Are you a former victim of child domestic abuse? Do you struggle to feel good about yourself as an adult? Perhaps you hear voices in your head of names you were called, or discouraging experiences replay in your mind. How can you get past all that to feel good about yourself?
Here are some Self Esteem Building Activities just for you!
Before sharing these activities, please know that I am writing from my own experience. As a former victim of verbal and emotional child abuse, I had a lot of baggage as an adult. This was compounded by difficult marriage situations. In my second marriage, my husband sometimes treated me the way my father treated me as a child. It wasn’t until I reclaimed my self respect that I learned the proper way to treat myself. My first step was to respect and love myself.
How do we respect and love ourselves, when we don’t believe (or at least doubt) that we are worth anything?
I found my answer in the scriptures. I knew that it was a commandment of God to love HIM, and to love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). I tried to do this, but seemed to be failing miserably, especially in my own family! Then, as I searched those verses more carefully, I found a section I hadn’t paid attention to: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS THYSELF.” Wow! It was actually a commandment to love MYSELF!
Now, how to do that? I decided my first step was to treat MYSELF as if I were my own neighbor, my own best friend. If my best friend had a difficult day, would I criticize her? NO!!! I would encourage and help her recognize the good she did. I changed the way I talked to myself.
Second, I began to take care of my body and appearance. For me, this meant sleeping early hours. I included regular exercise as part of each day. I cut back on junk foods and began to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean protein. I dressed and groomed for each day, dressing my hair and wearing attractive clothes and makeup.
Third, I began developing my talents. I loved music, so I took voice lessons and joined a group of singers who sang at rest homes and played handbells.
Fourth, I looked for ways to serve others, such as singing. I paid better attention to the needs of my children and husband, realizing that Charity Begins at Home.
Four Self Esteem Building Activities:
1. Treat myself as if I am my own best friend
2. Take care of my body and appearance
3. Develop talents
4. Serve others, beginning at home
If you found this helpful, I would love to hear from you! Please share your experiences. If you would like additional support and ideas, feel welcome to contact me about building self-esteem.
Isn’t it funny the situations we perpetuate in our life? We continue to live through the same roles until we work past them. I can relate to your story. I am a child of physical, mental and emotional abuse. As I grew, I found it very hard to be in ANY relationship. The hardest was my partnership with self. My childhood is the main reason I founded my business. You’ve given some great tips. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for your comments, Christy. It is nice to know that we are not alone, that others have experienced hard things too. Although each of our stories are unique, we share common burdens and feel a sisterhood to someone else who understands. I like that your relationship with yourself was so important, is so important! Until we learn to be our own best friend, we replay abusive voices in our heads and recreate abusive behaviors that keep us down. Finally one day we have enough, or we glimpse that life could be better! And that no one else is there doing this to us. We can be free!