Speaking Up

I mentioned I had a breakthrough yesterday. My counsellor said so many things that resonated clearly.

One of the saddest things she said was that my self-criticism was a form of self-harm. I had never thought of it that way before. But she said that listening to me dismiss and belittle my needs and my emotions was akin to watching me cut myself. She said she hated to watch it.

Other people have said similar things before (why are you so hard on yourself? etc), but nothing struck home like the self-harm analogy because I have often wondered how anyone could do that to themselves. Why would anyone inflict pain on themselves by choice? Guess what … now I understand.

So today I spoke up. I was upset but I would normally have buried my feelings just to make sure I didn’t upset anyone else. Today, I recognized that they were valid feelings and I expressed them. Maybe not well. Maybe not completely. Maybe not even adequately. But I took my first stumbling steps towards honesty.

And you know what? The sky didn’t fall. The person I was talking to didn’t really understand what I was saying (it’s always my big fear – that I can’t express myself clearly enough) but my feelings were acknowledged and accepted anyway, and the sky didn’t fall. Our relationship continued on as it always has.

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PS: I’m late posting this because we had an Internet outage last night. I finished the picture and the post, but couldn’t share them.

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2 thoughts on “Speaking Up

  1. Janice Price

    Hi Louise, First let me say how much I enjoy your art. I so admire how consistent your “selfies” are, even with all the different media and drawing methods. But even more I really appreciate how courageous you are to be sharing the emotion that goes along with each of the portraits. Self-criticism is a difficult thing for all of us. I hate to thing of the things I’ve not done during my life (and I just turned 69) because my inner critic was saying, “Who are you kidding, you can’t do that.” Slowly I am getting better at pushing it back and saying’ Yes I can.” And I hope the same for you. I am attaching a link to a YouTube video that is done by a young women named Melissa Alexandria. I’ve been following her videos for some time and find that she seems to be very wise for a person of such a young age. Anyway, if you’re interested and have the time, the message is related to the message in your blog post today.

    Best regards, Janice

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    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks Janice. I love that. It really helped – especially the idea that by keeping quiet, you are telling yourself that you don’t matter. Very true.

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