Assumptions

Assumptions are my kryptonite. I frequently devise my own assumptions before I know truth. I have always battled my assumptions and I assume I always will.

An assumption is defined as something that is accepted as true or certain to happen without proof.

My assumptions are what Eddie and I disagree over the most. Eddie pretty much doesn’t ever assume anything. I tend to assume everything.

One of my most frequent assumptions, regardless of who is in question, is that a person is mad at me. Sometimes it is even that I assume the person is angry at me. Or ashamed of me. Embarrassed by me. Hates me.

If you were to name any person in my family or friend group, at any point in time, I could tell you what I assume they feel about me. It isn’t just the assumption that is the problem though. The problem is how I react to that assumption.

My assumptions are always causing me problems. I am starting to realize that my main love language is words of affirmation. I believe that because I pretty much never hear words of affirmation from a person, they are mad at me or worse. I think that I connect never hearing good things from people with negativity.

This is a learned behavior. Learned as a child. Never corrected. Just identified. Literally. Just. Identified.

I saw the quote “Assumptions are the termites of relationships” from Henry Winkler this morning. I knew I had to talk about it. I sat to write this post and had no idea where I was going with it. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, again and again. Then I started writing and got to a couple paragraphs above. It just flowed.

I finished listening to The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman this morning. I’ve been trying to figure out my primary love language and I think I just did.

I need to hear from my husband, my family, or my friends that they love me. And I need to hear it often. Some would call it needy. Prior to listening to The 5 Love Languages, I would have agreed. Now I know that is normal to need to hear words of affirmation. It is normal to not feel loved if I don’t hear it.

When I don’t hear words of affirmation, I jump to negative assumptions. These negative assumptions dictate how I act around and interact with people. I make it worse for myself because I start an interaction off with a negative tone.

My assumptions are eating away at relationships that I have. A little here. A little there. Little termites eating away at each and every relationship.

What I need to do now, is pay attention to each assumption I have and meditate on it to determine if that thought is truly an assumption or if it is the truth. I need to focus on my day-to-day relationships, then work on the relationships with those that I see often, then those that I see less often.

I can see how I can improve relationships that I have put a strain on. I can adjust my assumptions and adjust my expectations based on those assumptions.

I will not let my assumptions control my relationships any longer. I am going to take control of my assumptions. I have to.

 

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.

Words of Affirmation

I started listening to The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. I’ve taken the quiz before, in fact, multiple times, but I had not yet read or listened to the book. I can’t even remember what I determined my love language is. As of writing this, I can’t even tell you all of the love languages.

What I can tell you is what I realized about myself in the first hour and fifteen minutes of the book. Gary Chapman talks about all the different types of affirmation and provides amazing examples of each. He also talks about being able to provide others with words of affirmation.

I thought I was really good at giving affirmation until I heard Dr. Chapman explain it further. That’s when I had an aha moment. I am really good at saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and extremely good at apologizing for everything. What I’m not so good at is complimenting or recognizing small acts.

One thing Dr. Chapman talked about that made complete sense to me was that those of us who rarely or never heard words of affirmation, don’t necessarily know what we aren’t saying.

I think I’ve touched on this before in another post or on my Instagram, but I am one of those people who pretty much never heard any words of affirmation. I wasn’t told that I was doing a good job in school, that I was pretty, that I had a great personality, that I was good enough just as I am, that I did a good job keeping the house clean, or anything similar. I was criticized and made fun of, even by my parents. I heard, at least graduate high school before you get pregnant; you are big-boned; look at that bubble butt; you are just afraid of needles; if you are going to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about; you are just like your Aunt K; stop being so bossy; and so much more.

I don’t remember my parents telling me they love me except for when my mom was begging me to give her money. I think my mom might have told me she was proud of me at my college graduation, but I didn’t want her there so I wasn’t in the mood to even talk to her. And I really didn’t.

I learned at an early age that I wasn’t going to get love from my parents so I wanted it from the people they complained about the most, their sisters and brothers and their spouses. I can look back now and realize that what I needed most during those formative years in my life were words of affirmation. I needed love through words.

I can think of a few friends who give me words of affirmation and I don’t know how to receive them. At the same time, I feel like an ass because I suck at doing the same without being prompted. I can think of instances where I could have given words of affirmation to many people, but I didn’t.

Regardless of other people’s love language, I want to be better at freely giving people words of affirmation. I don’t know if it will make someone’s day or if it will roll off their shoulder. What I do know is that there just might be someone out there that doesn’t know what they need to hear until it is said.

How often do you give words of affirmation? What about receiving words of affirmation? What was the last thing you remember being told? How did it make you feel?

Funny enough, one of the things I recently was told on one of my Instagram posts was that my eyebrows were on point. I remember that every day. It makes me feel so good.

How can you make someone’s day?

When Alcohol is Love

As I started reading the chapter When Food is Love in The Soul Frequency by Shanna Lee, I immediately had light bulbs going off and bells dinging all around my mind. I’m pretty sure it all started with just the title of the chapter.

I had my last drink of alcohol 45 days ago. Since then I’ve done really well. Until this last week. I wanted the taste of wine so bad. I looked forward to events coming up and felt sadness around not drinking alcohol of any form. I associate alcohol with almost everything in my life.

