Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #4: The Process of Self Love

Since I finished the book, I think it'll be good for me to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. When I first started this process, I would read a chapter, then answer the questions. I got to Chapter 3 and got away from that. The good news about doing it this way is that even though some time has passed since I read the chapters (with the exception of the 2 or so I finished tonight), it will give me an opportunity to think and reflect on my answers.

What are you holding on to that you believe needs to be healed?
My heart needs to be healed. It's been traumatized by so many things and so many people. The heart never forgets. The brain may, but the heart - never.

What issues in your past are of particular concern to you? Are you comfortable sharing your past experiences with others?
One of the biggest issues of my past that I'm truly concerned about would be my relationships. I have really been through some shit in my relationships, but haven't been in a real relationship in quite some time. I am comfortable sharing my past experiences with others, especially if I've healed and/or grown from them.

Do you use drugs or alcohol? How does that impact the relationships you have with others?
I do drink alcohol. I recognize what it does to me physically and emotionally, which is why I consume it in moderation. I don't know how my drinking impacts my relationships with others. One thing is that I am notorious for drunk dialing and drunk texting. I have made some bad choices under the influence of alcohol, but I have made bad choices sober.

How comfortable are you with your body?
I would say that I'm pretty comfortable with my body. Am I honest about how my body looks? No. I am getting over how self conscious I am and getting to be more and more comfortable with my physical body.

What pattern would you need to incorporate into your life to improve your health?
I need to make the lifestyle change to incorporate working regularly. My eating habits aren't terrible (as I reach for the candy bar in my purse). My exercise habits on the other hand - not good at all. I used to be athletic, now I'm just lazy.

Describe your closest friends. Are you just like them or do you want to be like them?
This is really a tough question. Some of my closer friends, I describe as extremes of certain parts of my personality. Lately, I would say that I don't have any close friends, which has been very tough for me to do deal with. So many people that I know are in different places in their lives which can cause friction in friendships which is what I am dealing with.

How vulnerable are you to pressure from your peers?
I do pretty well resisting peer pressure, but that doesn't mean that I've never given in to it. There are more times when I have resisted it, than given into it.

How much do you rely on your friends' opinions?
I rely on my friends and their opinions a lot. Maybe that's why there's been such a strain in most of them.

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #3 Soul Survivor

Before I even get into this blog/lesson, I ran away from doing this lesson a long time ago because I was afraid to be honest with myself. That's no bueno! Lately, I've been frustrated about people not being honest with me (which is so many blogs within itself). It's not that I've been frustrated with people, I've been frustrated with friends. Friends are supposed to be there for you, thick or thin, lose or win - they're supposed to be there for you and they are supposed to be honest with you. Lately, my friends have not been that, and it made me feel a certain way. I felt disrespected and betrayed. I know that it wasn't a personal or malicious attack but I can't help but take their actions personally. But in a moment of reflection, how can I be mad at someone else for not being honest with me, when I haven't been honest with myself. THAT is no bueno but it also stops here. Today, I make an honest attempt to be honest with myself, no matter how much it hurts. Pain heals, if you let it. I acknowledge the hurt, now let's try and work through it so we can get on with the rest of our lives.

What are your most vivid memories growing up?
I have a combination of memories growing up. I remember taking Harold and David to school for show and tell shortly after they were born. I remember my mom being sick. I remember the earthquake of '89. I remember my sister shouting for me when I graduated from elementary school (and I remember being embarassed about it). I remember Jamie and Jodie living next door. I remember going to the Traffic Convention at Grand Lake theater and seeing Batman. I remember getting suspended in Jr. High for fighting a boy. I remember my Pink Panther solo. I remember Harold falling off the roof. All of these memories to me are vivid.

How were you treated as a child? Were you treated fairly?
It's very easy to say that I wasn't treated fairly as a child. I was mistreated in the sense that I was held (and continue to be) held to a different standard than my siblings, because "I'm older" or because "I'm a young lady". Is it fair? No. But it is the cards that I have been dealt.

Is there a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse in your family?
As far as I know, there isn't a history of abuse in my family. If there is, it isn't talked about with me.

What part of your childhood would you change, given the chance?
The most important thing of my childhood that I would change would be me being supported, celebrated and encouraged more. I don't doubt that my parents did their best to raise me, but there are things that they didn't do which have carried over to my adult life. There is a void in my life that I can only attribute to things that my parents didn't do. They aren't bad parents, but they did make some mistakes that have cost me dearly.

What are your survival techniques?
I can't honestly answer this question. I do know how to go with our. I know how to pray. I make lots of sacrifices and can continue to do so if I need to.

Have you received medical attention for mental illness or stress?
Shortly after the Inauguration this year, I started seeing a therapist. There was an incident at one of our sessions which left a bad taste in my mouth and I haven't been back since March. I am going back for an appointment on Tuesday.

What is your main concern or worry about your life?
I have so many and I don't know if they outweigh each other. Right now, I'm worried about how to pay some of the bills that I have. I am worried about my health and my weight. I'm worried about the budget cuts and how it will affect me. I'm worried about what's going to happen next in my life. I am worried about a lot of things.

How do you manage your time? Do you find that you can do it efficiently? Do you procrastinate or waste time?
I am the first to say that I am HORRIBLE at time management. I procrastinate, I waste time and worst of it all, I make excuses. There are some times when I can manage projects well. But for the most part, I am bad at time management. But I do acknowledge that.

What do you consider to be quality time?
Quality time is doing something special for yourself or for someone else without any regrets on how the time is spent. Whether it's laying in bed with your lover for a few hours, sitting on the couch watching television, sleeping in on a Saturday or sitting somewhere and enjoying nature in it's purest form - quality time is enjoying personal time.

Have you been in a violent relationship? If so, explain.
I have not been in a violent relationship but I have been in an abusive relationship. It was emotionally abusive and I was being manipulated. I was also young and gulty of also being the abuser.