Written and shared with love by Tahlee Rouillon.
I believe one of the most silent yet destructive forms of bullying is the inner emotional violence we do to ourselves.
Is “self kindness” is a bit of an struggle for you?
Do you think it’s selfish to take care of numero uno?
I believed that while I was a kind and compassionate person to all around me, there was a different set of rules that applied to me.
I internalized the message (as so many of us do) that any act of self kindness was the ultimate hedonism.
I felt I had to take care of others, before I took care of myself – otherwise I was totally selfish.
This limited belief led to me becoming a girl who was driven by the need for others’ approval, a girl who let others dictate boundaries, a girl who was constantly dieting and “whipping herself into shape” in order to be thin, beautiful and accepted.
My life was clouded by self-doubt, panic attacks, poor relationships and an eating disorder.
Self kindness is vital to ALL kindness. I began to speak to myself as I would a friend.
If I was sick, sad or suffering, I would imagine that I was speaking to a small hurt child or a dear loved one.
Slowly but surely, my inner bully began to morph into my inner bestie.
The more I practiced self kindness, the more I cultivated a sense of worthiness, resilience and grounded calm. I was able to love more fully, connect more deeply and bounce back from set-backs more quickly.
One of my favorite quotes is…
I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival. – Audre Lorde
Releasing the idea that self kindness was akin to selfishness allowed me to gently explore the idea of nurturing myself.
Through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Pilates, counselling hypnotherapy, intuitive eating, practising gratitude and absorbing positive wisdom from books and blogs (like Karen Salmansohn’s).
It’s been a long and rewarding journey.
But like many great feats in life – self-kindness IS a practice.
It’s certainly not something I’ve mastered, but I give it a red hot go each day.