Friday, March 12, 2010

Becoming my own best friend.

Hi my name is Kim, and I beat myself up.

I am not talking about bitch slaps or sucker punches. Nope, while that would be concerning (and oddly, comical to see), I think what I am talking about may be more damaging.

I do it in broad daylight, while people are watching. I do it in the middle of the night, while everyone is sleeping. I do it while eating and talking and while socializing. The amazing part is that very few people even notice. And, scarily, sometimes I don't even know when I am doing it. The damage can not be seen in cuts, scrapes or bruises and the damage is caused entirely by me. My weapons are my thoughts, and if I was able to see my esteem, confidence, and self-worth, I'm sure, at times, they would be bloodied and black and blue.

It all seems very ridiculous, and unnecessary. I know better. I am better - worth more. The words I say to myself and think about myself, I would never place on others. At times, I am my own worst enemy. So why then, do I do this? I do not know, but I do know that I can make changes, and the cuts and bruises can heal.

Recently I went to presentation entitled Don’t Just Survive Motherhood, Live it!  The speaker, Sharon Nittinger, the founder of Nittinger Seminars, had a lot of good suggestions and tips for mothers about caring for ourselves. One area she encouraged all of us to be more aware of was our negative self talk. When she talked about this, I knew that, for me, this was a key to being happier. In Sharon’s workbook, Rediscovering the Person You Lost: A workbook for you, there is a whole chapter on this very topic. She identifies types of distorted thinking that leads to negative self talk. When I first read the chapter, I didn’t think that I engaged in many of the different types, but after completing the exercises, I was surprised about how pervasive most of the types were for me.

So I have been trying to be more aware of my distorted thinking and negative self talk. When I recognize it, I can usually rephrase my thoughts thus stopping the beating up on myself. The hard times though, are when I don’t even know what I am doing.  Before I know it, I am engaged in dialogs with my inner mean-girl – headed down a path of self-loathing. And that road is paved with “should ofs”, “could-ofs”, “what the hell was I thinkings”, and “damn, I know betters”. It’s a bumpy, uncomfortable trip.

So, when I become aware, I try to turn down another road that is paved with kinder, more forgiving words and thoughts. Slowly, I am learning how to be my own best friend.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I am so impressed with all that you are doing in this "search." You are AWESOME - keep it up!!!!

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