#113 To Me
My 84-year-old body serves me well. Sure, my eyes aren’t as good as I’d like, and I might need hearing aids, but overall, I’m healthy, active, and engaged.
In the article An Overdue Apology, the author talked about being angry with her body. She added
my spiritual and personal growth was fueled by the same self-rejection and self-criticism used on my body.
Her article was a powerful wake-up call! My body - actually all of me - deserves that apology, especially the last few years. I’ve been my toughest critic; constantly second-guessing and criticizing every decision and pushing myself to do more and more.
Figuring out why I’ve become so hard on myself isn’t the issue. How to change it is. I DO NOT want to do that any longer.
Maybe that’s the first step - becoming aware, listening to my self-talk, and saying enough is enough. In other words:
A second step may be apologizing to myself for the ongoing harangue. The truth is life has changed. I have more responsibilities as a single woman, and my body is older. Yes, I am still doing and growing. Maybe I should begin giving myself more credit for what I’m accomplishing - like learning to use my new computer and printer.
The third step may be acquiring- or - reacquiring more self-supportive skills. I would never say to another person what I say to myself. OK - back to Google for ideas.
There are a gazillion websites offering ideas on how to stop self-criticism. I read many tips - they’re good. I’m using some of them but found a few new ones based on the article, 15 Ways to Stop Being a Self-Critic.
The two I now use are
Embracing the power of “yet,” - I add “yet” at the end of my criticisms. For example: “I haven’t figured it out - yet.”
Writing it down - I write my frustrations on paper. Writing gets them out of my head. I also ask myself what someone else might say or do.
The six I want to adopt are
Practicing mindfulness - cultivating awareness, paying attention to the present moments, sensations, and thoughts, and developing an attitude of kindness, curiosity, and non-judgment.
Identifying my strengths and remembering what I do well -The article Stop Puddle Jumping fits perfectly. Take a look.
Challenging my thoughts - asking myself for other possible explanations regarding what happened when the self-criticism begins.
Grounding myself - I could take a moment to bring my thoughts away from criticism by looking around the room and naming everything that’s blue.
Being realistic - I hold myself to a high standard. Reminding myself of my circumstances helps me adopt a more reasonable and attainable standard.
Improving my self-care plan - I am good about taking care of my physical, financial, and intellectual self, but not so much my emotional self.
People say I’m a worrier. This short video is now part of my self-care plan. Thanks to the newsletter About That Life for introducing us.
This website also offered ideas for improving self-care.
How kind are you to yourself?
For me, it’s a work in progress - stay tuned.
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A comment about that powerful little word "YET": A few years ago I asked my mother, “Ma, what do you think the meaning of life is?” She sat quietly a few seconds and said, “You know, I have asked myself that question for 96 years. The answer hasn’t come to me yet.” Darn it! That was one question I really hoped for an answer to, but I loved it that she said it hadn’t come to her YET. She remained optimistic to the end of her days. That is what the word "yet" is -- an affirmation of optimism.
Janice you are a gift from God. How I wish I could just carry you in my back pocket. The tapes that I run through my mind each day are far from encouraging. I have listened to them for 68 years and you would think by now I would just give up on being Wonder Woman. I haven’t come close ever. It makes it that much louder in my head. How I wish to turn them off.