Last weekend I woke up and needed a dose of something way more positive.
It was like my thoughts were on negative autopilot and I couldn't shake my inner curmudgeon.
Have you ever had a morning like that? Where no amount of coffee does the trick and you're waiting for your own positive vibes to kick in?
Lo and behold, I went on itunes and was guided to Louise Hays' audio book How To Love Yourself: Cherishing The Incredible Miracle That You Are.
Louise Hay is the Queen of Self-love and Affirmations. She's been on Oprah and founded Hay House, which publishes a ton of self-help books.
One of my favorite quotes from her audiobook is:
"Be kind to yourself for every little thing."
I love her voice. And I love the way she says the words: Every. Little. Thing.
It's like she already knows my brain is thinking, "Wait? Every LITTLE thing?"
It seems so silly. "I'm supposed to be kind to myself for waking up and making it to work?"
I'm supposed to be kind to myself for filing my taxes on time?
But, how often do we beat ourselves up for seemingly small things? Our appearance, our jobs, our income, whatever it is.
Sometimes we don't even notice the thoughts popping up!
They can feel like background music to our lives.
And if you're under the assumption that we get better at life, relationships and work by criticizing ourselves - I'm here to tell you - that is NOT the case.
I'm Type-A and I'm all about learning and achieving. I've had to learn the hard way that we can move forward without beating ourselves up for every perceived set-back.
Hold yourself accountable, but in a soft and encouraging way. In fact, it's much more effective.
Trust me, I know it's not always easy to be nice to yourself.
Especially when your brain thinks the only way to accomplish goals is to be an inner drill sergeant.
But, you can start where you are by saying something encouraging to yourself, like:
"You're doing the best you can."
Full disclosure, I used to think positive self-talk was super cliche and not particularly effective. "I'll just internally beat myself up and then show up positively for everyone else," I'd say to myself as I kept my thoughts to myself.
But it just doesn't work.
You have to tend to yourself and then show up with the same compassion for everyone else.
If you're looking for something nice to listen to, here's a link to a Youtube video of Louise Hay's positive affirmations.
Remember that self-love looks different for every person. You are unique and you can use your intuition to guide you. There are no wrong ways.
As Louise Hays says:
"Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Let's be nice to ourselves and see what happens :)
From my heart to yours,
Devon McLeod, LCSW