I hope that you are safe and well as we head into the pandemic winter, and in the US, into the pending transition of power in government.
Winter is not my best season. In the past, I felt stressed and pressured to give my kids satisfying holidays, which always felt inexplicably difficult. I also have frequently gotten sick with colds and coughs that would last for weeks or months. This past week or so, I have been wondering if some of the vague dread that has been showing up is not just emotional weather, but perhaps an old emotional pattern of winter stress.
This year I got sick in the summer with COVID. Hopefully I paid my dues and can make it through the winter in better shape. And I am feeling quite a bit better, if not fully back to my normal. Last weekend, for the first time in more than 3 months, John and I headed out to the park for a bit of a hike.
Here is your tiny lecture and your homework for this week.
A Healthy Sense of Self
Developmental Trauma interferes with the process of creating, maintaining and updating a Healthy Sense of Self, so that’s one of the things that we all need to work on.
What is a Sense of Self?
It is a solid, but not rigid, sense of “I know who I am and this is who I am!”
A strong sense of self includes the qualities of the following declarations:
I am alive.
I am here.
I feel things.
I want things.
I can do things.
I don’t always get what I need and even so, I still exist,
I still matter and I still feel things.
I am who I am, not just who and what everyone around me
wants and expects me to be.
When my sense of self is in good shape, I can FEEL the substance of each of those declarations in my body and my emotions.
Here is your assignment!
I invite you to do the following as a writing exercise or as a thought exercise. As much as you can, while you are doing this, be aware of your body and your emotions. You might even pause in between each sentence and notice your breath, notice whether your body is relaxing or contracting, and just generally check in with what is happening with your body in relation to these thoughts. Here you go:
Some things I know about myself are ______.
Some things I struggle with, and the feelings or emotions that arise with each of those struggles are _______.
Some of my superpowers are _______.
Some things I want are _______.
Some things I aspire to are _______.
Some of my deeper feelings are _______.
“I exist, I matter, I feel things, I want things, I am who I am, not who someone else wants me to be.”
Please feel free to write to me to share anything interesting that you discover through this process, or with any questions about the process.
This work with a Sense of Self is something that I am exploring inside of me, and I will share more ideas and some of my experiences as I continue this study.
Much love to you in this season of change.