I think we would all agree being kind to ourselves is a good idea. Many of us really don’t have an idea what that means, how to do it, or if its even possible. I am telling you its not as hard as you think and it is completely possible. It takes practice and deliberate action like most change we want to make in our lives.
Here is my quick guide to being kind to YOU:
1. Be aware of your inner monologue.
Our inner monologue is so much a part of who we are we some times don’t even take notice. Start noticing. You can try jotting down thoughts as you have them (I am not talking about the ones that remind you to pick up cookie butter the next time you go to the store ). I am talking about the thoughts that tell you that you are ugly, imperfect, not worth while, you don’t deserve to be here, your thighs are too big, your stomach is gross, your face is weird. THOSE are the things we want to notice.
Hear those same words but picture saying them to you as a small child or one of your good friends. Its different isn’t it? We can be mean to us as we view ourselves today but yelling that shit to a more innocent,dependent us is a different story. To be in the face of some one we love and telling them all those things would be unthinkable. I am telling you learn for it to be unthinkable for it to talk to yourself that way.
2. Pause. Make a different choice.
There are a couple of different things that I have tried here.
- Geenen Roth and Tara Brach, two teachers who have influenced my life in a big way, often suggest saying “Oh Sweetheart”. You could try touching your heart or lightly touching your face to offer some grace and kindness. Can you imagine a better way to offer some kindness when you are feeling not good enough, when you are suffering?
- Replace it with a positive mantra. Sayings I have used are: I am ok exactly the way that I am in this moment. I am enough. I know what to do. I am worthy. Awake and alive. I know it might sound hokey but I feel like positive mantras give your brain a new pathway to build and believe in. Repeating the mantra allows that path to strengthen and grow.
- Act as if you did love yourself. If you can’t find a way to be kind, then think about how it would be if you did completely love yourself in this moment. How would you act? What might you say? What ever that is, if its kind and loving, then do that. Some times we have to fake it until we make it.
3. Practice again and again and again. It doesn’t matter how many times you forget, it only matters that you remember and come back. This stuff takes work and practice. You can’t fail here. You just get more opportunities to practice. I promise it gets better and easier.