Imagine if you had a friend who was always putting you down? If you’d known that person through childhood, but as you grew, they had become more and more hostile towards you?
They’d tell you you were too fat, or too thin… that your face or body was just the wrong shape… that your nose was too big, or your eyes were too close together or too wide apart… that you were ugly…
They’d remind you of all the mistakes you ever made; all the things that, with hindsight, you could have done and should have done, but didn’t…
They’d tell you you were useless, fit for nothing, not worthy of love… and they’d do this when you were at your lowest point… kicking you while you’re down, over and over again…
And, sometimes, maybe when they got drunk, they’d try to kill you… cut your wrists, strangle you or throw you off a bridge…
You wouldn’t accept this sort of treatment, would you?
You’d tell them to get out of your life. In fact, you’d probably have the police do that for you.
Strange, then, that we accept such sustained criticism and destructive negativity from ourselves – truly the one person in the world who is always with us, and who we should be able to rely on at all times.
Are you friends with yourself?
Many people aren’t, and that’s likely true for the majority of our species. I know it was the case for me until last year.
We torture ourselves, then make the excuse that it’s okay… like a battered spouse who feels they can’t escape from their abusive partner, so they accept it.
It’s not okay. We don’t have to accept it.
Next time you stand in front of a mirror, listen to your thoughts while you look at yourself. If there’s any criticism, know that it comes from the dysfunctional, egoic mind and not from your true self.
The storage device in your head is not you – it just records what you’ve done, where you’ve been, who you’ve met and what you’ve seen - and when it mocks, insults or criticises you, it only does so because it’s not working as it should.
Accept only positive, productive, encouraging thoughts which nurture your true spirit and free you from self-criticism and self-doubt.
Become the friend that is always there.