Monthly Archives: May 2015

How Can I Love Myself?

Dear JoyDiva

I am 23 years old, I have been in  a relationship with a man for 7 years and we broke up a over a year ago, 8 months ago I found this amazing man that I am with now; he makes me laugh and  I know we are going to go far but there is one thing that is hurting me.

When I was a teen I developed back acne and as I got older,  the scars remained…when my ex saw my back for the first time the  first thing he said was “Is it contagious?” and “What did you do to yourself?” as if it was my fault! He was the closest person to me and he made me feel like I had a disease. Ever since I have not been comfortable with my skin and I never show my back. I would like to be able to wear tank tops and dresses without having to wear a jacket on top, it’s hot! But the most thing I want is to be able to be happy naked around my current boyfriend.

Just a side note, I am chubby and that adds to my insecurities but he is a big man also so it is not the biggest issue but I still push his arms away from my tummy. He says he loves everything about me and he shows me a lot of love he always tries to make me love myself, he kisses my “thunder” thighs and my belly but I push him away. We have slept together and every time I refuse to take off my shirt, and if I do take it off the room must be pitch black because I don’t want him to see my skin.

I just want to be happy and not worry, I want to be able to sleep next to him and not panic over what he’s going to wake up to…my scarred back. I love him very very much and we have talked about engagement but I don’t know how I will manage to keep my body hidden for the rest of my life from the man I truly adore and just want to be free with.

How can I love myself JoyDiva, I have been crying every night and hiding those tears because I’m afraid if I do tell him he will ask to see my back…I just can’t do it.

Sincerely

Broken

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Dear Broken,

Hi, Honey. You’re not broken. You are a whole and complete person who is just experiencing herself as broken. The great news is that, over time, you CAN transform how you experience yourself.

So, you dated a guy (who was really just a grown-up boy) who blurted out his thoughts about your skin in ignorance because he didn’t get it, and likely was not mature enough to communicate in another way—not his most shining moment, I’m sure. :/

Here’s what I want you to notice, though: He said some things, and then because you’re human, you added meaning to it. And it’s the meaning you added that is causing your pain. You added meaning like “It’s my fault”…which I’m guessing led to “There’s something wrong with me,” “I’m ugly/unattractive/not sexy,” and “I’m unlovable.” And at some point you chose to believe those thoughts, which is what hurts so much—you can be certain that anytime you are having thoughts that hurt when you think them it is because they aren’t true.

Here’s the good news: Because it’s not what happened that hurts so much and rather it’s the meaning that YOU brought to it, you can actually do something about that. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to letting those thoughts run the show or not.

You ask me how you can love yourself. Here’s how: By courageously taking action as someone who loves herself, step-by-step, choice-by-choice. You’re going to have to take deep breaths and face your fears. That looks like catching yourself when you push his arms away from your tummy and letting him caress you there while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you, letting him kiss your belly and thighs without pushing him away while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like taking off your shirt WITH the lights on while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like wearing tank tops when it’s hot out, and wearing whatever damn-well feels good whenever and however you want to, all the while breathing and being present to the fear…and any other emotions that arise in your body.

Loving oneself is not a magical, wave-the-fairy-wand, overnight process. Everyday, I discover more parts of myself that I’ve rejected and have the opportunity to embrace. Girl, I don’t love myself! And I’m becoming someone who does. Loving yourself means facing the fears that you won’t be safe, you won’t be in control and you will lose approval. It means practicing, every day, doing the opposite of what the bully inside of you is telling you to do.

I get that it is scary. You probably didn’t want me to say, “Go do all of the things you’re afraid to do.” AND you asked me how you can love yourself. How blessed are you?! I’m showing you the path.

Your homeplay: Pull out a journal or pieces of paper and a pen/pencil. I want you to answer this question and explore it in all areas of your life: What would I be doing/what actions would I be taking if I were a person who loves herself? (Explore how you would be acting regarding relationship stuff and body stuff, yes, and also look at career, free-time, friendships, family, money, etc.) And then, start practicing. Take those actions, one at a time. And remember to breathe, Love. You’ve got this.

It is through that continual process that you become someone who loves herself.

Other posts that I’ve written that will also be supportive for you:

“How can I love myself past all of my fat rolls?”

“I’m afraid to be naked in front of my boyfriend. What should I do”?

If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

Hugs to you and that sweet man in your life.

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2015 Melissa Simonson

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How Can I Help My Ex?

