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Learning to be kind to myself

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by veronica73, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Louise Hay says that the core issue for everyone is self-hatred. I know this is true for me--that "inner bully" is pretty constant some days (today is one of those days). For me the hardest part of recovering from TMS has been learning to feel my feelings and just accept myself as I am. I know this will be a life-long process.

    I wanted to share two of my favorite blog posts of mindbody coach Abigail Steidley that talk about these issues--

    Learning to be kind to yourself: http://anamsong.com/pain-relief-stress/learn-to-be-kind-to-you/

    Feeling feelings: http://anamsong.com/pain-relief-stress/want-to-heal-be-a-hot-mess/
    Forest and Livvygurl like this.
  2. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    I hope you get all the soothing that you need today! I wonder what self-care skill would suit you in a comforting way : ) Sounds like you are commited to the work of feeling feelings. Me too! I love Abigail's Ebook, I am almost finished reading it, her work compliments Sarno's theory, and she uses humor in her approach. Keep up the good work!

    Livvy ~
    veronica73 likes this.
  3. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    A harsh inner voice is usually learned behavior. It helps to examine our childhood too to see where these harsh words (inner bully) have come from. Sometimes we can recall an event or statement someone made, and then it can be un-done. Louise Hay talks about this in the I Can Do It book/cd where things we were told by authority figures, e.g. teachers, parents, people whom we trust, make a deep impression on us--whether true or not.
    But we can change this self talk to a nurturing inner voice. Takes time!
    Forest and Livvygurl like this.
  4. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter


    Snap! Thank you, Veronica!.

    The past few days I've been feeling overwhelmed as I try to figure all this TMS stuff out and carve out time in my day to 'do the work'. I am angry that I even need to do this work (my inner 'whiner' is ever-present), I've been on this journey for 17 years now, seeking relief and healing, and I'm so sick and tired of trying to fix myself.

    Over the past three weeks since I found the forum and began this journey, I have become aware of very intense repressed emotions. At first I felt anger/rage, but as I've read and journaled and attempted to 'feel the feeling', I've found deep sadness.

    As I began reading the blog on Learn to be Kind--To You, my stomach began to hurt, and was twisting and churning and I felt nauseous. The pressure was very intense and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was feeling panicked there is way too much to do and I don't know how to be kind to myself. When I read the section, "It's okay to be exactly as I am right now", the pressure in my stomach, pressed up to my chest and into my throat and I burst into tears. I felt afraid that if I was kind to myself, if I did the exercise and stopped three times today to say speak the kindest words I could in that moment, that everything would come crashing down. That in being attentive to my deepest feelings, speaking kindly and lovingly accepting what is, would have devastating implications in how much I can get done.

    Veronica, I am so grateful for these links. I realize a lot of my anxiety (and resulting pain) is amplified by the unkind words I speak to myself all the time. I am going to start the practice of stopping three times today and asking these questions:

    What is the kindest thing I could say to myself right now?
    What is the kindest thing I could do for myself right now?

    Just reading the questions brings more tears...wow!
  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Wow, Nadia, that sounds like a breakthrough!

    I actually talked about something like this with my therapist in a recent session. I described it as, what if I let myself feel all my feelings and become a total mess and can't function? She asked me what I meant by "function"--for me it meant to continue to do all my work well, not have to take sick time, have time to run my business, keep up with all my friends, etc. That's really a lot when I think about it. I don't have to do any of that stuff with that level of perfectionism on a daily basis even if I'm feeling great, so why should I have to do that on a day when I'm processing a lot of feelings?

    Also, maybe because you have been bottling up feelings for a while, things will be a little more intense now than they will be in the future. I felt more intense emotion when I first started working on TMS, and now it's more subtle (usually :) )

    One more thing that helps me--I heard Dr. Eva Selhub (http://www.drselhub.com/) speak a few years ago and she had talked about incredibly stressful job she had been in. One day it was particularly horrible, and she asked herself, would someone who loves themselves work here? Would someone who loves themselves make themselves do this job? She ended up quitting and eventually working with Herbert Benson ("The Relaxation Response"). Now I sometimes ask myself, what would someone who loves herself do in this situation? Usually the answer is clear. Like yesterday, I had been feeling really worn out and wanted to take a sick day, but my first reaction is to only take a sick day if completely drop-dead sick, and I hear the voice of my dad, or some of my old teachers, or an old boss saying the same thing...but then I thought Ok, what would someone who really loves and values herself do? She would take the sick day! So I took the day off and I just rested and I feel a lot better today. There's still a bit of guilt kicking around but it's easier to deal with that the resentment and exhaustion that comes with constantly pushing myself.

    It sounds like you are moving in the right direction. And even if you were working on chronic pain for 17 years, you have only been working on TMS for 3 weeks and you've already accomplished a lot!!
    Beach-Girl and nadia like this.
  6. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Veronica, may I give you an e-hug? ((((Veronica)))) Thank you.
  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Thanks, Nadia :)
  8. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    It's almost as if I could have written this post myself. I have been away on vacation and just now getting back into my normal routine. I, too, realize that most of my anxiety and pain is magnified by the way I treat myself all the time. I was once told, about 25 years ago, that "you are your own worst enemy". Guess I really bought THAT one, didn't I?

    I have saved these two links, Veronica, and am about to read them this very moment. And yes, I also have already been crying so I better grab a box of kleenex. :)
  9. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome back, honeybear :)
  10. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    I have downloaded Abigail's 'Heal your Soul, Heal Yourself' e-book and plan to get started Monday. The past week on the forum I have discerned that much of my childhood has been worked through and I've forgiven and do not hold resentment towards those people who unknowing or knowingly inflicted pain on me in one way or another. What is underlying my pain (and paralysis) is the bully within myself. I am so mean to myself and am constantly beating myself up for various mistakes, failures, omissions, etc. Thank you for sharing this Veronica. I think I saw Abagail's website recommended elsewhere on the forum as well by a professional. This was helpful to me as I wasn't sure if I was 'diverting' myself from TMS work. I want to follow the path that others have had success with as I am ready to move toward wholeness...to a place where I can love myself.
  11. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Great! And Abigail is a TMS coach so it's all connected.
  12. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hey Veronica:

    Today as I drove along the beautiful back roads of our area, I started really letting my bully have it. I wasn't kind to "her" at all and I found myself cursing like a truck driver and then - totally sobbing. (hard to drive and cry). I feel a ton of feelings when all this comes up. They rush at me all at once. But the biggest message I was telling the bully was that I am NOT perfect and never have been. I told her she is history and will not be tormenting me as much as she always has. But then as I cried, I found I felt better. Just a tiny bit of power over the bully.It's a good first step.

    I haven't had the time to participate as much on the forum (due to work) as I would like lately, but it seems someone "wise" said to me: "would you ever treat others the way you treat yourself?" That "wise" person is right. And when we find ourselves thrashing the daylights out of ourselves - I have to recall that pearl of wisdom. For I would never, ever, treat anyone the way I've been treating myself. And stopping isn't all that easy!

    This is a journey we all share. Good days are a thrill to report. Bad days feel like we're going backwards. But the key I believe is persistence and reminding ourselves:

    I would never, ever, treat another human the way I treat myself.

    Looking froward to having some down time to check out your links.

    nadia, veronica73 and Livvygurl like this.
  13. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

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