Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Best Early Christmas Present You Can Give to Yourself

Helsinki street

Today let's practice being our own best friends.

Today let's tell our bodies we appreciate all the things they do for us and not shame them for our jeans being too tight.

Today, let's go ahead and pat ourselves on the back.

The earth will not spin off its axis if we are actually kind to ourselves. I promise.

I know. I know. We aren't supposed to talk like that about ourselves. We're supposed to be all about the other guy, or the kids, or just humanity in general. I lived like that for a long time and I can tell you, I was depleted. Not always, not every day, but a lot. Then one day while lamenting the fact that my mother wasn't someone I could go to for advice (long story and not tragic enough to be interesting), I had a thought:

I have to mother myself.

Several times during our 30 plus years of marriage I have felt alone or neglected. You don't need too much detail and if you are married you can fill in the blanks anyway. During those times I had another thought:

I have to hold my own hand.

And so through the years I learned to sustain myself. To be my own best friend. To speak kindly to my mind and soul with unwavering gratitude that I've come this far.

Guess what happened. People showed up in my life to support me in all kinds of ways. A tribe of like minded women appeared, friends were made in the most unlikely places, and my husband's true self was unveiled in the process. The Universe didn't treat my behavior as selfish, it rewarded my honesty and kindness towards myself with the things I needed from others. 

In case no one has ever told you, I hereby give you permission to speak kindly to yourself. Is there something you longed to hear from a parent or ex?  Just say it to yourself. It still counts. It may even count more. Still need it from an outside source?

Read this.

And while we're on the subject I also had to learn to love and admire my body and to be thankful for it and to it. I haven't always made the best choices for her and yet she's done a damn good job of taking care of me. The cool thing is that when you make friends with your body you stop hating her because she isn't perfect she responds. Do you hate your imperfect friends? Nope. You need them too much!

So wrap your arms around yourself and give your body a hug and tell it how much you appreciate all the hard work it's been putting in over the years while you were doing dumb stuff to it. Promise it you are going to do better. 

And do it.

How about that for peace, love, and joy? And it ain't even Christmas.



  1. Self- Compassion another sustainable attribute! You and I have been trudging down the same road, sister. Boy, I'm glad I met you. My favorite thing to say to myself is, "This is hard. You are doing the best you can."

    1. So glad you feel that way! What a great thing to say to yourself! LOVE it. I am so much happier since I stopped being so hard on myself. Why didn't I do it sooner?

  2. I've held my own hand for just about my entire adult life. It's key to surviving most situations.

  3. Love this and what a great reminder


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