Some of us do it subtly. We tell ourselves, “I’m not worth it. Why bother?” Some of us are more obviously harsh, calling ourselves awful names like, “Stupid, idiot, loser, and ugly,” and refusing to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make.
We even wear our self-abuse as a badge of honor in western culture. Admit it, how many times have you said, “I’m much harder on myself than I am on others”? We have all probably said it at one time or another, but it is only partly true. I am much harder on myself than I am on others…until. Until I lose my job, until my kids get on every last nerve, until my spouse and I get into another fight, until I get a speeding ticket, until the crisis comes and I get squeezed. Then, however I’ve been treating myself on the inside becomes the default mode for how I will treat those around me. Always.
Now, some of us are better at masking this than others. So it may not always come out in words or actions on the outside, but it will certainly be there lurking on the inside in our thoughts and feelings, which end up affecting the quality of our relationships and our physical health. So if I have been harsh, condemning, and critical with myself, I will be/think/feel that way toward others when I get upset. Likewise, if I have been patient, compassionate and kind with myself, these will naturally flow out of me even when I’m tired, sad, shocked, hurt or angry.
Since learning to relate to myself with compassion and love, being kind to others has gotten SO MUCH EASIER. And here is what else got easier: my ability to rightly care for myself. When I didn’t like myself, I struggled to care for myself. But when I began to value and respect myself DEEP DOWN in my core, I became internally motivated and excited to treat myself well in every area of my life.
Transforming your relationship with yourself into one of loving-kindness is a process where a skillful counselor or coach can be invaluable. If you are ready to start that journey, give me a call today.
To Your Great Life!