Seeing The Good
by Jennifer Hardy, CMPS, Peer Support Coordinator
They say it is more difficult to see strength and other positive qualities in ourselves than it is in those around us. I experience this often in the work I do. I have heard echoed many times by others as well "people say they see these things in me, but I cannot see them in myself." Even as I see incredible strength and skills of survival and thriving in these ladies, I have to pause and ask myself, do I see these things in me?
I can say that I see much more in myself today than I did on the day I exited CSE, but it has been a process and a practice. I tell the ladies it doesn't just happen overnight. But it is built upon, one day at a time, one right choice at a time. After achieving safety and then practicing healthy habits, one begins to look back and see how different their life is. Eventually, one begins to feel a little differently about who they are. And, one day, one begins to see themselves doing things and acting in ways one may not have recognized a year or two ago. Slowly, one begins to see their self as others see them. This is how it has been for me.
This is what I share with them. And we practice by making lists of everything great about us, whether we believe it or not, and reading it often. We practice by listing the things we are doing right and the things we are good at. Upon this foundation we learn to make good choices built on matching our personal integrity, we learn to look for the good in other people and we learn to lift each other up. Eventually, the person we see in the mirror begins to look a little more like the person our supporters describe to us. We learn to treasure her and become her and it feels good! Just the other day, a lady I have been working with for several months said to me, "you know, I used to not feel anything. Now, I can feel things and I even kind of like me." This is what it is all about - for when we learn to see good in us and love ourselves, it is then that we are healing and can begin to live out our purpose in this world!