Don’t do a thing. Just stand there. Or better, sit down and breathe. And luxuriate in being yourself. Just be.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
So, how come you don’t do it? Tell the truth. You say you want to, but it doesn’t happen. What’s that about?
Why are you always the last one on your list? You take care of kids, parents, friends, co-workers, clients, customers, and your next-door neighbor. But when it’s your time (when is that?), you can’t stop. You don’t know what to do for yourself. You feel restless. Then guilt creeps in. Your mind details your endless To Do list. And at that point it’s easier to just get moving again.
Let’s rewind the tape. Go back to “. . . luxuriate in being yourself. Just be.” What’s it like to be yourself, right now, this second? Focus inside on a spot near your heart and breathe into that place. Be and breathe and let those pesky thoughts keep moving through your head. Notice them but let them go. Focus on your heart and your feelings this second.
Now is the moment to remember that who you are this second is fine. You are just who you need to be. You are enough. You do enough. What you have this second is enough for now.
No striving is necessary. Self-criticism is unwarranted. Frustration is irrelevant. Who you are this second is perfect.
Any voice that tells you otherwise deserves suspicion. So often we trust that self-hating voice and doubt our own worth. I hope you wouldn’t hang out with someone who denigrates you. But we tell ourselves awful things all the time. And then feel good about having high standards for ourselves!
No matter what the heading — self-improvement, growth, change — abusing ourselves is still abuse. We wouldn’t speak to anyone else the way we speak to ourselves.
The alternative to abuse is self-acceptance. Saying “Yes” to who we are this second. Not trying to be better or different. “Yes” to whatever exists inside us this second. We don’t judge what this is or criticize or analyze or dismiss. We say “Yes.” To what is right now, “Yes.”
That’s really what we want from a good friend, isn’t it. To be known and accepted? So, that’s the first step in being our own best friend. No matter what is going on with me, I am on my side. “Yes.”
Ruth Cherry, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her specialty is the merging of psychological and spiritual dynamics. She is the author of Accepting Unconditional Love and Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment. In 2017, Open Your Heart, her first book of spiritual fiction, will be available.
Ruth meditates and offers a guided meditation group daily. Through meditation she experiences healing, transformation, and partnership with Life in creating. Ruth’s web site is www.meditationintro.com.