Tag Archives: therapists in geneseo

What I Like About Myself

By Ellen Edmond

This week I welcome and thank our guest blogger, Ellen Edmond for her insightful narrative. Please enjoy, share, and feel free to comment. And, don’t forget to subscribe (lower right).

Homework?!

Simple request [from my counselor], if I remember: write 10 things I like about myself. And you added, write it in a narrative. Busy week & out of state family still here but will try.

Hmmm, this is more difficult than I thought. It shouldn’t be. I have family and friends…perhaps I focus on taking care of them instead of me?? Well, it’s time for me. Relax, breathe slowly and gently. Enjoy how it feels physically. My shoulders are relaxing, now my tummy. I uncross my legs and think about me…

I can’t change overnight…

I am becoming more patient. I can’t change overnight but I can accept this now. When I start becoming impatient and angry, I am learning to stop and breathe slowly, feeling my shoulders relax. “Patience is a virtue.” 

I have an inner strength/courage, which I sometimes don’t think I have. Who took care of Dad when he was failing, then dying? Who was at his deathbed by herself? And I cherish that moment as Mom left to seek another sister while knowing that’s what Dad wanted her to do. I am still grateful I was there no matter how many tears I shed. I now take care of Mom and relish every good day.

What I like bout myself

I am a good friend. I keep secrets, hate rumors. I cook and bake for them. I listen without interjecting, well, most of the time. 

I try to be an open book; I cannot pretend to be someone I’m not, and I trust others to do/be the same. (I wonder if this is true since apparently I don’t think that much of me as others do.) But I did say “try”.

I am trying hard not to blame myself for things I have no control over. I did not cause the car crash that killed my baby brother. #1…I was only 3 or 4. I did not start World War II. I do not start the fires in California. Absurd!

I know how to throw a good (if not great) party where everyone enjoys themselves. (It’s a talent…) 

I have been managing our budget and our real estate budget (when we had the agency) for years and kept it afloat even with unforeseen financial challenges. This stresses me out. But when one of us is satisfied paying late fees and the other isn’t, then the other had to take over. Now the other, me, is going to share the responsibility. I like being in control but I am learning how good it feels to have someone to share the load.

I am there for our children and their families. So I am a mom, grandma (nana), caretaker, tickler & friend. Our son’s wives call me for advice, to share family moments and activities. They call me Mom.

Ultimately,

I may be feeling weak, but, ultimately, I am strong when I have to be. This homework assignment has become self-reflection and, although I could go on, I won’t. I will continue internally.

Maybe I like myself better than I thought I did. I DO.

Thank you, Ellen!

If you would like to be a guest blogger, please email me your submission at clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com. If you would like to schedule an appiontment, register on the secure portal or call me at (585) 432-0313

Tip #3: Watch out for the “but”

Here is an excellent thought experiment:

Paying attention to every time you hear someone say the word “but.” But, typically negates (cancels out) everything that is said before it.

“I don’t mean to be cruel, but… 

You guessed it, the next thing that is said is going to be, at the least, insulting.

“I am not normally sarcastic, but…”

The real meaning:  Oh, yes, they are!

“I really don’t drink much, but I like to have a drink now and then.”

The real meaning:  Hmmm, it would be interesting to see how much they really drink…

“I love you, but I need my alone time.”

The real meaning:  I don’t love you or love you enough

“I would really like to see you but…”

The real meaning: I don’t want to see you

Of course, there are times when but does not negate. It depends if there is a follow-up question or statement:

“I would really like to see you, but I can’t this week. Can I schedule for next week?”

If you find that you are a “but” user, there are a few things you can do:

1)   Do not make the judgment statement in the first place. Judgments are likely a reflection on you and your self-worth. If you notice that you are a “but” user when making a statement to someone else, what you are doing is deflecting (an emotion defense mechanism) your attention from your internal struggles. 

“I really want to see a counselor, but…”

The real meaning: I am afraid and really don’t want to see myself for who I really am.

2)   If “but” is not a negation, sometimes replacing “but” with “and” can sound better to the receiver:

“I think you did a great job, but there is room for improvement.”

“I think you did a great job and there is room for improvement.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I would like to discuss it more.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I would like to discuss it more.”

I hope you enjoy this thought experiment. Remember, it is essential to practice any mindfulness exercise with compassion toward yourself and others, and without judgment.

Take that next step today! Contact me, Catherine Cleveland, for you in office or online mental health counseling appointment! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com or, make set up your appointment on line