The Names We Call Ourselves
As a spiritually curious person, I have read a lot about different religions and faiths. One of the pagan rules of the universe that has stuck with me is that you get back what you put out there. Do good, and get good back. Do evil and you will be repaid in kind.
I can’t help but think that the same type of rule holds true for how we speak to ourselves. Speak positively and you become positive. Speak in barbs and insults, and you will begin to believe they are true.
Tell yourself often enough that you are stupid, fat, uninspiring and you become those things. You will never see yourself as anything else no matter what you do. Tell yourself you are kind, happy and inspired, and you will eventually come to believe it.
I think people who stay in abusive relationships have a similar mind-set. If you hear the bad stuff often enough, you start to believe it, and it becomes the only reality you know. Someone standing on the outside of that abusive relationship looking in will remark that they would never stay in a relationship with someone who treated them like that, said those cruel things. But they are not in it. When you are in it, deep in the trenches, it can become the only thing you know.
Unfortunately, I think too many of us are in abusive relationships with ourselves. We can forgive weakness and errors in others, but expect ourselves to be perfect and never make mistakes. We expect ourselves to be super-human and when we don’t live up to that impossible standard, we verbally bash ourselves for it. Some people take it a step further than verbal bullying and physically harm themselves.
When we allow this harmful pattern to continue, it affects all areas of our lives. We get depressed and anxious; we no longer trust our gut and stop standing up for ourselves in other relationships. We drink or smoke or eat unhealthy foods because we don’t think we are worth the effort to not do those things.
The best gift we can give to ourselves is to forgive and forget. Let go of the time you made a fool of yourself. Release your previous bad decisions. Re-learn that it is okay to start over, to fall flat on our faces, to not know the answer. Forgive. Forget. Let go. Release. Re-learn.
That is what life is all about.
Why is it so easy to do this for others, and so difficult to do this for ourselves.
Be careful what words you use to speak to yourself. Choose them wisely. Stop saying things to yourself that you would never say to a friend or even a stranger!