Treat Yourself With Tender Respect

Show Yourself Tender Respect

When my PTSD is upon me, I feel no confidence in myself or my ability to do anything significant.  I am constantly amazed by the praise I receive for the books I have published.  I also fear that if I write what is really close to my soul, it will be rejected and ridiculed.

My very intelligent, widely read therapist has read my books and been amazed by them.  The woman who sits in her office is hard to connect with the “brilliant” books she has read.  As I leave for this time in Florence where I will be working on my “Crazy Ladies” book, she has given me two mantras that my husband has designed and printed out for me to tape above my computer.  They say “I have confidence in my competence” and “Be a Star Thrower.”

My PTSD has essentially robbed me of my confidence.  This, as I have mentioned in former blogs, is why I am going away for three weeks.  My confidence will spring to the fore when there is no one to “take care of me.”  It is there.  I know deep down that I am an essentially competent human being. I just need to step back into that version of myself.  I cannot write if I am not feeling competent.  So how do I switch gears?  By turning into my writer-self.  And how do I do that?  With writing exercises.  This is one of the ways I show myself that I can write well.  I must tap into my right brain (no pun intended).  I take a trigger, and write for twenty minutes without stopping.  It is like a violinist doing her scales.  Then the world disappears.  My PTSD disappears.  I escape into a place where my right brain delights me with its insights and creations.  By doing this, I am respecting myself.  I am having confidence in my competence as a writer.

What is a “star thrower?”  The expression refers to a tale of a man who was picking up starfish on the beach and throwing them back into the water.  Another man approached and said, “You can’t possibly save all the starfish on this beach.”  The star thrower replied, “I can save some, and that is better than none.”

How does this tale relate to us?  What we accomplish has meaning. We need to give ourselves credit for the significant things we do, especially handicapped as we are by our disorder.  Anything good or substantial that we do is better than doing nothing!

We should respect our bodies by treating them carefully and well.  Eat right.  Get enough sleep.  Exercise.  Buy yourself something attractive, even if it’s just a new tie or scarf.  You are worth it!

God loves you.  Shouldn’t you love yourself?  As the saying goes “He doesn’t make junk.”

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