Tag Archives: self-esteem

THE most important thing you can do on Valentine’s Day

THE most important thing you can do on Valentine’s Day is…

LOVE YOURSELF

Honestly.  And I’m not channeling Whitney Houston (I actually don’t like the song “The Greatest Love of All” – BAD theology, but that’s another post).

This day has been blown SO out of proportion, that for many it’s become a nightmare.  My husband and I really don’t celebrate – for us, our anniversary is our special day to demonstrate in special ways our love for one another.

But there are many who are alone, and still others who are lonely (not all who are alone are lonely, and there are many people who NOT alone who are desperately lonely).  I’ve been in both situations.

When I was alone AND lonely, I was also depressed.  I realized that I wouldn’t be good in a relationship or HAVE a good relationship until I did the hard work on MYSELF so that I could be happy regardless of my relationship status.  It wasn’t until I decided that I’d be happy alone for the rest of my life, that I met the man who would become my husband.  It wasn’t until I didn’t want a relationship that I found one.

Love yourself.  It’s easier said than done, I know.  Many times in our lives we have to work very HARD to love ourselves.  But if we don’t value ourselves as individuals – alone, without anyone else’s judgments – then we may find ourselves looking to others for our self-worth, putting too much value in what others think about us, feeling somehow “less-than” if we’re not attached.

stock-illustration-7706805-heart-of-heartsSo if there is no one “out there” for you to share a Valentine with – then give one to yourself!  You deserve it!  Or accept this one from me.  →

You are unique, special, precious and irreplaceable!  And I believe that you are a beautiful child of God, loved beyond all measure by the One who created you.

So Happy Valentine’s Day.  You amazing person.

Love,

Lisa

playing with dolls

I don’t write about my son very much, not because he isn’t a HUGE part of my life, but probably because he’s the person in my house that makes the least fuss.  Oh sure, there’s drama, and he IS a drama king, but it’s normal everyday eight year old drama.  He hasn’t faced adolescent crises yet, he doesn’t have special needs, he hasn’t really ever been sick (knock-on-wood), he does well in school – like I said, he makes the least fuss.

About the only thing he does that’s out of the ordinary, that’s an issue for him, is that he likes to play with dolls.  Monster High dolls are his obsession.

He knows that boys aren’t “supposed” to play with dolls – no matter what my husband and I tell him.  He never has playdates over because even though he can claim the dolls belong to his sister, he doesn’t have a lot of traditional “boy” toys to play with.  He’s not interested in trucks, cars, or soldiers, Star Wars, or even Legos.  He’s not very athletic, not into watching sports either, although he did say he would try basketball this winter.  We’re ok with it.  We don’t judge.  It’s other kids he’s worried about.  What the kids at school will say, or how they will treat him,  if they find out.  And it breaks my heart that it affects his social life, when he is really a very social little boy.

I would love to tell him, “Who cares what they think?”  I would love to tell him to invite them over and if they don’t like his dolls then who needs them.  I would love to tell him that they’ll like him anyway.  But I can’t

because- kids DO care what other kids think, kids DO need friends, and I can’t promise that the kids at school will still like him if they find out what he considers to be a big secret.

He’s already going to be judged by certain people because he has a big sister with autism.  Whether that’s right or wrong, it is reality – I know because it’s happened to my oldest daughter.  Kids can be ignorant and cruel, just like adults – except children who are targets have generally less “armor” to deflect cruelty than adults do.

I’m not sure how to help him with this one, except to continue what I’ve been doing – telling him he’s a great kid, a wonderful boy, assure him that I love him whether he plays with dolls or trucks or whatever.  I wish we lived in a world where kids (and adults) didn’t have to worry about this sh*t, where we could just get to know each other’s hearts and respect our differences, and not make people feel left out just because they’re different.

***The only reason I’m publishing this post is because I try to keep this blog somewhat anonymous.  I know my son would be embarrassed, and if I’m still writing this blog by the time he and his friends are old enough to come across it and he wants me to delete it, I will.  And I’m sad about that.  But, for now, I’m publishing because I don’t think he or any other boy (or girls!) SHOULD BE embarrassed about the toys they love to play with – and the only way to start to change things is to be open.

Guilt

I live with a tremendous amount of guilt.  I never think I’m good enough.  I know, I know, in my last post I wrote how much God loves me just the way I am, and that’s true, but there are many times that “I” don’t love me just the way I am.

I am in the process of cleaning up Christmas.  Yesterday, the feast of the Epiphany, was the last day of the Christmas season, and in my house, that’s when Christmas officially ends.  Over the weekend we had our annual Christmas/Epiphany open house, so I’m trying to clean up from that too.  And while we were preparing for it, we threw an incredible amount of “stuff” into our bedrooms to get it out of the way.

My kids’ rooms are such a mess.  The family room is a mess.  The kitchen is a mess.  And I can’t help but think if I were just a better housekeeper or a better mother, my house wouldn’t be in such disarray. Why can’t I get the kids to pick up after themselves?  Why can’t I get myself off the computer and fold the laundry?  Maybe if I wasn’t fighting depression I would have the energy to maintain a schedule?  etc…

When I grew up our house was always spotless.  In the back of my mind I can remember how methodical my mother was about housecleaning.  She had a schedule for what days she would clean things.  Sheet changing day was Saturday.  Dusting and vacuuming the bedrooms were also Saturday.  I try to rationalize.  My mother had children five years apart and she only had two to clean up after.  I’ve got three kids and one with special needs, and my kids are each around three years apart.  More kids, more toys, plus behavioral issues on top of it.  Take that mom.

But it’s not my mother’s fault.  It’s mine.  I’m not going to shift the blame.  However, when I think about it, really think about it, a few suspicions about my lack of “domestic energy” and motivation come to mind.  Sure, my childhood house was spotless, but our LIVES were a friggin’ mess.  My mother worked tirelessly to emit a certain image of perfection that couldn’t be further from the truth.  The house was clean, but we were miserable.  My only sibling, a brother, threatened to run away on more than one occasion.  I made a suicidal gesture at THIRTEEN for crying out loud.

None of us knew if we were going to get “happy daddy” or “crabby daddy” when he walked through the door at night.  Many times when he drank he was actually MORE pleasant than when he was sober.  And he could be a real tyrant no matter what his blood alcohol level.

I have this message firmly ingrained in my brain of how my house should look.  Perhaps I fight against that.  Not that I’m a slob.  My house is more clutter than dirt.  And I DO enjoy when the house IS clean.  But it will not be the highest priority.  I still have the guilt though, because of the impossibly high standards that have been programmed into my brain.

At least I’m at the point in my life where I feel angry about those standards, and about the guilt.  I don’t need it, I don’t want it.  I know it isn’t healthy, and I’m trying to get rid of it.  Guilt does no one any good.  Guilt is shaming.  Guilt keeps us stuck.  One of the first steps in moving on with life is to acknowledge that.

No one is perfect.  I’m not the perfect wife.  I’m not the perfect mother.  But you know what?  No one is.  There is NO SUCH THING.  I’m doing the best I can.  I try to be a little better all the time.  I know that’s good enough for God.  I just have to keep telling myself that it’s also good enough for ME.