Sometimes you have to say no to others so you can say: Yes to yourself. Most people don’t realize how important it is to be kind to one’s self. They think it a silly, immature notion, not realizing being kind to yourself is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your life.
I personally take a long drive to the bay. Sometimes I even take my bike so I can ride watching the sun go down in addition, to getting a little exercise. More often than not it would be along, as I never know what time I am coming back and surely don’t want to interrupt the peace experienced just sitting in the back seat of my car sometimes writing articles like this. It just one or two of life’s little gifts I get to enjoy from time to time.
In my opinion being kind to yourself sometimes means doing nothing, just being, letting the body and mind relax, rejuvenate, and refresh. I know it may sound a little new age to some of you nevertheless, some of our greatest teachers and inventors (in history) entered into this state of being with outstanding results.
Think about it, you are probably not that kind to yourself when you are in deep thought. In fact everyone I have ever asked “what are you thinking?” would answer they were thinking about a problem or how bad things are. I would wager at least once this week, you may have called yourself an idiot, fat, crazy, stupid, or just said out loud “Something must be wrong with me”. As opposed to referring to yourselves as attractive, active, and in demand.
If you will allow me to toss in a little law of attraction analogy in here, I erg you to be grateful even in your hardship because it is my belief that it is those very hardships that made you a stronger and wiser person.
The presupposition is this: when we are not comfortable with ourselves, there are not very many other people who are going to be comfortable with us either. That is why it is absolutely imperative for us to make sure that we are being kind and gentle with yourself. Making it a practice so that those qualities are transferred to everyone around you, to the point where people love to be in your presence.
What interest me most in the context of this topic is: most people I talked to these days about “being kind to themselves” believe it to be selfish to think only of oneself even if only for a day. In addition, to believing that sacrifice is the only true measure of one's love for his wife, children, family, and fellow man. While simultaneously engaging in the most self-serving, self-centered, narcissistic, and quite frankly self-destructive behavior. “Boy talk about cognitive dissonance”.
I have even heard it said “No Pain No Gain” well I beg to differ, that statement may be appropriate for building muscles in the gym. Besides it is my intention to make people consciously aware that kindness to ones-self actually benefits those around us.
It is my guess if you are in pain it is less likely that you are going to be kind to someone else. In fact, you may lose even if its just your temper. Though I am divorced I can’t remember a day when I referred to what I did for my family a sacrifice, if the truth be told it is my pleasure and my honor, as well as doing what I can for my fellow man.
Forgive me I digress. Sometimes I have so much to say I should be writing a book. I would, however, like to refer to a passage in the good book when the great teacher Jesus was asked: “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment.” “And the second is like, unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”.
I don’t know what this second part means to you nevertheless, to me it means: In order for me to love anyone else I must first love myself. It also stands to reason I can not give what I don’t have, one of my biggest desire is for peace, so I do what I can to ensure those around me feel at peace with me. If not I just remove myself from the environment.
Here are some tips to help you, be just a little kinder to yourself:
1. Monitor your thoughts. Everyone is unkind to themselves sometimes, but you have to think seriously about how you talk to yourself on a regular basis. When is the last time you thought something nice about yourself? If you’re like a lot of people, you simply cannot remember. That is unfortunate. However, if you can’t come up with anything nice to say to yourself, ask one of your friends that question: If you could find something nice to say about me what would that be? Then use that information as a reference.
2. Make a conscious effort to have more positive self-talk. This sounds very strange, but it works: start with an “I love you” in the morning to yourself in the mirror. It seems silly at first, but over time, you will find that it feels more comfortable for you to say that. Again, I do what I can never to leave the presence of a phone call with one of the children or long time friends without saying “Love You”. You will find that you are happier over time, as well.
3. Do something you like to do each day. All of us get caught up with problems, work, and life, that many times we don’t get to do something we enjoy for weeks. Treat yourself like you would treat anyone you care about, and allow yourself one fun thing every day if you can. It doesn’t have to last a long time, however, make room for it each day. At the very least one time a week. Now I can hear a collective rumbling saying “ I don’t have time to have fun, I am too busy trying to keep my bills paid.” I bet you could listen to your favorite song and sing to it maybe do a little dance.
4. Make sure that you surround yourself with like-minded people. “I Can Not Stress This Enough” Don’t spend time with people who tear you down. That will put your mind on a path it doesn’t need to be on. Keep your mind positive by spending time with positive people who are kind to you. I would also spend less time in front of the television, watching to see who’s baby it is or who cheated on who. I fail to see how that is going to improve the conditions of life or add to our happiness. Besides “Garbage In Garbage Out”
5. Start a notebook and write in it good things about yourself. People are reluctant to compliment themselves, least they seem conceited, nevertheless, it’s a good idea to go down the list of your virtues every now and then. Writing them down is a helpful thing to do, so when you feel that you’re a mess, you can simply look back over the notebook and see that you are in reality fantastic!
You might be out of practice being kind to yourself, but the suggestions in this article are going to hopefully help you if you put them in practice. It is important that you take the time to try each of these tips. Even if you get just a little relief from life by being good to yourself, it’s worth it.