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January 14, 2006

Accepting and being kind to ourselves

To be whole and balanced I believe we need to have a nurturing and loving attitude toward ourselves also, not just toward other people as we are so often taught. We can be harshest sometimes with ourselves. But think about it. Use logic. It doesn't make sense to be too harsh on ourselves and get cruel with ourselves when that is exactly what we fear others doing to us. So we go and do exactly what we don't want others to do to us? Doesn't seem too healthy. Of course we should recognize it if we are jerks and need to allow change in ourselves. This is also part of becoming whole. When we are nurturing and loving toward ourselves, we are looking out for our spiritual, emotional and mental health as well as our physical well-being. It's tough though when we are self-defeating. I wonder why we do this to ourselves. Often it's because we are running or hiding from parts of us we don't like or where we feel inadequate. But isn't it being kind and loving to ourselves that we can accept that part of us and allow it to be changed or healed that will actually make us whole?
A very creative friend recently told me about his struggle with doing artistic interior designs, which he's really good at, and managing his business, which he's exceedingly stressed out about and not so good at. For dozens of years he kept deriding himself and attacking himself for his lack of business sense and his perceived shortcomings. It was a very loving, nurturing and courageous thing for him to do when he finally accepted himself for who he was and realized that it was counterproductive to his well-being to constantly attack himself, and even go into long bouts of depression over it. Recently he decided to change his strategy and let go of some things he's been trying to do on his own, like managing his business affairs by himself. He sought out a business partners that were much better about legal and legal and financial affairs and concentrated on doing better designs. But not just ignoring that he felt like he was inadequate in these areas, he did not waste the opportunity and breathing room his partners left him, but instead allowed himself to try to be better at it himself, without self-attacking and started taking more interest in learning and developing that side of himself. He became more nurturing and caring about his emotions toward himself and learned to not consider it a failure in himself but a chance to accept who he was and stop knocking himself down. Instead his life became a process of becoming whole instead of always feeling like less or lacking.
Another friend keeps saying that "we cannot change ourselves, we can only be changed." I believe the truth in this statement is in how we accept ourselves and be kind to ourselves, allowing change to happen. Instead of attacking ourselves and saying things like, "I'm worthless." or "I'm no good at anything." We say things like, "Yes, I'm having trouble managing my finances, but I'm really good at my art. What can I do about it? I want to continue doing my design work, so how can I do that and do better at my finances? It's ok if I can't do it all. I should get help in this area of my life." Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to admit things we are hiding from or running from, when if we would only say it's ok, we could allow others to help us and change us. But our self-confidence erodes and we condemn ourselves without a process of healing and nurturing ourselves. I want to be whole and accept myself for who I am. It's a big step in the right direction of living a happy and fulfilled life.

Posted by carl1236 at January 14, 2006 9:42 PM | Attitude

Comments

Found this useful both personally & to hope with expanding thoughts on topic for course I am doing.

Posted by: Helen Bruce at April 17, 2006 9:47 AM

Found this useful both personally & to hope with expanding thoughts on topic for course I am doing.

Posted by: Helen Bruce at April 17, 2006 9:47 AM