Kindness Challenge Week 2
This week we were to “pay attention to the way you treat yourself and the things you say to yourself both spoken and unspoken. Notice what your default reaction is when you struggle, make a mistake, or fall short. Write down the words you say, the phrases that cross your mind, the way you react, and how you respond to yourself.” (Niki)
Well, this was an eye-opening week for me and I am going to be very open and transparent here and tell you like it is. Some of it is sad but it has a happy ending so read on to the end.
The word I say most often to myself is stupid. When I make a mistake I say stupid. When I forget or misplace something I say stupid. Really, stupid? What’s with that? The word makes me feel bad about myself even though I know it isn’t true. It makes me angry.
There is a phrase I use a lot, you will never…get over what happened, forget the embarrassment of, feel well, be rested, start or finish a project, learn something new, catch up with the blogs you follow…the list goes on. Of course, the negatives are self-defeating. Why do I think like this? Did I always have this mindset? Where did it come from? The phrase makes me angry with myself and depresses me.
“We all have a tape that plays in our heads, but at some point, the voice on that tape came from somewhere outside of us. I want to gently encourage you to identify the inner voice that challenges you the most. How far back does this tape go? Where did that voice originate from? Is that tape helpful? At some point, that voice stops coming from someone else and continues to speak as our own inner voice. How much of what you say today is attributed to that voice?” (Niki)
I know where the word and phrase come from…my childhood. Whenever I would want to do something new or have a plan or dream I would share I was told not to be stupid, you can’t, people will laugh at you, you don’t know how to, they won’t let you, you will never do that. I know that many ideas and dreams when young are part of exploring the world and your part in it and many will not happen but thinking and dreaming should be talked about and encouraged.
We are asked, “How would you treat a loved one in that situation?” (Niki) First, I would listen carefully. I would ask questions to see where these thoughts are coming from, why they are so strong and invasive. I would try to help them know the truth and encourage them to see the reality, not the lies. That’s what I am trying to do for myself.
How will I move on and be compassionate with myself? When stupid is my response to a thought or action I will tell myself the truth, I am smart and talented. When I tell myself you will never…I will ask myself, why not? Do you want this, who is stopping you, is what other people think so important that it negates what you think? I will tell myself you can if you want to and I will learn to be open with trusted friends and ask for help when I need it.
I can and I will!
14 thoughts on “Self-Compassion, reflection…”
Thank you for being so open, I saw myself in everything you said. “You are stupid, you are lazy, people will laugh at you, you will never”… and the list goes on. Is it any wonder that we often feel defeated? I wish very parent could read this and ask themselves what messages they are giving their children, I received the same kind you did growing up.
Today I asked myself “what is most important to me?” Those are the things I’m going to work on. We really can’t do it all, because there are only 24 hours in a day and we need a little sleep too, or in my case a lot of sleep, but I feel much better about myself when I’ve accomplished something meaningful, even if it’s just reading a chapter in a book or adding a few rows to Papa Bear’s afghan. Today I can… and I will! XOXO
I think parents do the best they know how to. I wish I could talk to my parents and ask them questions so I could know them as people, not just parents. Know what I mean? Some days it is enough just to nap!
Patricia, this is painfully beautiful in its honesty and raw emotion. This took courage to share. But, I am glad that you did. Pix was moved to share some raw things, as well. Hugs to both of you. I hope that someday I will get there, too.
Thank you, Annie. It was a bit hard to write but felt good when to the publish button was hit. We can just take it one day at a time…and all will be well.
Patricia, very often I can not find the words to make sentences that allow me to say what I want. Very often you say what I would like to say, That has happened here. Also it makes me angry that you were ever told you were stupid or made to feel stupid. When I say I can’t find the words it is because I become so emotional that I can’t keep my thoughts together. I grew up as only child and I was never good enough at anything according to my Mom. I was called stupid, told I would never learn a thing, anything I was told to do I was told it wasn’t done right.
I do love your happy ending! And I agree with Eugenia…. you are a very gifted writer. I soak up your words.
Thank you, Pix. I often wonder what hurts my parents endured as children to give them such a skewed outlook on life and child-rearing. I think they did the best they could. I think no matter the mistakes and hurts we showed them they were wrong about us…we are smart and can do whatever we want.
My Mom certainly had her own demons. I am happy the last three years of her life I got the Mom I always wanted. Not every person makes a good parent… exactly why I do not have children.
What a blessing those three years must have been! Wonderful that you have them to remember.
Thank you for being so transparent in your post, Patricia. I can relate because I too grew up being told I was stupid. As a mother of two young children, I can’t imagine uttering such words and am very careful that my actions and words always build them up. Even when there’s a lesson or room for improvement I choose my words wisely. I have worked very diligently on rewriting that tape that played in my head and deleting those words and messages because they didn’t empower, uplift, or serve me in any positive way.
I’m so glad that while it’s painful to become so consciously aware of this, that it will enable you to address it and change it. I love the attitude you have to challenge the thought that you won’t ever do something. I encourage you to explore the things you have yet to do and ideas you have and embrace them because they come from a place of infinite creativity and magic! Thank you for sharing ❤ ❤ ❤
You are a wise mother who has learned valuable lessons from experience. I think my parents were trying to be protective but doing it rather strangely. Getting old does help with getting over the hurts. Age does have its benefits.
It is unfortunate how things from our childhood follow us into adulthood. You are definitely not stupid, my ear. You are a very gifted writer. Nice post.
It does seem in some ways we never grow up. Thank you for the encouragement.
What a good post, Patricia. I’m finding (as we are all being so honest in this Challenge) that towards ourselves we all seem to act in a way we would NEVER treat others and certainly from the wonderful posts and your creative writing I would never think of you as stupid. I’m glad we’re beginning to see the light and remembering to give ourselves that compassion we always give to others 🙂
Thank you for the encouragement! We do need to remember we are people, too, and deserve good same as everyone.
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