Monday, May 23

10 Benefits When We're Gentle Towards Ourselves 5/23/16

         “The six most important words:'I admit I made a mis-
take.' The five most important words: 'You did a good 
job.' The four most important words: 'What is YOUR 
opinion?'  The three most important words: 'If you
 please.'  The two most important words: 'Thank You.' 
The one most important word: 'We.' The least
 important word: 'I.' ”   Author Unknown     

 Image: The California coast: Point Reyes 
        Showing grace
towards ourselves. 

      We are lucky when there are opportun-ities to practice patience. Especially towards ourselves.  Driven and highly motivated, we may be.
 Even more than most.  We want to make our life count.

      We don't care to be a loafer. 

     For many of us, much of our drive since youth was prompted by insecurity.  We had a strong need for approval.  With time, we learned we can enjoy peace and serenity instead.  This happens when we realize we are not circus animals. 

     We do not need to jump through hoops.  We don't have to impress others.  We are good, just as we are.  Our faults do not define us. 
     Knowing God's love empowers us.   Often it is demonstrated through a community of  emotionally and psychologically healthy others   These are our Balcony People.  They undergird us.  They grow our confidence.  They prove support we can lean on, when we are pressed.   Hurray!  

       Recovery allows us to see areas needing growth.  We accept our vulnerable, undeveloped parts graciously.   No longer are they viewed with frustration or despair, as the ugly parts of who we are. 

       We want to view these areas positively.  They are areas where we can grow! 

       Emotional maturity happens when we start treating ourselves with kindness.  We see our lives are getting better.  It's going in the direction we've dreamed.  Looking back at the past month, six months or year, progress has taken place. 

       We want to be patient towards ourselves.  It helps to remember growth happens in millimeters, not inches or yards. 

       Recovery allows us to be gracious towards our character defects.  We now say, "That's okay, sweetie," as areas needing characterological growth come to view.  That's a big improvement from the hateful, critical voice that once condemned us. 

         Such times were before we started using healthy, affirming alternatives to heal tortuous sabotaging thoughts and behavior.  

        For many, sinister, condemning voices were born from the judgments at home, school and church.  They are now muted by the ongoing affirmation we receive from a loving God.   The hateful voice of self-loathing has been muted.  How?  By relating with caring, supportive friends. 

       We want to be kind towards our Hunchback of Notre Dame vulnerable selves.  When we are, this wounded part of us comes out from the shadows of shame.  It emerges from the belfry of isolation and self-judgment. Our deform-ed self experiences healing.  It enjoys transformation.  Why because it is tended to by the loving Esmeralda of grace. 

I know it's hard to see, but she has a water
skin bottle in her right hand. Please click on
 the link below to view this scene.
      We can be unlov-ing towards our warty, unattractive, frail and flawed inner selves.  Sensing condemna-tion, our real, vulnera-ble selves hide.  When that happened, no healing transpires. 

       Our experience can be different.  Looking at areas where we want to grow can be a time filled with love.  Removing splinters from our soul is now a time of tenderness.  Towards ourselves.  We may now see many coping tenden-cies of youth are no longer valid. Hope abounds. And, we become better persons.  Ya ay!

Being gracious towards ourselves has benefits:
1.  We are happier.
2.  We experience less depression. 
3.  Condemning ourselves diminishes.
4.  We are more motivated. 
5.  We sleep better. 
6.  We draw better friends into our lives.  How can we have others who respect us, if we don't respect ourselves? 
7.  We are less defensive.  
       a.  We are more comfortable in our own skin. 
       b.  We get along with others more easily.
"Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my appreciation of life nor has it helped me to love myself more."
                              Courage to Change, p 19

8. We have an Attitude of Gratitude because we are kinder towards ourselves and others.  
9.  Grace permeates my life.  
    We learn to ask, "How important is it?"  Circumstances that once would have irritated are now are seen for what they are: not worth losing our serenity. 
10. As I'm gentle towards myself, I've become more compassionate  towards others. We give only what we have received ourselves.
 How About You?
a. How are you when the dragons of despair raise their heads in your soul? 
b. What do you find as healthy alternatives to frustration, disappointment or self-loathing? 
c. What do you do, that allows you to be gentle towards your weaknesses?
d. What silences the critical parental voice that screams at and condemns you? 

       I will work on this post tomorrow, Tuesday.  This is my best for today.  I am exhausted.


Anonymous said...

Dear Innskeeper ;),

The past few months have brought excitement, anxiety, ups and downs like a rollercoaster ride!!! Wooooo!!!! Finally, things have somewhat settled and the future looks so bright for my baby boy....who is no longer a baby...but a college bound young man. There are still some things to work out, however, the blessings have been somewhat astonishing.

I have been blessed to live in a community where there is much help, as for now, help is needed. Visiting a new place to provide nourishment for my son and I, I was feeling low at first, the negatives going through my head, this is not a place for me, I should not be here, I did not grow up with challenges of basic necessities, but now at times, the challenges arise. I met a couple who were challenged, so sweet and so in love. I chatted with them and it was a reminder to me, the services provided to our community are so necessary and appreciated by many. That we are blessed, if services are needed. And that love, does exist....even in couples with challenges of disabilities or illness. I needed these reminders and have been coming across such reminders at the quietest of times.

After leaving, I stopped by a mentors home, unannounced, which is not like me. I started thinking that his birthday was near and hoped I had not missed it. I left a note on the door with the only piece of paper I could find to write on. HA! one I had blotted my lipstick on awhile ago thinking it looked too dark. I hope he didn't think I was leaving lip prints, because I was not. It was a raggedy looking envelope leftover from a gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants ;). For some reason, my phone has been having issues of saving numbers and i have to delete all texts for lack of phone space.
I hope my note was ok to leave ;)

After I left my note, I made another unannounced stop to another dear friends home, hoping to find her home and ask for her phone number once again!! to load into my phone...she was not home, but what a surprise to see her daughter, who has grown so much in the past year ;) and her husband and daughter provided the number I needed.

For all these things, I am I will press the Graduation Gown my Son will wear to an assembly at school today...where they will present the Class of 2016 ;)


Thumper said...

Dear Pablo,
I have been practicing being gentler toward myself which is so foreign to me. I am used to being harsh and judgmental, never giving myself grace. What a new concept! Giving myself the compassion I never received as a child is the ointment I need to heal the scars created by the broken people in my family. Little by little it is getting easier to love myself.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.