What About Me?
Building a sense of self . . .
by Gwynne Hunt
Healing . . . it’s an interesting word because most of us don’t know how to do it. Even worse, most of us don’t know we are broken. I figured out I was broken a long time ago. I tried a lot of healing journeys but the trips were never that pleasant. And then it just happened . . . I found myself in a safe place and I can’t really say how I got there.
Was it reading the Celestine Prophecies, further Along The Road Less Traveled or Healing From Abuse, or was it the yoga I learned? Maybe it was my daily meditations or my grateful journal or maybe the crystals and stones and feathers and rocks and magic wands and blessing sticks, or the hallelujah church, and . . . oh my goodness, maybe I just grew up? Maybe getting older I actually came into who I was meant to be and would have done so without the healing circles and psychiatrists? I am glad there was help along the way. I learned from everything along my Karmic path and every soul I met blew breath into my life.
I learned so much I share that life experience now doing a sort of healing circle of my own-called the Spirit to Heal. It’s a mix of art play, meditation and talking, a lot of talking. Woman to woman, sister to sister. I think it works, the same way our ancestors used to get together in circles and sew, and knit and quilt. We all need women to share our troubles with. We all need a sister.
Generations of older women, or elders . . . aunts and grandmas, women with wisdom, crones and sage warriors; we learn to share our life experience with others. Give back what was gifted to us. What other women have given me over the years is the ability to build ‘self’.
Mental health practitioners never gave me that, or doctors, or taking educational courses or going to university. Older women in groups huddled around campfires, sitting on back stoops and front porches. . friends sitting in a bar swapping stories, and women having pajama parties where we drank too much wine, and girlfriends holding me while I cried-they are the ones who gave me that, the ability to build ‘self’.
Part of building ‘self’ is to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. You have to be a grown up to understand that we are not perfect. Another part of ‘self’ is learning to take care of yourself. Female friends are always asking me, “Do you take time for yourself”
You bet I do-I take long baths, I write in my journal, I play with my grandkids, I go for walks, I watch movies and eat chocolates, and I spend money on myself whenever I feel like it. I have learned to do things that bring me joy and make me relax. To a lot of friends it doesn’t seem like it because I am crazy busy most days but I like that, I like deadlines and rushing around. I like to work.
It is really important when discovering ‘self’ that you feel cherished, and I do. I have so many rewards it is overwhelming most of the time. Oh, yeah, I fall into the self-pity pit but I’m never down more then a minute. The sun does always come up tomorrow.
The more healed we are, the better we take care of ourselves. I recognize what is selfish and what is self-nurturing. I know a lot of women are not in the same space and I wanted to share some tips on how to build ‘self’.
First, you have to get to know yourself. Take some time to finish the following sentences…
- One thing I like about myself is . . .
- One thing others like about me is . . .
- When I’m at my best, I . . .
- I think I have the guts to . . .
- A value I try hard to practice is . . .
- I’m glad that I . . .
- A compliment paid to me recently is . . .
- One thing I’ve overcome is . . .
- I’m best with people when I . . .
- One thing I intend to do in the next two months is . . .
This is just a beginning; to build ‘self’ you have to form a relationship with yourself. Journal writing is a great way to begin. Sit down and list 100 things you are grateful for.
There are tons of self-help books out there and I encourage you to find the book that speaks to you.