I’ll love myself when…
I lose weight. When I stop getting angry and being so judgmental. When my body is perfect. When I find the perfect job or the perfect partner or the perfect place to live. When I finally figure it all out.
And this, more recently: “I’m not getting anything done. I thought I would use this time to get caught up on stuff at home.” “My kids aren’t doing their schoolwork; they’re falling behind.” “I’m eating crap all day long!” “I haven’t exercised for weeks.” “I’m binge-watching tv all day! I should be reading!” I’m noticing how similar all of these comments’ sound. Self-loathing and disappointment, expectations we set up for ourselves, as if we are being graded for how we are doing our own lives, as if we have some unwritten rules we have to follow. No matter what, we can easily judge ourselves as failing on some days and struggling on others. (Oh, yes “we’re all in this together!” I wouldn’t want you to, but you should see my house, my lack of writing, my lack of reading.)
Can we just…NOT? Not keep doing this to ourselves, diminishing our very being with all the judgement of every part of ourselves?
It’s very important to me to make sure that anybody reading this knows that, education and training aside, I often think I’m a mess, unfocused, not using the skills I have learned to help other people. I will not ever offer x steps to the perfect life, the perfect workout, the perfect diet, the perfect anything. It doesn’t exist except as a concept in our own minds, and in some magazines. When I remember “there is no perfect”, I automatically take a deep breath.
I KNOW, from my own experience, that hating myself never led my body or thoughts anywhere I said I wanted to go. Hate begets hate: if I hate myself, the fat on my body, the dirt on my floor, that’s all I will see. The lens of hate makes everything bigger, uglier, darker. The energy of hate keeps life stuck in an ever-widening swirl of despair. When I continue to “grade” myself based on how I think the outside might judge me, the spiral gains speed. Because I have been taught, and I practice, take a breath and shift my thinking, I have a chance to stop this hate in its tracks. This sounds simple, and it can be easy if you are willing to consider that giving yourself some love doesn’t have to be hard. As I practice this, I can smile, even laugh, at how easily I fall into self-loathing. (I’ve practiced it diligently for most of my life!). As soon as I see it, I am out of it: I can’t be in love and in hate at the same time. When I invoke some compassion for mind, body or how I’m doing life, I cannot keep on with hate. Love will always drive out hate, light will always overcome the dark. A deep breath can change a lot.
Mary is a certified Life Coach in Omaha where she enjoys reading and sharing books, taking in nature and exploring all life has to offer with her husband Kurt, and rescue dog "Scruffy".