My arrival at self-awareness has taken me practically all my life, I mean for most of it just learning to survive this mad crazy life was my main focus, I wish someone had awakened the need of self-awareness in me years ago it would have saved me a lot of heartache, but on the flip side I wonder if I would have turned out as strong as I am now! Life can really knock you off your feet sometimes and I guess without those knocks I wouldn’t have necessarily gained the life experience that I have now. It’s only in very recent years that I have actually stopped, taken a step back, silenced my anxious mind and thought hang on what can I do differently to make myself a better version of me, this only really came to me after beginning to adjust my thoughts from a negative point of view to a more positive outlook. After years of struggling, being a single mum, coping with anxiety and depression, financial strain and a childhood from which certain aspects still haunted me I actually began to feel unwell, my body ached, I felt exhausted all of the time and I suffered with a severe case of Rosacea that seriously affected my confidence, things had hit an all-time low for me. Several tests and Doctors’ appointments later results showed no medical issues, my doctor suggested that I had increased stress levels which could be the reason and suggested I try an alternative treatment in the area of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, (CBT) I didn’t know at the time but this was to be the very beginning of my journey to self-awareness and a better life. I was ready to try anything!
I found the CBT quite overwhelming and emotional at first, it’s an adjustment of your thoughts, thoughts that have been going through your mind as far back as you can remember, these don’t just go away, suddenly having to analyse every negative thought to turn them into positive ones was to say the least really hard work, but I knew it had to be done and after several weeks it started to become easier and much less emotional, I began to get the hang of it and started to feel the stress lifting away. When my sessions came to an end I knew I had to continue practising now on my own, free-falling if you like, a scary prospect to say the least, but I kept going I wasn’t going to give up now and yes there were and still are the very occasional down days but I was now having more up days, feeling better, my body started to react also, I still had problems with my skin but it was definitely improving and I didn’t ache as much as I had done. I was starting to see things turning around which motivated me more to keep practising.
Around the same time a friend of mine had become quite interested in the law of attraction and the secret and introduced this to me, so taking my newly found skill of being positive I started to read about this too I was definitely on a new path now and the more I read the more sense this made, the more positive I became, this is a really big part of my life now and has had a big impact on all areas of my life.
Anyway whilst I was busy embarking on this new me and my newly discovered skills of being positive I was at this time single, totally by choice but single all the same, looking back now although being single was a choice and a good choice for me at that time in my life I also believe now that in my previous state of mind I would have probably never have found someone to be in a relationship with anyway, my expectations of what a man should be were probably off the Richter, it didn’t matter how many boxes got ticked I would still be looking for more, to be honest my opinion of men was probably not the best from past experiences and I was definitely not ready for a relationship. Now the same friend that had introduced me to the law of attraction had discovered a women’s group on Facebook, at first I was somewhat taken aback by the topic this group discussed MEN in every way shape and form and how to attract the man of your dreams by adjusting your behaviour, oh come on really!! Was my initial reaction but I kept reading anyway occasionally liking the odd post, but too scared to offer my opinion what did know! Some of what was discussed on this page I found to be quite brutal but also some of the information was quite eye-opening. These women were basically practicing Selfworth with a message of if you don’t value yourself then how can you expect a man to! Self -worth was something that I had never really considered before let alone known or felt.
After reading many posts by these women and discussing them with my friend I started to question myself on my own behaviour, how do I come across to people?, how do I react to situations? And what do I think of myself were just a few questions I asked myself and how does this affect my life?It not only started me thinking about a possible relationship but it made me ask myself am I the type of woman a man wants a relationship with?
Being single had served me well of fun nights out and the odd fling here and there but I never wanted to be one of those people who was always fighting for a man’s attention, I wanted the real deal and now I began to realise that in order for me have that maybe I needed to change a few things! I was ready to literally take a long hard look at myself but this time in the form of self-awareness. I had done my CBT, I had started practising The Law of Attraction, I was on a better path, my life was improving and now I wanted to learn about self-worth and self-awareness this was new to me, I had got this far in life always putting other people first so this was now time to continue my journey of working on myself, another challenge I had to face. Was I becoming a glutton for punishment? Maybe but I didn’t see it like that, this was a choice and most definitely one of the best ones I’ve ever made!
