Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I’ve always been an upbeat person and known for my smile. As a child, people liked me more because of it so even when I had nothing to smile about, my mouth automatically curved up. Even when I grew up and became a full-fledged DoorMat, my basic nature was to be cheerful. It was expected of me after a while. If something was on my mind and I looked down, people would actually ask if I was okay.

It can feel like a lot of pressure to be upbeat and smiling all the time.

Sometimes it bothered me that I wasn’t “allowed” to feel down. When things happened that bothered me, I’d push through the hurt or anger and smile. But I wasn’t smiling inside. Part of the motivation was that I’d read how smiling, even when you’re down, can help you feel better. Hey, I even say that in my writing. But when I went to therapy as I left DoorMatville, I learned it’s okay to allow yourself to be down, as long as it’s not for too long.

My therapist gave me permission to be down. She helped me understand that it’s normal to feel that way when things go wrong. I remember the first time I allowed myself to succumb. I’d recently broken up with a boyfriend. When I woke up on a gorgeous day, my thoughts went to how wonderful it would be to share it with someone special. It was a perfect day for romance. There I was, looking out at clear blue skies and sunshine as tears flowed.

In the past when things happened that made me feel down I pushed myself to fight the tears and smile. This time I wallowed in self-pity for a little while, then made plans to do something fun and pulled myself out of the funk I’d been in. There have been other times when something happened and I also allowed myself to feel the pain of it and grieve in a way. It taught me how important it is not to stifle feelings when something makes you feel bad, or scared, or disappointed, etc.

Allowing yourself to feel those emotions helps you process your situation so you can resolve it, and heal.

I remember when work got very slow for me and I got a bit nervous. I began to question whether I should try to get a job or stay a freelancer. This was very unusual for me. My faith was low. I found myself fighting those feelings. Then I gave myself permission to feel down. I allowed myself to feel scared, and sad. By the end of the day I knew I’d had enough. I’d given in to the negative emotions and gotten them out of my system and began doing spiritual work, affirming that money was coming to me quickly.

And I cleaned my workspace. Cleaning always helps me feel more in control and then I can take control of my negative emotions. I got a slew of fan letters from people telling me how much my writing had helped them. I do believe that was God telling me He was listening. That happens sometimes when I’m down.

Give yourself permission to be down when you need it. Process your feelings, mourn whatever is going on, release your negative emotions, and then pick yourself up and move forward. Do positive affirmations and other spiritual practices to get yourself back to good spirits that feel good, not mask something negative. You’ll feel much better on the other side of your down time.

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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