Serene Photo Challenge : The Daily Post Photo Challenge
My submission was taken at a viewpoint in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Overlooking Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver. Breathtaking.
Overcoming Negative Thoughts
I want to start getting into these weekly challenges. I’m starting to branch out as I get more comfortable within the blogging community. Submitting to this challenge sparked this post. Frequently I find my head likes to comment negatively. It tells me things like “You don’t know how to do that.” Or “You’ll never figure that out.” “You’re not good enough.” “You don’t know enough to be a blogger and what you have to say people wont find interesting.” I mean I know I don’t know much about how it all works, but I also know I’m smart and a fast learner. So why does my mind go to the negative?
I know this happens to a lot of people. And I know every human struggling with substances has this critical gnome sitting on their shoulder.
Why I call it the Critical Gnome? I was in a recovery house, participating in music therapy. And this topic came up about the synical voice that holds us back. The woman running this program, her name was Rebecca. She used that terminology, that woman is brilliant. I instantly pictured this little 1 ft tall, pudgy, squinty eyed gnome. I laughed and had to ask the girls what theirs looked like. This ignited a comedic discussion about our biggest negative beliefs we all thought about ourselves.
We all went around the room and shared 1st what they looked like and 2nd what they shout at us as they follow us around everywhere we go. At that period in my life I was primarily struggling with self esteem, portion of that was body dysmorphia. I was so used to being this TINY less then 100lb girl.
In my addiction… eating healthy? Heck, eating anything at all was sparse. Any money I had mostly went to drugs, ensuring I avoided dope sickness at all times. This left very little spending money on food and other necessities. For 2-3 years every day when I looked in the mirror, I grew custom to seeing myself that size.
In recovery I ate at least 3 healthy meals a day, exercised and slept every night. I gained a healthy amount of weight but through my eyes I was huge. The “thigh gap” I had that, clean and sober I’m bootylicious, squats and nutrition who knew? Lol
Anyway, back then my gnome was pudgy, overweight, squinty eyed jerk who would tell me “You’re not worth it.” “No one actually cares about you.” “You’ve gained so much weight, you look gross.” Today that gnome looks different. Today he is tall (for a gnome) lanky, prominent cheek bones, broad shoulders. And he tells me that I’m stupid and boring.
If I listen, or believe what he says, fear controls my life. Consequently I try nothing new, I start to hate myself, I doubt myself. Previously, when I used to listen, I withdrew from others and became critical of myself and the world around me. No way do I want to live like that ever again!
Its hard but I do my utmost best to be antithetical to the gnomes thoughts. So he says I can’t figure out how to pingback and post to this challenge. He says that I’m not interesting. Well I say I can, I am.
I did a lot of work to get away from my negative self loathing old self. Taking the time each day to check in with myself. Knowing what’s most important to me: integrity, honesty, existing with an open mind and an open heart, and to always be willing to help another. (I.H.Om.Oh.Wh) Things might not be perfect, I may be totally lacking in a particular area of my life. But at least if I am I.H.Om.Oh.Wh I dont forget to love myself and know everything is going to work out.
So ask yourself what is most important to you? What are the bare minimum requirments necessary to love yourself through hard times?
Next, recognize that gnome. I found giving him or her a face, and creating that object helps me tell it to “Fuck off!” Finally I do my best to do what I’m afraid of or what that voice tells me I cant.
What I would love,
if you have the time comment and share with me what your gnome looks like and what it says. And also the qualities you practice every day that you find essential for self esteem. (Punctuality, humility, courageous, compassionate, examples)
I hope my axiom encourages others to name their gnome and strive to achieve greatness.