Ever Called Yourself Stupid?
The other morning started out benign enough. I was heading out the front door for a run and switched on Pandora for a bit of musical excitement.
I love listening to Pandora while running because you don’t know what’s coming next, which makes it both enticing and dicey. And so it was, while charging up a really intense hill, that these lyrics filled my ears, “You are so stupid. You are so stupid, stupid. But I love you.”
WTF?!? Was this actually a song? Did someone honestly write these lyrics, then record them in a studio all the while thinking, “Man, this is really a great piece of music!” OY. I stopped mid run to give a whole hearty “thumbs down” to the song and then pondered what I had just heard.
I’ve never once called myself stupid, directly that is. As I’ve mentioned before, “stupid” was a forbidden word in my house growing up so its never been part of my everyday vernacular. However, continuing on my run, I began to think of all the ways I’ve indirectly called myself stupid.
Whenever I’ve said:
I can’t believe you did that.
You are ridiculous.
You should know this.
Get over it!
What the hell is wrong with you.
These were all ways of tearing myself down and challenging my intelligence. Granted I didn’t use the word stupid, but the effect of shame and self doubt was the same.
And so now, whenever I start with the “You should know better,” “Why the heck did you do that?” chatter I take a breath and dig around for some kindness.
This week, see where you might be directly or indirectly calling yourself stupid and notice the effect on your body. Do you feel tight, edgy, wounded, sad? Do you suddenly need a snack, a cocktail, a run or a cupcake as solace from your smack-down?
Take a breath, notice where your words cut deep, and like a mother reassuring her child, say to yourself, “I see how much you care, how hard you try. You are doing a great job and remember that life is nothing if not a constant state of learning. Continue on, my dear. You kick ass!”
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