While sorting through old photos, I came across a photo of me with two of my three children. The youngest was not yet born. I looked at the image of the younger me. She looked so beautiful and smart. Had I not known any better, I would have thought she knew she was beautiful inside and out, smart, confident, and strong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The mental image I had of myself at the time, my self-image, was quite negative due to my existence in an abusive relationship.
In fact, it was shortly after looking at the photo, and reflecting upon my negative self-image as a young mother, that led me to plan a way to reach out to other mothers and mothers- to-be, who are currently in or were in abusive relationships. I want to share what I have learned with other women. Hence, I created this website, Helpforabusedmothers.
Self-image is the picture you have in your mind of your abilities, your physical appearance, your values, and your personality. It is the mental picture you have of yourself. It is necessary to have a strong self-image in order to reach your potential in life and to raise strong, healthy children. You owe it to yourself and your children to develop a positive self-image.
The picture you have of yourself was learned. Beginning in childhood, when you looked at your parents or caretakers, it was like you were looking into a mirror. What they reflected back to you is how your learned to see yourself. As you continued to grow, your close relationships also reflected back to you how you saw yourself. More than likely, the abusive relationships aligned with those of early childhood. Those relationships have a great impact on your life. Those past reflections informed the self-image that eventually got you to the abusive relationship that you have now freed yourself from – or plan to do so very soon.
Begin now to develop a positive self- image. With time and practice, I learned to think about myself in a positive way. Once my thinking and behavior reflected a positive self-image and confidence, I began to invite healthy, confident, and positive people into my life. Their positive words and behavior towards me further motivated me and reinforced my positive self-image.
Practice the following activity to begin the development of a positive self-image.
Outcome: A Positive Self-Image
Tool: Enhanced Reflection
Rationale: There is more to us than we think.
Activity: Close your eyes. Think only of you. What do you have the ability to do that will help you reach your potential? What do you have the ability to say that will empower you and help you reach your potential? Describe how your physical self enables you to reach your potential? How does your thinking help you to reach your potential? What do you personally value? How do your values help you to reach your potential? See yourself standing strong in the world. Describe how you look. Describe how you feel as you stand strong in the world. Describe what you do as you stand strong in the world.
Peace, joy, and prosperity with your positive self-image!