When’s the last time you hurt yourself?
Please think about that for a moment…
I’m curious about what your answer was. It will depend, of course, on what the question meant to you. Chances are you were wondering when you last stubbed your toe, dropped something on your foot, cut yourself shaving or slammed a car door on your finger.
It can mean just that, if you want, but let’s look at some other options that might be more useful. Let’s assume for a moment that it was just such an incident. What did you say in that moment? Possibly some sort of expletive? Or did you utter something like, “I’m so stupid!” or “What an idiot!” as many people do on such occasions?
Unfortunately, loads of people do make these kinds of statements on a regular basis if they’ve forgotten something, or made a mistake, mislaid an item – or for other minor infractions. And heaven forbid there should be something more major! It’s painful listening to the way people can beat themselves up simply for having made an error, for messing something up – basically for just being human.
Do you ever get up in the morning and say, “Hmm, today I think I’ll do less than my best!”? Of course you don’t. No one makes that decision. Whatever you do, or don’t do, you’re always doing the best you can do on that day, in whatever circumstances exist at that time, full stop. Whether it’s a bad day or a good day or you’re tired or upset or it’s not the best you have done on other days is irrelevant. It is still the best you can do in that moment, unless you can tell me quite honestly that you have ever made a conscious decision to do less than your best.
Beating yourself up with unkind comments and negative self-talk will never be helpful, and in fact, such behaviour is quite damaging. Every malignant syllable sinks quietly into your soul, spreading its toxicity and delighting as your sense of self-esteem and self-worth slowly decay.
Can you think of other ways in which you hurt yourself? Take a moment, please, and consider your answer before continuing to read…
Whatever your answer was, I wonder whether it included how long it’s been since you did something nice for yourself. No doubt you’re frequently tearing around doing this and that for other people, keeping yourself very busy with a long list of Things To Do, but neglecting to put your own needs and your own care on that list. You tell yourself “Later, later, later…it’s okay, I’m fine,” and you keep rushing through your life, head down and gritting your teeth as though you’re blindly pushing your way through a Saturday-before-Christmas crowd of shoppers.
It’s bad enough to leave yourself off the list. It’s worse when you notice your needs and choose to ignore them. You feel exhausted and need extra rest. You don’t want to entertain Uncle Henry and Aunt Mildred next Tuesday. You’d rather stay home and put your feet up, and give away those concert tickets. You don’t feel like cleaning the house today; you’d rather goof off, go hiking, sit in a park, visit a museum, maybe have a hot soak or a cold beer.
How often do you hurt yourself by ignoring your needs? By not listening to your tired, stressed, overworked body? By not listening to your Spirit screaming for a little “time out,” some meditation, or some quiet time to reflect, to play, to draw, to create, to be still, or to laugh? Not only is this destructive on a physical level, it damages your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
After reading this, you’ve probably discovered that you’re hurting yourself a lot more than you knew, and on a regular basis. Isn’t it time to stop? Isn’t it time to remember your Spirit, which is who you really are? It is pure and perfect; it is your Divinity. It does not deserve to be ignored, neglected or insulted. It deserves to be respected, loved, and revered.
In return, your nourished and nurtured Spirit will show you a life that is more beautiful than you could have imagined. The world and its possibilities will open up to you when you are rested, rejuvenated, self-respecting, and honouring your Spirit. That is the path to true happiness and inner peace.
Please. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Honour, respect and love yourself. It is what you deserve as the divine and perfect Spirit that you are.