Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Gift to You

Several years ago I had a job working as a Family Crisis Counselor. One of the best things about the job was the fact that we worked in teams. Because of that, we always had another set of ears and eyes, and we always had support when things got tough. My partner was the BEST! Her name was Emily.

The more I got to know Emily, the more I liked her. She was bright, kind, open-minded, hysterically funny, hard working and completely trustworthy. I think she had similar feelings for me because her husband used to refer to me as "the other woman" or Emily’s "wife".

One of the other striking things about Emily was that she was phenomenally beautiful in the physical sense. She had thick, dark brown hair and matching eyes that sparkled, especially when she was up to something mischievous. Her skin was flawless peaches and cream. It was a perfect setting for her naturally full, red lips. She had a perfect hourglass figure on her 5’9" frame. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone as stunning. And, the more I came to know her, the more I felt that way.

Imagine my shock when one day Emily shared with me how much she hated the way she looked. She told me that she felt ugly and fat, and she obsessively worried about becoming obese. I couldn’t believe that Emily didn’t see her extraordinary beauty the way I did. When I learned about her self-doubts it completely broke my heart.

One of the things I learned that day was that low self-esteem can strike nearly anyone.

I also learned the screeching pain of hearing such things from someone I dearly loved.

So this year I’m going to do something for myself and the people I care for. I’m going to banish the negative thoughts that have hovered about and picked on me for years. I’m going to try to see myself through the eyes of the people who love me instead of my tired old dirty lens of self-doubt.

Instead of believing I’m fat and ugly, I’m going to see myself as beautiful just the way I am.

Instead of believing I’m stupid, I’m going to remember that I’m sometimes clever, bright and articulate.

Instead of believing I’m worthless and lazy, I’m going to recognize my value even when I can't do everything I think I should.

Instead of believing I’m weak, I’m going to take a deep breath and move on, just like I’ve always done.

Instead of believing I’m selfish, I’m going to remember that my heart is loving and generous.

Instead of believing I’m a dork, I’m going to embrace my quirky uniqueness.

Instead of believing I’m dull and boring, I’m going to tell myself jokes until I giggle.

Instead of believing I’m unlovable, I’m going to be open to love, especially for myself.

This is my gift, because I love you very much.


At 1:15 AM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

What a fabulous and well-deserved gift! This is going to be a great year, then, isn't it?

At 1:46 AM, Blogger littlefeet said...

i love how you are going to see yourself... :)


At 6:30 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

Great post! I love you too.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Al said...

You're finally going to see the T that we all see!

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

You are talking about becoming more humble. I define the word "humility" as "realistically evaluating one's strengths and weaknesses, priorities and abilities." Humility is very different than "humiliation."

Humility is, in my mind, the key to a very good self-estimate(esteem)... because it is based completely upon being honest with yourself... and it factors in your strengths and abilities, as well as the things you want to work or improve upon.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

We all could use your list as a reminder to ourselves.

Great post - you are a beautiful, generous, smart, and giving woman!

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband often tells me that whenever I put myself down it hurts him...your words struck home as to how I must really make him feel. As others said, it is definitely something we should all keep in mind.

Thanks for yet another great post.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

and this is why we love you and keep coming back for more. We love your honesty. Those who seem most secure with themselves, we find are not. Just a shell, hiding what's on the inside.... But you've seemed to have shed your cocoon and changed overtime for the better. Much love.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Larry - We should all have a great year. You too!

Monkey - Thanks, Sweetie.

Dick - *smooch*

Al - You're the best, Baby! Thanks for the gentle pushes in the right direction.

Steve - Great explanation. I think I'll use that.

Laurie - Backatcha, you hot sexy wonderful woman!

Leandra - I'm pretty confident that I'm not alone. I'm glad your husband thinks so well of you. You deserve it!

Stephen - I've run across a few folks who are so scared of people finding out about their "flaws" that they hide behind false superiority and arrogance. They put others down to make themselves feel better. It's always sad to me because I know how they really feel. I want to grab them and say "It's okay. You don't have to be perfect!"
So if I'm coming out of a cocoon, does that mean I get to be a pretty butterfly?

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

No matter how improbable, I'd be honored to have carnal knowledge of you anytime simply because it's you. Meanwhile, I seem to have a great excess of wrinkly skin that you'd have to bear with!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Julie said...

You are divine!

Isn't if funny how easy it is to see the beauty in others and the "ugly" in ourselves? When I'm being hard on myself sometimes I think what I would say if I was talking to a friend...sometimes I'm gentler with friends than I am with myself.

I'm going to follow your lead this year. Because, damn it, if I don't love myself, who can?!?

