Self Esteem or Self Worth seems to be something that goes up and down in our lives and help us reflect on areas that we may feel more wobbly. We may experience times in our life where feel really great about ourselves and then we’ll have a conflict or some life challenge that will bring our self esteem plummeting down. Some people describe themselves as having low self esteem – so that their redominant sense of self is about not feeling good about themselves. Generally this negative sense of self is perpetuated with self talk that criticises us, puts us down or dismisses us, e.g. “I’m no good at art”, “my friends always let me down”, “I always seem to fail no matter how hard I try,” “I’m too intense that’s why I can’t find a partner.” Do you resonate with any of these? Perhaps you have your own. Underneath the self talk there are, of course, a set of limiting beliefs or negative attitudes that come together to make a story about our identity, who we are in the world. This may have started by something that we experienced in our history but over the years they are cultured as ‘truths’ that we wrap our identity around. Mostly they arise in our thinking and speech unconsciously. Before we know it we are verbalising or thinking something that puts us down or diminishes us. Our own deeper essence, of course, is far greater than any stories.
Betrayal is a breaking of trust and goodwill in a relationship through some form of wounding. Depending on the circumstances, it can take a long time to heal from and can leave us changed forever.
Betrayal has broken marriages, ended long term friendships and has been the cause of family rifts that can span generations. It may be through a sudden event that can leave us feeling shocked and in disbelief, as in the discovery of an infidelity or an affair. Or it may be experienced over time, through of a series of lies or indiscretions that gradually deteriorate our confidence, trust and respect.
There is a quiet revolution happening in women’s self care. Women are starting to take radical responsibility in their healing and regeneration. How do we do it? How do we:
Consciously address our self care in the midst of busy lives, work and personal responsibilities?
Refuel, regenerate and recharge on a deep soul level when we are starting to feel depleted?
Focus on ourselves and our own needs without feeling guilty or selfish?
We all need praise and appreciation on a daily basis – it’s nourishment for our souls. We may say we don’t need it but it is well known that kindness and genuine appreciation have an incredibly soothing effect on our central nervous system and raises our serotonin levels. It can calm us and help us to keep going when the going gets tough.
Learning to acknowledge instead of making your partner wrong is one of the most powerful relationship survival tools available to you. John Gottman is a researcher and family therapist who has worked extensively in couple therapy. He talks about the disintegration of respect and goodwill in a relationship when there is too much criticism and not enough praise. In my experience as a relationship counsellor I have found this applies to working with families as well. Where there is a deficit in praise and acknowledgment, a relationship starts to break down, disappointment and resentment can set in. It is very hard to steer things to a better place if damage is long term.