Those of us who have experienced abuse, whether physical, emotional or sexual, know that it isn’t just a string of moments in time that were taken from us. It is so much more. Abuse robs us of our confidence, our power, our sense of safety, the very essence of who we were born to be - sometimes for the rest of our lives. It is a constant feeling in the back of our minds that perhaps, because we were abused, we are somehow diminished and no longer worthy of our birthright to joy, love, peace and purpose.
Abuse plants a seed of doubt in our minds that feeds us lies and tells us that maybe good things just aren’t meant for us. While our abusers may go on living their lives, often indifferent to the pain they caused, we’re the ones who are left with shattered self-images that prevent us from seeing just how beautiful and worthy we truly are - how beautiful and worthy we’ve ALWAYS been.
At some point, there is a choice to make. You can either choose to carry the burdens placed on you by your abuser, or you can choose to let go of the things that don’t belong to you.
Reclaiming your worth allows you to recognize the lies that have been ingrained in you by someone else’s abusive behavior and gives you the power to rewrite your story.
Let’s start writing the first chapter of your new story now.
1. Start by recognizing the lies you’ve been telling yourself - what negative beliefs have you accepted about yourself that hold you back? Write down every single one in a journal.
2. Allow yourself to feel the emotion that comes with this process - it is okay to cry. It is okay to be angry. It is okay to be afraid. Whatever you’re feeling is okay. It can be scary to dive head first into your vulnerabilities - it may even feel a little impossible, as if they’ll wash over you and you’ll get lost beneath them. But know this: You are strong. You are capable. And you can do this.
3. Work your way down your list and, one by one, cross each negative belief out. It’s important to physically cross it out, to visually represent what you’re doing in your own mind. Cross it out and replace it with your truth, a positive counterpart to the lies that have burdened you long enough.
4. Put that list somewhere that you will see it every day and any time you start to question your value, look at it again and remind yourself of the truth.
The effects of trauma and abuse often run deep, so if you find yourself having to look at that list every day or every hour or every minute, it’s okay. You’re not doing it wrong, you’re not broken, you’re not failing. The healing process looks different for all of us. But the one thing that is certain about the healing process is that it WILL happen if you commit to it. There will come a day when you don’t have to look at your list anymore, or where you forget about it entirely because you’ve replaced all those negative beliefs in your mind and you feel yourself opening up to the wonderful life ahead of you so that you can walk with confidence into your destiny. That day is coming. Keep going.