How Can You Regain Your Sense of Self-Worth After An Unwanted Experience?
All of us experience some form of disappointment in our lives. At five years old, two family members led me into the dark wilderness of childhood sexual abuse. After calling out for nature’s help, I chose to learn from life instead of being a continuous victim. Of course, over the years, anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and the like visited me, but I set my overall navigation on growing and learning. There was more to life than my childhood sexual abuse experience. So, how do we recover from broken expectations and prevent further damage to our self-worth?
Here are four steps to help you remember your worth.
- You acknowledge the experience for what it was. You don’t need to pretty up the story or tell a different story to achieve inner peace. When we deny our experiences, we increase the risk of denying our creativity, innate ability to heal, joy, peace, and like-minded virtues. Many emotions (anger, etc. )and feelings (incompetent, etc.) we experience come from denying what happened. Ask yourself. What am I refusing to accept about the experience?
- Part ways psychologically and physically, if you can. You do not need to continue in pain or repeat the past. Hurtful actions and words come from people who hurt. Often, their pain has nothing to do with you. For years, I lived near the two family members who misused my body. I saw them get on with their lives, and I knew I had to move forward with my life, too. Ask yourself. How can I move forward with my life?
- Learn from your experiences. Although your experiences can give you insight into your strengths and things to improve on, your experiences do not define you. You choose the life you want to live and set the standard for future experiences (relationships, employment, and other areas of your life) with what you now know about yourself. Self-empowerment comes from realizing you are greater than your experiences. Ask yourself. How can I use what I learned for future experiences?
- Create moments of stillness to reflect on your life and lessons learned. Throughout my day (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and other activities), I allow my mind to sift through experiences. Stillness is not about where you are but achieving inner peace despite where you are. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for quiet moments, but sometimes I can’t wait until the kids go to bed or go outside on the deck to achieve calmness. Ask yourself. How can I achieve calmness regardless of my environment or passing storms?
- Forgive the teachers in your life. Every experience has something to teach us about ourselves—unfortunately, unhealed wounds and pain blind people to the Truth. Forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). Ask yourself. Who am I permitting to interrupt my inner joy, peace, and other virtues?
We can turn broken expectations into opportunities by not taking our experiences personally, separating our worth from experiences, setting our life navigation on learning, and creating time to reflect on what we learned.
Make this lifetime great!
MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES
P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com for my quarterly newsletters. Let’s break the generational cycle of pain by creating a generational cycle of Love.