i often think about how many thousands of problems in this world would change for the better if we just started changing the way we talk to ourselves. If we changed our words.
i've started to notice it in myself, when I'm working, or talking to friends, or working out, or just doing some mundane task. i have this mental benchmark of where i want to be at, and when i miss that mark, right away my brain is like:
"UGH YOU'RE SO STUPID HOW COULD YOU DO THAT??? WHAT EVEN."
"See? Look at you! You can't do it. You're LAAAAME."
Or I'll verbally self depreciate in front of friends and family, laughing at my mistakes and pointing out how klutzy I am, or poking fun at my errors.
"Haha, I know, I'm just lame like that."
"I'm SO awkward."
"Yep, just klutzy lil' me."
Let's just stop here for a minute.
Can you imagine talking to a friend like that? If he or she made a mistake or couldn't do something correctly, would you point and laugh and be all like "LOOK HOW LAME YOU ARE, LOLOL I CANNOT BELIEVE YOUR KLUTZYNESS"?
of course not.
And yet many of us talk to ourselves like this on the regular. We tear ourselves down for things we did well (just maybe not as great as we wanted), we beat ourselves up for things we fail at, and we critique ourselves in the mirror as if we have the right to comment about someone else's work--
Because guess what? that's what you are. You are head to toe beauty and purpose.
How many things in the world would change for the better if we started treating ourselves like children made in the image of the Divine?
It's one thing to believe it.
It's another thing to act like it.
It's easy to say yes and amen when you're sipping your tea and reading this post in a good mood. It's harder when you're at work, or in the gym, or neck deep in schoolwork and you're ready to blow your top. But those are the times when it's most important to dig in your heels and say:
"You know what? I'm not happy with my performance right now. I wish I was doing better. I wish I was happier with myself right now-- but you know what? I am a beautiful, intelligent, child of God. I am a champion. I am LOVED and I am LOVING towards myself and others, and I refuse to abuse myself. I will find kindness in this moment; I will find the rich measures of GRACE that He has supplied me with, especially for this moment."
It's hard. It's really, really hard. And you won't get it right every time. You'll fail, and you'll fall, but the sweetness is in the practice. Students practice, and that's what we are; we're learning. We're experimenting. We're learning from trial and error.
I've been trying and failing for months. And yeah, you know, I still talk myself down sometimes. I still call myself "stupid" or groan "ughh I'm so lame, how could I do that" on occasion. But it happens way less often. That "ugh, I hate myself" feeling is a foreign one now, not a local one. I'm catching myself and recognizing that hey, I need to quit that. I'm awesome.
We're re-training our brains. We taking a bulldozer to these roads of "I can't" and "I'll never be good enough" and we're paving new, beautiful roads that declare "we can do ALL THINGS through Him who gives us strength." roads that remind us that this is a journey, and it's a healthy, wonderful thing to embrace and enjoy where we are right here, right now. In work, in play, in art, in life. We're learning. And we don't need to postpone our security for that day when we've mastered our thing; we don't need to hang onto that for our identity. We can love ourselves right now because we are none of those things. What we do is not who we are.
Who we are is sacred. Big like the sky-- expansive. Deep. We were born with a purpose shaking in our bones, and believe me, that purpose has nothing to do with what you look like, or how much you can achieve in your field, or how you can work harder than the person next to you. Nope.
Our purpose is to enjoy. To sing, to dance, yes, to work hard and play hard and to meet goals! But to find a kindness in all of those things. To find a lightness in the hardships. To love ourselves right where we are.
Loving ourselves and speaking kindly to ourselves even when we have writers block,
or when we have a low energy day,
when we feel as though we have not accomplished,
or maybe the day just didn't go as we had planned.
Let's love ourselves. Let's be kind to our spirits, and our bodies.
And let's show that by how we talk to ourselves.