Posts Tagged With: self esteem

Day 2388: The black hole

Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.

That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.

My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

The black hole can feel huge.

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It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.

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It can turn us into stress balls.

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It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.

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It can interfere with our leadership.

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It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.

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It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.

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It can make us avoid parties and other social events.

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It can make us feel lost.

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It can make us want to duck and hide.

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The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …

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… and blind us to the beauty all around us.

 

Here‘s “That Old Black Hole” by Dr. Dog.

 

The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.

Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2241: Hello, beautiful

Hello, beautiful.

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How does that affect you, for somebody to call you beautiful?  What would happen if you called yourself beautiful?

Let’s try that again.

Hello, beautiful. On our beautiful flight to Disney World last week, I wrote a new song called “What Are Other People Thinking About You?” which included this lyric:

What are other people thinking about you?

That is something you will never know.

Then why not assume they’re thinking you’re gorgeous,

Smart, and someone they would want to know.

When I looked at those lyrics yesterday in the harsh, cold light of Boston, I realized I could make them more beautiful if I didn’t rhyme “know” with “know.”

Hello, beautiful. Here are my other beautiful photographs from yesterday:

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My beautiful boyfriend Michael, who made that beautiful Portobello Burger last night, often says these beautiful words:

It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.

And since you’re always with yourself, why not enjoy the  beautiful company?

Searching YouTube for “Hello beautiful Minnie Mouse” found this beautiful match for today’s post about song lyrics and other beautiful topics:

Hello, beautiful.  Thanks for reading today’s post and if you leave a comment, that would be beautiful.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2212: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted and posed the question: “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”

Was that called for, to invite people to remember the worst thing they had ever been called?  I believe that if we expose and share the worst thing we have ever been called, we can

Now, somebody may call me out and ask, “Ann, what if the worst thing that anybody ever called me IS true?”  If  there is truth in it, you can decide what you want to do about it. However, in all my years of asking this question, and people answering

  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • worthless,
  • crazy,
  • selfish,
  • fat,
  • ugly,
  • incapable, and
  • other harsh, hurtful,  and over-generalized judgments,

I have seen no helpful truth there.

We could do worse than examine today’s photos for worst things we’ve been called.

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Has anyone ever called you despicable, including yourself?

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Has anybody ever called you gross? Artificial?

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Has anybody ever called you out for  hanging on for too long?

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Has anybody ever called you weird-looking?  Scary?  Too starey?  Too expressive?   Too transparent?

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Has anybody ever called you an ass? Too distant?

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Has anybody ever called you too spacy?

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Has anybody ever called you foolish?  Greedy?  Not knowing what’s good for you?

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Has anybody ever called you vain?  Up-tight?

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Has anybody ever called you pushy?  Has anybody ever told you you’re not doing enough with your life?

 

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Has anybody called you thoughtless?  A doormat? Catty?  A baby?

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Has anybody ever called you a psychopath?

I’m working on a song called “Don’t Call Me” (and I’ve called out the lyrics here). Before I can call that song finished, here’s “Call Me” by Blondie.

Also, I found “The Worst Thing You’ve Been Called” on YouTube, which shows the same exercise I’ve done in my therapy groups.

I call that effective.

Now’s the time I call for comments.

I’ve never been called ungrateful (at least to my face). Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1802: Beautiful/Ugly

Yesterday, beautiful people in a therapy group talked about feeling ugly.

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I suggested that people practice looking in a mirror and saying “I’m beautiful,” even when feeling ugly.   Especially when feeling ugly.

A few years ago,  I published the post Day 581: Ann’s Beauty Tips. In ugly times, I think it’s even more important to realize one’s own beauty.

Do you find any of my other photos from yesterday beautiful and/or ugly?

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Here’s ugly and beautiful music on YouTube:

No matter how ugly or beautiful you’re feeling, any comment you write will be beautiful to me.

Beautiful thanks to all who helped me create this Beautiful/Ugly post and — of course! — to beautiful you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1785: _____ like no one is watching

I’ve blogged like no one is watching about self consciousness and how it affects self esteem, like here.

What would you like to do  like no one is watching?

Dance?

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Walk outside?

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Sleep?

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Look at greeting cards?

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Watch YouTube videos  (which somebody’s watching here , here and here)?

Please write a comment  like no one is watching, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post like no one was watching and — of course! — to YOU, for watching.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1746: Appropriate

Is it appropriate for me to tell you that I’ve never written a blog post with the word “appropriate” in the title before? It is appropriate to reveal the inspiration for today’s title?

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That’s a sign for a parking lot where I work. I don’t park there. Does that mean I’m not appropriate?

When I read the news these days, I see a lot of inappropriate behavior, which contributes to my  sense of chaos. Is it appropriate to ask whether we can agree on what behaviors are appropriate?

Are these photos appropriate?

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Is it appropriate to discuss stool/poop in mixed company? Is it appropriate to use the term “mixed company”?  Was it appropriate for Michael and I to both wear that cat head at Target and then not buy it? Is it appropriate for me to share what I write during group therapy sessions about topics like self esteem? Is it appropriate for me to reveal that one of the group members talked about “dumb asses” before I wrote down some thoughts about self esteem?

Is it appropriate for me to bombard my readers with so many questions?

Is it appropriate for me to use this photo to introduce today’s music?

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Please leave an appropriate comment below.

Can we agree that gratitude is an appropriate way to end all of my daily blog posts?

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1663: It’s okay

Several years ago, I participated in a group therapy exercise where we created a personal flag.  I hope it’s okay if I ask what you would put on your personal flag.

Here’s my okay flag:

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Telling myself “it’s okay” helps me deal with a lot, every day.

A few months ago, a more-than-okay person shared a variant of “it’s okay.”

It’ll be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

It’s not the end yet, so here are my other okay pictures for today.

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Here and now, I’m blogging inside that gazebo and let me tell you — IT’S OKAY!

Here‘s some okay music:

 

Thanks to all who helped make this post okay and — of course! — to you. Okay?

 

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 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

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