A quick fix when you need some self-kindness
I have a question for you. How kind are you to yourself?
How tender and gentle are you in those moments when it feels like the walls are closing in?
No matter what concern my clients and I are digging into (family dynamics, trust, work struggles, soul care, dating debacles) the wisdom we always arrive at is somehow tied to self-kindness.
Because self-kindness is a powerful tool that bolsters our sense of connection and resilience. And though research shows that those of us who are more self-kind and compassionate with ourselves bounce back quicker from failure and loss, we have no idea how to find that kindness when we need it most.
We also tend to think kindness makes us lose our edge and renders us weak and less respectable. Yet in those rare moments we do find self-kindness, we feel lighter, clearer, more hopeful.
As a way to come back to self-kindess, I now keep a picture of my younger self on my phone. When the brutal inner chatter starts, I take out my phone and look at that sweet little face. I would never talk to my younger self the way I talk to my adult self and so in seeing that tender face, I'm reminded to come back to kindness for myself and for her.
A number of my clients have also started keeping pictures of their younger selves on their phone for when they need a quick self-kindness boost.
Here is the face I want to be kind to.
The face I want to hold in my hands, kiss until her cheeks are red and my lips are tired, and stroke tenderly with the back of my hand, letting her know, “It’s OK. You’re OK and I love you exactly as you are.”
This is the face I want to see every time I question my worth, doubt my strength, or second guess my capacity. To let her big, round eyes lead the way, reminding me that these are the eyes we share, the youthful, inquisitive eyes that never stop seeking.
This is the face I want to love. Not to point out fine lines, imperfections or worry about the consequences of aging, but gracefully adore her through every age and change.
This is the face I want to remember when I feel weakened by fear. To imbibe in her openness, in her earnest readiness to explore rather than hold back, to share rather than stay silent, to see life as a grand experiment rather than an array of potential potholes.
This is the face I want to touch upon when I forget my wonder. When I forget that my joy, my curiosity, my love, my humor, my fire all stem from this face with her soft, resilient heart.
This is the face of purity. A soul light and free. An essence I can touch upon with a simple reminder that she’s always within.
May I be kind to this face when I’m seething with criticism. May I remember to love her when my heart hardens. May I come back to her joy when I’m drowning in judgment. May I reach out to her when I lose my inspiration and my grace.
Every time I look at this face I'm reminded that there’s still wonder, still tenderness, still love, still compassion, still hope alive and well within me.
This is the face I want to be kind to and let her warmth fill me, lift me and nourish me from head to toe.
Tell me, what little face do you want to be kind to?
Get a picture of her/him, put it on your phone and look at it every time you need a heart dose of kindness and love.
It works. Promise.
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