Every morning I spend ten minutes or more journaling and listing all the things that I am grateful for. This is a powerful way to begin the day and helps to focus my mindset in a positive direction. Since I was a child I had this side of me that was excited and enthusiastic but that side of me was always squished (not appreciated) by others.
That part of me seemed to always get me in trouble, and I began to associate being happy with getting in trouble. And worse than that, I associated being happy with being attractive, which also led to abuse. Children form their belief systems by the results they get. If I am happy and excited and I get slapped, or if I am pretty and attractive and get slapped (or sexually abused), then I start to think that happy and attractive are dangerous things to be. We learn our survival methods by the results that we get and we go from there.
I was valued for my looks and my personality and at the same time I was devalued for my looks and my personality. This fact created many opposing belief systems, the need for dissociation and the need for alter personalities.
When I emerged from broken, I had to learn a whole new way to live without my previous and now unnecessary survival system. One of the challenges was that I had had this system for SO long that learning a new one was no small accomplishment. Over the past few years, I have found a few things that I do daily that really help me to reinforce my new belief system and one of them is practicing gratitude by writing about all the things I am grateful for each day.
I found out about a great website, The Gratitude Log, where you can post your gratitude as many times a day as you like, and give appreciation gifts and send notes to your friends there. It is kind of like Facebook only exclusively for gratitude. Each of these little positive things I do help me to keep striving to go forward and not look backwards.
Bright Sunny Blessings! ~Darlene Ouimet
Note: I think it is important for me to say that I tried all kind of positive thinking and self help books and seminars before I got the right therapy and my lack of permanent success with them actually gave me more reasons to feel like a failure and beat myself up with the guilt and shame of not even being able to be positive, so please understand that I am suggesting some of these things as support methods when you are getting good results with changing your belief system.