It’s sad, but of all the people in our lives, perhaps the person most of us are the hardest on, pay the least amount of attention to and shower the least amount of love is, ourselves.
When we are kind, and take time for ourselves, we have something left over for other people. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t offer much in the way of love to others. You can become kind to yourself in two ways. First, avoid sabotaging yourself with negativity and self-loathing by indulging in self-deprecating and self-defeating statements. Thoughts such as “I can’t do it” and “I haven’t been a very good friend (partner, parent, child, etc.).”
When you start paying attention on a regular basis to what you are thinking, you may be shocked at how often you think negatively about yourself. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, drop the thought from your mind and then pat yourself on the back. All of us have innate self-esteem that kicks in as soon as we stop being hard on ourselves. Ask yourself the question, “Am I being as kind to myself as I would be to a good friend? If the answer is NO, it’s time to ask, “Why?” and change your priorities.
The second way to become kind to yourself is to reserve time in your day or week just for yourself! The specific form of the kindness isn’t as important as the kindness itself. Whether it’s time spent in quiet reflection, reading, prayer or medication, regular exercise, making a trip to your favorite bookstore or anything you like. It’s important that you find time to do nice things just for yourself. Acknowledge that you deserve special treatment and that you have earned the kindness that you undoubtedly try so hard to give to others.
Far from being selfish, your loving-kindness toward yourself will trigger your natural instinct to want to give that love back to others. When it comes to kindness, it all starts with you. This easy change is well worth the effort!
By Shabnam Khan – Personal Development
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community.
The Semiahmoo Foundation, located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.