creative joy retreat, 2012, hearts

I love this powerful post from Joyce on 50 loving sentiments to say to our partners, family members and friends. It inspired me to think of the statements we can say to ourselves. Because so many of us get stuck in a self-critical dialogue. So many of us get stuck ruminating over the same harsh thoughts.

I’m too big to wear that. I’m not pretty or smart enough. I can’t tell them no. They’ll hate me! I’m such a failure. No one makes such stupid mistakes. My body is disgusting. Wow, am I an idiot.

The good news is we can change our inner dialogue. We can learn to be kinder to ourselves. With practice.

For instance, being kinder can include everything from exploring our needs and dreams to building boundaries to creating days filled with the things, activities and people we love.

Consider saying these statements or similar statements with a gentle, soft, caring voice, as if you’re speaking to a child or the person you love most in this world.

  1. It’s OK.
  2. What I really like about myself is …
  3. Everyone makes mistakes. I’m human. Let me refocus on how I can learn from this. Self-bashing only makes everything worse, anyway.
  4. I have permission to say no to events, ideas and activities that don’t nourish me. (As Rosie said — which I love! — “you are allowed to say no because it is Monday night and The Voice is on and you have a date with your couch.”)
  5. I haven’t taken the best care of myself throughout the years, but self-care and self-compassion are skills I’m open to learning.
  6. I deserve to be treated with respect.
  7. Building a healthy relationship with myself is important because …
  8. What I appreciate about my body is …
  9. I forgive myself. I am open to forgiving myself. Or I am willing to work on forgiving myself.
  10. My needs are important.
  11. My favorite way to move my body is …
  12. I am ready to embrace whatever comes next.
  13. While I might feel like it, I am not alone. There are many resources I can turn to — loved ones, therapy, support groups (online and off), self-help books, memoirs, myself.
  14. Right now I really need …
  15. Just for today, I will speak kindly to my body.
  16. I deserve to feel good.
  17. My dreams are …
  18. I can learn to trust myself.
  19. I worked hard today. I’m acknowledging my efforts (which is an important thing to do).
  20. I’m grateful for my body, because …
  21. I’m allowed to surround myself with people who truly support me and have my best interest at heart (and to avoid and let go of the people that don’t).
  22. This aging body of mine — with its sagging skin, softness and so-called imperfections — is still here. Gloriously.
  23. I’d love for my days to include …
  24. Today, honestly, I feel …
  25. Whatever I’m feeling is valid and OK. I can sit with this feeling, breathing in and out.

This week I’ll share 25 more statements you can say to yourself. (Updated to add: here’s part two.)

What kind, supportive statements will you say to yourself more often?