It’s not like I need the effects of alcohol for any reason, I literally just want the taste of it. I have fought for so many years not to be considered an alcoholic like my parents and I can still say, I am not an alcoholic. That isn’t why I quit alcohol. For why, read Alcohol Part One and Alcohol Part Two.

But I digress.

When I read the title of the chapter, When Food is Love, it was like a slap in the face. DUH! Of course that explains everything. Alcohol is what helped me to break free of the worst of my shyness. Alcohol is what helped me make friends with the popular kids. Alcohol is what made most of my future friends. Alcohol is how I let loose from my fear of so many things. Alcohol has been love for me.

As I look back at the years since I started drinking, so much of the love I felt came when alcohol was involved. Love is why I look at events coming up and don’t know what to do without alcohol. I’ll tell you what I do at these events: DRINK WATER!!!

Alcohol is not love. Now that I have identified my emotions around alcohol, I can begin to retrain them.

Day 4: Proud

Looking for Day 3? Check out my Instagram

In my morning reading, the chapter I read from 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life by Andrea Owen, Don’t Let Comparisons Destroy You, touched on a topic that I really need to incorporate in my life. She asked the simple question “Have you stopped lately to be proud of what you’ve accomplished lately? Or ever?

No. No I have not.

I have always been one to strive for others to be proud of me. I never considered being proud of myself. That didn’t matter. When I read that question, it hit me that I was doing it backwards. I am 32 years old and I have not once been proud of myself. I honestly don’t know why being proud of myself never crossed my mind. I have one specific person that I’ve always wanted to hear the words “I am proud of you” from and never have. So I’ve kept working to hear it. Right now, typing this, I don’t see it ever coming from her. I need to move on. I am moving on.

Starting today I am going to work on checking in with myself and if I’ve made myself proud. As of today, I am proud of myself for being a strong woman, for getting not only by Bachelor degree but also my Master degree, for waiting to marry someone who treated me right, for purchasing our home, for advancing my career to the awesome job I have now, for how dedicated I am to those I love, and most of all, for continuously taking care of my health. I am proud of me.

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Day 2: Perfectionism and Love

Today my focus is on my need for perfectionism and my fear of not being loved. These two thoughts are so tightly wrapped up for me that it feels like a never ending cycle of trying to be perfect so others can love me.

In my growth journey, I’m learning from multiple outlets. Today’s outlet included two different books that actually prompted my focus for the day.

Perfectionism is something I really need to focus on every day because it rules every aspect of my life. I had gotten really good at not needing to be perfect for others’ love, then the infertility journey hit and the fluctuations in my hormones from the treatments really messed with me. The new focus I’m going to implement in my life comes from 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life by Andrea Owen. In the chapter Pursuing Perfection is the Race to Nowhere, she talks about recognizing our perfectionistic inner critic and personifying it. She recommends giving it a name and character features. Ms. Owen recommends doing personifying your perfectionistic inner critic so that you can separate it from your true self and then approach it with compassion.

I really like this idea and so I’m going to work on developing a persona for my perfectionistic inner critic. I’m most likely going to also tell me husband about her so when I’m in a perfectionistic breakdown or tirade, we can identify it more readily.

This is my step one to overcoming perfectionism.

Being loved is something I have always struggled with. I do not feel like I grew up with love or even knowing what it meant to be loved. I have looked for love in all the wrong places and a lot of the right places, but not the most important place as often as I should.

I fell into working on my fear of not being loved through the second question in 3000 Questions About Me that I picked up. I bought this book because I recently realized that I have not expanded my views as much as I could. Just skimming the book gave me thoughts to ponder that I had never considered.

Today’s question was a simple one: What is your greatest fear?

Immediately the answer of not being loved came to my mind so much that I felt it in my heart that I needed to explore it.

A light bulb went off. I try to be perfect because I fear if I’m not perfect for each and every person in my life, I can’t be loved. I fear that I am not lovable. I fear that I don’t do enough for others to allow me to be loved. I fear that if I do for me before anybody else, then I should not be loved.

I had a brief conversation yesterday with a close friend that led to me explaining the condition of my back and inability to do much without pain and her indicating she hadn’t realized it was so bad. I told her that is because I don’t share things in my life so I don’t burden others so I can be their support system. Somehow, in my mind, I feel that to be loved, I need to shoulder everyone else’s worries and not share any of mine.

I’ve also felt that since we decided to live our lives without kids (no more infertility treatments, no adoption, etc), we are not going to receive the same love from family that others who have children do.

One point I have learned over the years is, that to be loved by others, I need to first love myself. I can honestly say that as of right now, I like myself. I am struggling with loving myself because I feel broken and incapable with being sidelined by my back. I don’t like depending on others for anything. I am also struggling with my weight. I’m right in the healthy weight for my age and height, but I am not fitting into clothes as I once did. I gained weight from the infertility treatments and working crazy hours sitting at the computer for months on end. I was just getting back into a regular fitness routine when my back flared up. Every day is a challenge and I’ve been working on loving my body more by buying clothes that fit and are comfortable. It has been helping. Every day, I am closer to loving myself. As I love myself more, I need to learn what it means to be loved by others. I honestly have no idea. Thankfully I know and feel the love from Eddie, but he is here with me every single day. Now I just need to learn what it means for others to love me without the feeling that I need to be perfect for each and every one of them.

Perfectionism and love, two feelings intertwined so much that they need worked on together.