Project-Self: Self-Respect and Self-Worth

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As I live my life and deal with everything being thrown at me, there seems to be this recurring feeling that never really goes away.  Whether it’s on my good days or not so good days, the topics of self-respect and self-worth are front row and center.

For the past few years, I made a commitment to myself to get to know myself better from within.  When you give yourself what you need first, you get it in return.  For example, if you feel you are not getting respect, ask if you respect yourself first.  If you feel like you are not feeling worthy or validated, are you aware of your own worth?  It also works on the flip side.  For example, if you don’t respect yourself, it is difficult to show respect to others.  If you don’t see your own worth, you will not see it in others either.  This is why it’s so crucial to pay attention to how we behave in all our relationships.  So many people give unsolicited advice to friends, family and even strangers on how they should live their lives but when it comes to themselves, they can’t take their own advice.

Ironic?  Absolutely.

So where do we begin?  With ourselves; by realizing we are enough and deserve happy and healthy relationships right from the get-go.  When in doubt, it’s time to have a little pow-wow with self-respect and self-worth to remind us we need to set boundaries with people and sometimes walk away from it all.  Self-compassion plays a huge role when we are struggling through something like this and we can start talking to ourselves the same way we would to a good friend, in a loving and forgiving way that supports our mental and emotional health.  If you are not a priority in someone’s life then why is it ok to be an option?  If that person you are with is not a priority, then why do you keep holding on?  If someone is treating you badly, ask yourself why you keep letting them?  If someone can’t see your worth, make sure that someone isn’t you.  Rise up.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to let go of toxic relationships that only feed your ego and not your soul.  If you are in an unhealthy relationship and know it, ask yourself why are you staying?  What I know for sure, is that I would rather be on my own than with the wrong person.  Life is way too short and wasting time with someone or with yourself is not a good idea.  We all have a choice and whatever you decide, you are responsible for it.  If you want to make a change, then you have to take action because thinking about it won’t change anything.

By taking action, you are showing self-respect and self-worth because you know in your heart you deserve more than what you’re getting and you are honoring your feelings.  Bravo for realizing it because as soon as you do this, the world opens up and the Universe responds by supporting you.  Draw a line in the sand, stand up, say no, walk away, let go, do what you need to do but just make sure you do something that supports YOU.  Speak your truth!

I would like to share a short letter I wrote.  It isn’t for one person but for the collective bunch who try to disrespect any of us and can’t see clearly.

 

“Dear You,

I know you are struggling to pay attention to me, see me for who I am and make me a priority in your life.  I just want you to know, I don’t need your validation because as of now, everything is over and I’m validating myself.  I’m not upset, I’m awake.  I see what I want and need in my life and I know I deserve more because I’m so worth it.  Out of respect, I have to walk away and since this is a one-sided relationship, this doesn’t work for me anymore.  I can no longer sit here looking straight ahead and seeing the past and no future.

All I ever asked was for you to spoil me with loyalty, love, respect, affection, attention, friendship, and great conversation.  I can finance myself just fine.  Apparently, that was asking too much of you.  What is too much for me is waiting, wondering, and wishing for a life that doesn’t exist with you.  It’s too expensive for my mental and emotional health, I am worth so much more than you’ll ever know.  It’s unfortunate that previous relationships poison present ones because when things are not dealt with at the moment, they carry over into the next relationship.  That isn’t fair to either side but it happens all the time.  Future relationships lose their chance of being healthy if nothing changes from within.

Now I realize that sometimes you have to love people from a distance to let them become who they need to be and sometimes you need to love people from a distance so you can be the person you need to be.  I am owning my emotions so I can let them go while moving forward.  Due to the circumstances and as a sign of self-respect, I have to go.  Maybe one day you will realize you hurt the one girl who would never hurt you.

“People will teach you how to love by not loving you back.  People will teach you how to forgive by not apologizing.  People will teach you kindness by their judgment.  People will teach you how to grow by remaining stagnant.  Pay attention when you’re going through painful and mysterious times.  Listen to the wisdom life is trying to teach you.”  ~ Meredith Marple

All the very best to you and thank you for all the life lessons.”

