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Self-Compassion, reflection…

Kindness Challenge Week 2
Self-Compassion
Reflection

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)

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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!

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Posted in Kindness Challenge, reflections, whatever!

Self-Love, reflection…

Kindness Challenge Week 1
Self-Love
Reflection

I think we all struggle to some extent with self-love.  I think we are often taught that loving yourself is not a good thing and that loving yourself is thinking you are better than others.  True self-love is not an ego trip. It is simply allowing yourself to be who you are, accepting all the bits and pieces that make you real.

I did not have much in the way of self-love as a child and young woman. I was raised not to make waves, to be quiet and keep what I thought and my opinions to myself. I really didn’t allow myself to be me. I did whatever I could to be like everyone else, to fit in. When I realized I wasn’t ever going to be like everyone else there was some serious rebellion that happened. That didn’t work either.  I was miserable.

I didn’t like myself. I certainly didn’t love myself. What I did know was that things had to change. It took time, a lot of work and tears…and a good bit of laughter. I learned that I am a little different in some ways and a lot different in others and it’s okay. I am not worthless. I am a good person.

This week while pondering self-love I realized I still have times when I really don’t love myself. Those are the days when I tell myself lies about myself. I tell myself I am stupid, ugly, have no talent, no friends, no one cares about me…all lies! This kind of thinking doesn’t happen often and when it does it is usually when I am not feeling well and dealing with chronic issues that are troublesome and tiring. Of course, this is when self-love is most needed and is most often denied.

I didn’t think I had a mantra but while pondering self-love I realized I do have one. When I start telling myself lies about myself I look in the mirror and say;

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You are who you are and that is something to celebrate.
The little part of the world you inhabit needs you.
Go be who you are and do what only you can do.
That is why You are here.

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