I have been going to therapy for the last few months now and I have learned quite a few new things about myself. For example, I am a lot more controlling than I thought and many of my issues are due to a feeling of loosing control over a situation. I can’t control the future, so instead I play through every possible scenario in my head to make sure I’m prepared for what’s to come (aka overanalyzing). Most of my issues are settled in the relationship area – those relationships people tend to have with humans or other people (weird, right?), because I cannot control other people. Now, just to be clear, I have not been trying to control people actively, I’ve just been having panic attacks concerning the unpredictability of another person’s actions. So no worries. Anyway, another thing I found out about myself is that I’m not as immune to internalizing self-doubt as I thought. So when I go out, feeling good about myself, feeling pretty, that notion can quickly turn into guilt, because I felt good about myself and surely now everyone must think I’m arrogant – and I am overcome with a sense of being somehow dirty, spoiled. Objectively, I know this is ridiculous. Subjectively it’s a whole other story. I know I would never think that way of another woman (anyone else), but it’s very difficult to apply an objective approach to myself. For that reason I have compiled a list of mantras for myself. They reflect things I struggle with on a daily basis, things that objectively should not be a problem, but they simply are, because I have convinced myself of certain falsehoods. And I hope perhaps they can apply to anyone else as well. Without further ado, here they are (heads up, some of them may seem repetitive, but I wanted to cover as many aspects as possible without getting too detailed):
- Don’t slut-shame yourself, because you would not slut-shame others.
- Everyone is responsible for their own thoughts and actions.
- When you flirt with someone, that can be all that happens. Nothing is sealed or signed, no commitments have to be made or fulfilled.
- The fact that you liked yourself and/or your appearance before you left the house cannot change. It is neither arrogant nor does it decrease your value to feel good about yourself.
- When you take responsibility for other people’s feelings, you deny them their autonomy.
- When you blame yourself (even in part) for another person’s advances (or feel guilty at the thought of any interest they may have in you) you give up ownership of your own body.
- People can have thoughts and urges, they may even think you owe them something. You do not owe them anything, nor are you in any way obligated to fulfil their assumptions or expectations.
Now you may think these mantras are very imperative, very absolute, surely many a situation could come to mind where these mantras ought to be questioned. I know, but for now I need a strong basis, a security net that will be there to catch me when I come into toxic thought land. Once I’ve landed in my net of mantras, regained composure (aka I’m no longer freaking out), I can think logically and evaluate any given situation when the time comes (that’s the idea, anyway).
My aim to read them every morning before I do anything else has sort of…not quite…worked. I think I ought to shift it to the evening when I am actually aware of what’s going on around me.
So those are the affirmations. Feel free to leave a comment. There are personal affirmations, so you may disagree with some of them, that’s fine too.
Image source: http://www.masterfile.com/search/en/forced+smile