Written By: Judy Lemke MS, LPC, LCSW
I am constantly intrigued by the challenge so many of us women have in finding the ability to love ourselves. We often give endlessly to others. We are often our own worst critic. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to a close friend or loved one. We can spend endless hours scrolling on Instagram and/or Facebook, comparing our accomplishments ( or perceived lack of) to others. Seeing everyone else’s perfectly filtered lives is like comparing our insides to someone else’s outside. When we constantly judge ourselves against others without knowing how they really feel or what it took for them to get there, it is easy to feel unaccomplished. Less worthy. Insecure.
This is the challenge for women: Invest in, believe in and practice daily – self love. Aim for self -acceptance. The benefits of loving ourselves as we are today can be endless. Just think what would change if we could let go of self-doubt, self-criticism, and the fear of not being good enough! What if we could truly take from our past only what is beneficial to our present? Imagine a life where you feel whole, energized and ready to take on whatever life hands you. Imagine feeling you are worthy, and have meaning in this world.
I have had the pleasure of working with a number of women who have identified a desire to be more self-confident, more self-loving, and even a bit more independent in the sense that validation does not come from others, but from within. One of my clients actively writes down her thought process when she finds herself struggling with an emotion, a mood, an event, a social situation – whatever caused her to feel “less than”. She shared with me a letter she wrote to herself and I am so excited and honored that she gave me permission to share her letter in this blog. It is a letter that is so applicable to many of us. We need to be kinder, gentler with ourselves. We need to take credit for our accomplishments. We need to let go of the failures and disappointments. We need to truly love ourselves. Be ourselves.
“A LETTER TO MYSELF”
It’s all going to be okay. It’s okay to make mistakes. The standards to which you were raised are mere guidelines that you can weave in and out of. There is no mold that you can pour yourself into and be happy. You must find your own way, your own path, your own life. No one can live it for you, and you can’t live their life either. You will not always be right. You will make mistakes and you need to admit fault and own up to your mistakes. You also need to remedy the situation. You don’t need to be scared of people. You are not useless. You are not worthless. Your voice matters just as much as theirs. Don’t back down. Don’t be afraid. Speak your truth in an open and honest manner. Own your words. Live your words. Grow. Plant a whole garden and GROW. Be fruitful. Be alive. Be free. Be passionate. Be a lover. Be a mother. Be a friend, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a believer. Be anything you want to be. But most of all… Be You.
My most sincere thanks to Katie for sharing her progress in loving herself and to all the other women who have trusted me to help them in their journey to self-love, self- acceptance and self-validation. Each and every one of you are amazing!