You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Help” you are familiar with the words of Aibileene Clark. “You is kind, You is smart, You is important.” spoken to the young Mae Wobley. I’ve often wondered if we all had an Aibileene in our life would co-dependency even be an issue worth discussion, Mae’s mother is verbally abusive, she is negative and directs her own unhappiness at her child. This adorable little girl is a poster child for co-dependence. She is destined to be caught up in the struggles we all know so well. She’s not as pretty as the other little girls, and her mother takes this out on her…daily. Thankfully for Mae, Aibileene is her housekeeper and she steps in often to remind the little girl of her own self-worth.
Something we all need to remember no matter how bad things get, is we are worthy. All the negative statements from our past should be put away and forgotten. They should no longer be given the power to control our lives. Sadly, all to often we find children such as Mae growing up to be co-dependents. These children have strained relationships with their parents, or come from single family homes in which they are seen as a burden. Young mothers who were not ready for children and unprepared for the work involved in maintaining their own mental health as well as nurturing that of a small child. These are the foundations of dysfunctional family. Children raised in such a negative environment are bound to continue down the same path.
In order to recover from co-dependence we cannot wait until an Aibileene enters our life, we must remind our own affirmations. Reminding ourselves that we are worthy of being loved is the first step to recovery. No one should ever have the power to make you feel as if you are not an important part of society. Human nature however, allows our subconscious to hear all of the negative thoughts and words spewed in our directions and holds them in a place where we can’t escape them. When this happens we need to speak the words that will heal us from inside out. Words of affirmation to improve our self image, remember that you are important, you have redeeming qualities, no matter how worthless you have been made to feel in the past. This is perhaps one of the hardest things to do, if you’ve been taught all of your life that you are worthless, dumb, ugly, and unwanted, how do you go about overcoming all of the negative reminders from your past?
- Stop thinking negatively. While it sounds easy we all know it’s not. Letting go of negativity is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do. The next time you are overcome by a perceived short coming, look again at the situation and find a positive. Focus on that positive! Practice, practice, practice!
- Celebrate your achievements; don’t dwell on the lack of perfection. Imagine you are prepping for a marathon, you cannot expect to have a winning time the first time out of the box. You need to practice, and each time you run you will strive for a better time. Celebrate the fact you’ve improved your time, don’t beat yourself up for not making first.
- Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect, failure and mistakes are a part of life. The important thing is to understand that you always learning, no one will ever be perfect every time all the time. Look at your mistakes and learn from them. Don’t allow your mistakes to drag you down, make a mistake, analyze it, learn from it, and celebrate when you’ve kicked it to the curb the next time.
- Try new things. Learn a new skill, take a class, or join a club that focuses on something that is of an interest to you. Improving yourself by learning something new and taking pleasure in the new skills that you’ve acquired is a huge step in overcoming your negative past.
- Change what you can, accept what you can’t. You cannot change your age, you cannot change your height, and you cannot change your past! So do not allow these things to negatively impact your image of yourself. Instead, focus on what you can change. You can change how you react to situations, you can change how you look at yourself, and you can change how the world sees you. Focus on these things and take pleasure in your self improvement.
- Set achievable goals! Just like a New Years Resolution, don’t say you plan to lose weight, instead say I plan to lose 5 pounds by the end of June. By being reasonable and starting small, you will set the groundwork for improving your life. Each goal can then get bigger and more impressive while still being reasonable. With each achievement remind yourself that you did this. For each that you didn’t complete, look at why and use this as a lesson learned that will help you in the future.
- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Don’t sit in the corner and be the quiet one who never has anything to say. Speak up! Share your thoughts! Others will share your thoughts, or they will comment upon them. Either way it is your thoughts, your feelings, keeping them all bottled up will drag you down and keep you from ever feeling comfortable with your own opinions. You are a unique individual! Share it and be proud of it.
These are just a few steps that you can take in order to find yourself and escape from the cycle of co-dependence that has fed into your life long negativity and self loathing. No one wants to live life feeling like a failure, when we are young we look to our parents for affirmations that we are important, if that is missing we spend our entire life struggling to know who we are, to find our place and to learn to love ourselves.
When we are in a co-dependent relationship we spend our days once more in the position of being told how worthless we are, feeling as if we will never succeed because we will never be able to escape. Once you start the journey towards self improvement you will find these tips a huge help in finding your footing!