Monday, 9 November 2009

I'm worth it, your worth it, we're all worth it!

One of the things I feel passionate about is the need for us all to self soothe.
Of course we all do it in various ways, but most of them are not caring or constructive. They are abusive and destructive.

Think about it; it's been a tough day, you get to the point when you can put your feet up, and what do you reach for? Well the two biggies are alcohol and food. I'm not talking about a glass of wine drank leisurely with a meal eaten at a table here. I'm talking about the bag of chips mindlessly stuffed into our mouths whilst staring aimlessly at the TV. Or the glass of booze that doesn't even touch the sides as it goes down, and it takes the second or third to actually hit the spot.

These are the most commonly used ways to make ourselves feel better at the end of a day. But in using food this way we are forgetting what food is actually for. Food keeps us alive, without it, we will die. So it is a vital component of our life experience. And yet we treat it so badly. People don't eat mindfully enough, that is making an event of each life giving meal.

No people eat for many reasons other than life. They eat cause they are bored, angry, sad, lonely, depressed, hurting. None of which are good reasons to eat at all. And this is not including people who actually have an eating disorder, who have complex psychological reasons as to why they use food as such a destructive force in their lives.

But I'm not focusing on food here, what I want to look at is finding nicer/better/ healthier ways to self soothe.

Self soothing is about learning to like ourselves, to believe we are worth something. To not put ourselves in the position to be taken for granted. This is another identifiable chicken and egg thing here. People, and it is mainly women, stop having self esteem. And in so doing they hook into not mattering to anyone else around them. And then guess what, because the woman believes she is worthless she gets treated like it, and so starts getting taken for granted.

So this is about repeating the mantras of, I am okay, I am equal to everyone else, I am therefore gorgeous just as I think others are, because I'm equal!

But we also need to reward ourselves for learning to be okay etc. And this is where my hit list of thinks that say I'm worth it kicks in. I have a list of things I give myself on a regular basis to validate my alrightness in the world.

They are not usually expensive, they are not useful in the ordinary sense. But they are things that make me happy. And I believe we should all have these lists of things that we buy ourselves because we can, and because if we love us, then it follows as night follows day that others will love us to.

So what is on my list? Well each week without fail I buy myself fresh flowers. They are of no practical use at all, but they look beautiful on the coffee table in front of me, or they smell wonderful. I don't buy expensive flowers I buy a bunch or two when I do my supermarket shop.

I adore glossy magazines, so each month I have three, again there are of no use at all. But it gives me huge pleasure to open a magazine look through all the pages without reading anything cover to cover, and then to leave the magazine by my bed for reading cover to cover till everything has been read and I can get into the next one.

I love books, and with the advent of Amazon I treat myself to my favourite authors as they release new books. Of no use again, except the pleasure of reading.

I adore perfume, so guess what, maybe once or sometimes twice a year, depending on the holidays I treat myself to lovely scents. In fact my favourite perfume of all time is nearly finished and I've got to decide soon whether I'll buy another bottle ( Honeysuckle and Jasmine by Jo Malone)or go for something else.... decisions decisions.

At the moment one of those circular things doing the rounds tells you to not save things for best, whether perfume or clothes or jewels as we'll be dead soon!

This then is my hit list of things that enforce my belief that I'm worth it. That I'm okay and equal to all. And in fact the one time that I was going through a horrendous patch in my life I did exactly this, I bought myself something to take the pain away, and boy did it work!

There I was in Manchester, I'd treated myself to a facial, it was my first time back in Manchester since having had a mastectomy. I'd come out of the salon feeling fabulous and pampered. I decided to look round a couple of the glamorous department stores there before going home.

I was still feeling a bit weak but knew my limitations in how long I could be out, so was ok. So wandering around with no aim at all except enjoying the wonderful selection of designer bags I saw it..... The most gorgeous Prada bag in the world.

It was big, it was subtle in only having two small labels on it, it was fabulous leather. But I couldn't have a Prada bag, I walked away, I went back, it was wonderful. NO I couldn't, away again and then back again. I was in turmoil. So I went and sat down and reasoned with myself as to how I could justify spending so much money on a bag.

And what I decided was along the lines of .... fuck it I've just had a mastectomy, I've had an insurance pay out, which I've got to be sensible with, I've been through 12 weeks of hell... fuck it I deserve it.