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
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** I hope you are enjoying the Project-Self blogs so far. Thank you to everyone for reading and liking them.  As I write I learn and as I learn I write.  Working on myself is a process but it’s also one I enjoy doing and I hope you do too in your own life ❤

** “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress online bookstore.  I am grateful for all the love from my readers.  Please check out the wonderful reviews people have left on my website 😀

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

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Project Self: Self-Love

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How many of us think self-love is selfish?  It’s a common misconception, and you’re not alone.  There are two ways to love yourself, one being in a toxic, narcissistic way where you don’t have any regard or empathy for others, which disconnects you from others and is not recommended.  The second is a nurturing, protective way of loving yourself that genuinely connects you with others.

While I was navigating a life crisis, my divorce, I suddenly found myself under the microscope.  I realized it was time to accept my imperfections, define my needs in a timely manner and reintroduce myself, to myself.  It’s during times of rumbling and wrestling with our story that turns on the bravery switch inside ourselves.  Instead of running and hiding, it took courage to stay, understand and learn from it, and since I was under the microscope, I had to examine myself.  To know yourself you need to spend time with yourself on the good and bad days.  Own it.  All of it.

That’s when the game changed for me.

All these tasks were not easy to do but needed to be done to be able to live my best life.

Imagine…

The best way I could achieve this was to start loving myself unconditionally in a caring, and kind way that protected me.  I had to realize I was enough and not worry about what other people thought.  To find my own happiness and stop pleasing others.

The first step was to stop beating myself up and start talking to my younger self, the child inside that was hurting and scared.  I used loving words instead of critical ones.  Self-compassion is a form of self-love because as soon as you start talking to yourself like you would with a good friend, and realize we are all human and make mistakes, then you can begin to relax, and get to know yourself for who you are, your values, and love yourself for it.

The second step was to define a need from a want.  For example, we all need food, water, clothing, and shelter.  These are requirements to live day to day.  A want is something that is extra, desired, not necessary but nice.  That list is extremely long for all of us.  When looking at our needs from a self-love perspective, what do you need to love yourself?  Boundaries are a good place to start, followed by self-compassion, and good self-care.  Owning your story instead of blaming others is also essential.

People treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves.  So if we don’t set boundaries with ourselves, then other people will think it’s ok to walk all over us.  The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you are going to tolerate.  This is also a form of self-respect which is another upcoming blog in this series.

It’s common to love many things outside ourselves like different foods, movies, cars, homes, careers, and more, but as soon as you hold up a mirror, what do you feel?  Disgust, fear, shame, guilt?  Or do you feel proud, grateful, accepting and happy?  Are you at the top of your love list, somewhere in the middle or didn’t realize you even had a spot on this list?

What do you practice? Fear or self-love?  Do you ask, “What will people think?”  or say “I am enough.”

What would it take for you to love yourself more?  Try to think of 3 ways you can practice more self-love in your own life.

Ways I found self-love:

*Rebuilding relationships workshop with Diane Valiquette.  This is one of the best workshops I’ve ever taken where she says the most rewarding and powerful relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.  It also sets the tone for all your future relationships with others.  That is the truth!

*Writing, reading books, exercising, eating well, listening to music, mindfulness, accepting my imperfections, self-forgiveness, spending quality time with friends and family and asking for help.

I’ve learned it’s best to ask for what you need instead of hoping someone will notice.  You are in charge of your own life and if you don’t speak up, then nobody will know what you’re thinking and you are to blame for not saying anything.  Plain and simple.  By asking for what you need means you love yourself enough to fill those needs.  If you are still not getting your needs met, after trying everything, that’s when you can walk away and say “This doesn’t work for me anymore.”  This in itself is an act of self-love.  Of course, it’s not easy because relationships aren’t easy, but your peace and happiness are worth it, therefore, take the time to practice self-love.  The more you love yourself, the less fear you will feel.

Since this re-introduction to myself, I am no longer the same person I was before, which is a good thing.  I am stronger and more courageous than ever, aware of my needs, and aware of what I can and will not tolerate in my life.  Self-love is an ongoing process and I am committed to it each and every day because it’s at the top of my list.

What about you? ❤

**Note to self:  “Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there”  ~ Rumi

 

Much Love and Self-Love ❤

Jen
XO

***I hope you are enjoying the “Project-Self” blog series so far.  Stay tuned for more…

***All my gratitude to everyone who bought, borrowed, read, reviewed, liked, and shared my book with others.  The feeling of joy is bursting out of me each day!  Pick up your copy of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” at online bookstores worldwide or at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy First Birthday WWL!

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Happy 1st Birthday to Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak!!!

