We all know that we can’t be in a healthy relationship with someone else if we’re constantly nagging, judging or bringing them down – yet, we seem to forget that the same applies to the relationship we have with ourselves.
How is that we think it’s acceptable to be so cruel and critical with ourselves? Why do we put up with that bullshit – and more importantly, how is it that we continue stick around for the abuse of our own self-judgment?
When we badger ourselves the way most of us do, we create a major separation between the “i” who thinks, talks, breathes and moves their way through life – and the “I”, the greater part of our being who loves us unconditionally. That’s why it feels so damn bad when we’re hard on ourselves. We’ve put a wedge between i and I.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned, and at times, the hardest one to swallow, is that being hard on myself is never – ever – the answer.
Which I know, is counter to what so many of us have been brought up to believe.
We’re supposed to look at our weaknesses more attentively and more often than we do our strengths – those are the areas that need our attention, since we already have the other stuff figured out. Whether someone has explicitly told us this or not, we’ve witnessed the people in our lives live this way, and have followed suit. We have to “get better in order to be our best selves.”
The focus shifts from what I do well to what do I still need to change or improve, and so continues the agony of self-judgment.
Like you hear me say possibly too often, what you focus on grows and whichever animal you feed will get bigger.
So the question is, which are you going to feed? The story about all the ways in which you are wonderful and all the things you do so well? Or, how much you suck at this and need to get better at that?
We’re so afraid that if we don’t address our every “failure”, weakness or malaise, that we will never grow into the best version of ourselves.
But this I know for sure:
When we’re hard on ourselves we deplete our energy and our love; we feel drained and too tired to show up for life, for ourselves. But when we fill our cups with love and positive encouragement, we are replenished, revitalized and ready for more – which ultimately leads us on a path of growth.
One keeps you stuck in a loop of tragic self-despair and one raises you higher. And it’s really your choice which way you want to go.
People don’t become “good” by making themselves feel “bad”. They step into their full power as they continue to foster, nurture and appreciate the goodness that’s already there. And from this place, they have the energy to pay loving attention to the other areas where they feel some growth would serve them well.
Being hard on yourself can absolutely be a motivator, but the question is, do you really want to go through life feeling bad and pushing yourself to be better. Or do you want to be lifted by your own self-love and grow through life feeling inspired?
You see, you don’t need any fixing my dear. What you need is your own love and kindness.
So as you consider what it takes to be in a healthy relationship with someone else, always bring it back to the relationship you have with yourself. This is your jump off point – it determines your expectations, your standards and your path.
Peace & love,