The Moment I Started Yelling At Myself On Paper

Something funny happened today while I was writing in my journal. I was doing the usual self-analysis, detailling all the things I’m struggling with. Oh, I don’t seem to be able to do this yet – I wonder why I’m still today that. Oh, I still seem to have major issues with being vulnerable. Oh, I still feel so embarassed about sharing myself in group. 
At the same time, I felt low-key anger building. I felt picked apart with very little compassion for my life experiences and the reasons why I’m struggling. After writing a page filled with toxic shame, admitting how I really didn’t like myself much and being scared that others would find out who I really am, my hand suddenly made a scribble mid-sentence. I felt another part of me taking over, and in big letters I wrote something in the trend of “FUCKING STOP CRITICISING ME ALL THE TIME AS IF I CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!! I’M DOING THE BEST I CAN TO SURVIVE WHILE I’M FUCKING TERRIFIED OF CONNECTING WITH OTHERS! DO YOU THINK IT WAS MY CHOICE TO BE BULLIED, HUMILIATED AND EXCLUDED ALL THOSE YEARS? HAVE SOME GOD DAMN RESPECT! I’M DOING MY BEST!!! 
Followed by some sarcastic remark about how my two pages are full now. (I’m always telling myself to at least write two pages when I journal). 
I felt surprised and also kind of proud of myself afterwards. There is a tension building inside of me between the old, familiar part that hates and shames me for ever being unacceptable to others and a new part that is compassionate and fierce, like a lioness watching over her cub. It makes me feel hopeful and more trusting of myself. Even if I fall apart and feel I might dissolve in the shame I’m feeling, there is a new energy looking out for me, and that is good to know. :) 

Affirmation: my feelings

Word of caution: all your feelings are deserving of gentleness and friendship, but it does not mean that they always represent reality. Don’t be discouraged if you hear a feeling tell you “I hate you, you suck”. It points to something deeper, worthy of your time and attention, but it does not represent reality. It’s a defense mechanism, trying to keep you safe in the best way it knows how. That does not mean that you can’t come to the realisation that you are no longer in danger, and therefore can gently let go of its skewed protection.
Having said that, enjoy the affirmation and may it bring you to a deeper knowing and acceptance of yourself. <3

Learning Poems By Heart

I want to learn more poems by heart, and that’s why I’ve decided to learn a new poem every week.
I’ve bought a notebook to write those poems down, to make it easy to revise them.
Who else is interested in learning poems by heart, and do you have some suggestions of beautiful poems that are worthy of being kept close? Feel free to let me know! :)

Some poems I want to learn by heart:

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver (anything by her really!)
Womanbirth by Jan Luckingham Fable
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Why I chose to start using affirmations again

I’ve recently started using positive affirmations again after a period of feeling slightly allergic to everything related to false, pushy positivity. I usually follow what feels right for me, and in hindsight I think this turn in my journey was about restoring balance. I believe in radical self-honesty as a part of loving yourself, and in the process I’ve discovered (and I’m still discovering) all these parts to me that I didn’t know existed before. It also lead me to believe that who we are is not entirely under our control or even known to us. It’s like we are bigger and infinitely more vast than the personality with which we conduct our daily business. Sometimes I even feel like a vessel, a guest house for all these unknown, unplanned emotions and sensations that come and go. I think what I used to do sometimes was focus on my positive, joyful guests, give them attention and nourishment. I’d reluctlantly open the door for a shabby, less sparkly guest, lead him to the basement and lock him up while he wasn’t looking. Little did I know that my basement has alternative pathways that lead to the main hall and even to my most precious, carefully cultivated garden, where I allow very few guests to enter. When such a deceived and angry guest would burst in, it would be with a hostile attitude, enraged by my attempt to silence her and triumphantly knocking things over and kicking young, vulnerable flowers to get me to notice her escape.

So what I have tried to do, instead of hurrying such a guest out of view, is take him to a cosy, candle-lit room, hand him a cup of tea and let him tell me his story. I listen with compassion, but don’t take his words as truth. I reassure him that there is a place for him in this imperfect, noisy, sometimes messy house, that he, too, belongs here and is welcome to stay. I feel his reluctance at trusting me, his sneering and scoffing to protect himself from being betrayed again, but somehow I feel that deep within him, a small light has been kindled, a light that marks the first seed of careful hope. I will meet this painful feeling again along the way, I am sure, but I also know that as long as I welcome her and make space for her, she will not turn destructive. 

Now I feel that the time has come to restore the balance yet again, and nourish myself with loving words. I have not given up on myself. I’m a mother who listens and understands, but also encourages the orphaned child, the cold, self-protective woman and the many other guests who stay in my house to believe that there is a way forward, that we can create something good and wholesome together. 
Too much of something is never good. I don’t want to bypass my pain, but I don’t want to drown in it either. There is a way forward, a way of balance. I’m not going to kick myself if I think negatively sometimes, instead I’m going to give myself a gentle hug and murmur “I understand. I feel you, you are welcome here.”