Being There For Ourselves
We’re approaching that time of the year (already, again). We gasp in disbelief. What, already? Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year? Where did the year go? Time flew by so quickly…
The added pressure of the holidays is mixed up with our own reflection of the year we had and of all the things we were planning to accomplish and didn’t because life got in the way.
Sadly, we notice that once again, last year’s New Year’s resolution has faded into the thin air of disappointment, and life is not where we hoped it would be by now. We hide in our shame, our self-guilt and angry self-talk, punishing ourselves for trying but not trying hard enough. We sink into self-judgement and criticism.
It’s awful to end a year feeling this way.
It’s unpleasant to start a new year this way.
So what if we stopped?
What if we stop beating ourselves up this time?
What if instead of going down that same road again, we try a new way this year?
What if we decide to be there for ourselves and work WITH ourselves instead of against ourselves?
What if we enter this year writing down the same list as before, but at the top of that list write down, “I will be there for myself and I will experience joy”?
What if this year, instead of setting out each goal as a “have to,” each item on our list becomes an “I would like to…”
What if instead of jumping head on trying to change our lives upside down and make life harder for us to enjoy, we allow ourselves to, comfortably and in our own pace, move gently towards the places we want to go?
What if we allow ourselves to be there for ourselves? To step forward gently into the edges of our comfort zone instead of jumping down the cliff of “too far, too fast” with no safety net of comfort to lean on for support, ending up crashing or running back into the inland of our safe comfort zone, narrowing our lives instead of expanding it?
How about making our resolution this year to be supporting of ourselves and to be kind and understanding to ourselves? To cheer ourselves on with every slightest achievement and step we take towards what we want?
I don’t know about you. But if anyone ever spoke to me the way my mind sometimes speaks to me, I would either lash back at them or shut down, run away and burst into tears.
It’s hurtful and exhausting to treat ourselves so harshly. It’s discouraging. It’s so unpleasant to live this way. It is so demanding, so unreachable, frustrating and impossible to satisfy.
It’s frustrating to start each year with goals that are so high up in the sky that we can’t sustain them for more than 6 weeks.
When we sit with a good friend that has a desire for something, we treat them as friends and support them on their way. We encourage them, we cheer them on every step they take. We are there for them.
This year, let’s give ourselves the gift of ourselves. Let’s be there for ourselves in the same way that we are there for the people we love.
This year, let us start with the resolution of, “This Year, I want to be there for myself, every step of the way.”
When we are there for ourselves, we can work from the edges our comfort zone gently, we can take steps that feel good and encouraging, we get to acknowledge all the accomplishments on the way, enjoy them and get used to them before we step forward again into the new edge of our comfort zone.
When we are there for ourselves, we can gently pick ourselves up when something doesn’t quite turn out the way we wanted it to, and we can encourage ourselves to try it another way.
When we work with ourselves, we make sure that we are safe, both physically and emotionally. We do what we can right now.
When we work with ourselves, we can achieve and accomplish more than we ever thought possible because we support ourselves every step of the way.
Imagine how different life would be if we were only a bit more forgiving to ourselves, a bit more giving to ourselves, a bit more generous and encouraging to ourselves. Like a best friend or a nurturing parent, let’s be to ourselves what we want most for ourselves.
So this year, no matter what, let’s give ourselves the best gift that we can give to ourselves. Let’s make 2016 the year of being there for ourselves while we create the life that we want for ourselves.