Be Kind To Yourself

I’ve been doing a lot of negative self talk lately.
In fact, I am really struggling to write this post. I’ve thought of writing it a handful of times, even sat down to start typing and every single time I back off. I’m not sure if it’s the fear of putting it out there and saying “I do this and I’m not proud of it” or if it’s simply that if I admit to it, I have to change it. Maybe a small part of me likes the negative self talk; like we’ve been together for so long it’s just comfortable and secure – it’s known.

Last night as I was getting ready to hop in the shower I noticed that I was picking myself apart like a vicious mean girl. If I was to list all the things I said to myself here I would be so ashamed, I would never talk like that about another person…so why would I give myself permission to tear every shred of confidence I have down to the bone? I noticed the cellulite and “dimples” that are spread over the back of my legs – the varicose veins that are starting to form and spread and spider their way over my legs. I noticed the weight I’ve put on since getting married and moving two times in 5 months. I noticed the ratty hair, the acne, the dry skin, the cracked lips…I noticed every single imperfection. It was brutal.

As I stared at myself I realized I was really struggling to find anything good to see.
I was so blinded and so deafened by all of my insecurities that I couldn’t even hear anything positive. I couldn’t find anything good about myself – I couldn’t even fathom to think beyond just the physical; and that is just heart breaking. HOW did I get myself to this place of self loathing and always feeling like I “need” to eat or not eat this or do this amount of exercise or not do it and then suffer the consequences. WHEN did I become a person whose self worth was tied up in a stupid reflection?
I’ll tell you when, it was when I hit puberty.

I grew up in a home where my mother never talked badly about herself, at least from what I can remember. She never talked badly about me either – but society did, and so did my peers. I started putting on weight around age 12, then my dad died and I put on even more weight. I would repeat the nasty things girls and boys would say to me to where they were like a second voice. I would eat to make them angry or to prove them right, I would not eat to prove them wrong and make myself sad. It was just this horrible cycle with food and self image that I didn’t even realize I was starting. It’s something that still has ramifications in my adult life, obviously, and causes me to struggle with having a healthy relationship with food and exercise.

As I stood in the shower, letting the hot water hit my back I started thinking…be kind to yourself.
It’s something I’ve had said to me, I’ve read, and heck even said to myself before, but this time it was like a soothing balm to help get through a moment of pain. Amy, be kind to yourself. Life has been a roller coaster for MONTHS and while yes, you could have made better choices here and there you’re still doing ok, be kind to yourself. Instead of tearing yourself apart, practice good self talk. Instead of eating to satisfy an emotion, eat to fuel your body and to love your body. Instead of working out to hit some unrealistic vanity goal, work out to strengthen your body.

It’s hard y’all.
This won’t be an easy change.
But will you join me, at least for the rest of this week to practice being kind to ourselves?
To take rest when we need to, to have fun when it calls, to go to sleep late or sleep in, to point out the positives, to enjoy our friendships and relationships, to have a few moments of silence…can we just try that? I wonder what the rest of our week, our months, our years would look like if we all started practicing being kind to ourselves.

Kindness radiates.
Internally at first and then it overflows to others.
Be kind to yourself today.

Location: Niantic, Connecticut
Shirt: August Ink
Photos by: Anchored Roots Photography