I don’t know if anyone resonates with this, but I’m really hard on myself. I’m my worst critic and biggest bully sometimes. And that inner voice became a harsh reality when my third baby was born.
Okay, let’s be clear: I’m barely to a point where I’m qualified to talk about this yet, but I’m going to share anyways.
I felt so overwhelmed when my third child was born. I mean, having three kids quite literally knocked the wind out of me and pushed my sanity limits!
And over everything that wasn’t getting done, or wasn’t getting done according to my super ridiculous standards, I tore myself to mere shreds of the woman I truly am.
To such a point where I wouldn’t, or couldn’t, even try some days. I was so angry with myself for failing – at anything, big or small.
Some days I still feel this ( hey, old patterns ease with intention and time ), and to that I say: it’s okay.
To the little girl inside me who doesn’t quite know how to fail yet, it’s okay.
The truth is that failing is a normal part of daily life…as long as you’re doing.
So to Me, I say this: there will be kid’s lunches packed to imperfection some mornings. Maybe I didn’t make it to the store the day before to stock back up on the good stuff. Maybe I have to pop popcorn for lunch snacks.
I still don’t suck.
There will be dishes left undone in the sink if I am privileged enough to read extra bed time stories one night. Or if, Lord forbid, I do something fun or relaxing instead. Does it really matter?
The laundry will pile up many days ( because we all know that’s just what laundry does best ), and guess what? That still won’t mean I’m an awful, failing human being.
There will also be days where I’m just plain frustrated! Frustrated with working so hard, frustrated with relationships, frustrated with being so tired, and frustrated with going to sleep at night, only to wake up in the morning to do it ALL OVER AGAIN.
But here’s the point of this post…I now give myself leniency to feel all these things. To make all these mistakes, if you can call them that ( I’m human, just saying ). I work to allow myself to feel any emotion under the sun without calling myself crazy or lazy or dumb for it. I work to allow Me to mess up without sending myself into a downward spiral of self-bullying, sabotaging, and quitting just to avoid it all.
And yeah, it WORKS. Here’s the formula I follow: I fall down, I get back up – without calling myself names like “bad mom”, or “lazy idiot”. Without the silly, pointless drama.
And the end result can be described as feeling 10 lbs lighter without having lost an ounce of physical weight!
Why it works
I truly believe that the more rigid we are with ourselves, and the more harshly we speak to ourselves, the more we struggle with everything. Think about it like this: if you hate someone or constantly speak to them disrespectfully, will they do work for you or with you, gladly, and without pay?
Probably not. And it’s the same thing with yourself. If your internal dialogue is chronically disgusted with YOU, will you show up in your day with a smile on your face and gratitude and optimism in your heart?
Or will you feel tired and beaten down a lot of the time?
I think you see where I’m going with this. Being at war with yourself by picking apart and hating on yourself, keeps you stuck in a never-ending cycle. It’s hard to have peace with anyone in your life, let alone get anything done, if you don’t even have peace with YOU.
Try something crazy with me this week
Encourage yourself and speak to yourself gently. Don’t let yourself off the hook for accomplishing what needs to get done. But speak to yourself lovingly, the way you would speak to a small child, the way God would speak with YOU.
One cool added bonus to learning how to treat yourself right, besides living a healthier, happier life, is that you’ll probably find it easier to extend that same gentleness to your children.
When you acknowledge your inner critic, love her without judgement, and let her know she’s not in the driver’s seat anymore, you will change the future for your own kids.
After all, your voice that they hear now when they fail, is their own future inner critic. But like securing your own oxygen mask first ( which would be really hard to do, probably ), it begins with YOU. It has to.
How will you talk to yourself today?