I want you to believe yourself

We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. ~Anne Lamott

For the past week, I have been a mess. I am dealing with a health thing, an imbalance that is making me anxious and depressed and tired and cold and heavy, (if you have a functioning thyroid, thank it right now for all the good work it does for you). I don’t want to get out of bed, and if I do, I certainly don’t want to leave the house, sometimes can’t trust myself to open my mouth, and a lot of the time, I feel like I’m about to cry. I have a doctor’s appointment early next week that will hopefully begin the process of getting that balance restored.

Then there’s Sam. He is sweet and goofy and I love him so much, but he’s also a challenge for me. We had our training session yesterday with the amazing Sarah Stremming from Cognitive Canine, and while I’d hoped to feel better, lighter, more confident and calm afterwards, instead I felt overwhelmed and shaky and discouraged. Watching him be frustrated and anxious and feeling like I don’t quite understand how to help him navigate that just makes me so sad. Sarah gave me a lot of new information and I was trying to process and remember, what to do and what not to do, but I felt myself sinking lower and lower. I went to bed at 8 pm, because I could no longer keep myself upright and I needed to have a good cry. I know that a lot of this is due to my thyroid being out of whack, and because of that I can’t completely trust myself right now, but when you are in it, it’s hard to be rational, to remember that there’s that thing that is distorting your perception–you just feel what you feel, and it doesn’t feel good.

On Kind Over Matter’s Friday’s Lovelies list this week, there’s a link to Tanya Geisler’s “Thing Finding Thursday,” (you might remember, I wrote a post about “The Thing” before), which she describes as “stories of people who found their Things, and how they did it — so you can do it, too.” I looked through Tanya’s archives, and found two videos I wanted to watch: one with Dyana Valentine and one with Jennifer Louden, two of my favorite women.

Dyana Valentine talked about rooting what you do, your thing, in your strengths and core values. And she reminds us that “just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you have any business doing it.” Towards the end of the video, when Tanya asks her “what do you want for the people watching you right now?” and Dyana’s answer had me in tears. She says:

I want for you to believe yourself. And I don’t mean believe in yourself but I want you to believe yourself. I want you to believe what you experience. I want you to believe what you say to yourself and to other people. I want you to believe that you are on the planet and we are happy that you are here. I want you to believe that if you know something is not working for you that you can make that change–you don’t have to make it now, but I want you to believe that you know the difference between right and right now.

Jennifer Louden said of The Thing in her “Thing Finding Thursday” video with Tanya “it’s okay if you found it and abandoned it and found it and abandoned it and found it and abandoned it. And we can be ashamed that we’ve given up and we’re here again, or we can celebrate and get support.” She finishes up by saying:

Sometimes the things that you most care about are the things that you’re most afraid of, so you may know very well what your thing is and you may know that you may not be able to bring it to life the way that you want and that may break your heart, but don’t let that heartbreak stop you from trying.

“Warriorship means that when there are obstacles, we do not back off,” (Sakyong Mipham). So, as I feel discouraged, brokenhearted, and messy, I choose to get support and help rather than to give up. I believe myself. And I don’t let the heartbreak stop me from trying. This is my dog, my thing, my life. “I know the more I embrace My Thing, the more exciting and dangerous the adventure of life will become,” (Brandy Glows on Thing Finding Thursday). I am challenged and afraid of failure, and more than a little tired, but I am not broken, I am not done. I am already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who I was born to be.

10 thoughts on “I want you to believe yourself

  1. pittsburghphd

    I know exactly how you feel. My mood, attitude, whatever you want to call it, has been brought on by too little sleep, no exercise, bad eating habits—all things brought on by working way too much the past two weeks.

    I was sitting at my computer today going over my to do list and wondering how I was going to find the energy to keep going when what I wanted to do with my whole being was crawl back into bed and stay there for the rest of the day. I stopped to read your post and after that I couldn’t stop thinking about Dyana’s quote: “just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you have any business doing it.” I kept thinking about that as I went downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer, and then my mind wandered back to my to do list, and I lamented that there would be no way for me to get everything done and still have time to go to church. Then this mean little voice inside my head said in a snotty, superior tone “Do you think God will be mad at you if you don’t have time to go to church?” The subtext of that was “suck it up and get your work done.” What startled me more than my negative self-talk was the other voice inside me that answered back “No, I think God is mad at me because I have this great life and I’m wasting it being miserable.” That puts a fine point on it.

    The thyroid thing sucks. I know. All of the women on my mom’s side of the family develop under active thyroids at about 50, so I figure it’s only a matter of time for me. But I also think that we make it hard for our bodies to do their thing (to borrow a phrase) because we ask too much of them. We push and push and push until our bodies push back—hard. I’ve had headaches all week and have been so exhausted that I wanted to cry. And this weekend I feel on the verge of sickness because of it.

    And now I am going to crawl into bed, put on my headphones and listen to Dyana and Jennifer’s videos until I fall asleep. I probably won’t make it to church tomorrow because I’ve made these obligations and I need to keep them for a little while longer, but I know what I have to do now. I just have to summon up the courage to do it.

    Feel better. Take the time you need to heal. You owe it to yourself.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      You are so brave. I know you don’t always see it, or give yourself credit for it, but I see it, so just trust me–you are a raging bad ass.
      Love you.

  2. mj

    fellow thyroid “sufferer” here….a confusing state of life at best, isolating, thankfully much is known now, in the olden days we would have been locked up in institutions, now we can believe ourselves and seek help and be well, you will be well again, you will

    I treated myself to an appt with an endocrinologist, you know it is a treat because I could also have used that money for a weekend away….anyhow, the dr. said there is a new school of thinking to take the replacement hormone just before bed, you can ask your provider for their thoughts and if this would be a strategy recommended for you

    good health awaits you, believe.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Ugh, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this too. But thank you for mentioning an endocrinologist–I’m not sure why I never thought of that. I am going to my doctor with the attitude that even if my test results are in the “normal” range, this isn’t working anymore, so we are keeping on it until it gets back in balance. Good for you for being your own advocate, and thank you so much for the support.

  3. Eydie


    I just stopped by to read your post and want to give you a hug before I head to bed.

    I also have health challenges that can sometimes kick me in the butt, so I believe I understand what you are experiencing. I’ve always taken a holistic approach to my health (yes, I do see conventional MDs from time to time) and I want to share with you that when I practice QiGong, I experience a sense of balance and ease. It can usually help get me out of a funk.

    I hope wish you well … I wish your strength ,,, I wish you clarity and peace of mind.


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