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The Kindness Project – What Did I Say to Me?

Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good. But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren’t feeling entirely whole. It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts. We post the second Wednesday of every month. 

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you’re all doing great this week and keeping cool! Yipes, it’s hotter than the Magic Mike boys out there. (Yes, I will continue to use that joke) ;o)

This week’s post is inspired by this photo I found on facebook. It’s kind of crazy how something as simple as a picture with some words on it can make you think about yourself, but this one did.

Negative self-talk 

…is more damaging than if someone socked you in the face. I really do believe that. It can whittle you down to your core, it can make you believe things that are simply NOT TRUE. All because you told yourself that. Allowed yourself to believe in the crap your subconscious is doling out.

I had to put our beloved cat #GeorgetheCreeper down last Thursday and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. He was sick and I knew that, but I blamed myself for not noticing sooner, for not realizing he was sick. After it was done, I thought about all the times I pushed him off the chair when he got in my way while I was on the computer, all the times I ignored him at my feet because I was in a hurry. I beat myself up mentally, over and over. I was in tears, clinging to whatever I could to blame myself for his sickness and ultimately, his death.

But I thought, after a bunch of people confirmed to me that I was a good “mama.” What was all this negative self-talk doing to me? It was making it worse, making me feel horrible. I wanted to feel horrible. I know that sounds nuts, but it almost made it easier to deal with if I blamed myself. Then I had a reason to not eat, to bawl when I looked in the corner where he slept, to feel helpless and alone. There was something comforting about that feeling. But all I was doing was damaging his memory. If I had stopped to think, I could have been trying to remember the good times. The times he came up on my chest when I slept, or curled up next to my head when I was reading.

It’s amazing how we let that negative stuff enter our brains and take residence, kind of like those little green phlegmy mucus monsters from the commercials. That kind of negativity in your brain can do real damage. I truly believe that is what helps aid depression. Just aids it, we all know there are chemicals and sciency stuff that are the real culprit, but if we were all a little nicer to ourselves, wouldn’t that make a HUGE difference?

It’s easier said than done. I know that. I’m still beating myself up for Georgey Peorge, and for some friendships that failed, work stuff, confrontations I’d like to take back. Pretty much anything and everything, but I’m trying. I will continue to try so that I can love myself the way I deserve.

If we all try just a little each day to be nicer to ourselves, I think the world will be a better place. Too grand? How about you’ll feel better each day you try it ;o)

I know this blog post was all love yourself, and I really did try to keep it positive because I know my penchant for using sarcasm and making fun of myself, but I thought this was important to make clear.

What are your thoughts?

Make sure to stop by all the wonderful writers sharing their thoughts today! The links are below the awesome video of one of my favorite songs ;o)

Want to join us? Grab our button and spread a little kindness.


10 Responses to “The Kindness Project – What Did I Say to Me?”

  1. I love you Erica. I’m so sorry about George, and I only ever saw you be sweet to him.

    I totally agree about stopping the negative berating of ourselves. I know I’m guilty of it, but I’m getting better.

  2. I’m so sorry about George, E. It’s a hard loss, I know. It’s odd, though, because I think sometimes we turn to guilt because it makes the grief feel more genuine, like it’s okay to be sad now about a loss if it’s your fault. I’m not sure if it makes sense, but it’s sort of like the grief of losing them is not enough. I’ve seen this especially with the loss of pets. Maybe it’s just part of the grieving process, too–looking back and finding faults in yourself? But I think you’re right–turning inward and guilting yourself to no end will only fuel the grief into depression. I know this first hand.

  3. Gosh, I’m so sorry. Lost one of my dogs a few months ago and his sister is 14 and not doing that great. It’s hard. As for harshness, no one is meaner to me than me. I’m still guilty of it, even at my *age* (old). This is a real challenge for me and something I’m trying to correct. Your reasons for NOT doing it are so spot on. It doesn’t help anything or anyone to berate themselves constantly.

  4. I saw that same photo and really had to evaluate my self-talk. I had to wonder, if I continued speaking to myself negatively, maybe that would end up leaking over to speaking to others negatively, and I really don’t want to do that.
    So. I’m making a conscious effort to meditate on the positive whenever negative self-talk rears its head. (ps, ew, phlegmy mucus guy! At least I know have a visual to fight against!)

  5. So sorry about George. My dog is part of my heart, so I get how pets live inside us.

    Self-talk is some of the most important talk around. Not talking low to ourselves and not talking to highly to ourselves too. But, oh, so hard to get the balance.

  6. I’m so sorry about George. I had to put my childhood cat to sleep about five years ago, and the pain is still there in my gut, right between my ribs, when I think about it. (But it gets so much easier to live with as time passes, I promise.)

    You’re right, negative self-speaking is more damaging than almost anything else. At the same time, it comes SO NATURALLY for some of us that it’s a constant struggle not to give in to it. But it’s a struggle worth fighting every day, because the difference a positive mindset can make is worth everything.

    *huge hug*

  7. Lindsay says:

    I’m so sorry about George! *hugs*

    And what a wonderful post. I’ll admit I’m guilty of negative self-speaking, but I’m getting better at combatting it. 🙂

  8. Yes, to this. Exactly so. There are times when I’ve had to say to myself, “I’d break up with you if we were dating” to remind myself that the negative talk is no good.

  9. I’m so sorry about George. My “puppy” (Charlie, a maltese) is 13 and so I know my time with him is short. It makes me so sad. They’re such a part of our lives. 🙁 And this post resonated so deeply with me. I have the WORST self-talk problems. I would never be friends with myself based on that picture. I’m so hard on myself, it’s really bad. And it makes me feel awful. I know I need to stop, but man, it’s hard. I will try again and again and hopefully make it a habit to be kind to myself first.

  10. Alina says:

    Aw, I’m so sorry about George. I know it’s so hard not to beat yourself up after a loved one (of any number of legs) passes on, but truly you’re so right that we can’t do that to ourselves.

    Negative self-talk is one of my biggest obstacles. Thanks so much for the reminder that it is a kindness to combat it. Belittling myself hurts more than just me in the long run.

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