Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Q: Why are teachers cross-eyed?

A: Because they can't control their pupils.

I love teaching eleven-year-olds ;)

My camping holiday was wonderful and I'll try to post some photos soon if I can choose a handful of the 109 that were worthy of going in the Facebook album!

I'm feeling really, really good at the moment. I'm experiencing a kind of self-confidence I've never felt before. It's very strange and highly satisfying.

While I was on my camping trip I spent hours and hours working through the exercises in the book version of Choosing Me Before We by Christine Arylo, which I'd ordered a month or so ago and hadn't got into yet. It is an excellent book, and has become the next logical step in my mental health and relationship robustness programme that began with reading and working through Susan Elliott's wonderful Getting Past Your Breakup.

One of the sections of questions in the book asked the reader to identify people they had seen demonstrating self-love, and their family and friends' attitudes towards self-love. What I discovered was that I could not think of a single truly self-loving role model from my childhood, teens, or 20s up until last year (when I discovered Susan Elliott!). I also discovered that people did not talk about self-love in my family or peer groups. My instinct was that if someone talked about self-love at school they would have been branded as a narcissist (in suitably vulgar teen lingo, "up themselves") or ridiculed with obscenely biological innuendoes (self "love" ... I hope I don't need to spell it out!). There is a huge resistance in our society to recognising that people need to put themselves first and value themselves most in order to give of themselves to others. We go on about self-esteem and self-confidence as if they are the the be-all and end-all of self-care, but never talk about the fact that truly loving yourself is where both esteem and confidence begin.

Something in all of the exercises and questions in Choosing Me Before We has flipped a switch for me. I've lived with self-loathing and a negative self-image most of my life, and it's gone. It's so weird. I don't really understand how it's happened. But I'm not arguing!

And so I can, and will, say publicly with confidence:

I love myself. I love who I am. I love myself despite and including all of my flaws and foibles. There are things about myself that I find unsatisfying and want to change, but they are only at the level of like and dislike. My LOVE for myself is unconditional.

When you have that self-love it becomes incredibly easy to do things that are self-loving, good for you and true to your nature.

For a long time I've wanted to be more eco-conscious and organic in my eating and cleaning habits, moving towards wholly organic meals and so on. But I've held back because I didn't believe in myself enough to put my foot down and say that this is how I want to eat and how I want to be. I was letting my lack of self-love dictate actions that went against my true nature. No more. And I'm doing it. My diet is healthier and free of most nasty additives. I'm looking for safe alternatives to harsh chemicals in my home. I'm not even tempted to turn to unhealthy foods for comfort because I don't need them and I know they go against my true nature.

It feels so good.

I'm actively job-searching this term, trying to get a position at a larger and more stable private school. I can say with confidence now that my talents are wasted at my current school, where the parents began the year determined not to give me a fair go because I was a replacement for a teacher they'd (for some reason) adored, appointed by a principal they didn't trust. It is a foul waste of my energy to have to work in a school where a negative parent culture is entrenched and to an extent encouraged by some of the longer-standing staff. I am supposed to spend my time creating outstanding learning experiences for my students, not burning up my creative energy trying to jump through flaming hoops set up by people who WANT me to fall and burn as I pass through them. Ugh. The school is nice and the kids are fine, and I like the Montessori system, but there are MANY schools out there that do not have this hateful parent culture of backstabbing, rumour and melodrama. I want one. I deserve one. I'll get one.

The other big news is that I'm hoping to start building a house this time next year! I've looked at my finances and if I get a job just about anywhere other than here, my pay will jump by around $10,000 PA. That's enough to get my debts pretty much cleared out and put me in a position to get a home loan. I'd have to take on a housemate at first to help with the repayments - not a necessity but to make sure I didn't end up in a mess - but that's fine. I would build with that in mind - I've seen a neat design that allows for a quite separate few rooms at the back that would be perfect for a tenant. I'd have to build in suburbia but it would be a start, a step on the road to my eco-friendly Hills house :)

That's a general update. Photos soon!


Post a Comment