There was a time – there are still times – when I read or hear or think this statement and my reaction is less than, um, proud.
The truth is, I spent many many years being ohhhhhh soooooo hard on myself.
I was like my own in-house drill sergeant, barking out orders in the unkindest tone possible, dispensing criticism as if I had an unlimited supply (back then I did)….all of which meant that being me in my world was a very unfriendly place to live.
But I’ve been working hard to change that.
For instance, the other day I bumped into someone I don’t really like very much. My mind got busy right away reminding me why I don’t like this person.
But then later, thinking back, I noticed how unhappy it made me to think of this person in a negative light. So I started working on this – trying to find a perspective that felt better.
That was when it hit me – when I bother to look for it, I can easily find many things to admire about this person.
She is a devoted mom and daughter, a loyal friend to friends of mine, a disciplined and dedicated professional and much more.
In fact, the moment I started cataloging her gifts and strengths rather than her (to me at least) flaws and weaknesses, my whole perception of her changed.
Even better, my whole perception of ME changed.
In the very moment when I chose to redirect my habitual negative thoughts about this other person in a more positive, compassionate direction, I began to feel better about us both.
I have also noticed that this process works equally well when I practice it on myself.
For instance, I can focus on my shortcomings, my faults (such as I choose to interpret them), my weaknesses or lapses in judgment. We all have them – they are not hard to find if we insist on looking for them.
But I can also choose to focus on my strengths, my gifts, my triumphs and my moments of true wisdom.
How I feel about me in any given day is totally up to me.
How you feel about you on any given day is totally up to you.
This month – or at least for today – I invite you to practice with me. When you notice your thoughts about yourself have taken a turn for the worse, turn them around.
Notice how good it feels.
Today’s Takeaway: Do you notice any habitual thought patterns about others – or yourself? Do these patterns uplift you or bring you down? If you made a shift how might it transform your perspective of someone else, yourself or both?
This post is from this month’s Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery ezine.
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Last reviewed: 23 Jul 2013