Posts Tagged With: self esteem

Day 1627: Love, Validation

As I was reading the news online this morning, I felt many painful emotions. Then, I saw this headline:

Two-Headed Porpoise Just Wants Love, Validation

And I thought, “That two-headed porpoise is just like us.”

I just want love, validation for these photos I took recently.

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Did you notice any love or validation in those pictures?

I looked for love, validation on YouTube and found this

and this:

I wonder: will there be any love, validation in the comments for this post?

Love, validation, and thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1556: Worth more than gold

Yesterday, I saw a sign that asked a worthy question.

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Who is worth more to you than gold?

My family, friends, patients, and readers are worth more to me than gold.

My trusty iPhone camera, which captures precious moments, is worth more to me than gold.

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Michael‘s cooking and music I love are also worth more to me than gold.

Guess what? Your comments are worth more to me than gold, too.

Worth-more-than-gold thanks to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to you.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1542: Exclamation points!

At one point yesterday morning, I exclaimed, “There’s the topic for my next blog post! Exclamation points!”

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Exclamation points are valuable!

I now exclaim that I saw exclamation points at many points throughout the day!

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I shall now exclaim all these points!

  • I love my work!
  • When things suck, it’s important to remember that you don’t suck!
  • I love Egyptian Licorice Yogi tea!
  • Fear of commitment and fear of failure are very common human fears!
  • I often write helpful phrases up on my white board!
  • I love ice cream!
  • I’ve stopped eating kale because it has so much vitamin K, it screws up my INR blood levels!
  • I don’t miss kale!
  • I love spring!
  • Spring is here!
  • Today is going to be very cold in Boston!
  • The cold doesn’t bother me when I know it’s going to end soon!
  • I’m not going to have chips and dips on National Chip and Dip day because I’ll be working late leading a therapy group!
  • Yesterday, somebody said to me, “We all say the same thing about you — Ann is a great group leader!”
  • I love compliments!
  • It helps to exclaim positive points because we tend to forget them!
  • I love the Beatles!
  • Help!

I hope you exclaim some points in a comment!

Thanks to all  who helped me create this post and to you — of course!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1500: Mistakes

In the one thousand and five hundred consecutive posts for this daily blog, mistakes have been the main topic at least five times, if I am not mistaken.

You can check for mistakes in previous posts about mistakes here, here, here, and here.

Yesterday, in therapy, somebody was focusing on mistakes.  Make no mistake, lots of people who come to see me for individual or group therapy focus on and feel bad about mistakes.  They often make the common mistake of believing that only they make mistakes every day.

Everybody makes mistakes every day.  Why?  Because we’re human.

Was it a mistake for me to take only four photos yesterday?

 

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I may be mistaken, but I believe that first photo shows people  on their way to yesterday’s victory parade for the New England Patriots. And make no mistake, that last photo shows my boyfriend Michael’s latest victorious meal. Michael was afraid he’d made  mistakes by soaking the monkfish before trying to bread it (unsuccessfully) and then poaching the fish instead.  I thought those “mistakes” resulted in a perfectly delicious meal.

When I look at the news these days, I can get upset about what I see as other people’s mistakes. Sometimes I make the common mistake of forgetting that the only behaviors I can control are my own.

It’s never a mistake for me to look for music on YouTube I want to share.

What are your thoughts and feelings about mistakes?

Time for me to end this post so I can make more mistakes!

No mistake: I am grateful for Michael, my work, my blog, patriots of all kind,  Amanda Joy, good food, the opportunity to make mistakes, and — of course! — you, my readers.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1229: Self ____

How would you — self motivated to read this blog — fill in this self centered blank?

Self  ___

Do you have the self control to fill in that self fulfilling blank, before you read the rest of this self possessed post?

If that is not self sufficient, I self consciously include some self referential guessing music.

 

Self endowed, now,  with an answer for self ____?

Yesterday, I had the self confidence to facilitate two self started therapy groups.

The first group had the self awareness to self protect with the topic “Self Care.”

The second group had the self esteem to self select the topic “Self Love.”

Here is my most recent self generated photo:

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Doesn’t Oscar look self satisfied?

I now have the self preservation to notice that other self generated photos from yesterday could provide self contained captions for Oscar’s self satisfaction.

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Want some “Self Esteem” from The Offspring?

Speaking of offpsring, I shall now demonstrate self pride by self proclaiming that my offspring Aaron has a lead role in a Shakespeare play this weekend.

I hope I’m not self deluded, expecting self expressive comments here.

Self caring thanks for reading today!

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1080: Antidotes

Not since my first few months of daily blogging — almost three years ago  — have I used the word “Antidotes” in a post title.

If you have a burning curiosity to read those two early “Antidotes” posts, the antidotes for that are here and here.

I find it odd that I’ve not referenced “Antidotes” more in my blog titles, since antidotes are

1.a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc.
2.something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects.

Yesterday, in individual and group therapy sessions, people came up with several valuable antidotes, including:

  •  realizing that a worst fear is often unlikely to come true, since we are consciously and unconsciously working to prevent that,
  • increasing self-esteem by seeing oneself through the eyes of a beloved pet,
  • letting go of internalized harsh judgments about personal appearance,
  • imagining anxiety-provoking thoughts and images attached to balloons that float away,
  • affirmations of self-worth, and
  • realizing that traumas of the past are in the past and NOT in the here and now.

I wonder if the thirteen photos I snapped yesterday are antidotes for anything.

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Here’s a possible antidote for my nervousness about trying out for The Voice in February: “singing” is the only antidote that appears twice in the lists of “What Helps” on the walls of my office.

What antidotes do you find helpful?

Here’s an all-purpose antidote for what ails us:  gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 225: Reasons why I should move to Edinburgh, Scotland

Reason #1:  Because humor is really important to me.

