Her Self love: Well…it’s me. I’m dating myself!
What about me? It isn’t fair
I’ve had enough now I want my share
Can’t you see? I want to live
But you just take more than you give
(Moving Pictures, 1982)
These classic song lyrics resonate with so many of us. I remember thinking this when I found myself without a job and broke, forced to sell my house, car, shares – all because someone I trusted had put me in a bad financial situation. I had to sell everything to pay off debt – some of the debt wasn’t even mine!
So many times I said to myself, ‘It isn’t fair, I’ve had enough now I want my share.’ It’s a human default position to blame difficult times on the actions of someone else. To believe that it’s all their fault and we wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for them.
This is usually followed with the ‘beat up’ and self recrimination. We say to ourselves, ‘I should have known better’, ‘I should never have trusted him’, ‘I’m smarter than this’. Does any of this sound familiar?
There seems to be a common pattern that I follow, and I have noticed friends do too, when ‘stuff’ happens. It’s almost like a grieving process on our journey to a happier time. In my experience it goes something like this:
Disbelief and confusion: How could he have done that? What does this mean for me and my future? How can I support my kids when I can’t support myself? I’m such a failure.
Anger and betrayal: A few swear words may or may not have been said! That feeling of wanting to get even, determined to not be beaten. Many times I reminded myself, ‘I am strong and can deal with anything. I have the whole universe working with me.’ That helped a little but didn’t change the reality.
- Hurt and tears: Lack of understanding how someone could make such an impact on my life when I’m a nice person and I’d never treat someone like that. Trying to understand his reasoning for the decisions he made, trying to understand my own part in this.
- Realising the implications of the situation: Ok, get a grip. This is how things are now, so how am I going to move forward? Being angry isn’t helping me get back on my feet. I don’t want to be a bitter and twisted woman.
- Victim thoughts: This is where those song lyrics come back, along with the feelings of shame, embarrassment and disappointment for allowing this to happen. If I’m honest there was probably a bit of self destruction going on at this point. I couldn’t see how things would ever be better. I was always going to struggle, be poor, never trust anyone and I never wanted to date or have a partner again – ever. Poor me, it isn’t fair!
- Blaming and shaming: Throwing blame in his direction and perceiving him as being 90 per cent responsible for where I was. I felt as though I’d been taken advantage of and control over my life had been taken from me. Now, I was at the tricky bit. I could recognise the victim behaviours and the blame mentality were leading me to think, choose and make decisions from weakness not strength. I was living in a state of ‘lack’.
- Knight in shining armour: Being in such a down state, I yearned for someone to save me and fix things. Maybe a friend would sort out the legal issues for me, or maybe I’d win some money. Subconsciously, I was thinking that if I just ignored the situation for long enough, somehow it would be sorted out for me. Well guess what? My knight didn’t show up, I didn’t win money, and the problems were still there.
- Time to take back my power: I have always been very self reflective and self aware. Part of my business is mentoring clients and empowering them to use the tools they already have within them to deal with different situations – I knew I could do the same thing for myself.
I reminded myself that ten per cent of life is what happens to us, and 90 per cent is how we react. I chose to use my brain to work out a solution, even though I was very fearful of how to move forward. I was frozen with fear some days. I had to face some unpleasant tasks, deal with people I would have preferred to avoid, speak my truth, be assertive, navigate financial and legal issues and more. None of it was easy or fun.
Slowly though, I began to see just how strong I was. My women friends became my cheerleaders and sounding boards. I went to business networking events and met some amazing people who had also dealt with difficulty and risen above it. I began to do more public speaking gigs with different audiences, customising the topics so the messages related to them.
Most importantly, I began to see ‘me’ and I realised I quite liked who I was.
During those few years of riding a rollercoaster of emotions, I hadn’t given myself time to enjoy life. Now, I wanted to go out into the world. I was ready. So I decided to date. I thought I still had a reasonable figure and looked ok, had a lot to offer, enjoyed lots of activities and loved to laugh.
Unexpectedly, I met this amazing person. We went to the movies, out to dinner, on camping trips and picnics. This summer we will go snorkelling and spend a lot of time at the beach – all the things I used to before the rollercoaster ride.
The person I met is a lot like me. I feel appreciated, loved, wanted, respected and I look forward to our dates. I don’t feel alone anymore. It’s wonderful. I’ve found love!
So who did I meet? Well…it’s me. I’m dating myself!
I’m showering myself with self love and appreciation. I give myself time, care and consideration. I choose to use positive words when I describe myself. I tell myself how smart I am and I share my knowledge and skills openly.
I give gratitude every day for the little, wonderful things in my life, like the washing machine that washes my clothes, the candle that smells divine, the dog who is always happy to see me, the sun on my face, the coffee in my cup – the simple things.
But most of all I give gratitude for me. I love me. I’m so glad I have met myself again because I’m pretty awesome! The anger has gone, and although the thoughts and actions of the victim, blamer and martyr sometimes surface again my self love generally keeps them under control.
I have found my change of energy is drawing people to me. Clients seek me out, people smile at me in the street, people want to be around me – and I want to be around me. One day, I might date someone else but right now I am very happy with my date and constant companion – ME!
About the author
Dr Kathy Murray is the passionate founder of Training and Education Services. She is a public speaker, motivator, coach, tertiary lecturer, teacher and advocate for wellness in the workplace and people working respectfully with each other.
About the author