I feel sometimes like I am not a generous person. Generosity is a virtue I aspire to. Not generosity to the point of having nothing left to give, not out of control giving. Just the ability to say yes more to myself and to others. I'd like to be generous with myself once in a while but all the thoughts I have about how I can be generous with myself end in me feeling it is too selfish. For example, I am a reader - I adore reading. In last year's goal workbook I wrote a list of the books I wanted to read in 2015. And looking back at them this month, as I contemplate my new goals, I managed one of the six, not because I don't have time to read, I read plenty of other books last year. I just didn't read those ones, the ones I wanted to read. Why? Because I would have to go out and buy them for myself. They are not available in our library, they are not books that I can find easily in charity shops and it is unlikely that I will be lent them by friends. As I don't know anyone with them. And yet I have resisted buying them for myself - it's too decadent, too selfish, we can prioritise more important things than spending money on books for me.
It's the same with a lot of things for myself - anything that feels like a treat comes way down my priority list. And I feel like that miserliness extends to how I treat other people too, especially my own children.
Man, this is a hard blog to write. Owning something that I feel shows me in a negative light. I also don't really know why I am sharing it as it is painful to write. But I feel I need to stand up and acknowledge that I limit the flow of good to myself by limiting these good things. And it is a very bad habit that I would like to break. I don't want to pass this on to my children. I would like them to know that they are worthy of loving themselves, of treating themselves well. Because let's face it, how can we expect others to treat us well if we can't treat ourselves well? And like I clarified at the beginning. I'm not talking massive overspending and creating other problems. I'm talking small things. Like those 5 books I didn't read. They would have cost, what? £8 a book roughly? So £40 over the space of the year, which is about the equivalent of £3 or £4 a month. And seriously, that small an amount to spend on something that makes me feel good, makes me feel wealthy, it ought to be doable right?! And yet even as I write this I can hear that little voice saying "yeah, but..."
"Yeah, but.... It's still a lot of money when you are running on a small budget."
"Yeah, but... You could spend that money on your children instead."
"Yeah, but... You don't really deserve it so why bother even doing the maths?"
And that is what it all boils down to, isn't it? It's not about the money really. It's that feeling of not being 'good enough' to 'deserve' nice things.
And the way to get over that feeling? Well - that's the million dollar question right there!! For now I'm going to focus on being vigilant over my thoughts - to try to notice when I am slipping into that mentality. And perhaps I could find some affirmations to use when I am thinking and acting like I'm not good enough too....