“I would like to stop harming myself. I’d like to stop abusing myself, to stop being so violent toward myself”
I wrote these words when I woke up in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep. I was thinking about how unkind I have been to myself lately and the only word that seemed appropriate was violent. I have been so violently unkind to myself. I speak words over me I would NEVER allow ANYONE to say about a friend, yet I say them to myself on a regular basis. I have called myself the most awful names and I have judged myself in the most cruel and harshest ways possible.
Beyond the terrible words, I am also abusing my body by failing to nourish it with the whole foods I know I thrive on. I have deliberately given myself foods that I know my body cannot process. I have intentionally chosen to feed myself things that that leave me feeling swollen, bloated, stretched (in the not good way) and generally lethargic. I have given myself foods that are like poison to my body because my body cannot process them. I am choosing this even though I know it is not what is best for me.
I find myself wondering why I am choosing these acts of violence against myself. It feels harsh to say those words and I don’t mean to suggest that what I am doing compares to the physical and emotional acts of violence that too many women live with every day. But it feels abusive to intentionally withhold those those things that nourish, whether it be good food or words of affirmation. It feels abusive to speak words of hatred against myself. The absolute venom that has spewed in my head, and sometimes from my mouth, when I look in the mirror has been nothing short of violent. Truly no other word fits. I don’t fully understand why but one thing is certain I am failing to care well for myself right now and I want that to change. No, correction…I need that to change.
To that end I am taking an e-course called Be Your Own Beloved, a 28 day photo adventure designed to cultivate self-compassion through the practice of taking self-portraits. I hate taking pictures of myself so I know this will be good for me. The thing that drew me to this class was the idea that this wasn’t just about taking a bunch of pictures of myself. The next 28 days will be about developing the habit of seeing myself with kindness. I need to be kinder to myself. Now more than ever, I need to nurture myself so I am choosing to step into this very uncomfortable space that I might learn to see myself with eyes of love and acceptance. Seeing myself as I truly am and not as I think I am (or anyone else for that matter).
If you would like to journey with me during these next 28 days, I will be posting my pics on Instagram and Flickr. As I get some profound revelation I may share here but mostly I will be posting on those two sites. Click on the links or you can search for my username, kedamak on either one, to follow me. I welcome any traveling companions who may want to tag along for the ride 🙂 I look forward to the shift I pray will come as I engage this process. And If you’d like to participate, we are only two days in at this point so I don’t think it’s too late for you to join.
Do you wrestle with thoughts or behaviors that are acts of poor self-care? What tools or strategies do you use combat those things?