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It is always a good idea to tell someone they matter.

When I feel unappreciated, I tend to simultaneously lash out and shut down. Lashing out in an attempt to defend myself to others and explain why I deserve to be appreciated, and shutting down because even if I do then start to receive gratitude from them, I have already put up the “too little, too late” wall.

I essentially choose to close myself in a room of unhappiness, because I did not receive what I wanted from others.

When I feel appreciated and like my presence and contributions matter, I feel confident, powerful, loved, and cherished. With my cup runneth-ing over, my actions feel more effortless and full of freedom and love and gratitude. I am increasingly inclined to do more, help more, and enjoy more.

I then choose to live in a limitless landscape where anything is possible, while trusting and knowing that I can handle any ups and downs that may arise.

There is an enormous difference between feeling appreciated/unappreciated, feeling like you matter/you don’t.

But how can we cultivate allowing ourselves to feel like we matter, and are appreciated?

Even when you choose to only surround yourselves with the kindest, nicest, most peaceful, harmonious, appreciative souls – we can never guarantee 24/7 appreciation from others. Simply because we can never be someone else’s constant first thought and first priority.

(Still – being selective with your circle is certainly very helpful – I laughed when I first heard the affirmation “all of my relationships are peaceful and harmonious” because at the time, nothing felt further from the truth. And now, many years and healthy boundaries and knowing-my-worth-work later, I am humbled and infinitely grateful to say it is completely true).

You are always available to appreciate yourself. You are always available to remind yourself that you matter.

So if feeling appreciated feels SO much better than not, and we COULD always shower ourselves with gratitude… Why?! Don’t?! We?!

Chances are, your parents didn’t – their parents didn’t – etc. Chances are, your teachers didn’t – their teachers didn’t – etc. Chances are, you do not see many people in your day to day life choosing honor how much they matter on a regular basis.

Also, prioritizing appreciating yourself may seem wayyy too far out there, especially when you already do not have enough hours in the day. Who has time to tell themselves they matter when bills have to be paid and dinner needs to get on the table?

When we do not prioritize loving and appreciating ourselves, we are cheating ourselves out of a more peaceful, fulfilled, enjoyable, pleasurable life.

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Takeaway Tool for Appreciating and Mattering:

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Affirm “I matter. I love and appreciate myself

If that already feels to weird, or too much, or too far from the truth, you can start with:
I release all resistance to loving myself. I am willing to learn how to appreciate myself. I am learning to appreciate myself.

Say it to yourself in your mind, say it to yourself as you look at yourself in the mirror, say it to yourself out loud.

When you notice you are saying or thinking negative things about yourself or your situation (we are human, so this happens often!), take a deep breath and say:
My feelings matter. My experience matters. My life matters. I am doing my best and my best is more than good enough. I am enough, I have enough, I do enough. I appreciate myself and all that I do”

Plant these seeds of positive affirmations at least once a day. Just as it takes time for plants to grow, it takes time to grow new thought pattern habits, so be extra patient and kind with yourself during the process.

Choosing a task you do every day (brushing your teeth, washing dishes, walking to/from your car, eating breakfast) and designating it as “affirmation time” can be a helpful way to make it a habit.

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It is always a good idea to tell someone they matter. It is a great idea to start with yourself.

With love,
JoAnna
@thedesiredoula

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