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Is the World a Cruel, Grim Tragedy or Do You Just Feel Down on Yourself?

The world is one big mirror, and how we see it reflects how we see ourselves. If you look down on yourself and think you’re a big messed up pile of mistakes and misfortune, then chances are you view the world as a gloomy, doom-filled disaster. I know I did.

At the heights of some of my depressive episodes a while back, I would look out into the world and everything I saw sucked. Everyone is terrible and life is just a ball of misery tumbling downhill into an inescapable pit of despair.

Was this true? Of course not, but it felt that way at the time because of how I felt about myself. I hated myself and only saw a world that reflected that.

Now there are obviously negative aspects of ourselves, and I’m not about to write this article asking you to ignore that and only embrace the positive until you are bursting at the seams with “love & light”. That isn’t realistic or necessary. In fact, seeing only the positive is perhaps just as bad as seeing only the negative.

The goal is to gain understanding and direction based on truth, which is made of both negative and positive elements. Since a lot of us have a habit of highlighting the bad in ourselves, there is an equal amount of good in us that goes unseen and unappreciated.

In order to lift the veil and reveal the good that has been there all along, we have to change the way we interact with ourselves.

To do this means practicing self-kindness.

Transforming yourself with kindness

Self-kindness is the practice of looking within and, you guessed it, being kind. Sounds simple, but it’s challenging if you are only used to shooting insults at yourself.

When I started doing this, it felt lame, tacky, and forced. It’s difficult to shift our internal dialogue from “I hate myself” to “I love myself”, and really mean it. It’s hard work that takes tons of practice, but that’s what self-kindness is, a practice.

Though, when you finally transform your inner voice from mean to kind, the world looks different. Things get brighter, hidden opportunities become easier to find, and people treat you differently (in a good way) because your vibe is less harsh.

Why this works

The reason self-kindness works is that kindness is the energy of friendliness. So, in a genuine sense, by practicing this, you are becoming a friend to yourself. And having a friend in yourself is always nicer than having an enemy.

But like building any reliable friendship, it takes time, so have patience with yourself. I found that putting this into action is best done in small steps.

Addressing the self-talk

Start by noticing and shifting your inner dialogue from harmful to supportive.

If you are used to saying you are terrible because you failed at something, then try swapping shame with honest but positive reinforcement. With a failure you could say something like, “Yes, I failed. But I see what I did wrong, so I’ll work on that and do better next time.” This brings some hope into the situation.

Besides, the only real shame of failure is walking away, not learning anything from it because you’re too busy being hard on yourself. I don’t even want to think about how many lessons I missed because of self-pity.

On the flip-side, if you have a win, it’s easy to dismiss congratulating yourself. I did this a lot because I often felt I wasn’t worth it. I convinced myself that it takes pursuing some sort of enormous, monumental, earth shattering accomplishment before I can say to myself “good job”, and that the little wins along the way aren’t worth acknowledging.

Self-kindness would say to keep focused on the road ahead, but take some time to celebrate the wins along the way, even the small ones. Doing this relieves pressure, which is important because it’s easier to move forward and focus when you feel at ease.

Taking actions that actually help

So after addressing the internal dialogue, next are external actions.

Now, being kind to yourself doesn’t mean giving yourself unrestricted access to the ice cream in the freezer, or whatever your vice may be. Fueling bad habits isn’t the way.

Turning kindness inward means being supportive, caring, and compassionate towards yourself. It’s showing up for yourself so you don’t get hypnotized by thought or medicate the pain away.

It means becoming the friend to yourself that you really need. One who won’t tolerate your BS, but will still openly listen, understand, and gently guide you back onto the right path.

The actions that come from this should support you instead of hold you back.

The magic question that pulls it all together

This is all possible and the quickest way to get started is by asking the following question throughout the day, every day.

What is the next kindest thing I can do for myself right now?

If your actions and self-talk stem from this one powerful question, you will not only start treating yourself exceptionally well and become a joy to be around for yourself and others, but you will transform the view of yourself by allowing all your goodness to shine through clearly.

And when you can see the good in yourself, then you can easily recognize it in the world.

Conclusion

Self-kindness is a sturdy foundation for building healthy habits on. It offers a realistic view that is overflowing with understanding, compassion, and support. It starts with you and naturally flows out into your environment, effecting everything and everyone in it spectacularly.

With the power built into kindness, you can heal what needs healing, become your much needed best friend, and see yourself and the world through kind eyes.

Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Spirituality

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