01 August 2010

Coming Back to Myself

A series of events over the past year left me riddled with grief and doubt, and effectively shredded my sense of self-esteem. Everything I thought I was, everything I thought true about my life, ended up getting turned around and stomped on.

Soooooo not fun.

Time and effort have restored me, but not without cost, both physically and spiritually. My Buddhist leanings are still at war with the cynicism engendered by these events; it's difficult to feel compassion for people who have hurt you and betrayed your trust. Indeed, it's difficult to trust people in general when your experiences have proven them irredeemably selfish, self-centered, ungenerous, hypocritical, and untrustworthy.

Granted, not everyone in my life conforms to this model; I now keep company with a select few truly generous souls who do NOT make me crazy, or make me feel bad about myself. Better yet, I've learned to spot the ones who do and avoid them. My upbringing led me to be a doormat, a people-pleaser who accepted being treated badly as part of life. I was kind of like a Labrador retriever - any attention was good attention, even if it left me beaten down and whimpering.

Not any more. I may have attracted that kind of person once (several ex-"friends", and one ex-husband), but I'm done. I like the person I've become, and I have a right to live my life free of toxicity. My life is just that - mine - and I don't give an airborne rodent's patoot what anyone else thinks I should be doing with it. Compassion, the root of Buddhism, also needs to extend to oneself.

On that note, I leave you with the 10 Commandments of Self-Esteem:

1) Thou shalt not consort with people who make thee feel bad about thyself.

2) That shalt cease trying to make sense of crazy behavior.

3) Thou shalt not keep company with those more dysfunctional than thyself.

4) Trust thy body all the days of thy life.

5) Thou hast permission at all times to say "NO," to change thy mind, and to express thy true feelings.

6) What is not right for thee is not right for thy brethren.

7) Thou shalt not give beyond thine own capacity.

8) What thy brethren think of thee mattereth naught.

9) Wherever thou art, therein also is the party.

10) Thou shalt sing thine own praises all the days of thy life.

And one more thing: "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Cheers, everyone.


Nancy J. Parra said...

LOVE these!! I need to print them out for my wall. They made me laugh and cry and say- yes! Of course!
Thanks for posting. Cheers~