The first prompt for the Kindness Challenge 2017 is Self-Love.
One of the suggestions for this week was to create a self-portrait and I remembered that I’d already done that back in 2015 for a 31-Days of January Art Challenge. On the 19th Day our prompt was to sketch a self-portrait. So I’m daring to share it: the five hearts are my five children and the quote “The greatest gift a woman can give to herself and her family is her own independence.” It came from the book ~ The Shell Seekers ~ A novel about a woman and her evolving relationship with her grown children ……… and adjusting to the cycles of life.
When I was growing up in the 40’s and 50’s, self-love was considered a negative thing. Being kind to myself was something I’ve learned to do over the years. I was told I was too rough on myself. The sense of unworthiness began at a young age when we were taught to think up all the ‘bad’ things we did when we went to confession every Saturday so that we could be worthy enough to receive communion on Sunday. The best I could come up with at 7 years old was something like ‘I answered back my mother’, ‘I ate a piece of chocolate during lent’ ‘I got angry with my brothers for teasing me’….etc. Sometimes we’d make up something! Love of God/Love of Neighbor and self-sacrifice were all tied up into one ball of yarn and somehow self-love was left out….. or so we thought. When I attempted to put myself first …… to say I mattered too …… it was thought to be selfish and unkind. Now I realize that being selfless vs being selfish are more about balance. That I am worthy and I do matter. It’s helped me to set healthy boundaries in my life when others pressure me to be and do what I’m not comfortable with. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”. It’s helped me to trust my intuition and my heart going forward even though I sometimes wrestle with ‘Catholic Guilt’. 😀
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough. “
~ Brené Brown ~
So ….. the mantra I’ve used this week comes from the video below:
“It’s Enough! It’s Plenty!”
Some of us have too little self worth and are too selfless. Some of us have too much narcissism and take advantage of the kindness of those who are too nice. Seek the middle ground.