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go ahead.
Read through my eyes right now.

Feel better?

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

From our conception
like salmon swimming upstream,
we face a world
quick to pounce
quick to beat us down
and exploit any weakness.
We must find the inner strengh
to fight back-
You Theresa, have taken a
big step towards a new year
and a new you...

At 4:32 PM, Blogger nosthegametoo said...


you express yourself in such a wonderful way. You always seem to touch a cord with me. This is why I love your blog so much. I can completely relate to the occasional self-doubt. And like always, you've touched on something happening in my life. This year, the release of negativity is a primary goal. It's tough, sometimes, negativity is like old friend that never adds any value to your life, but you can't let go of.

Once again, you've shown us how lovely your mind is by making us think of ourselves.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Ron - You're completely loveable, wrinkly skin and all.

Julie - You are soooo right. All of my friends are phenomenal and it makes me happy to tell them so.
Hey Julie! You're fantastic! :)

Popeye - Tee-hee ... you're adorable!

Polyman - Thank you. What a wonderful message of support.

Nosthegametoo - You always leave such great comments. I love this,
"It's tough, sometimes, negativity is like old friend that never adds any value to your life, but you can't let go of."
It's so true. Perhaps it's time we make friends with the positive side of ourselves.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Chick said...

Beautifully put...as always.

You are never negative here & I can not tell you how much I appreciate that.

Great gift to yourself & your readers...thanks...xoxo.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger ZooooM said...

It is what it is and you are AWESOME!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

you asked me above if you get to be a pretty butterfly...

I thought you already were. You just morph into something more beautiful when you least expect it.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

"Believe in yourself ~
In the power you have to control your own life, day by day.
Believe in yourself ~
Believe in the strength that you have deep inside, and your inner faith will help show you the way.
If you trust, and believe, there's no limit to what you can do, what you can accomplish, who you can become."

That is my gift to myself, and now to YOU.
I LOVE YOU T!!!!!!

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Erin said...

What a wonderful gift! I've never really thought about it that way before, either -- that loving and accepting yourself opens the way not only for other people to love and accept you, but also to love and accept themselves.

You're a beautiful warrior!

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to say anything. Just going to smile and enjoy the moment.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Chick - I'm really glad you don't see me as negative. My sunny disposition must be winning out after all.

Zoomita - Shucks! You're pretty freakin' awesome yourself, Hot Chik!

Stephen - Really? Yay! More to look forward to.

Blaze - That's a perfect addition to this post. Thank you. I need to copy that to a permanent place where I can see it every day.

Erin - Thanks. Your strength and insight have often been great help to me too.

Anony - Now I'm smiling too.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger JayneSays said...

I loved your beautiful post and sentiments. Sigh. Can I borrow them?

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Sunshine said...

That is the best and most valuable gift you could ever give yourself....

I also hope that there is someone else that can re-inforce this to you by telling you these things..it helps to HEAR them!

Can I share a silly secret?

I once wore an elastic band around my wrist. Everytime I thought something negative about myself, self depreciating or a put down, I "twanged" that elastic band. It had a two fold benefit.

A it made me realise just how often I did put myself down or be negative about myself, and B, it HURT - and, rather like a reverse Pavlov's dog scenario, I began to associate the real pain with the other "pain" of negativity...

I hope you wake up every morning and remind yourself of these things..

You deserve the best. You are the best...

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Allison said...

This should be everyone's goal. I don't even know you but I already think you are fabulous!

At 4:12 PM, Blogger TechGuy said...

This reads like those e-mail forwards my mom sends me that try to encourage me to be a better person. Do I need to send this link to 7 people in the next 10 minutes so I don't have bad luck?

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Aisha T. said...

Woo-Hoo! Theresa, you are always a positive influence and you are right, all of us get into our insecure funks. Nice to hear the positive way you are tackling it. Going to steal a little from you

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Shephard said...

Thank you for that. Yours is the first post I've read that didn't bemoan and bellyache the "have nots" in the pantheon of human insecurities. I loved reading it because this is the kind of choice that changes lives, changes the world. Thank you for posting it so that I could read it and not feel so alone. :)

At 9:07 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Jayne - Hot Chiks share. What's mine is yours.

Sunshine - Great idea, except ... ouch!
Thanks for the sweet words.

Allison - I suppose most of us have moments of doubt. Thanks for your lovely comment.

Techguy - Your comment reads like it's from someone who needs a spanking.

Aisha - You always seem wonderfully positive. Maybe when I'm done, I can grow up to be like you!

Shephard - I've had my moments of big time bemoaning. I suppose the trick is to make sure you don't get stuck there.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Is Emily single yet?


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