A major contributor to whether or not worth is high or low tends to stem from whether children were given messages that affirmed or validated their existence, their choices,their talents,their ideas,their plans. If these parts of themselves were not validated, children seemed to feel less important or valued than those around them.
Imagine for yourself a large basket given to you at birth. During those early years, you collect learning that gives you energy,hope,skills,desire, and good feelings about yourself. We'll call those messages "Flowers". You also collect messages that make you feel inadequate,small,guilty and afriad. We call those messages "Garbage messages".
Look at the following messages and assess what you are carrying around in your basket.
Garbage messages: These make us feel bad and unloved
- Don't say anything if you can't say something nice ( hide your true feelings)
- Family business is private business ( Don't Trust)
- Work first, play later ( what you do is more important than who you are)
- Boy's don't cry (Men should always be strong)
- Women shouldn't get angry ( Women should cover up angry feelings)
- Don't speak unless spoken to ( Spontaneity is wrong)
- Don't talk about sex ( There is something wrong with our bodies)
- You made your bed, now lie in it ( There is no room for mistakes)
- Anything worth doing is worth doing well ( Strive for perfectionism in everything)
- You can do better ( What you are doing is not good enough)
- I told you so ( You should have listened and did what I said. I am right and you are wrong)
- Don't hang your dirty linen public ( Don't talk and don't ask for help)
- Blood is thicker than water (Family loyalty comes first whether or not it is deserved)
Think about some of your own rules and messages you brought from the family you lived in. How many of them made you feel an increased value in yourself? And how many of them made you feel bad about yourself? Let's look at some positive messages "Flowers" that make people feel better about themselves:
- I am really proud of you today
- That was a really good idea you had
- Keep up the good work
- You are a very special person
- Good for you!
- You seem to have a lot of good ideas
- You'll probably learn a lot from that mistake
- It's a pleasure to work/play with you
- I like you just the way you are
- It's okay to have a lot of feelings
- Sometimes tears are refreshing
- I'm sorry, you are right.
- I'm happy when I'm with you
Assess what you are carrying in your basket. Decide what you want to keep and what to get rid of.
Getting in touch with your feelings.
Psychologists, counselors, and therapists have placed a great deal of emphasis on the importance of getting in touch with ones feelings. What does that mean to get in touch?
First of all getting in touch means becoming aware that we have feelings. Getting in touch with our feelings means becoming acquainted with our subterranean emotional life. And it means learning to except of emotional life as a natural aspect of ourselves, not something to be feared or shunned or repugnant.
When we are not in touch, we're like sleepwalkers, moving through life in a trance,jolted now and then to a confusing wakefulness. Trembling and fuzzy-minded, we're overwhelmed by our own emotions and perplexed by the emotions of others.
REMEMBER: Freedom lies in understanding feelings and being able to act on that new understanding.
I am the only "me" I've got.I am unique.There are two major parts of me. There is the inside "me" and the outside "me".
The outside me is what you see. The way I act,the image I portray,the way I look and things I do.
The outside me is very important.It is my messenger to the world and much of my outside me is what communicates with you. I value what I have done,the way I look, and what I share with you.
The inside "me" knows all my feelings all my secret ideas, and my many hopes and dreams. Sometimes I let you know a little bit about the inside "me" and sometimes it;s a very private part of myself.
Even though there is an enormous amount of people in this world, no one is exactly like "me". I take full responsibility for "me" and the more I learn about myself, the more responsibility I am going to take.You see my "me" is my responsibility , As I know myself more and more I find out that I am an OK person.I have done some good things in life because I am a good person. I have accomplished some things in my life because I am a competent person. I know some special people because I am worth knowing. I celebrate the many things I have done for myself.
I've also made some mistakes. I can learn from them. I have also known some people who did not appreciate me. I do not need to keep those people in my life. I've wasted some precious time. I can make new choices now. As long as I can see, hear,feel,think,change,grow and behave,I have great possibility. I am going to take those risks and those possibilities and I am going to grow and love and be and celebrate . I am worth it.