After spending just one full day in Edinburgh, I saw lots of evidence that this place would be a good match for my personal sense of humor.

For example, I like a good pun:

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I really appreciate visual humor, too:

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Also, my son and I went to several comedy shows yesterday, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, (and we plan to go to more today).  By far, the funniest person we saw yesterday was Tom Joyce, apparently a non-professional comic and student at Edinburgh University.

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I want to say these things about Tom, after seeing him perform yesterday:

  1. Tom’s humor appeals to many ages. My 15-year-old son and I both started laughing as soon as Tom started his set and we didn’t stop until he did.
  2. Tom was very smart.
  3. I’ve never seen anybody quite like him, and I’ve seen a lot of comedy shows.
  4. Another time I had a thought like #3, above, was after seeing Steven Wright in a local Boston comedy club, when he was starting out in the late 1970s.
  5. People in Edinburgh must be REALLY funny, because Tom tied for 1st place as Edinburgh University Stand Up of The Year, 2013.

Reason #2: People in Edinburgh seem to be very modest.

After the comedy review show where we saw Tom yesterday, which included comics performing on their own during the festival, Tom was very gracious as he told us the disappointing news that he did not have his own show at the Fringe. When we asked Tom his last name, and told him how much we admired his act, he was kind and appreciative, but also wanted us to know, “I’m not really famous.”

And, nobody mentioned Tom’s recent stand-up award; we had to find that out by googling him.

I’ve seen other evidence, in Edinburgh, that the people can be quite humble here. And even though I’ve written, previously, about how bragging can be a good thing to practice (especially if you are working on self-esteem issues), I still value authentic humility and modesty.

Here’s more evidence of that, in Edinburgh, where people recognize the value of the little things:

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Reason #3:  There are so many amazing things to look at.

I wrote about photo opportunities in London, a few days ago. And while London is a truly beautiful city,  in Edinburgh every moment is a photo opportunity.  Here are just a few of the ones I was able to capture yesterday (in reverse chronological order):

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I wanted to end with that last image, above, because of my final reason, this morning:

Reason # 4: If you look more closely at anything in Edinburgh, you’re likely to see something else.

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Thanks to Tom Joyce, to the other wonderful people who live in Edinburgh, and to you, for looking today.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 202: Looks

I went to my 43rd high school reunion last night.

Here are some random thoughts about that.

When I entered junior high school (from a really small, religion-based elementary school), I knew very few of the over 200 people in my new class.

I started junior high school the year after my whole world turned around — when I had my first cardiac pacemaker implanted (on the same day that John F. Kennedy was shot, which turned everybody else’s world around, too).

I didn’t know many people in my 7th grade class. Nevertheless, I remember being happy to be entering that big world of more diverse, interesting people. I remember observing people, with fascination and with gratitude to be there among them.

It felt like an adventure and a relief, in a way.

Some people were kinder than others back then. 13-year-old kids aren’t very far along in the process of developing empathy to others. (Developing empathy is a growth process in human beings, which sometimes gets short circuited by unfortunate circumstances.)

But for the most part, I remember a lot of people who showed kindness to me. And I could have been a prime target for bullying — (1) I was unfamiliar to lots of people and (2) I had a medical condition that a lot of people knew about. (Because cardiac pacemakers were so new, and because the one I had implanted was so big and stuck so far out, the doctors thought I needed to wear a brace and leave early from class, with somebody carrying my books for me.)

But I only got bullied by one person and it was pretty mild (even though I did witness, at times, other people getting bullied worse, which was awful).

I had a lot of great experiences, learning to know the people in the class, as we grew from ages 13 through 18.

One thing I remember feeling bad about for most of those years of junior high and high school?

My looks.

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Not sure why I felt so bad, in retrospect. Actually, I can guess:

  • I didn’t look like the models of good looks I saw everywhere in the media.
  • The guys in junior high and high school didn’t seem interested in me, that way.
  • I had this weird pacemaker sticking out of my body, which affected how I felt about myself.

Last night, at the reunion, some of the guys told me that they were interested in me, back then.

Why didn’t they let me know when we were in school together?

Because they thought I wouldn’t go out with them. They had lots of reasons why they thought I might reject THEM. I was very surprised to hear that.

I think a lot of people hear stories like that — and other surprising stories — when they go to a reunion.

That’s the end of the blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to people from my high school, everybody who ever felt insecure in school, and — if that doesn’t cover everybody reading today — the rest of you, too.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 152: Weighty Matters

Oh, brother. (Oh, sister, too.)

This topic does feel like a weight — on my shoulders and in my gut.

And the topic is …. weight.  How much we weigh.

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Arrrghhhh!

This is SUCH a loaded topic.

There are so many aspects to it.

Body image.

Self worth.

Health.

Societal messages.

The value of women.

The value of human beings.

Stereotypes and prejudices.

Nutrition.

Food addiction.

Family dynamics.

Advertising.

Food-related politics and policies.

National, cultural, and historical differences in attitudes towards food and weight.

Etc. etc. etc.

(You may want to add to that list, depending upon your experience with this topic.)

Here’s my major point, this morning.  All these different thoughts — small and large — floating around in my brain, are inspired by something so trivial … that feels so huge to me:

I weigh more, today, than I ever have in my life.

And it’s difficult for me to feel as valuable and “okay,” once having noticed that.

Which makes me mad, especially since  I’ve worked with so many people, over the years, about cultivating self-esteem divorced from appearance, including weight.

So I’m taking the first step, right now, of naming my observation, my confusion, and my reactions.

That’s the beginning of my process — of moving forward, wherever that takes me.

Thank you for reading and witnessing (wherever you are, with all this).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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