Guest Contributor – Ganel-Lyn
The way I talk to myself….
Well let’s just say I would never talk to you that way.
This isn’t just great research or therapist talk. This concept is essential to not only surviving but thriving. I am talking about practicing more gentleness and kindness. Not to your neighbor or your child but to yourself.
As the spiritual teacher, Dalai Lama says, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
A society cannot survive without compassion – but neither can the human spirit. So -how are you talking to yourself?
Have you noticed what happens when you feel like you have failed or show up less than you wanted to? Do you feel like you need to beat yourself up?
Tonight was one of those nights. I got frustrated with my family. I was so less than my best. I snapped and had an emotional break.
After taking a time out, I started to notice the guilt. It crept in ever so slowly. My self-talk sounded like, “You always do this. Your family deserves better than a stressed out momma. You are a hot mess.”
I paused and considered what had been going on. I had been sick for the previous four days and in the doctor’s office running tests. I was out of steam.
Practicing doesn’t mean perfect. So instead of sinking down the hole of shame, I considered what I would say to a dear friend in that moment. What would I say to another mother who was trying to make dinner, handle homework time all while being sick? I would show her compassion. I would be gentle and understanding and put my arm around her. I would thank her for trying and validate how difficult things had been. I would remind her that she has done so many things right and tell her to breath. And start again.
Self-compassion doesn’t mean avoiding responsibility for “bad behavior”. It just means not sinking into the shame pit. Beating yourself up never changes behavior. Back to my “mommy moment”. I walked into the kitchen after practicing self-compassion. I apologized to my family and shared my vulnerabilities. I communicated with them how hard the past few days had been and that I was really struggling but that I was sorry for not taking a time out sooner. Honesty and taking responsibility changes behavior. Not beating yourself up.
And stop with the comparison. I know all the other mothers on your street were patient tonight and cooked an organic dinner including brussel sprouts that your kids LOVE. I know it feels like everyone else is winning at life and you – well aren’t. The truth is this we all feel like a “hot mess” sometimes. Stop with the comparing your worst with a neighbors best.
You live with you. And you will- for the rest of your life. Start practicing being your own best friend.
Try to be a little more gentle. More tender. Especially when you are less than your best because that is when it counts the most. I have come to discover that it is the quickest route to growth and change. And it is a whole lot easier than the alternative.
BIO: Ganel-Lyn is a popular motivational speaker and best-selling author – known for inspiring others with her unique honesty, authenticity and spirit. She is dedicated to her family, faith, and inspiring others. Ganel-Lyn loves teaching others with speaking and writing. She has healed from a major chronic illness and is the mother to two miracle children. Ganel-Lyn lives with an open heart and feels passionate about sharing principles that will empower others to live life with more joy and conviction.