Friday, 17 June 2016

Life Lesson from my Cat #8 ~ be Self-Contained

don't depend on others for your self-worth ~ be independent and self contained

Whenever cats are mentioned in conversation, there is always reference to their independent natures. They are their own "people" and they are sufficient unto themselves. In all her books Brene Brown is very definite in asserting "I am enough" - and my cats would certainly agree with her!

It's taken me a long time to learn this lesson - I always felt that I was not "enough" or I was "too much", but now I'm reaching a place of "enough-ness" where my self-esteem is finally catching up with the person I pretended to be.

Putting on a front of self-confidence is not the same as having an innate sense of your own worthiness. It's all well and good to 'fake it until you make it' but at some stage you have to put it into practice and start believing in yourself and what you have to offer. To have enough self-worth to not have to lean on others all the time and to know your own value without having to be propped up by friends is when you truly start living life.

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. — Lao Tzu

Being able to be alone with yourself, to like yourself, to know your own value - these are traits cats own instinctively and they are worth investing time in developing. Believing in yourself and acknowledging your own worth is just the beginning - from there you can start to branch out and encourage others to be their very best too, and who knows where it could go from there?


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don't depend on others for your self-worth ~ be independent and self contained

55 comments:

  1. This is so true and so timely to read right now, Leanne. I belong to weight watchers and we talked about self esteem and how we view our bodies today. Women have such a hard time with acceptance of so many things, and while I listened to others at the meeting, I kept thinking how I have finally accepted how I look now (yes, 23 pounds lighter, but still). I used to freak out when I was younger. Self-contained...best title for a mantra about image! BTW, this is Terri Webster Schrandt...my google account won't let me properly add my last name so it shows Terri M (in case you're wondering) :)

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    1. I knew it was you Terri - I think you're the only Terri I know! and yes I think we give ourselves much too hard a time of it. We judge ourselves in an overly critical way that really isn't healthy. But I think we're all learning to move on from this and be kinder to ourselves.

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  2. Gosh, if cats could talk! So much wisdom :) Ha ha. Lovely post as always, Leanne. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know Rica! But if they could talk, they probably wouldn't bother - except to tell us it was dinner time :)

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  3. There comes a time when you become sick of the " bullshit" and you develop an attitude that says "this is me , this is who I am. This is what I've been through. This is what I have. This is what I don't have...and I'm ok with it all".

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    1. Perfect Suzi! And every word is so true - it just took me 50+ years to begin figuring it out :)

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  4. Cats do teach us about claiming our place in life without apology. I love your cat lessons!

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    1. Thanks Molly! It's been fun doing them and I think cats have their world pretty sorted - we just need to do the same :)

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  5. Well your cat is teaching us a thing or two about ourselves. That has got to be good. I keep getting distracted by your beautiful baby photos and your husband looks like my doctor. A very kind face. That reminds me I have to go see him next week, the doctor that is.

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    1. I just read your comment to my husband Kathleen and it gave him a smile. I hope the doctor's visit is just a general check up and nothing serious x

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  6. I love this, Leanne, and of course I LOVE the reference to cats (and mine - 3 of them - are sitting nearby!) This is perfect. I'm curious which books of Brene Brown you read? I haven't read any and wanted suggestions. Let me know if you get a chance. Wonderful post!

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    1. I just finished The Gifts of Imperfection - because I'd read an excerpt from it and I have finally come to the realization that perfectionism is not the thing I should be aiming to achieve. She refers to it as a way of trying to control our world and operating out of fear - what a revelation!

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  7. I've got cats and they do seem to have their own sense of completeness, I so wish that people came equipped with that same innate sense of okness. It's always been a struggle for me and one that I continue to work on, but as I've gotten older, it has gotten easier.

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    1. me too Rosie - I'm a work in progress with this one - and I admire younger women who seem to have come by it by osmosis!

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  8. I was able to put this wisdom in practice at a recent sibling reunion, Leanne! ..... And I love the connection with the independence of cats! :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2016/06/17/me-in-the-middle-of-a-sibling-reunion/

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    1. Good on you Mary Lou - nothing like rocking a bit of self-confidence to show you're proud of who you are.

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  9. I loved this and I feel the same way...and now I miss my cat..:(

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    1. It might be time for a kitten Renee :)

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  10. I think both wisdom and acceptance come with age. Isn't it freeing to finally get rid of some of the baggage that has weighed us down all our lives?

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    1. It is indeed Helene! I can't believe it has taken me 50+ years to get here but I'm so loving the freedom of finally figuring out who I am and enjoying that person :)

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  11. I have always been that way and I think it's been a gift. Cats sure are wise!

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    1. I am envious of you Carol - your innate confidence is something I definitely aspire to!

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  12. I just read The Gifts of Imperfection and I am also learning to let go of perfectionism. I have two cats, and watching them reminds to enjoy a moment in the sun, to snuggle up when you feel lonely, and to eat when you are truly hungry.

