We typically think of January as a month of setting new goals and dreams and desires. By the end of January, most of us have given up on those resolutions and we are no longer living consciously. Rather, we have resorted back to our usual ways – business as usual. We wonder why life never seems to change. We are stuck.
Enter February, the month of love. Most of us think of Valentine’s Day and romance and loving one another. Last year I was introduced to Galentine’s day and love of our friends and sisterhood. All that is fabulous and will be a topic for my next post on February 14, but I want to talk about another love, the love of self.
February should be the month for self-acceptance and self-love. Perhaps by mid-January we forgot to keep our resolutions. For many of us, our inner critic translates that into damaging self-talk. Our inner voice, Parenting Penelope tells you, “You never follow through on your resolutions. If you didn’t do it by now, you will never do it and so what’s the use.” Gail the king of Guilt speaks to you and says, “Start your punishments now, because you know you’ll never follow through on your promises.” Carla your Cheerleader is locked in the trunk and screaming to get out, but this story is so predictable that Sheila full of Shame has hidden the key and taken over berating you into submission. “You are worthless. You will never amount to anything. Your goals and resolutions are a joke.”
Enter self-compassion. You are not defined by your behaviors. You are not defined by your thoughts.
Our Western heritage is full of guilt, shame and punishments. In addition, we equate behaviors with self-worth. But really, we are all perfect with a bit of the divine inside us.
Ever been to a baby naming? This baby has just been born and is being blessed: “Welcome to the world, you divine, beautiful little being.” Everyone is fawning over the perfection that is this miracle, a new human. This baby hasn’t done or achieved anything other than being the miracle that it is. We are all that baby.
So, lighten up; tell those inner negative voices to shut up. They are not helping you. Your inner besties, Cathy your Choreographer and Coach Christine, need to drive the bus and tell the back of the bus to quiet down. Accept yourself for who you are. Be grateful. Treat yourself like a goddess or queen.
Pick something you are not particularly proud of. Write a letter to yourself about that, but write it as a love poem. Write as if you were writing to a best friend and want to put it all in proper perspective. Throw the guilt or shame out the window and remember those resolutions — your desires and dreams. Remind yourself Today is the First day of the Rest of your Life. Today is a new day. The past is over, the future is not yet here. It’s trite but true. We have only the present. So, give yourself the gift of self-love. Live in the present and make the most of today. And tomorrow, well that’s a different day – don’t worry about that now; save it for another time, when tomorrow arrives.