We can be so unkind to ourselves. Sometimes we fail, we slip up, we have habits that control us.
We fail at meditating every single day, we smoke too much too often, we get grumpy with the people we love and we feel REALLY BAD about ourselves. Then we get MEAN. At ourselves.
I recently met a woman who is deeply generous, kindhearted and creative in so many ways. I will call her Q. She is also struggling with hoarding behaviours around specific items in her her home. When I first met Q she took me to see her art. She said she had not been able to create for some time. When I asked her why, she said she would not allow herself to work on her art when she should be dedicating all her spare time to decluttering her home.
The problem was that she was unable to resolve her clutter problems because she was unable to resolve her hoarding behaviours. In the meantime she was tiring herself out, constantly moving things around, completely unable to let anything go, hating herself when she saw no real change, and longing to create.
She was punishing herself for behaviours she had no control over.
~ Brace yourselves – Blindingly obvious statement coming up….
We’re all human, with all the normal and unusual and funny and weird (subjective words huh?!) behaviours that go along with our incredibly adaptive, whacking great big brains.
So often we humans over-do things. We take things to the maximum. We go hard out at something we enjoy, or that brings us comfort and often it can become a problem. Alcohol, food, work, exercise, shopping, hoarding are all examples of things we can overdo.
We can also overdo self-discipline, or our individual perception of self-discipline like Q did.
We might go on a drastic diet when we try on last seasons clothes and find they no longer fit us. Or deny ourselves an attractive, practical office or study space in our home because we aren’t earning an income yet.
Denial is an antidote to self loathing, but it’s often unrealistic and definitely unkind. Of course sometimes we’re not going to stick to it either, because it’s so extreme, which makes us feel worse.
Sometimes unkindness to ourselves is so ingrained it is actually uncomfortable for us to be kind. Kindness to ourselves can create such uncomfortable feelings because it is at odds with how we have always been.
If we constantly perceive ourselves as weak, undisciplined, stupid or berate ourselves with any other severe criticism it becomes a belief.
Deeply ingrained in our minds is our image of ourselves. However you believe that image was formed, you reinforce it by the way you treat yourself and how you allow others to treat you.
Being kind to ourselves does not mean we are selfish or lazy or any other negative word we might use to abuse ourselves.
Being kind to ourselves means:
Balance, Harmony, Wellness, Peace, Health
Kindness doesn’t mean indulgence, excess or greed. These are the opposite of kindness.
We often trick ourselves persuading ourselves that we are being kind to ourselves by buying “Just One Shirt”, smoking “Just One, Only When I Feel Stressed”.
Kindness is making sure we get to express ourselves in the way we love most, whether creating art, writing, dancing, making videos, gardening… (Choose your experience!) even if there are other things you believe you Should Be Doing.
Kindness is putting our needs right up there with the needs of the people we love. This means we make time for ourselves, we declutter and organise to make spaces just for us, we change our lifestyle to accomodate study, volunteering, work or play.
Kindness is managing our schedule, the demands others make on us and that we make on ourselves so that we are not constantly under pressure, stressed and sleeping poorly.
Refreshing ourselves, finding joy and happiness in our life right now, however that works for you is crucial to living a good life. A life you’ll look back on without resentment, guilt, anger or regret.
Live now. Be happy now. Allow yourself to enjoy your life.