We are all taught from an early age to be gracious to others, but I don’t ever remember a lesson on extending this healing grace to ourselves. If I talked to others the way I talk to myself on a daily basis I can assure you I would have no friends, as a matter of fact, I would not just have no friends, I would gain a whole bunch of enemies! I am brutal with myself…I kept up with it for a few hours this week, and here is a small sampling:
- You are a failure as a parent, your kids are going to be ruined for life
- My pictures are horrible, I can not possibly post them
- I can’t believe I ate that
- I can’t believe I didn’t work out today
- I deserve to be alone
- I should have read instead of watching that episode of The Office yet again
- My kids should listen to K-Love….not the Foos
- No one wants to read what you write…what are you thinking??
- Good Lord look at the dust on that ceiling fan…
- If I were a better daughter, I would not let words hurt me
- If I were a better Christian, I would pray more
- Where did all these wrinkles come from?
- I should dress more my age, I look ridiculous…
- No wonder my kids keep a sinus infection, I should cook healthier food
- I am so stupid
- I can not believe I didn’t get those last things 2 things on my to-do list done
And let me preface this by saying this is a few hours IN ONE DAY, not even an entire day of cut downs and insults that I tell myself. And I wonder why I end up feeling defeated and like a complete failure. I would NEVER talk to anyone else like this, as a good southern girl I was taught to value politeness above everything. Why are we not taught to extend this to ourselves? This is a huge part of self-care. It doesn’t matter how many routines we implement, how many hobbies we begin, massages we get, or classes we take, if we continue this toxic dialogue with ourselves it will never matter. We have to stop that little voice that whispers in our ear night and day, recounting every mistake we have ever made. And I think I have found the kryptonite for this unwelcome guest, gratitude. Such a simple thing, but so much power in this word. It isn’t easy to form a new habit, we all know that. That whole 21-day thing can seem like 365 days when you are trying to replace a bad habit with a good one. But the payout is worth it, I genuinely believe that. Small victories deserve to be celebrated as much as big ones….so maybe I didn’t get those last two things on my to-do list done, I did the other four things, and that makes me pretty amazing! Perhaps there is dust on the ceiling fan, but we all have clean socks this week….so go me! See how it works? It’s like we have always been taught, garbage in, garbage out. When we truly start valuing ourselves as the beautiful souls we are, we will begin to change this inner dialogue we have with ourselves every day. None of us are great at everything, but every single one of us is good at something, and those somethings are what we need to look for and celebrate. Living in guilt and despair is such a joy sucker. There is too much goodness and possibility, let’s grab a hold of that and live this beautiful life, extending grace to everyone, including ourselves!