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Well, here we are, exactly one year later after my book release and I am SO amazed at the positive response!!  Each day teaches me the power of words, the power of positivity, the power of friends and family, the power of love and courage, the power of resilience and determination, the power of empowerment, the power of moving forward; even if you are crawling you are still moving.  The power of taking action, the power of reframing your situation so that it serves you, the power of self-awareness, self-care, self-respect, self-love, self-compassion, and ultimately, the power of forgiveness which is the toughest lesson of all, but I am living proof it can begin with the right attitude.

Judging others, blaming or being a victim is the easy way out and keeps you stuck. Taking responsibility for your own life is why we are all here and sets you free.  It’s been a process of lessons learned and to this day I am learning even more while making mistakes but this means I am evolving as a person and I am extremely grateful for the amazing friends I have.  My kids have seen me through thick and thin and I could have never done this without you guys, I love you from the bottom of my heart ❤  All my gratitude to you both!!

Today is giveaway day and I’ll be contacting 2 lucky winners with love and gratitude ❤ Thank you to everyone for all your huge support, and never forget…

~ Dare to live courageously…

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

** Copies are available for purchase at all online bookstores worldwide and at the FriesenPress Bookstore.  Thank you 🙂

These Times They Are A Changin’

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Some of the major benefits of living in Canada are the changes in season.  Like many fellow Canadians, the weather is on our minds 24/7 and we talk about it any chance we can get, like standing in the elevator with strangers, talking to our neighbors, or even at the grocery checkout while stocking up on pop and Doritos.

What I have come to realize is that our spiritual connection to Mother Nature is linked to many of life’s answers right in our own backyard.  The four seasons in Canada are different but temporary, just like our emotions or life situations.  They happen whether we want them to or not and every year they can seem easier or more difficult, it depends on your perspective.  How we react to them is what counts.  Even the cold or rainy season eventually comes to an end and that’s when warm sunny days are here again.  The opposite is also true.

Nothing lasts forever; everything is temporary.

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You would think that with all this change and adjustment to change, we would be pretty darn good at it by now, but are we?  Why is it that we resist change so much when it could be viewed as something beautiful with many possibilities and opportunities instead?  Fear of the unknown is very controlling and can make our imagination run wild with unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that we end up standing in our own way.  Even worse if we make decisions based on imaginary thoughts without the facts, that’s just careless.

We create our own roadblocks.

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I for one, am not a fan of winter and every October when I see the beautiful colored maple leaves falling from the trees, I know the snow is right around the corner in November and can last for 6 months onward.  Instead of complaining about it, I need to see the opportunities it can bring like going cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or sipping something interesting beside a warm cozy fire.  Winter in itself is another spiritual connection because, after a difficult snowstorm, things look beautiful again because change has taken place.  It’s another reminder for me to go with the flow…in the snow.

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Being grateful for what I have has changed my perspective on life quite a bit.  Even though I lost so much through a divorce, I believe it has made me a better person in the end because I took my own responsibilities and made the necessary changes that were in dire need to be changed, for me and my kids.  This is not an easy process nor am I finished with it yet but I am focusing my attention on what I have so I can have more of it.  I am liking this changing game because I’m growing and learning more about myself.

There’s no point in resisting change because let’s face it, no matter what, these times they are a-changin’

Much Love and Happy Thanksgiving,

Jen ❤

**All photos are my own taken in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

PS:  Thank you to everyone for all your support with my book Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak.  Things are going very well!   I really enjoyed the book launch, book signings, interaction with people and their book reviews!  If you are interested in leaving a review, please feel free to comment here or send me an email at jgreenwinningwhilelosing@gmail.com

I will add it to my website or you can also write a review at Goodreads or the online bookstore where you purchased it.  Copies are available at all online bookstores worldwide.

If you missed the TV episode of my interview on How To Heal From Divorce, you can watch it on the Facebook page Rogers tv Ottawa, Cable 22.  We are a group of women discussing healing and coping techniques so people don’t feel so alone.

All my gratitude to you,

Dare to live courageously…

 

 

 

The Butterfly Emerges

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“How do you become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”  ~ Trina Paulus

Author and cancer survivor Mark Nepo says the things we hold dear in our hearts like a relationship, an identity, a dream or an ambition acts like a cocoon.  When the butterfly emerges, the cocoon has served its purpose.  It doesn’t mean it’s false, it means it served its purpose just as everything in life serves as a purpose.  Therefore our relationships, identities, dreams and ambitions are often cocoons that lead us to the next.  The problem is when we are so attached to these relationships, identities, dreams and ambitions, we come in conflict when it breaks or falls away that we don’t see what it’s opened us up to.

