Celebrating the Gift of Love Begins Inside Your Own Heart
If I told you that I have a friend who berated me when I went to the grocery store today, what would you think? The hard part to admit is that this happened several times. It started when I had to go back to the deli to get the apples I missed on my list, then again when I couldn’t find the Tahini, and once again when I couldn’t remember where I put my coupons. She even called me a big dummy when I almost spilled my purse getting in the car. By the time I pulled out of the parking lot, I was a bit out of sorts.
I suppose you have begun to question my choice of friends. You may even be thinking I should immediately part ways with this toxic relationship. It simply isn’t healthy!
The only problem with that, is, well…it’s me. If truth be told, I can beat myself up for the most mundane things. Slips, accidents, mistakes – you name it and I am the first to say “What’s wrong with me?” or “Why did I do that?”
Amazing how we tend to treat the folks passing us by in the grocery isle with far more courtesy, patience, and respect than ourselves. It’s hard enough fighting the endless comparisons that fill our day while we work hard and sacrifice to take care of others. Sometimes, we are the last priority on our list.
It stands to reason that we should give ourselves the same concern and care that we would give to a friend doesn’t it? Extending kindness to that person in the mirror comes with a multitude of benefits for our mental and physical health.
Studies show that adopting a positive inner dialogue leads to less stress, stronger coping capacity, and greater self-esteem. Improving our ability to care for ourselves decreases anxiety and depression and leads to healthier decision-making overall. Another bonus includes an increase in our immune response and lower blood pressure. Who doesn’t want a little of that these days?
Reframing our negative messages is the perfect start. Ease up on your disappointment when something you do or say isn’t just right. If you seek to improve and learn from the many situations throughout the day, that’s really all you can expect of anyone, much less yourself.
Before we celebrate the love we have for others in the coming days, why not practice a little compassion by giving that friend a break – the one you see every day for a lifetime.