Yourself, Selfies, and Your Enchanted Self
The expression, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken,” is the reality that shocks and pleases. On one hand, we might have wished to be someone else, either living their life or just aspects of it. Maybe their hair or their clothing, or their house or their darling dog. Most of the time these thoughts pass. Occasionally a woman may have disturbing thoughts about wanting to be someone else, so-in-so won the prize “I thought I deserved. I’m jealous on one hand and on the other hand, I wish I were her.”
Being satisfied with ourselves can become quite a chore, instead of a pleasure. I have found in my work with women, there are ways that can really help us to feel whole in our own skin and never wish to be someone else.
1. The Power of the Selfie, a Modern-Day Miracle
Remember the days when you could not take your own picture? You had to pose and wait and encourage someone into taking your picture; Sometimes to discover that the angle of the picture was awful! No one should ever be allowed to see this picture. Now, no women are ever dependent on having someone take our picture. We can take our own. We can get the angle exactly right and enjoy the results.
The selfie camera has given us rights that we never had before. And there is even more bounty. We can carry our cell phones anywhere with us and make notes, not get lost with complicated maps to figure out, and even keep a spoken and picture diary of our outings. We are independent in a new way that never existed before.
2. Ancestry.com & Other Search Tools
Did you ever try to find out about your great-grandparents 40 years ago? It was hard. Often, we just gave up searching or we had to pay someone to search for us. Now with a speck of our DNA, we can find and be found by many relatives who each have stories to add to what we know about our family history. Often the search sites themselves have pictures and family trees established. It is amazing. So far I have met via Zoom, the phone, or in-person, a number of cousins. I’m amazed and delighted by the stories shared. Knowing about other family members fills out our sense of value as a human being. We were not just dropped here.
People like one of my grandmothers crossed Europe to run from war and poverty to finally get to the United States. She had with her three little girls, her candlesticks, and some personal items. Not much else. Crossing the continent was hard but even harder may have been steerage class in a rocking boat with 3 small girls. Yet when she landed finally, she got down on her knees and kissed the earth. It meant that much to her to be in the United States! Wow, and I have some of her genes! Talk about a boost of self-esteem!
3. Spending Time to Further Recognize & Reclaim Your Enchanted Self
It is great to find out your heritage and strengths that you may have inherited. It is even more powerful to truly recognize your current strengths and talents. Just think about yourself. Even during the Pandemic and all its challenges, I bet you have displayed lots of strength and talents.
What have you done? Do not think about what you have not done? Try to look at yourself sunny side up. Have you boosted someone else’s mood? Have you cooked something special? Or, have you been in touch with friends or checked on neighbors? Have you cared for others? Have you kept working so others could have a service you provide? I am sure if you are honest to yourself there is a diamond in the rough inside of you. Do not ignore it as it is your ticket to your Enchanted Self. And now in my last point let me explain a bit further why it is so important to recognize and hold on to your Enchanted Self.
4. When We Recognize How Unique, Special & Talented, in Small or Bigger Ways, We Don’t Put Ourselves Down as Much
We respect and see ourselves as whole human beings, trying the best we can. We see ourselves as valuable and that it is important to take care of ourselves, medically, mentally, physically, etc. And, we deserve to eat healthfully and to have pleasure in our lives. We have the confidence to apologize and/or make something right if we can. We realize we can be helpful in this work, whether what we offer is big or small. And lastly, we realize how good we feel when we stay connected, try to be helpful, respect others, offer our talents, and give feelings of hope and love wherever we can. And guess what! Your Enchanted Self is flourishing.
Who else would you want to be? Yes, I am taken. I am taken by myself and it is great!
Sometimes friends and colleagues call me, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: ‘The Enchanted Self.’ That’s because as a psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, I’ve developed a form of positive psychology called The Enchanted Self. I’m not enchanted, but I do have many ways and ideas to help all of us feel better through all stages of life. These methods help us to recognize our potential, regardless of our age, to grab on to our talents and find again and again the emotional energies needed to be creative, resourceful, resilient, and to live joyfully.
In two minutes share with the ‘girl’ from my books, The Truth, Diary of a gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen, and my films, the ‘girl’ who has no name, as she is all of us. Share with her as she goes from despair to elation as we most, not only in today’s pandemic but as we travel through life. Enjoy seeing the joy she finds loving and connecting once more and bring it home to your and your grand-kids. Watch the film at: https://vimeo.com/
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