Learning to Practice Self Kindness
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~Lama Yeshe
When you are juggling all that life throws your way it’s inevitable that you will some times “drop the ball”. That is what happened on the home front earlier this month. Without going into into the details, I’ll just say that I hyper focused in one area of my child’s life leaving another area totally unaccounted for. I didn’t cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I didn’t have something that is a pretty big deal all neatly squared away. Instead, I dropped the ball. I left a task unattended that created a lot of stress. I realized the error of my ways on a Sunday and I wasn’t able to do anything about it because it was a Sunday. I had to wait until Monday to tackle the issue. This created an avalanche of anxiety over the worst case scenario. I was a complete wreck. I cried, I stressed and I talked to myself really badly. “How I can I be so stupid?” “Why didn’t I follow up” “What kind of parent am I?” and on and on. For HOURS this went on. Even when rationally I knew nothing could be done about it I continued to berate myself, question my worth as a parent and feel incredibly sad and depressed. I tried multiple times practice being kind to myself. I am only human. Just an imperfect person who makes mistakes. Still I couldn’t shake the “terrible person, awful parent” feeling of having to possible disappoint my child in a way I didn’t intend to.
In the end it all worked out. I had some things to take care that put things on the right path. I had my husband on my side helping in every way he could to set things right. He was (as he always is) my rock. He gets to the heart of the issue and helps things happen whenever I am paralyzed by fear and doubt and pity. I dropped the ball. I am going to do that some times. I have to let it be okay and trust that all will be fine. I don’t know why when things go wrong I rip myself to shreds. I’m sure it’s a pretty common phenomenon but, where did we learn that tearing ourselves down makes any sense in fixing the issue? Learning to be nicer to myself is a work in progress. I clearly need to nurture self-kindness. Taking a moment to change how I speak to myself, journaling to help get out of my head and meditating to are all ways I can try the next time I breakdown, because there is always a next time.
Looking for ways to practice self-kindness? I found an awesome article and guided meditations to help.
40 Way to Practice Self-Kindness
Guided Self-Compassion Meditations by Kristin Neff, author of the book “Self-Compassion”.