Whilst all this was going on I had been meeting up with man for an occasional coffee and sometimes lunch, more so as a friend I had already decided that I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything else with this person, that said he was the type of man that I had always got myself involved with, very non-committal if you know what I mean! Anyway it turned out that he was actually in a situation with someone else, nothing happened between us we just got on well and enjoyed each other’s company that was until he eventually did try to cross the line, here I was faced with another choice, I could have and possibly would have a year previous allowed this to go further, low self-esteem and lack of confidence can cause you to make bad choices, but suddenly my heart screamed at me KNOW YOUR WORTH! And that was it I never saw him again. I chose to walk away I chose to value myself, WOW that was liberating! What else could I achieve I wondered.
I decide from then that I was ready now to put myself out there and look for a potential partner, so regardless of the stigma attached to it internet dating seemed the only option. After trying two or three different sites and several weirdo’s later, trust me internet dating is not for the faint hearted! I started talking to someone, not my “usual” type (thankfully) but someone who seemed decent, someone who spoke to me respectfully, like a real woman and not some that just wanted a cheap thrill, that’s what I’d been waiting for! And I was intrigued. After the initial messaging and endless questions that feel like the longest job interview ever! We decided to meet for a drink, now unlike many dates I had had before I wanted to look at this man with a different prospective and a fresh mind, instead of the usual thoughts that ran through my mind like do I fancy him, do I like his dress sense, has he got nice teeth etc. I actually found myself listening to how interesting he was and how funny he was and how good I felt in his company, I felt confident and attractive, I felt comfortable and regardless of how he was dressed (Which was actually really well) or if he was what I would have considered good-looking I felt attracted to him I knew I wanted to see him again. As it turns out this someone has become my soul mate, my best friend and the love of my life! I have met a man who adores me, an experience I had never had or felt in my life before so I clearly didn’t want to cock this up by coming across all brash with my independence and ridiculous expectations, I started practising my self-awareness more and more now, I knew I had to accept the kindness that this man wanted to give, paying for every evening out, buying gifts, weekends away etc. After spending a lifetime of doing everything myself I had become completely switched off to any kind of kindness from a man, I have since discovered that insisting on doing everything yourself is not always an attractive trait to a man! Some men still have old-fashioned values! Yes you need to still have your independence no man wants a needy woman but it’s about getting the balance right, I had always bragged that I didn’t need a man, that I could live quite happily without one, well that’s a great basis for a relationship isn’t it! I’m sure no man really wants to be told that he’s not needed! I had to retrain myself, my thoughts, my reactions, my behaviour to allow someone to genuinely love me, someone who thinks I’m amazing, ME, AMAZING, WOW! So with an initial resistance from myself I allowed it and I accepted it and I embraced it, he needs to be a man, he needs to feel needed and by me allowing myself to be looked after and ok maybe a little bit dependant on him (just a teeny bit mind you) our relationship has bloomed, it’s not perfect but its real and genuine and I need it. This would not have happened had I not taken that really good look at myself and I can guarantee you I would most certainly still be single.
Don’t get me wrong this hasn’t been an easy journey or a quick fix, far from it, it has taken me a few years with a lot of biting my tongue and counting to 10 or 100 in some cases to get to this point it wasn’t going to happen overnight, in fact it’s a work in progress still and every day brings new obstacles to overcome but I am looking at myself through fresh eyes, I think before I speak, I look at the bigger picture before I react, I ask myself is what I am about to say necessary? And it’s working.
I am and will continue to practice self-awareness and yes sometimes it’s a challenge, especially at times of the month when like many women I can turn into the bitch from hell on my period but it’s worth the time, the energy and the effort, because I am a more fulfilled person, my life is better and I am happy, really happy with a future to look forward to. If anything it’s made me stronger and now able to deal with those childhood demons that have haunted me for so long!
I guess my point is if things are not really working out for you perhaps it’s time to make some changes, two sayings I really love are “What you allow will continue” and “Happiness is a journey not a destination”
Know your self-worth and be self-aware it could change your life!