Monday, August 29, 2011

Loving you...

Some of you may already know that as I write this I am creating new life in my body- I am pregnant- and very excited.  Although I have been quite sick, which is why there was such a delay in writing my blog, I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude and love that I wanted to share with all of you.

One of the many issues I work on with my clients is the topic of loving yourself.  At first when I bring this up many people aren't certain of what I mean or even how to begin this seemingly arduous task.  I often explain that we each have a little child in us that needs love and every time we put that child last or put that child down in any way we are causing more damage to ourselves.  Often times loving yourself will make you feel guilty or selfish at first, but it is a necessity that I like to refer to as self-fullness.  It's not about taking away from or hurting anyone else- in fact, if we give to ourselves first we are far better able to take care of others!

I too struggled for a very long time with this issue.  I was so concerned about the needs of others I always put myself last and never gave myself the love I really needed.  This led to a lot of problems for me because I didn't speak up when I was hurt or angry as I never wanted to burden anyone with how I was feeling.  Although I was the first to be there as support for anyone who needed it, I never allowed that for myself-  partly because I felt I wasn't important enough.  It brings tears to me as I write this and I think about others who may be struggling with this issue.  It also brings me to tears to think of the idea of my own child ever feeling this way.  Being able to give life is one of the most amazing gifts in the world for so many reasons.  I want my children to go through life knowing that they are wanted and loved and how important and special they are.  The truth is though, that it doesn't just stop with my own children- it continues on with each of you.  Not all of us had a parent(s) or caregiver(s) who gave us unconditional love and positive regard.  Many of us have struggled and been hurt in more ways than one can ever even imagine.  After a while you may have begun to question your own self-worth.

Being a therapist I have heard horror stories of abuse from both children and adults that make my heart break.  What hurts the most is to see how much this abuse has scarred and damaged these individuals into a place of distrust, anger, sadness and most often self- hatred.  I am writing this because I want you to know that you matter and you are important- who ever and where ever you are.  I also want you to know that your life doesn't always have to be this way.  But you have to take a stand and begin with one foot in front of the other.  You need to break the path that others have created for you. This is not an easy task I know.  We blind and numb ourselves in so many ways through so many addictions or self-defeating behaviors.  I'm asking you to take off those blinders and take a different path towards love and positivity.  Start to surround yourself with positive, loving people. Find a therapist who will support you and help you to see the beauty that lies with-in you; start saying positive affirmations to yourself;  limit the time you spend with negative and abusive people; visit people. places and things that inspire you; do something nice for yourself; eat healthy and exercise.  There are so many things that you can begin to do today to start loving yourself.  You deserve so much more from 
My photos that have a creative commons license...Image via Wikipedialife- you deserve to be happy.

And if you do have children, please know that how you treat them and the words you speak to them have a huge impact on how they will feel about themselves for the rest of their lives.  Another important note here is that how you treat yourself and what you model for your children will also greatly affect and impact them. If you want them to truly love themselves- you have to truly love yourself!

Sending you lots of love,

Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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