So I went back one more time with my reasoning sorted and bought the world's best Prada bag. And every time I went out with that bag, which was every day as I don't do best. It gave me a kick, only a design handbag freak would recognise it was Prada, so I didn't feel I was showing off. But I did feel that people could notice my bag and that was fine, cause I sure as hell didn't want them noticing the absence of my breast.

So next time you feel no-one does anything for me, don't wait just get out there and buy your own, flowers/magazine/book/perfume or designer bag, cause you know what? YOU are so worth it, just like me!


Zan said...

Ah here I am sitting drinking Bailey's for completely the wrong reasons on a Monday evening and you write this!
I reason with myself like this quite often to tell u the truth, handbags, shoes and perfumes (my favourite, Miracle by Lancome) are my weak spot and lately Photography magazines!
I think you are so very right!
I guess that means I should prbably go and put my bottle of Baileys away :) lol

Sorrow said...

Your wise and wonderful words are like sitting and having tea on a sunny porch where the birds are singing, and being in your beautiful presence.
This was a wonderful read. Chapter 4?

Lady in red said...

you are so right of course and yes I do and have for many many years used food for the wrong reasons...I am learning to avoid it though. (not alway successfully).

I have begun to treat myself to a bunch of fresh flowers with my groceries every two weeks.

I wear my favourite prada perfume often but not everyday, my collections of bags and more so, shoes are growing.

But my weakness is lingerie. (not expensive as I can't afford it but I wear pretty lingerie everyday even for work).
I find that lingerie makes me feel good even if nobody else knows I am wearing it.

I am also getting back into reading books instead of blogs.

I am learning to be kind to myself because I deserve these little treats.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Angela said...

Tak, jestesz Mandy, moja przyjaciólka,
yes, you are Mandy, my friend, and you deserve every Prada handbag or perfume you enjoy! Thank you for all your wonderful posts and comments, and you are RIGHT. If we love ourselves and treat us with respect, we can do it with others, too, and it will be a two-sided thing. Thank you (dziekuje), and I will now write you a mail and tell you about the heron I saw! Lovely treats everywhere.

Sage said...

Thank you for that post, it was just what I needed today xx

Gin said...

My self-soothing involves a long hot bath and beautiful smelling lotions. I top it off with an old comfortable pair of flannel pajamas. :-)

karen said...

I couldn't agree with you more!! I often force myself to have a cup of tea, instead of that "needed" glass of wine which is never going to even touch sides, then don't need/want it anymore! Love the story of your Prada bag..good for you :)

speck of dust said...

I love the image I have of you with your designer bag. When I had my anembryonic pregnancy (basically I was carrying an empty bag and this was discovered at the 12 week scan) it helped my pain a lot when I bought an expensive red leather bag and filled it with stuff. I LOVED that bag.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It has come at a time when I am trying to be kinder to myself, and not take everything as a personal attack. I need to chill out a bit and go with the flow. It is very easy to get into a negative spiral, so I am trying a bit of positivity.

Thanks, Jacqueline

Mel said...

I drank for all the wrong reasons. And I don't exactly have a love affair with food goin' on. *sigh*

Therein is my treat.
Ain't big on smelly stuff, don't do magazines--but TOYS.....omgosh...

<-- needs a second toybox!

They do come in handy for silly adminstrative meetings though!

Lori ann said...

Wonderful post Mandy, all the things you say are the truth. Treating ourselves with gentle loving kindness is the best message there is,then like Angela says we can go out and do this with everyone.
It doesn't take much to make me happy, spending money usually makes me nervous though so I don't buy too much. Although! I have been known to spend the grocery money on my Amazon cart! But I do know what you mean, it's the little things, we know what we need to be happy, so why not?!

Rach said...

Oooo we have been visiting all the pharmacists over the last few days work related and it's like being in an Aladdins Cave for me all those beautiful things, but the best buy I got was CK One for £10 this week only in Boots.

Was very pleased with my self soothing!...xx

Minnie said...

Good post - and generally true. But only possible when there are achievements to be celebrated.

Paula said...

Honey, I am sitting here all smiles. Any idea why? LOL

日月神教-向左使 said...