Speak gently to yourself ~ Cherish the child within.
After pulling this card, I was immediately reminded of a quote from the teachings of Stephen Levine. “Treat yourself as if you were your only child.” Be compassionate and kind, and above all, love yourself.
Negative self-talk, guilt and blame, and self-deprecating remarks are abusive and harmful to our being… certainly NOT good self-care.
So, how does one learn to love themselves? How do I learn to love myself, forgive my shortcomings/judgements, and treat myself with TENDERNESS?
I certainly don’t have the answers but I know the questions intimately. It is not easy to love myself when my thoughts are less than kind. I set the intention every night before I fall asleep that tomorrow I will be kinder to myself, less critical…. and at the end of the day I judge myself lacking again.
For me, that is the practice. To get to the end of day, acknowledge my indiscretions, let go of the judgments, allow my emotions without trying to push them away…… and offer myself the compassion, love, and understanding I would offer a child who is suffering – my inner child. That part of me that longs to be seen and heard, who suffers when I am unkind.
The first part of my practice is easy. I have an inner judge/critic who sees to that.
The second part, offering TENDERNESS to myself, is where I fall short. So my intention this week is to focus on the tenderness part at the end of the day…. or any time of the day when emotions arise (especially sadness and grief). I will allow them without judgment and offer my inner child love and compassion.
“In all the great spiritual traditions, at their heart is tenderness–just to be kind inside, and then everything rights itself. Fear rests. Confusion rests.” Pamela Wilson
Photo Credit: Marek Uliask