When It Is Hard to Do Right By Yourself
A friend sent me a fabulous article on Tiny Buddha called “What to Do When You Find it Hard to Do What’s Good for You.”
Of course I jumped right on it.
This is because I have that problem all the time, with all kinds of things.
I also have all kinds of (very good sounding) reasons for why I shouldn’t work harder to overcome the many obstacles in my life….especially the ones I sort of suspect I am putting in my own path.
Of course the author of the article talks about “big things” – obvious things – things like trying to quit smoking, trying to start eating better, trying to exercise for your health when you really just want to lay on the couch again – those sorts of things.
But I could easily see how the message relates to the smaller things too – the subtler things – things like talking rudely to yourself in your head, or letting fear creep up and tackle you yet again without even putting up a fight, or saying something mean about someone else because you just feel too lazy to restrain yourself.
The article’s author says that both the big things and the little things are a symptom of the same thing – a lack of self-respect.
I totally agree.
But the trouble is, while my mentors over the years have taught me so many things about self-love, and have served as living examples for all the benefits of self-love, and have literally modeled right in front of me what self-love looks and acts like, I still find it hard to truly love myself.
From here, it would appear that agreeing that self-love is the problem and actually loving myself are not one and the same.
Don’t get me wrong – I love parts of me – the parts that can hold a job, the parts that had the good sense to choose a cute parrot for a pet, the parts that honor my mother and father, show up at the hospital to see a sick friend, and pay my bills on time.
But the parts of me that get grumpy or bitter, the parts that no longer fit into certain items of clothing I still love because of snacks I also love, the parts that really think 11am is a perfectly acceptable wake-up time on a workday – these parts don’t seem so lovable to me.
I don’t know that they ever will.
The article doesn’t really resolve this issue, either. But it does make a case for a simple change of mind, which is something I’ve been experimenting with a lot lately.
As in, since I can’t seem to change my own opinion about how lovable certain parts of myself are, perhaps a manual change of those thoughts in my head might work just as well.
I don’t necessarily have to believe my thought-redirects as I’m doing them either (or at least this is what all the “master your mind” mentors I’ve been studying seem to say).
So, for example, if my mind says, “You are lazy and unmotivated because you slept in AGAIN,” I can just manually change that thought to, “You have plenty of time – remember you work from home – you can still get everything done and you don’t mind working late.”
This might not change my mind about how lovable the part of me that wants to laze in bed is, but it will set my mind firmly back on a productive and positive path to make the most of (what’s left of) my day.
Perhaps in time I might even come to see the so-not-morning-person part of myself as wise for adjusting my schedule to when my best work hours are.
Something to hope for – and strive towards.
Today’s Takeaway: How do you deal with the feelings you have towards the not-so-lovable parts of yourself? What works best for you to prevent your own thoughts and feelings from derailing your efforts towards a more positive, productive, self-loving life? What does “self-love” mean to you, and how will you know you have become fully self-loving towards yourself?
Alarm clock image available from Shutterstock.
Cutts, S. (2014). When It Is Hard to Do Right By Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2014/02/when-it-is-hard-to-do-right-by-yourself/