I have issues.
Wait, I've mentioned that before. Have I mentioned my self-image issues? Not that it should come as any surprise, there are very few women I've met who haven't had some sort of inaccuracy in their view of themselves at some point in their life.
Like most women, I place a lot of my identity in my relationships. I'm a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend. Success in those relationships means I'm doing well as a human being, turmoil and disharmony can really mess me up. Like if my daughter is screaming at me for no reason other than she's almost two, or I'm stressed out and ask Ben to pick up something for supper instead of cooking for him like a "good wife" should, or when my mom (hi mom, don't know if you still read this) annoys me and I lash out at her, or when I haven't heard from friends in a while (it's ok friends, I know I hear from you as often as you hear from me).
When those things happen I start to get anxious, confused, stressed out and insecure. I try to hide the insecurity with defensiveness, and that just makes things worse. I try to do something tangible to handle perceived problems, but my stress and anxiousness just turn it all into worry. My house gets (more) messy, I raise my voice and watch too much TV (and then get mad at myself for yelling and being lazy) and end up having a bad day (and sometimes causing bad days for those around me...sorry Ben).
And all of that mess happens just because I place too much value on things that change and are out of my control. Things that are part of me, but aren't really me.
It's so hard for women (I'm using women now because I'm really hoping this isn't just a problem I have) to compliment themselves, to admit their good traits, their strengths (inherent strengths, not those that exist only because of our relationships and thus are dependent on those relationships). I think it's because we don't want to be seen as bragging, or full of ourselves, or to have it proven wrong. Kinda like how you can't ever say you're humble. But then we internalize it too much, and we end up having trouble even thinking of our good qualities, and then when the external things get crazy and messed up it's hard to find anything solid to hang on to while we get it figured out.
I'm trying to get to know myself again. Over the last few years so much has changed and I've felt so swept up in it that I've lost touch with who I am and with what makes me tick. I know what I do, I know where I fit, but the rest of it is kind of jumbled sometimes.
I'm hoping that as I find these things about myself - my gifts, my passions, my strengths and areas where I have the opportunity to ask for help and utilize the strengths of others (how's that for positive wording). I want to be able to help others again, I want to engage in the world around me instead of just observe it, I want to get rid of these insecurities and doubts that take me away from my family and friends.