I have been a little under the weather lately. It came on quickly and the next thing I know I was calling in sick to work and spending the day in bed. Few things are more frustrating to me than being sick and not being able to fix it or just snap out of it. I realized that the only way to get better is to slow down and be gentler with myself. It wasn’t the most welcomed realization, but I knew it was the only way to shorten the stint of this illness and get back to healthy living.
The same can be said of any weakness, I think, physically or otherwise. When I consider things I don’t like about myself – things that are negative, issues I have a hard time with, things I’m not good at, etc. – I get frustrated when I can’t just fix it, over come it, or stop doing the same stupid thing over and over again.
Then I think about my physical body and how it continues to get sick year after year and I nurse myself back to health. When I’m easy with myself, take care of myself in a nurturing way, it’s always a more swift recovery and less traumatic process.
What if I viewed my whole self that way?
When I catch myself having a bad attitude.
Drinking too much.
[Enter your vice here.]
Could I see it for what it is and take a gentle approach in dealing with myself? Maybe tone down the self judgement and negative self-talk. Allow myself to be human, show myself the grace I preach to others, and give myself a moment. Sit with it. Learn from it the things that will make me better, stronger. And then move on.
Letting it go.
I think there is a connection, as well, in the way I treat myself and the way I treat others. In the way I talk to myself and the way I talk to others. The more critical I am of myself, the more expectations I seem to put on those around me. Inevitably ending in disappointment and frustration. But when I look inward and learn to love myself, then that seems to overflow to those around me and my actions and attitudes fall more in line with who I want to be.
Sometimes it takes a lot of work to change the narrative inside your head. It might have come from your parents, your environment, the string of circumstances flowing through your life. Regardless of where it came from, it is your narrative and you owe it to yourself to make it a good one; a kind, loving, happy narrative.
So maybe take a moment today. Alone. And consider what it sounds like when you close your eyes. What thoughts are flying around? How different would it be if you liked what you heard?
It starts with you. With me. It’s such a personal narrative. But it’s affects are far reaching. Tend to it. Be gentle with yourself and others. It gets easier.