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Category Archives for "Love yourself"

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How to avoid social isolation (when you are an introvert)
Dec 03

How to avoid social isolation (when you are an introvert)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

For me, as a highly sensitive, introvert empath, High School was hell. I enjoyed reading books more than trips to the shopping mall. Preferred gardening to “meeting up with the boys”, actually loved learning and detested the obligatory Saturday night partying.

I was a geek, a teacher’s pet with uncool hobbies, unexciting interests and oddball opinions. But still, I wanted to be accepted. Be part of the popular crowd.

So, throughout my school years, it seemed like I only had two options:

Be true to my authentic Self and face rejection, bullying and loneliness. Or deny my true nature, renounce my interests and adapt my personality to fit in and avoid social isolation.

And both of these options meant suffering. But there was a third option. It was right in front of me all the time. I just never allowed myself to see it.

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A sure-fire way to fix your relationship with yourself
Jul 21

The sure-fire way to fix your relationship with yourself

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

Last week I was making my herbal tea to drink throughout the morning. As I do every day.

But as I poured the boiling water into the jug, the glass exploded and scorching liquid gushed towards me. In panic, I hurdled backwards, stumbling over one of little one’s toys.

And while I thankfully avoided a third degree burn, I tore a muscle in my thigh. Which rendered me immobile for the rest of the day.
So I sat on the sofa. Analysing some cancer outcome data for work, watching daytime TV and twiddling my thumbs.

Looking around, I could see all the chores that were waiting for me. The chaotic piles of toys, dusty floors, mountains of dirty dishes were mocking me from afar.

It upset me that I couldn’t tackle the mess or cook dinner for my family. I felt guilty because my husband had to cater to my needs and take over the child care. And I was disappointed that I would have to suspend my newly-established yoga practice.

As I brooded over all the things I should do, ought to complete or was missing out on, I started to feel angry.

“You stupid, idiot thigh,” I grumbled. “If you weren’t hurt, I wouldn’t be so restricted. I wouldn’t be such a burden to others. I wouldn’t be so useless!”

And the moment I said it, I knew how wrong it was.

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Why you never need to be ashamed of yourself
Mar 17

Why you never need to feel ashamed of yourself

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

I passed my driving test at first attempt when I was 18 years old. And didn’t sit on a driver’s seat again for the next 10 years.

The thought of driving a car made me feel sick with worry and anxiety. I was overwhelmed by all the actions that needed to be completed simultaneously. Clutch, accelerator, indicator, look left, right and back, use the side mirrors, watch pedestrians, traffic and stick to speed limits. It was just too much!

So, I avoided it. Convinced myself that a car in the city was impractical anyway. That the 3-hour journey to see my family on the train at weekends was more comfortable anyway. And that I enjoyed taking the bus.

But I always knew. Driving was my biggest failure.

Every time I found myself behind the steering wheel, I felt physically sick and froze, mind blank and petrified. Driving was my nemesis. An unsurmountable wall of shame I could never overcome.

Until my mind set started to change…

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How to stop beating yourself up
Oct 13

How to stop beating yourself up

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

(WARNING: You will have to lose your mind!)

This morning I took little one to school. In the school yard, parents were chatting in little groups while waiting for the doors to open.

As we arrived, my mind whispered: “Nobody will want to talk to YOU. You are an outsider.”

To prove it wrong, I joined a couple of Mums. But as I tried to contribute to the conversation, they talked over me, taking no notice of what I was saying.

“See?” My mind gloated. “They don’t want to have anything to do with you. You aren’t interesting enough. People will always ignore you.”

As the children swarmed through the school doors, the two Mums wandered off, still chatting, without acknowledging my existence.

“I told you so”, my mind confirmed. “You are an impossible person to like. People just don’t click with you. You are too boring, odd. Just not good enough. You have nothing to offer. You will be alone for the rest of your life. You pathetic loser!”

A few years ago, this experience would have thrown me into a bottomless abyss of self-punishment, self-loathing and self-pity. For days I would have beaten myself up for being unlovable, unpopular, worthless.

But today I wasn’t bothered. The school yard experience didn’t affect me at all. I didn’t lose another negative thought on it. I went on with my day feeling happy.

So, why do I react so differently now? What happenend?

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How to embrace your introvert nature (even if you feel uncool and boring)
Sep 29

How to embrace your introvert nature (even if you feel uncool and boring)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

All my life I felt torn. I hated the hustle and bustle of shopping centres, bars and pubs. I loathed the unbearable noise and suffocating crowds in discos and at concerts.

I felt grumpy and irritated all day if I had to go to a party that evening. And once there, I wished I could be home in front of the TV with my latest needlework project.

While I loved my uneventful hobbies and never was bored myself, I felt that other people judged me: Look at that superbore! Could she be any more old-fashioned, dull and uncool?

I lived in constant fear of humiliation, ridicule and rejection. It hurt when others made fun of me. At times, I felt isolated and lonely because I didn’t socialise enough to meet new people. And my aversion to everything cool, hip or “in” suggested that something was seriously wrong with me.

And, back then, I only saw one solution to the problem…

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Dear guilt-ridden new Mum struggling with the change
Jul 20

Dear guilt-ridden new Mum struggling with the change

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

Can you remember the magical feeling when you looked into your newborn’s innocent eyes for the first time? When you instantly forgot the pain and exertion of childbirth and an all-encompassing wave of motherly love flooded your heart?

When tears of joy streamed down your cheeks as you marvelled at the beautiful, perfect being in your arms. And you knew that your life was complete and you would love this tiny creature beyond your last breath?

Well, I can’t.

I remember 16 hours of labour pain, 2 hours of pushing and the feeling of desperation over yet another unsuccessful attempt to get the job done. I remember an injection needle and scissors appearing between my legs and an episiotomy that still hurt months after the birth.

And I recall my first thoughts when the midwife finally placed the blood-covered bundle on my chest: “What the hell am I supposed to do with this thing now? Can’t somebody else take it, please?”

No instant overwhelming rush of love. No motherly feelings. No happiness. Just exhaustion, anxiety and the ineffable dread of the unprecedented change my life was about to undergo.

But I am still a good Mum. And here’s why…

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