I sometimes find myself calling myself a doos in my head when I - for instance - forget something and have to run back inside the house for the third time.
I mean, really. That’s not very nice. “Asshole” also pops into my head when I do things like kick the cats’ water bowl or accidentally lose a document I’ve been working on for an hour. And like any normal woman, I am sometimes inclined to internally beat myself up about a bad decision or for allowing one of my particularly annoying characteristics to come out to play (like procrastination).
But I know, and am learning more and more that this is just not good for me. And bit by bit, I’m finding new ways to be good to myself. I’m trying not to put myself down in any way. Other people can make us feel crap enough; the least we can do is be our own champions, our own defenders and our own best friends!
So now when I call myself an asshole I say things like: “No…., I am not an asshole, I’m just a little clumsy and it’s cute. Now where’s the frikken MOP??”
I have it easy though, I think.
I know people who can drive themselves crazy going over and over in their heads what they should’ve done, how they should improve, why they’re bad, bad bad! And these are lovely people!
HOW DO YOU FAIR WHEN IT COMES TO LOVING YOURSELF?
And by that I mean forgiving yourself, being kind to yourself, being generous with yourself… Building yourself up and focusing on your positive traits (while gently learning to shift the negative ones). Do you find yourself admonishing yourself over the slightest little thing?
Do you call yourself names?
Think about that a bit.
If you feel like doing a self awareness exercise (or four), here they are:
Take pen and paper (or keyboard and MS Word document if you must) and write a paragraph or two on how you see yourself. Imagine that you are describing a friend to someone. So instead of saying I say she. Just write down what you think of this person, (your name here) in terms of characteristics, appearance, hobbies, likes, dislikes etc. Then read it objectively. What do you think…? Is this the person YOU know? Amend it until you’re happy that the person described is the person you believe you ARE, not the person you want to be, nor the person you try not to be.
Be aware this week of how you “speak to yourself” in your head. Seriously, what do you say to yourself on a daily basis? Hmm? We’re always so aware of what other people say to us, the way they speak to us, their tone, the words they use, the names they call us… but less aware of the tone (or frequency or pitch) of our self-talk. Really think this week about how hard you are on yourself… Do you dwell on your mistakes or do you allow yourself to accept things as they happen and let go of blame? LISTEN.
This is fun and will take about 12 and half minutes, which incidentally is just enough time to lie in a warm bubblebath with a favourite beverage and listen to 3 songs from your favourite CD. So! when you’re in a nice, warm place with 12 and a half minutes to spare, take pen to paper (LAPTOPS NOT ADVISABLE IN THE BATH) and make a list of every single thing you have ever done that you are proud of, or even that your mom’s been proud of… everything you like about yourself, every nice thing you can think of that people have said to you, any awards you’ve won etc. A list of “All that is Great about (Your Name Here)”. Once you’ve made the list, the next step should be pretty obvious. Flush it. NO man. Read it, look at it, revel in it. “Look at YOU!” (insert American accent).
BE KINDER TO YOURSELF. Bubblebaths and affirmations aside, she (or he) (being you) is a really cool person, with a list of achievements and good points as long as my arm! So be nicer to her (him) (you), ok? Stop projecting negative energy towards yourself. Listen to and trust yourself (i.e your instincts). Believe in yourself, the way you believe in your friends and your neighbours and that Big Issue guy with the lovely smile. Be the best friend you can be to yourself. (I know it sounds naf, but sometimes the best things in life are naf. Like that song “Some People” by Sir Cliff Richard.) As you head into Summer, and you’re wondering how you allowed yourself to pick up so much weight over winter… or you’re questioning recent decisions or nursing a broken heart or so bored you want to staple your tongue, “just to get a little action around her” or you’re simply wondering what the hell it’s all about, try to remember to go a little easy on yourself!! PLAY NICELY.
If you’ve just read through this quickly at your desk, print the sucker out and try the exercises at home. It’s ONE EASY WAY you can do something nice for you.
Have a good one, fabulous people! Thanks for reading.
MOVIE SUGGESTIONS: Amelie, Happy Go Lucky, You and me and everyone we know.
(I can’t put this movie down without saying that it is WONDERFUL and I simply LOVE Miranda July!