(Disclaimer- I proofread this thing a dozen times and used an online site to help. If you see any mistakes, I’m only human and not perfect. Thanks for reading!)
If you read last week’s post, then you know that I love listening to a podcast called, “The Read” hosted by Crissle and Kid Fury. In the episode called, “Cheerleader”, Crissle spoke on her depression, seeing her therapist and the advice given by the therapist. The therapist compared negative self-talk to running a race. (See last week’s post for full description.) Crissle’s therapist went on to give an example about forgiving your past mistakes. Her therapist said, “Let’s say a child spilled a cup of milk. Are you going to every time you see that child, every day for the rest of their life be like, remember the time when you were 5 and 38 days and you spilled milk? And I had to use three of my good Bounty’s to clean it up? And replace my eight ounces of milk. Are you going to drag that baby for that? Or are we going to clean up the milk and move on with our fucking lives?” From that moment on, Crissle decided that she had to clean up the milk in her life. She would stop blaming herself non-stop and start looking forward again. Bam! It hit me like a ton of bricks! Is that what I have been doing the majority of my adult life? Bitching over milk I spilled when I was young, naive and didn’t know any better. Constantly berating myself over and over for situations that no longer exist and couldn’t be changed anyway. Being my own biggest critic/ hater has always been a real hotbed issue for me. After hearing the example that Crissle’s therapist gave her, I fully comprehend what my problem has been. I have a lack of compassion for myself. Isn’t that a fucked up thing to find out about yourself.
My understanding and heart is always so large for others. I am able to fully support others with mistakes they have made in the past with my encouraging words. But when it comes to having those same words for myself, there’s been little to none. It is as if I don’t allow myself space to make mistakes or bad decisions. For some reason, that is not allowed in my world. For me, it’s not so much that I’m trying to be perfect. I know this will never happen. And that is completely all right with me. Trying to be perfect, looks like a lot of work that I simply wouldn’t be dedicated to doing. So where does my lack of self-compassion stem from? Why is it that I can be so kind and uplifting for others, but not myself? I am very skilled at stopping someone from beating themselves up. I’m also very good at telling someone to have more patience with themselves and quick to say, “Everyone makes mistakes.” Sometimes I can see the potential in others way more than I can see it in myself. I have given myself far too much cruel kindness. That is clearly something I would never do to another person. Maybe I thought I was helping myself by giving cruel kindness. By reminding myself of unpleasant situations I have been through, this would somehow help me to never to make those mistakes again. By constantly replaying situations and poor choices, I would somehow learn to never do it again. I found that this is unacceptable behavior and an oxymoron that simply makes no sense. So what are the steps I plan on doing to change this behavior?
Step 1- Acknowledge that I am not compassion with myself. Seems easy enough right? But until one can admit to themselves that they have a problem, the situation can’t be fixed.
Step 2- Accept that mistakes have been made. I’m human and humans make mistakes. Some of the mistakes I made were necessary in order for me to learn and grow. They taught me to make better choices and to listen to my gut. Without making certain mistakes, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. And right now, I think I’m pretty awesome. 🙂
Step 3- Change the thought. When NENE just won’t seem to shut her negative pie hole, I have to quickly remind myself of how awesome I am. I begin to think of all the accomplishments that I have made over the years. I will speak positive affirmations that prompt my brain to go down a more optimistic path.
Step 4- Forgive myself. This one will truly be the hardest to do of all the steps. I’ll have to learn that I’m still a good, smart person, who has flaws. No more or less than anyone else, just flaws. My past choices or decisions do not dictate how much I have grown. They also don’t determine my future. I will give myself a pep talk when I think of a mistake and move on. I will not dwell on choices and things in the past that can’t be changed.
As long as I’m walking the Earth, I will make mistakes. It’s an important fact of life that I must remember. I will acknowledge when I have done so, learn from said mistake, forgive myself and move on. Because I’m tired of beating myself up over old, spilled milk.