Hello JoyDiva,

How can I help my ex? I was engaged to an amazing person that I have now been with for 6 years but recently he called off the engagement and said he needed to be by himself. It all started when he began having these really weird dreams about death. He is so frightened to go to sleep because he fears having the bad dreams. He says he has them everyday and they are completely draining him. He is not the happy person he was once in fact he hardly ever smiles. He feels tired and drained eveyday. I haven’t been able to tell my family that he did not want to marry me anymore because I just feel sad and embarrassed. The worst part is he still wants to be friends with me and he wants me to help him through this but it makes me sad and hurts me to just be his friend. He says he still loves me and wants me to be happy but as much as I have tried I can’t be happy knowing he does not want me as his wife anymore and that he is in pain. I do not know what to do. I don’t know how to help him, he has lost faith in god since his grandma died. I am completely drained by him. I want my fiance back and if he loves me then why did he push me away? How am I suppose to be able to make him happy again?

LostLeti

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Dear LostLeti,

Hi Honey. Thank you for reaching out to me and entrusting me with your tender heart. I recognize that you are experiencing a great deal of pain, right now, and it’s hard to know which way to turn. I’m going to start by breaking down your questions and responding as concisely as I can.

You ask, “How can I help my ex?” and later you ask “How am I suppose to be able to make him happy again?” And the answer that you already know deep down is this: His happiness is not your job. I understand that you love him and that after 6 years together, it is painful for you to stand by while he is suffering…AND he is the only one that can make himself happy again. In terms of helping him: I do hear that counseling support would be very beneficial to him. Having someone to help him get to the underlying emotional/psychological cause of his death dreams, having someone to support him in processing the grief over the death of his grandma, having someone to get clear on his path and discover/rediscover his passions, is key, right now. And I know that you want to be the one to fix him, right now, and you can’t–and the truth is, if you listen to your gut, you’ll recognize that you know you can’t, which is why any effort to do so is draining to you.

The question that your soul is longing for you to ask, right now, is: “How can I help myself?” It’s time to focus on you–time to grieve, to make space for all of the feelings that are arising for you, to embrace them with your presence and attention. Breathe and feel the feelings in your body. Helping your ex is just a way of distracting yourself from feeling your feelings, right now. The person who you now must help, is yourself. The person who you now must listen to is yourself. Your soul is screaming for your love and attention, for you to pursue YOU, to care for YOU, to stop abandoning yourself to get the love of this man.

The lie that your mind is telling you, right now, is that his walking away from your engagement is about you. This hurts so much, and you feel ashamed and embarrassed because there is an underlying belief that you did something wrong, that you are unlovable somehow and caused him to reject you. Your mind is telling you that he “rejected you,” “pushed you away,” and what he really did was recognize his need to take care of himself, right now. He cannot love himself, right now, and thus, cannot offer you the kind of relationship that you want and deserve to have at this time. Ending your engagement is not a rejection of you, it is an act of love, and probably took him great courage to speak up about. I don’t know him and I feel certain that experiencing the pain of seeing you hurting is the last thing he desired.

The pain and embarrassment you feel is because the future as you knew it and have planned for is no longer. It is it’s own death, the death of your dream. Suddenly, life as you knew it was altered and your mind doesn’t know how to cope with that; so it plays tricks on you. Your mind is telling you lies about how the future is “supposed” to look. Your mind is telling you that if you just help him be happy again then things can go back to how they used to be, how they “should” be. Your mind is playing over past conversations to find evidence, to figure out what could have gone differently, what was missing, somehow. This is causing you great pain.

It’s time to come back to you, here in this now moment, Sister, to love  you, and face your grief, your disillusionment over the loss of your dream. It’s time to let your family know so that they can support you. YOU need support, right now. The shame voice says that you cannot tell anyone, that it’s too embarrassing, that YOU are an embarrassment, a disappointment, somehow; and this is just not true, Sweetheart. I know that what you long for more than anything right now is to feel loved, and not alone. Tell your family. Let them love you through this. Reach out to friends. Let them support you. It’s time to let go. It’s time to practice exquisite self-care, to focus on things that empower and nourish you outside of your connection with this man.

No, now is not the time to be his friend. As I said, it is not your job to support him through this, and staying connected with him is muddying up your healing process, and distracting you both from yourselves. He needs to reach out to others in his life now, to seek counseling and connect with his family and friends, just as you need your own support network. You both need space to heal and move on with your lives. As painful as it is, it’s time to let go and trust life to run its course, to grow your own faith in God, knowing that even though this doesn’t feel fair or make sense and is excruciating, that you are being loved by this process, too. You may feel abandoned, right now, and make no mistake. God has not abandoned you. God has your back. It’s time to stop grasping for what was and surrender to what is. You will find great peace and freedom in that surrender.

I am, as it turns out, a kickass person to have in your corner when you are grieving, to help you reconnect with you and realign with your passion and purpose when the time is right. Visit my website, www.melissasimonson.com, to schedule a complimentary connection call. I would be honored to connect with you and explore what would open up for you and your life through a session together.

Some other of my posts that I encourage you to read for further support with your grief:

My husband left and I’m devastated. What do I do now?

Should I stay or walk away from my boyfriend?

Much love, Sister.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2015 Melissa Simonson