Thursday, March 1, 2012

How I learned to love myself - thanks to a bulging disc

It had been percolating for awhile - a vague nagging sense that "it" wasn't working, something was missing, something had to give, something had to change.

I had thought about blaming/improving my partner, our relationship, my financial situation, my health, menopause, and my work situation. But, deep down I knew that none of these things were really the problem. 

A couple of years ago I lost a lucrative contract working at a residential facility for teenage girls. The jist of my income was gone. I was scared.

I knew it was a "sign", an opportunity to create/revive my private practice - to create work that was even more compelling and fulfilling. But, I was scared - resistant and scared.

I've never been short on dreams or ideas. Never been short on willpower or determination, but I was stuck, frozen, and didn't know why.

As my emotional discomfort grew, a chronic physical condition became even more chronic, more intense, and harder to ignore.

Thanks to the results of an MRI, I found myself on doctor/chiropractor-ordered bed rest. For weeks, I laid flat on my back, most of the time alone, in the silence, with myself.

That's when I realized, for sure and for real, in that aloneness and silence, that the thing that was missing . . .  was my own love.

I'd suspected it all along. I'd felt it and had been "working on it" for months. But this time I knew. This time I was really ready to know . . . 


So I started forgiving myself - for being scared, for wanting to be rescued, for wanting to do it alone, for isolating myself, for feeling stuck, for not knowing how to fix it, for not knowing what I wanted, for doubting what I wanted, for getting older, for gaining weight, for being hurt and sick, for expecting my partner to fix it sometimes, for feeling financially insecure, for not having more friends, for having a dirty house, for feeling overwhelmed, for feeling vulnerable, for wanting to be married, for not wanting to be married, for being confused and acting like such a "girl" about it, for trying to escape with chocolate and Sex and the City videos, for not having enough confidence, for not having it all together (after all I'm a coach, I'm supposed to be a role model) and then, maybe, most important of all . . . 


I'm not saying I've "cured" myself once and for all, but I think I'm on top of it now. I'm wise to it. That vague sense that something's missing, that  "I want more" feeling from my partner, that "I want to eat something but I'm not hungry" feeling, are wake-up calls, screams maybe, to love my feelings . . .  to love myself.

Join me in learning more about how to love yourself in future posts.


  1. Beautiful Shelly! I totally get it having experiences that were very scary but yet so much more beauty came because of the scare(s)! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. You are so welcome. I know you understand and thanks so much for posting!

  2. It's one of the most difficult things to do, isn't it: to love ourselves (and to forgive ourselves and to listen to our inner voices)? I'm so glad that you've invited me to share in these musings! We have so much to learn from one another as women (as people, really - but you wisely pointed out in your invitation to this journal that our experiences as women are unique to our sex, although we share so many attributes with all of creation; I love that one of your inner voices was that of a man)! I look forward to exploring further with you.

    1. Your light and your wisdom has blessed these humble pages. Thank you so much for joining us!


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