What's Love Got To Do With It?

August 30, 2016

Life coach confession: my life isn’t kittens and rainbows, although kittens and rainbows reign pretty strong in my world. Like most humans, I’ve got my fair share of an inner critic. Coaching has helped me tremendously in dealing with the mean girl in my head. But she still makes appearances.

You cannot hate yourself thin. Or loved. Or valued. You can’t create love (or anything else) from hate. What you can do with love is a game changer.

Our capacity to be unkind to ourselves is astounding. “I am so fat. I have to go on a diet.” “No one will ever care about what I create so I’m not going to do it.” “I will never find someone else who loves me so I should stay.” “I have no business wearing that at my size.” “I can’t tell anyone I’m into tarot/astrology/burlesque dancing; they’ll think I’m crazy.” “There is something wrong with me.”

Then there’s my all-time favorite “Who do you think you are?”

Ouch. We’d never say these things to people we love.

Mean mind chatter. Verbal violence. The abuse is exhausting.

It wears us down to a place of inaction. Defeat. Hiding.

Self-hatred runs the show. Shame doesn’t help much either.

This hate is keeping you from creating a life you love. The hate is keeping you from loving yourself. The stories you tell yourself are providing evidence for you of the awful things you’re believing.

The hamster wheel spins. Nothing changes. No matter how much you tell your brain to shut the F up.

So what’s the antidote? In the simplest terms, kindness and self-love.

Start with ONE kind, loving thing at a time.

Sometimes that looks like asking powerful questions: “Is this helpful or hurtful?”, “Is this the kind of stuff I want to believe?”, “Does this reflect the person I want to be?”

Other times, being kind takes small but loving actions towards yourself. Getting a decent night’s rest, skipping the drive thru and getting an actual meal; walk around the block. Volunteering can take you from zero to hero pretty quickly. Turn off the TV. Leave your phone at home. Wear something you love. Move your body.

Practice turning that negative into something a little gentler. “I’m never going to lose the weight.” becomes “I’m learning to be healthier.” “No one will ever buy my thing” becomes “There are people who love what I do and I’m finding ways to reach them.” “Who do think you are?” becomes “I deserve it just as much as anyone else.”

Some folks call these affirmations; I like to call them Shit I Can Get Down With.

Kind, believable thoughts + deliberate action = BFF’s 4-ever. Baby steps add up and create new patterns and belief systems. The jerk in your head doesn’t come around as often.

It’s a process. It’s not always easy. It requires faith, patience and trust that things can be different. It requires us to slow down, get quiet and listen to ourselves with curiosity and compassion. It’s about taking a deeper look, even though you’re scared.

Do you need some help getting your bully to take a back seat? Let’s talk. I love helping people get on the self-love train. Word on the street is that I’m pretty boss at it, too.