As modern day humans we tend to bully ourselves harshly.
Just take a moment to think about it, if someone else talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you would probably react with vengeance.
How many times this week or even this month have you been kind to yourself, gave yourself a compliment or at least stopped yourself in the middle of a self-scolding tirade? Not many?
The hard truth is that nobody will give us what we are unable or unwilling to give to ourselves. To gain love, respect and acceptance we have to first love, respect and accept ourselves.
But, why does that seem so hard? Why do we feel awkward or even ashamed to be self-supportive?
Well, we have been told for centuries that it is wrong and selfish, that we are born sinful, that we have to repent and be constantly sorry… We have been told for centuries by various organized religions that we have to be walking misery piles of constant regret in order to be good people.
Why? Well, miserable people are easy to control.
Up until the late 40’s of the past century the motto was: You are miserable? Great! You should be, that is the decent thing to do, you sinful bastard! Feel that regret and join this church so all of that self-inflicted suffering would pay off in an afterlife! And of course, give us your money to help that process along!
After the WWII, with the rise of atheism, religion is significantly on the back burner (well I would ban religion and I do consider it harmful, but who asks me) big industries took notes and started implementing the same principal of: make them miserable and sell them solution over and over.
We are constantly bombarded with what happiness and perfect life/body/style/home/love/family/partner/younameit looks like. All those unrealistic goals that we beat ourselves about are just what is repeatedly sold to us. And we buy in bulk!
Misery is seen as being serious, and grown up and loving your life and yourself as a being dirty hippie and/or complete idiot. If you take care of yourself, put yourself firs, say you are feeling great when asked how are you, well, than you automatically get the label of a stupid, spoiled brat on your forehead. If you are great, you do not feel the need to buy shit to fill the void, you are useless to consumer society. If you are a bitter, miserable hater that spews contempt behind the screen of the newest laptop, than you are THE shit! You are the most useful cog in the clockwork! You spend all your time making money you will spend on stuff and make others miserable so they would go and buy stuff they don’t need just to feel better about themselves. Congratulations, you are the average adult! Feel superior over those happy no good pothead hippies
But enough with serious social analysis! It is only important in the context of understanding why do we wake up every morning and look at the mirror on a quest to find flaws, want stuff we can’t afford and can do really well without, look at our partner with disappointment over why we are not living like in some shiny rom-com…
It is time to wake up and realize: Taking care of you is not selfish, that is your responsibility! There is only going to be one you, ever! You don’t get to switch with another person and nobody else gets to be you!
So stop bullying yourself! Physically, by torturing your body with unhealthy habits to drown misery and guilt that only exist in your head. And mentally, by verbally abusing yourself, overthinking and burdening yourself with perceived thoughts of others.
You have no idea what others are thinking, you can’t read minds! And, is someone else’s perceived opinion of your actions or look really worth stressing yourself over? Is it really? Can you predict outcomes of conversations or the reactions of others, are you psychic? No? Well, why are you torturing yourself with imagining the worst possible results over and over?
Do you like you? Really?
Next morning, try to be more realistic when you look in the mirror. Nobody is perfect, but you should stop picking on yourself for ever flaw and focus on your strengths instead. Stop wasting your precious time on self-torture and start living your life. Accept your flaws, work with them and focus on the positive and what you can do to make your time on this earth more worthwhile!
Ad for the end, I will share my “Rules of awesome”, a list I created to remind me to live my life not as an useful little cog but as an authentic person, that has a lot to give to the world.