“Be Kind To Yourself”

These were the words spoken to me by my therapist yesterday. I’m struggling, a lot, and needed that reminder. It’s times like this that I’m especially grateful for therapy and a great therapist.

My inner critic has been especially boisterous this past while, as have the critical voices from my childhood and beyond. Every attempt at positivity and self-compassion has been met with these negative voices shutting it down. Separating out the voices and recognizing which is my own inner critic, who is ultimately just trying to protect me, and which belong to those people in my life, who due to their own issues and projections have targeted me with their hurtful words, has been helpful.

“You’re useless, a waste of space, and will never amount to anything”, “you don’t deserve love, a hug, attention”. The voice of others. When these kinds of words come from people you love and are supposed to trust, who you are dependent on as a child, they build up and almost become like a part of you. It’s extremely difficult to challenge them.

“You can’t do this”, “it’s not good enough”, “you’re too much or not enough”. My own. To my inner critic I can say “thank you for trying to protect me, but it’s okay if I am unsuccessful at this. I’ll learn from it and do better next time”, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s good enough”. This voice is trying to protect me from rejection, shame and pain. See the difference? For me at least, it’s easier to deal with my own inner critic.

When I got home from therapy I was exhausted and wanted to take a nap. But the critical voices were so loud (“you’re just lazy, you should be working”) and I was struggling to tap into my own self-compassion. I then remembered C’s words “be kind to yourself”. In that moment I decided to pretend that she’s talking to me instead, and to speak to myself the way she speaks to me, with kindness and compassion. And it worked. So I ended up taking a guilt-free 90 minute nap, one I desperately needed. By pretending that C that was talking to me, I slowly started to find my own self-compassionate voice again. So that’s another simple little tool for my coping toolkit.

It’s so easy to get lost in all the voices of negativity. Both those around us and those within us. So if you struggle with this, maybe this concept can help you as well. I hope you have someone whose kind and gentle voice can help guide you in finding your own voice of self-compassion.

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11 thoughts on ““Be Kind To Yourself”

  1. I love this Rayne. Its a great idea to hear our therapists voice when we cant be self-compassionate to have a hard time remembering the tools they are teaching us. There have been so many times when I go into my appointment telling her, that her voice helped me during X,Y,Z.

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  2. I hope you don’t mind me writing down what you say to your inner critic I think it could really work with mine as well. I’m really proud of you for being kind to yourself! I slept all afternoon today but I think I needed that sleep as these past few days have been emotionally exhausting and I felt better when I woke up. I think part of being kind to yourself is listening to your body for signals that you might be pushing yourself too much and need a break ❤️

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  3. What a wonderful choice you made to listen to the compassionate voice of your therapist instead of the voices that hurt you. Great self care and excellent tool. It sounds so simple, “be gentle with yourself”, but it is difficult for most of us. I am glad you could put it into practice and take a needed nap Rayne. I love your blog. Your honesty and heartfelt stories about your life are very inspiring, even on the days you write about feeling hopeless and lost. I’m glad you write and I’m glad you share it. 🙂

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