I Am Lovable and Capable…Right?

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Earlier this week I challenged you guys to write “A Pre-Apocalyptic Bucket List for the Soul.” The idea was to figure out the top 10 things you would like to change about or accomplish for yourself before you die — a sort of bucket list for the psyche.

So did you start your list yet? The clock is ticking here, folks. According to the Mayan calendar (or the people who misread when it ends, at least), we only have 34 more days left. I don’t know about you, but I figure I should get cracking on checking off stuff. I stupidly knowingly wrote a pretty tough list, so I’m going to take it one item at a time. Let’s start with No. 1:

Let go of past hurts. I can forgive, but I have a lot of trouble with the forgetting part. Dwelling on things doesn’t hurt anyone but me … and my husband, who gets stuck listening to me obsess.

This is a tough one. I don’t want to call out anyone specifically and sound like a whiney tattle tale, so I’ll focus on the common theme in most hurtful situations: He/she/they excluded me or said or did something that wounded my self-esteem.

Any of you children of the ’70s remember the IALAC sign classroom experiment? IALAC stands for “I am lovable and capable.” When I was in fourth grade in Southfield, Michigan, my teacher had us make IALAC signs and wear them all day. Each time someone said something that made us feel insecure or hurt us, we had to rip off a piece of the sign.

At the end of the day, I remember looking at what was left of my sign and wondered what I had done to deserve all those torn-off pieces. It had to be my fault. Instead of blaming the people who made me feel bad about myself, I blamed myself. My lack of self-esteem was the reason I couldn’t let go of the emotional pain.

With the apocalypse approaching, I think it’s time to break out the old IALAC sign. After all, I am lovable and capable…right?

I’ll keep you posted on the state of my sign.

8 thoughts on “I Am Lovable and Capable…Right?

  1. Wow. We haven’t done that lesson, but we did do the construction paper heart and how crinkled it got whenever someone hurt us, and even though we try to smooth out the paper afterwards, it still is a little bit crinkled, and never back to its original shape. I think I’m more like that. I try to forgive, but I don’t forget. The pain/hurt is still there. Letting go would be hard for me, too. I do blame myself a lot for my past pains, so it’s interesting to think that my lack of self-esteem is the reason I can’t let go. Thanks for giving me something to think about! Hopefully it’ll help! 🙂

  2. I am a child of the 70’s but never knew about the lovable and capable sign. Catholic school in the 70’s did not engender those qualities, unfortunately. I sure do love the concept though. Self-esteem the unknowable – and how to cultivate it? One of the great mysteries of the universe. You are certainly lovable and capable, my friend. And now I’m off to read your post on the bucket list. I’ll see what I can do about writing one.

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