Have you ever gotten so sick and tired of your damn self that you could barely stand it? In case you haven’t guessed (insert sarcasm here) that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I don’t mean that in a deep self-loathing sort of way, I mean it in a I-really-love-who-I-am-at-my-core-but-an-alien-seems-to-have-taken-over kind of way. An angsty, prickly, eye-rolling alien. I think I remember feeling this way when I was 14. I’m not even going to say the H word.
I know my naturally optimistic, enthusiastic, positive, and sometimes mischievous core self is around here somewhere, but until the alien decides to vacate, I’m going to extend to myself some grace, thanks to Joy Tanksley. Her Monday Morning Sparks for the month of April have to do with grace. I suggest you watch her brief videos, but if you don’t want to, here is my take on what she says.
1. When you are frustrated and/or disgusted with yourself, view yourself as the child you once were.
Sometimes it’s easier to have patience with children. In fact, thinking of answers to the prompts in my previous post was a great exercise in not only connecting to my childhood self, but in remembering that I am, indeed, naturally optimistic, enthusiastic, positive, and sometimes mischievous.
2. Meet yourself where you are without comparison or interest in where you’ve been, or where you’re going.
I have been everywhere but right here lately, thinking about how I spent most of the winter not hungry and losing weight, and at the same time worrying about what people will think if I’ve gained weight by the time Fitbloggin‘ rolls around. I KNOW!!!
I am right here, right now.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
3. Embrace the concept of ebb and flow. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing stays the same. It’s always a back and forth.
You can’t have up without down, right? In fact, now that I think about it, this whole process has been about ebb and flow. Ebbing back to revisit old behaviors and fears, flowing forward as I learn something new and apply it. Ebbing kind of sucks, but embracing it is so much easier than resisting it.
4. As a last resort, when you’re spiraling into negativity and self-loathing, give yourself permission to distract yourself, in a kind (not destructive) way.
Ways I’ve been distracting myself lately: going to bed early so I can lose myself in a book; playing Words With Friends, Scrabble, and Scramble; writing; and yes, food. But I am aware…and awareness is the key to all healing!
And to even things out (because once you extend grace to youself, it’s much easier to extend it to others and vice versa)…
1. Assume basic goodness in others.
This is kind of like seeing the child in others…realizing that within each and every one of us is a child who may have been dealt a pretty rotten hand.
2. If you’re going to tell stories about other people, try your best to tell charitable stories. Catch yourself when you’re not.
This is a hard one as it concerns specific people, but I am learning to catch myself. And I have found that when I am charitable, I feel better about myself. Winning.
3. Be honest with yourself as to what you are seeing as the worst in someone else, then turn it around and find that same element in yourself. It’s ther
Ah yes…this is a great equalizer.
4. Be fully present with others without trying to fix them.
Usually one of the first signs that I need to be paying attention to my own business is when I start getting into someone else’s business.
5. As a last resort, if there is someone so challenging that you just can’t do any of the first four things, and you’re filled with judgment, bitterness, and resentment, then the most graceful thing you can do is take a step back from the relationship.
I have done this once. I am still stepped back. I don’t know how long it will last, but I get the impression that this serves the other person as much as it serves me.
And just because it hit me right between the eyes and relates to my current state of being, please check out “To Thine Own Self Be True”, a must-read from the fabulous Hanlie at Ordinary Abundance.
Two stand-out quotes:
“All my life I believed that I was a product of my experiences, but now I’ve come to appreciate that I’m a product of my thoughts.”
“It was eye-opening to realize that a lot of what I habitually thought were not even my own thoughts – they were the opinions, brain-farts and prejudices of others.”
Thank you ever so much for reminding me Hanlie. I have been SO bogged down in reacting to experiences (both old and new) instead of changing my thoughts.
What do you do to extend grace to yourself or to others? Any and all suggestions are welcome!