Are you kind and gentle with yourself? Not many of us are.
We can be wonderfully kind to others; opening doors, offering assistance, running errands, volunteering.
But when it comes to ourselves we are not as generous, kind, or gentle.
Your own worst enemy?
Do you have a lot of negative self-talk that goes on when you fall short of your own expectations? Do you berate yourself because you are not as kind or smart as others? Do you verbally abuse yourself because you find it hard to forget and forgive?
This was me.
I lived like this for a long time. I was my own worst enemy, saying terrible things to myself; never kind, always hurtful, ultimately damaging my self -esteem, causing sadness and hurt.
It takes time to realise if you have been doing this to yourself. When you stop and listen to what you really say to yourself you might be shocked. And if you are, you can certainly turn it around.
You can be kind and gentle to yourself. You are the only person with you for your entire life. Be your own best friend because self- esteem has to come from within.
And what a wonderful, amazing, brilliant life it can become by only changing the way you speak to yourself.
Once you acknowledge that you have been treating yourself badly you can begin. When you find yourself berating yourself, just stop it. Stop trash-talking yourself.
And how do you do this?
There is another way
Find a symbol that will work for you. Use this symbol as a warning sign. Find one that you can conjure up in the blink of an eye. Visualise it. See it in your mind. Perhaps use a blue door, a stop sign, a bottomless pit. My naturopath gave me the blue door visualization and it always worked for me.
This door (or symbol) can be representative of the place you allow yourself to go where all the doubt, negativity and fear you carry around lives. Now imagine that every time you bring yourself to this place, you are falling into the trap of belittling yourself again. See yourself step up to the door. The key is to notice where you are and not to open it. Instead, back away from the door. This helps you to stop, pause, and to not indulge the voice.
There will be times when you find you have stepped inside. Don’t berate yourself here, just acknowledge that this has happened and stop yourself. Back out of the door and close it. See this happen in your mind. Keep trying, keep working at it. Eventually you don’t even need to visualise the door anymore because it will no longer be necessary.
Take a look in the mirror
Next, try mirror work. The book MIrror Work by Louise Hay is a good tool to have. In the book she teaches the ideas and tips that have worked for her over the years, and they can work for you. Louise then uses positive affirmations to help you with this process that takes time but is so rewarding. To practise is to change your life, how you feel about yourself, about raising your self-esteem like only you can.
At first mirror work can feel awkward and difficult because many of us choose not to look into our own eyes. We don’t like what we see. It may take you awhile before you can actually look back at yourself. And that is ok. Give it some time and you will become more comfortable with this process.
It was this way for me when I first began. I had never spent any time looking at myself, even when I was standing right there putting on makeup or drying my hair. So it felt really weird at first, especially when I confronted myself, the voice that was me, inside.
I was cruel to myself, shamefully so. I can’t imagine speaking to another person in this way yet it was so amazingly easy to do it to myself.
And I slipped up. I could not find it in myself to forgive and so I fell into the berating trap once again. The last time was hardest of all because I had been practising being kinder to myself.
To look into the mirror was to see the pain that I was inflicting on myself.
Switch off the negative voice
It hurt and I was devastated. I put my hand to the mirror, apologising, crying, realising, and making a decision. This led me to become a friend, swearing never to be cruel in this way again. Using positive affirmations for myself, being kind and gentle became more natural for me.
Now it is easier to look at myself in the mirror, to smile at myself, and to give compliments, believing in them and in myself.
Learning to turn off the negative voice takes away its power over you. It can no longer hurt you. And if you slip, you acknowledge that, forgive yourself and get past it.
Tell yourself you are loving, kind, and be gentle. Let this shine out at the world and to you from your mirror. The world truly is a beautiful place that you can fill with love. And it all starts with you being kinder and gentler to you.
Share this post