I’ve spoken at length about the importance of building the relationship with myself and how crucial that was in my recovery and healing. Had I of continued to speak to myself, push myself and treat myself the way in which I had become accustomed to then I have no doubt in saying that the likelihood of me being here would be zero to none. Taking note of my inner dialogue was the first crucial step for me, figuring out and addressing the reasons as to why I had become accustomed to speaking to myself so poorly and thinking so little of myself was one of the hardest parts of my recovery (esp in the midst of debilitating depression and suicide ideation).
The way I speak to myself and think about myself now is completely different. My thoughts are the opposite and my automatic thinking patterns have changed significantly. But to be honest I never really thought that I gave myself that hard a time, I thought I was just pushing myself to be the best that I could be. But I was pushing myself for all of the wrong reasons. I was trying to prove my worth by showing others how well I was doing at life but internally I was constantly beating myself up. When I got the great high paying job my inner dialogue was ‘You’re not good enough for this, you have to work harder because everyone else is smarter than you’. When I lost weight instead of rejoicing I focused on losing more (even though I was skinny) ‘Now you just need to lose that weight on your hips and your belly then you’d really look great’. When I went out to dinner with friends instead of relaxing and enjoying myself fully, I would feel threatened by anyone that was skinnier or prettier than me ‘See you’ve got no chance of finding a boyfriend when there’s girls that look like that’.
It was cruel and never ending. Now its rare for a thought to pop up like this but when it does I catch it straight away. But instead of dismissing why the self-loathing/hatred/insecurity has arisen in the first place I try to dig a little deeper and see whats really going on within. Its ALWAYS got to do with feeling deficient in some way. But when I become aware of it I can take the steps to confront and see where in my daily life I may be letting myself down.
The last few days I’ve been a little irritable and felt a little more fatigued then usual, and so I’ve found it a little harder to write. I know that when I’m not feeling absolutely great its easy for me to feel less inspired and energetic to do the work that I have been called to do than usual. But instead of falling in to fear based thoughts like ‘I can’t write, I don’t know what I’m doing’ or ‘I’m getting sick again’ or ‘Its nothing, its normal to be tired’ and not doing anything to change it (betraying myself), I’m instead doing the opposite. I go in deep, into myself because I know the answers are always here. I’ve reflected on the past week, I’ve dug a little deeper, to see what changes I’ve made in my day to day life. And because I’m quite attuned with my body I can quickly pinpoint two things that may be causing the unrest. The food that I eat is not as clean as it usually is and I’ve not taken my supplements for the past five days (normally I take them religiously).
I know that for many of you reading this you may think neither of these things are that big a deal. But for me they are, I know for me to feel my absolute best I have to work at it and that means eating a particular way and taking supplements that support my body. That doesn’t mean I’m pedantic or over the top – it just means I know what works for me (I certainly don’t expect anyone else to do it the way I do it- its always about finding what is right for you). For you it may be something completely different, maybe its got more to do with feeling overworked or under appreciated, maybe you’ve drunk a little too much the night before, maybe your fed up with your job or your relationship, or perhaps you can’t pinpoint anything in particular and you don’t even realise that it is possible to feel better than what you currently do (theres a lot of us that put up with feeling bad because we’ve become so accustomed to it). No matter what it is, its asking for you to take notice.
I know when I continue to do the things that aren’t in my best interests I move further away from myself. I harden against myself and pretend that my needs don’t matter. Purely because most of the time it requires change and doing things that are a little bit harder than the status quo and so I put up with it, and it continues to grow and I get angrier at myself while trying to blame everyone else around me. If you beat yourself up about any of the things that you are currently doing and want to stop (over eating/too much alcohol/seeing the same guy that continues to treat you like shiz) you may find yourself going around in circles. But, if instead it feels like it may be time to go down another path and do things a little differently then making the choice to be a little kinder to yourself is a worthy option. If instead of beating yourself up you decide to support and nurture yourself through these changes (and yes sometimes that means having to dig really deep within), you are giving yourself every opportunity to succeed. And no, its not going to be automatic. It takes time and practice (and yes you have to be kindest to yourself when you are the most frustrated with yourself). In changing your approach and the inner dialogue -you are giving yourself the best opportunity to do what is right for you.
For example, the other day I did something I don’t usually do. I went to a cafe for a turmeric latte and decided to have a raw treat. For me mostly these treats are far too sweet for me (even though they are refined sugar free) and cause some kind of reaction. But on this day I just really felt like one and I wanted to sit in a cafe and do something which is relatively normal ( I rarely eat out). As soon as I took the first bite I knew it was too much, too sweet and too sickly for my super sensitive body. But instead of stopping I continued to eat it. And I ate it all, I felt sick and immediately I began to fall into the ‘Why did I do that?’. From there I know it could have easily progressed ‘You’re an idiot, why did you do that, you deserve to feel sick, you’ve got no self control, no wonder you can’t shift that weight’. I could have been trapped in a mindset that was never going to serve me and would only continue to make myself feel worse.
What I did instead was acknowledge that I made the choice to eat it. I knew that I couldn’t change it so there was no point in beating myself up. So I accepted it and I made the mental note of how I felt afterwards. So that the next time I considered doing it I would be able to remember how crappy I felt. Each time you make a choice you are bringing yourself closer to who you want to be or further away. If I continue to make the choice to eat those foods instead of honouring how I feel I understand how I’m not really doing the best thing for myself. Im not saying that I’ll never do it again, I’m saying that I have the choice to choose differently if I want to feel better within, if I want to live the way I want to live. (Don’t think that you have to get it right straight away, it may take 2,12, 20 or 100 times the point is you become more aware). And I’m not just talking about a sweet food, I’m talking about alcohol, cigarettes, food, shopping – whatever it may be that is not really serving you for the best..
It all comes back to the way you treat yourself, to the choices you make, to the way you decide to live your life. I choose to look after myself in the best way that I can, I choose to not beat myself up when I do something that doesn’t keep me in full alignment, and most of all I choose the once- hardest- thing-of-all, that has now become the easiest- LOVE for myself.