Crawling out of my Existential Hole with Self-Love

 by Dorothy Verbick


I am going through a large transitional period. I am not sure if it is the onset of my 40's (I am 39 September) or if it is some shift in the Universe. I think it has a lot to do with getting older and figuring out that I have not been spending ANY time on myself. How did I go this long without loving myself?

I finished college in 2011, traveled a good deal, made a lot of "friends", thrown amazing parties, and dressed up in costume at least twice a year for years. If I were to die today people could say that I have lived a pretty good life. I would be survived by a wonderful daughter and a good looking husband. However, this still seems to fall flat. Why? Where did I lose myself? How did I get here?

Who the hell am I?


The dictionary has a one word definition for the word toxic; poisonous. I imagine myself in a grocery store walking down an isle to where the bug spray is located. I walk over, look at the dead bug pictures, the skull and cross bones, the words that say do not ingest.... and spray the entire bottle down my throat. I have been in and out of toxic situations my entire life. Each time I finished one, I sighed a sigh of relief, then told myself I would never find myself in them again... while falling into the next one.
Currently I am pulling myself out of another, but this time I want to stop the patterns I have created to fall into them in the first place. 

I let others motivate my actions. I allow myself to make decisions for myself based on other people. I have recently discovered that I have been doing this most of my life.  In fact, I have been driven by others so much that I have no idea who I am anymore? I know this sounds extremely dramatic. But it IS dramatic. To wake up one day and realize that you have been living against yourself. I can definitely point a lot of fingers but many of those fingers have mirrors.


What do YOU do for it? I have no real clue the right answer. I have been telling myself for a half a year that I am on a path of self-love. I know these buzz words can fall on deaf ears. Self-love is not just shop therapy or getting a pedicure. I mean actual love of one's self. My inner core. My self-love path started out with just taking time for me, but now it is so much more. I have so much more searching to do.

What I do, but You do You.
1. Meditation is life: I have been meditating straight since December, but between vacations I fell off a week or two. I felt it. I need time to sit with myself and my thoughts. Good or Bad. I need that time to either sit in silence and observe, let go of thoughts as they come OR listen to guided meditations. Recently, I have been listening to Michelle Zarrin's Meditation Series on my Insight Timer App. It has helped a lot. She is Queen.

2. Time to feel: I have so many emotions that I cannot unleash on the general public. I am embarrassed to hold so many feelings. They end up gnawing my insides. I am really trying to allow myself time to feel without judgement. (this is SO hard)

3. Letting Go: This is something I have not mastered and maybe the hardest part. Letting go of people, places, and things. All the nouns. I am not sure where to begin with this. I understand that this is key to growth. I just don't know how to explain this to my heart. I know that once I can let go of who I thought I was or the people who I have compromised myself for, then I will be so much closer to myself. I truly want this. 

4. Knowing what is toxic and NOT run towards it: I know this is a challenge. As someone who gravitates towards tragedy or creates it, I am ready to stop hitting myself (stop hitting yourself). I am ready to let go of people who I identify as toxic for me. I also must realize the toxicity in myself and remove myself from situations where that grows inside me. Because this destroys my self-image. This is where loss of identity and insecurity breeds.

5. Creative Outlet: This is something that I can't seem to do. I want to make visual art. I blogged today. I have dressed up in costume a few times this year. I have made some art. But I have not made this a practice, and I am not sure how to start. I scribble. I collage. But it is so sporadic, I am left unfulfilled. Having a way to express myself is difficult when I am trying to figure out who I am. I know once I open up some flood gate this will come. I have to have faith in myself. I really feel that self-love is part of my art block.

I am ready to be my own rock star. I am ready to extinguish self-doubt. I am exhausted by feeling that I am not worthy or enough. I am ready to call myself an artist. I am ready to love myself.


~Dorothy Verbick



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