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    1. I read it a fortnight ago and loved it too. I have been a perfectionist all my life and now I'm working at letting a lot of stuff go and hopefully not control everything in my life!

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  13. I can accept almost everything... now that I am of a certain age... except being patted on the head and being told, "There, there..." - although one of my cats does pat my head.

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    1. Nothing is worse than being patronized Nancy - and we have certainly earned the right to not put up with it!

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  14. This is so true - it's hard to achieve, but when I'm in that 'I'm enough' mindset I feel like I can take on the world.

    Thanks so much for sharing over at #FridayFrivolity :)

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    1. It's something you younger women have developed earlier than my generation Jessica - but we're catching up!

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  15. I've spent a long time faking it, may be time to start believing it! Every time I read about or see photos of adorable cats I want one so bad. I may have to look into the non-allergenic breed:)

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    1. Me too Doreen - I'm working on believing my own press and you'd love a Devon Rex - I'm doing a post next week with a pic of my daughter's Devon Rex in it x

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  16. You have the smartest cat, and all of these life lessons are so profound! This one is especially important.

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    1. thanks Lois - sometimes they just seem to have life down to an art that I am still catching up with!

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  17. This is lovely, Leanne. It brought to mind a quote an online friend once shared: "Enough is a feast." That applies to far more than food.

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    1. It certainly does Lisa - "enough" is becoming one of my favourite words - I might even make it my word for 2017!

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  18. I do love the lessons you share from your cat. Thank you for this.

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    1. Thanks Shirley - they are great teachers!

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  19. Yes, I do think this is a very important, if difficult to obtain, trait. It's also probably what I like best about cats.

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    1. It's definitely a cat quality, but I want it to be one I can be known for too.

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  20. Cats have so much to teach us and they're always willing to share their opinions! ;)
    Dropped by again, this time from Elena's #BlogShareLearn - but every time is awesome! :)
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Donna - I love your blog and it was lovely having you stop by - hope your weekend is great too x

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    2. It's always fun to stop by here, Leanne, before I forget, did you get a chance to drop by the blog party yet and leave some links to your wonderful posts so others can find them and enjoy them, as I do. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/06/10/cant-you-just-pretend-to-be-nice/ I dropped by again, purr-fect the 2nd time too, this time from Midlife Blogger's Association Facebook thingy. :)
      Hope this weekend is being good to you so far. :)

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    1. Awesomeness and cats just go together :)

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  22. Dropping by from #BlogShareLearn! I so agree with you.... I wrote a post on enoughness a little while back too. It's taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel I'm really enough (most of the time), and I'm not just pretending. My cat would certainly agree with all you wrote! They do indeed have much to teach us. I also like the way dogs seem to find joy in so many things instantly, and don't live in the past or the future. Each new walk is an adventure they enjoy to the fullest. All our pets probably have many traits we can learn from. Linda. :)

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    1. They live in the moment Linda and they appreciate the small things - and they don't worry about what anyone else thinks about them......all excellent lessons for us!

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  23. Being able to be alone with yourself and value yourself are such important skills that can take many a lifetime to learn. I love the self sufficiency of cats and how they savour every moment. As the kings of contentment I agree we can learn so much from them. Lovely post. Found you through #blogsharelearn.

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    1. Hi Tamuria - you're right that it takes a lifetime to learn self sufficiency - at least 50 years so far for me!

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  24. Hi Leanne! I so agree that our fur babies have a lot to teach us! If I could be half as self-contained as my former cat Fenwick I wouldn't EVER care what others think of me. May we all live up to Lao Tzu's admonition! ~Kathy

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    1. I'd love that admonition to be a description of how I live my life Kathy - time will tell :)

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  25. A lovely post I found and enjoyed going through it.

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    1. thanks so much Amin - it was lovely of you to visit (and comment!)

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  26. Ahhhh such words of wisdom. :) LOVE this post... "Being able to be alone with yourself, to like yourself, to know your own value" is so pivotal to EVERYTHING. Thank you for sharing at #FridayFrivolity!

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    1. I think being comfortable in your own skin and not needing constant affirmation from others is the beginning of being truly content Sarah.

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  27. I'm loving your cat series, Leanne! You are drawing some really terrific analogies from our furry little friends. ;-) I really like your line "Putting on a front of self-confidence is not the same as having an innate sense of your own worthiness." How many times have I taken a deep breath, pushed my shoulders back, and walked into a room looking confident and shaking in my shoes?! I do confess to using the "fake it till you make it" often, and usually it works (eventually, haha!), but you're right -- we do have to take that bull by the horns. (BTW, I miss you!)

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    1. Hi Wendy - you're right, we haven't connected as much lately but I'm sure that will change soon! I do a lot of faking too - sometimes you have to, but I'm also learning to value myself more too!

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