As I was watching the timeless movie “Pretty Woman,” I was struck by something Julia Robert’s character, Vivian, said: “People put you down enough you start to believe it. … The bad stuff is easier to believe.”
She’s right. Hurtful words have left emotional scars in my mind. It has been easier for me to tolerate negativity from others because my own mind was filled with so much self-doubt and criticism.
I’ve taken every disappointment in the last few years, whether health-related or not, personally. It’s been too easy to convince myself that somehow I deserve to be let down. Tearing myself apart and thinking negatively about my self-worth also made it seem acceptable for others to do.
I accepted negativity and let words sting more than they should have. Only recently have I begun to realize that I no longer want to feel like I have to live my life this way. I no longer want to accept negative behaviors or actions. I realized that to work through the negative thoughts in my own mind, I have to reflect on what I truly want and need, set boundaries for myself, and accept positive change.
In 2020, I asked myself difficult but important questions. I thought about things that are important to me in terms of a life partner and a career, and about what makes me happy and feel motivated and encouraged.
I realize now that I deserve to have my needs addressed. I deserve a life partner who will acknowledge these needs and fight alongside me every step of the way, without hesitation. In 2020, I realized that I am in control of my own life and happiness.
Recognizing these needs and desires was easy. Acting on them and learning to effectively communicate them was much more difficult. But using my own voice empowered me. I became passionate about advocacy and used it to create an entirely new world for myself.
Speaking up and voicing my concerns took a lot of emotional strength and maturity. Boundaries needed to be communicated, and lines needed to be drawn. It felt empowering to be able to use my voice to improve my quality of life in all aspects, including my personal life and my physical health needs.
This year has gotten off to a difficult start, but I’m glad I took the time in 2020 to realize that I am worthy of more. I finally have been silencing the negative thoughts in my mind, little by little. By freeing up space previously occupied by negative energy and hurtful comments, I am welcoming the positive.
That “Pretty Woman” quote rang true about most of my life until now. The bad stuff is easier to believe. But in 2021, I hope it will be far in the back of my mind. My goal is to continue lifting myself up and getting to a place where positive things are easier to believe.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.
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