Oh the stories we tell ourselves

Ever had someone completely call you on your bullshit?

I have.

Just the other day in fact. 

My number one skill, aside from dominating the sports category in Trivial Pursuit, is kicking the ever-loving crap out of myself.

I do it in multiple ways - physically at the gym, mentally at the end of the day, sometimes the beginning, and at least a handful of times in between.

 If I really wanted to be like Wonder Woman (this one came from Ireland - thanks Susan), I'd learn to be nicer to myself. 

If I really wanted to be like Wonder Woman (this one came from Ireland - thanks Susan), I'd learn to be nicer to myself. 

I do it for a multitude of reasons - because I didn’t do something as well as I thought I should have. Because I did do something I thought I shouldn’t have. I set high expectations and often come up short. 

Recently, I’ve been feeling badly about a lot of things - I’m not sure that it matters much what those things are.

And so a friend of mine called me out.

I mean called. Me. Out.

My private email signature has the following quote:

“One must be compassionate to oneself before external compassion.”  - The Dahli Llama 

She wanted to know, and I'm quoting her directly "what kind of b.s. is that quote when you don't feel that you deserve kindness for yourself?"

Um...well....

I told her that I have the quote on the bottom of my emails because I want to remind every single person I send an email to how important it is to embrace kindness for themselves. And I want to remind them that they are worthy of kindness and compassion.

And that unless they can do that for themselves, they’ll have a very difficult time doing it for someone else.

She just stared at me, unblinking, as I said this. 

"Yet you rake yourself over the coals over every mistake you make and every perceived flaw you can find?" she was somewhat incredulous. 

I didn't know what to say. 

The best I could come up with, after a lot of reflecting, is that I often look for ways to validate that I’m not a good person. Someone offers positive feedback and I brush it off - someone offers constructive or negative feedback and I use it as confirmation for that strongly held belief; which is ultimately, that I’m not deserving of kindness.

We’ve all constructed belief-systems about ourselves. That we’re unlovable, undeserving of happiness or kindness, that we don’t deserve success or love - I mean the list goes on and on. But just because we believe it doesn’t mean that it’s true. 

I don’t know what negative beliefs you might have about yourself. 

But today I’d challenge you to take a look at some of those belief systems - take a long, hard look at those old beliefs - and pretend, just for a half a second, that they aren’t true. 

I know, it’s tough right? 

It’s ok, try it anyway.

And I’ll keep trying to challenge my long-standing beliefs as well. 

Be kind.