I used to think the idea of being kinder to yourself was a bunch of fluffy woo-woo lovey-dovey nonsense.
I couldn’t connect the dots on how to apply it whenever the inner critic took over and put some its favorite hits on repeat.
Like the classic hit, titled “What the literal fuck did you just do?”
Or the one that made it to the top of the Heatseekers Chart, “WHAT’S wrong with you? You’ll look like an IDIOT.”
Or the emo crowd’s favorite, “You don’t ever do enough.”
Let those play over in your head enough times and it’ll keep you walled inside a safe existence, too scared to venture outside the lines.
But through much time and grace, I’ve found that being kinder to myself doesn’t mean your self-talk is lovey-dovey all the time or it’s positive self-talk 24/7.
Quite the opposite.
The inner critic still lives with me and often times is the voice of reason for the moment at hand.
Being kinder just means that it’s not the ONLY voice you let in your head. You recognize it’s only one perspective.
Instead of defaulting to the inner critics as truth, I let other thoughts in, kinder thoughts, thoughts that remind me I am enough. Thoughts that help me trust myself rather than doubt.
Self kindness isn’t a blindness to your shortcomings.
It’s dancing with the tension that there is opportunity to improve AND you are also good enough as you are.
The AND is important.
You need both sides for balance.