Have you ever been in a relationship or a situation that has served its purpose and you know in your heart it’s time to surrender and let go?  It hurts to even think about it breaking away or never returning.  We’ve all been there.  Just the angst of making that decision to leave can be the biggest struggle of our lives just as the caterpillar struggles in becoming a butterfly inside the cocoon.  This inner process takes time and all the work that is being done is from within, it just needs the time and space to do this on its own.  Similarly, we need to work from within to find our inner strength and make changes in our own lives. After having gone through this struggle, not only does it make you stronger, it transforms you.  Like the butterfly, when you finally emerge from the cocoon and come out on the other side after having made that decision, you are so powerful and beautiful.  The cocoon which represents a relationship or situation has now served its purpose.  It is time to surrender and let go.  This process cannot be rushed, nor can anyone do this inner work for you.  For an observer, as difficult as it may be to stand back watching and waiting for this final moment to happen, you must be patient and let nature take its course.  Even the sun and rain support the process which can represent our own support systems like friends and family, we are all connected.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives to emerge us into the next great opportunity.  They strengthen us, connect us and can even make us fly.  I have learned freedom from struggling and I am very grateful for this teacher.   ~ J.J.

WHAT IS YOUR I.Q. IN EMOTIONAL MATHEMATICS?

Who here loves math?  Who here loves emotions?  Well, did you know that the two of them can go hand in hand and can either set us free or hold us back in life?  Please allow me to explain.  You become what you believe-not what you wish for or want, but what you truly believe.  Wherever you are in your life, check out your beliefs because they put you there.

I have come across several people in my lifetime who are pretty upbeat and positive and see the glass as half full.  Then there are others who continually play the victim even when things are going well for them and yet they only see the glass as half empty or sadly, empty.  Why is that?  It’s because of an emotional equation that keeps repeating itself over and over again.  OK, pencils and erasers ready:      Let’s think negative for only a moment.  If there is something new you would like to do in your life but you think and believe that you will never make it or that you are not worthy or good enough, then this will become your focus.  What you focus on which is that you are not good enough will morph into your intention which then becomes “I’m a failure.”  You haven’t given yourself a chance and you are already failing in your own mind.  Seems pretty harsh doesn’t it?  By setting your intention, this is what you focus on which will become your reality, failure.  So what your thoughts, beliefs, focus and intentions are, becomes your reality.  Here is the emotional mathematical equation:  Thoughts x Beliefs x Focus x Intention = Reality. 

Now let’s take a positive spin with the same equation.  Someone would like to change careers and they really think that they are capable and deserving of a life that is full of happiness and excitement.   Of course they are scared but they believe they have all the skills necessary to do what is required to move forward in their lives.  Therefore, moving forward and doing what needs to be done becomes their focus.  They act like a fearless warrior taking on challenges and conquering fears that stand in their way and not letting them get the best of their mindset.   They are happy and grateful.  Their intention is that they will do anything to live their best life with passion and flair.  Suddenly, their reality is that they have new doors and windows opening up for them that they never imagined before and their sense of happiness has soared which attract other people.  (Law of Attraction for all you physics people…)  Their reality just landed them a new career.  The same emotional mathematical equation was used here but with different attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, focus, intention and reality.  Where do you fall in these examples?

Sometimes we arrive on the scene in the middle of this equation by witnessing an individual who is extremely focused on something whether it is positive or negative and we ask ourselves, “wow, he/she is so focused on….What is behind all that?”  What is behind it are their thoughts and beliefs, fuelling the fire.  If it is a negative thought and belief, the good news is that it can be transformed into a positive one if realized in time and more importantly, if the person wants to change their thoughts and beliefs.

So where does it all begin and end?  It begins with your thoughts and beliefs period.  It all depends on how you set out to tackle a situation.  How it unfolds is a reflection of your focus and intention.  Therefore, you cannot blame anyone for your reality which is essentially where it all ends.  Just as our beliefs can move us forward, they can also hold us back.  Why not choose to be happy and loving instead of fearful and full of doubts?  We are in charge of our own lives it’s up to us to not only find what fills our hearts, but how.  Happy studying and here’s to the glass half full!   Cheers!      -JJ