house, and my sense of security. I was devastated and literally didn’t care about living; the fear of going it alone was too overwhelming. I was over 200 pounds, had no friends, and hated my very existence. The thought of starting over terrified me and my self esteem was crushed beyond recognition. I pushed through. I left behind some unresolved emotions, but I pushed through.
2010 – another milestone year and I turned 40. Like a series of enormous waves I found myself being challenged once again. In the span of five short months my husband and I buried his mother, I almost lost my own mother in a tragic accident, lost my job, and cradled my dog as she was put to sleep. The circumstances were different than when I was younger, but the emotional stress and grief I was experiencing triggered something inside and that well of emotion came flooding back. I was becoming aware that life was handing me an opportunity. I could ignore it or embrace it. I chose to embrace it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, If not now, when? I kept hearing that voice over and over again in my head and I started paying more attention to it.
Sometimes it takes a concrete moment or a gut-wrenching blow to change our perspective on life. Tragedies overwhelm and wreck havoc but still, we push through. However, I wasn’t just going to push through life this time. I was going to change it. I can honestly say that I’ve done a lot of healing, mainly because I knew it was time to deal with the past.
That was my reason for starting this Challenge, and this is what I’ve learned so far:
Repetition. Eventually, if you hear something enough times you will believe it. I’ve been speaking positive words to myself for almost 30 days now. Some days are easier than others, but the one thing I’ve noticed? I’ve developed the habit I’ve been longing for all these years: I can say words like strong, gracious, even attractive and not feel like a total fake. I’ve realized that saying positive things on the days when I don’t necessarily believe them are the days when I need to hear them most of all; repeating them to myself on bad days makes them even more believable on the good days.
Pride and Compliments. When thinking of a word to describe this Challenge I decided on the word Pride which is used on the Challenge Badge that some of you have on your sidebar. I didn’t realize how important this word would be, but for me it has been crucial in this exercise. Taking pride in what I’m doing makes compliments so much easier to accept. Accepting compliments makes it easier to feel better about who I am and what I’m capable of. I now understand the phrase, people will only take what’s yours if you let them. It’s taken me over a decade to realize the truth in that sentence and I intend to protect things like pride, dignity and self-worth with a fierceness from now on. I am and always will be a work in progress but at least now I see that I’m worth working on.
To each of you, have a good session today. Make this last week count. You are worth it.