New Year's Gift
I’ve written before how I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. So this year I’m doing something different.
I’m giving myself a New Year’s gift. Specifically, the gift of self-acceptance.
This is something I struggle with all too often. Maybe you do, too. I have a chorus of voices in my head that chime in when I do something differently than other people. And my automatic interpretation is that different = wrong.
I don’t have the same body type as someone the world reveres as beautiful? Mine must be wrong.
I don’t eat the way I’m “supposed” to or the way other people think I do? Shame on me.
I don’t have the right relationships, I’m not active enough, I said something inappropriate, I missing something I was supposed to do, I react to something more strongly or differently than others – the list of ways I’m “wrong” can be endless.
But not anymore. Today I’m cutting it off.
For the New Year, I’m going to do my best to silence those voices, or at least not give them such power over me. And I want to use an approach we talk about in the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program.
The idea is to take fearful, or negative, thoughts, and turn them into something fearless, or positive. Here, then, are ways I want to reframe some of the things the little voices say.
LV: Look at that photo! It’s not very flattering of you.
Me: Everyone has unflattering moments, and I’m not going to let one photo convince me that my body isn’t beautiful and amazing.
LV: Should you really be eating that?
Me: I’m listening to what my body tells me, and right now this is what I want and need.
LV: You’re single, and you’re over 40. You’re going to be alone forever.
Me: I’m happy with my life, and I’m not alone. I have other family and close friends who enrich and fill my life.
LV: Why are you so sensitive? This doesn’t bother other people nearly as much as you.
Me: But I’m not other people. I’m me, and I’m not going to pretend I feel a certain way when I don’t. I’m doing what I need to express myself and take good self-care.
LV: How could you mess that up? You know better.
Me: I’m only human. I’m sorry about the mistake, but I’m going to pay attention to why it happened so I can learn from the experience.
I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea.
My hope is that by focusing on turning the self-defeating and shaming thoughts into ones of affirmation and self-acceptance, I will develop a new chorus of little voices – except these ones will help make the new year bright.
May you, too, find or give yourself some gifts as we move into 2018. Happy New Year!