Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves? Why is it that we find ourselves being compassionate toward others but not toward ourselves?
I believe I’ve spent the majority of my life being a mean bitch towards myself (sorry to be blunt but it’s the word needed here). I don’t know where I learned it or how that came to be, but my guess is that I’m not the only one on this one.
I thought that coaching myself with harsh commands and a condescending style would push me toward my goals. I thought that it was the only way to motivate myself and to succeed. That if I would be kind and soft towards myself I’d get lazy and complacent and never achieve anything in life. I’d beat myself up for anything and everything and every time I looked in the mirror I’d let the mean girl out and let her put me down with cruel words.
Then loving-kindness happened.
But let me rewind the tape here. I’ll take you two years back in time. Me, broken and lost, found EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or ”tapping” as it’s also called. EFT is ”a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system and body all at once” (definition from The Tapping Solution)
At first, I was very skeptic at the whole tapping thing. I’m a fan of acupuncture as it has helped me in the past and I thought I’d give EFT a try. How does it work? You tap, in a specific sequence, on points on your face and body while talking through how you’re feeling or what you’ve experienced.
I know it sounds completely ridiculous and I cringed in the beginning just thinking about me tapping on myself. But hey, I was desperate and I had nothing to lose.
At first, I’d tap at home, by myself, following scripts I found on the web. It felt extremely awkward. The first sentences you say out loud sets up the tapping sequence. It goes something like this ”Even though I feel like a total failure, I deeply love and accept myself”. For me, operating from a mean bitch mindset, this was a huge breach of conduct. My brain could not connect with the ”love and accept” statement at all. It felt fake and cheesy. Eewww! How corny is this? - my inner voice said.
The thing is, it kinda started working (once again, one more point for neuroplasticity!). How ridiculous it may sound, I would find myself having a different kind of an inner conversation. ”Hey girl, looking good today” or ”You’re such a good person you know. You got this!”. And then it evolved even further into ”It’s safe to fail. It’s ok to be you, just as you are. You are loved no matter what”. Whoa! What? Can you see where I’m going with this?
Shit started happening.
After months dabbling with EFT as an amateur, I decided to up my game to go deeper with my issues (so many issues, my god. A never ending list, lol). Enter Lizzie. This woman is a magician. You can find Lizzie here. She got me at Hello and she took me places, through EFT, that I hadn’t dared to go in eons. She helped me heal and she showed me how to rewrite my past. And here comes the whole loving kindness thing in. Lizzie taught me how to walk into my past and be a kind and compassionate coach to my past younger self. She taught me how to comfort myself. How to give myself everything that I needed and not having to wait for others to give it to me.
In the world of mindfulness, there’s a lot of talk about loving kindness and how love is more powerful than fear. And I can’t agree more. When I started coaching myself with love and compassion I saw the biggest transformation. It’s an extremely powerful way to motivate your inner self to change, to shift, to move towards your goals and dreams. And the beauty of it is that it also affects everyone around you. The mantras ”May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be free” that are often used in mindfulness meditations can be used toward others as well ”May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be free"
This is love-bombing in action.
Pushing these kinds of thoughts toward your environment moves the ground. Rocks not only your inner world but the outer world as well. And I invite you to go there. To try it on and see how it feels. If you are brave, jump into EFT right away, but if you are hesitant, start by noticing your inner dialogue. Listen, without judgment, and see if you are open to a new kind of self-talk. Maybe just whisper ”I’m ok. It will be ok” as a start and see where it goes from there. Or maybe, as “A Course in Miracles” says ”I am willing to see things differently. I am willing to see love” is what you are open to right now. And that’s ok. That’s more than ok.
My point is, let a few kind words sneak in here and there.
And let love in baby.
Let love in.