I've been beating myself up lately. Maybe you know how it is. Do you mutter epithets at yourself when you do something silly? How about when you feel like you dropped the ball? Or let someone down? How about when you can't stop yourself from eating eight cookies in one sitting?
Lately I've noticed that I don't speak very kindly to myself (in my head).
Trust me, I recognize that there is a place in this world for "being real" with yourself. I don't think there's a place for sugar-coating in self-talk. I know, for example, that the reason I cannot fit into my smaller pants is that I ate eight cookies in one sitting. On multiple occasions.
But I've been catching myself (in my head) being much meaner. (You ate the cookies because you are a fat, useless moron with no self-control or sense of dignity.) It's been making me feel pretty bad about myself.
And I will tell you this. Eventually, if you beat yourself up too much it makes you really grumpy because you start to believe all those things you say. You start saying them out loud about yourself. In front of others. This makes other people miserable, too.
So today, while I was reading about running, I came along this fabulous quotation:
"Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to a friend."
Would I tell my friend that she has a fat ass? Never! Would I suggest that the reason she can't control herself around food is that she is a worthless being who has lost her way? Um, no.
I might, instead, kindly suggest that she walk away from the cookies. I might remember to compliment her efforts when she actually takes action to counteract that growing arse of hers. I might offer to meet her at the gym. I might remind her that while some people get into pre-preggo clothes 2 weeks post-partum, for her, it really is quite something that she was able to don her non-maternity jeans today, 3 months post-partum. (No need to beat yourself up that you couldn't do it sooner.)
Seriously. Why would I ever want to treat myself worse than I treat my friends?
So starting now, and of course for the new year (for which I have about 7 million ideas brewing), one resolution is:
I will speak more kindly to myself.