The Words We Need to Hear
Here are a few of the things I’ve needed to hear over the past five months. Sometimes, I’ve been lucky enough to hear them from friends or family. Other times, I’ve had to say them to myself.
Believe yourself. You are worthy of your own trust. Believe yourself—even and especially when others don’t.
It is not your fault that you are sick.
It is not your fault that you can’t do all the things you want to do or the things others want you to do.
You don’t owe anyone else a recovery or a return to full productivity.
You are just as worthy while sick in your bed or struggling through your daily routine as you would be if you were waltzing or sprinting your way through life.
You are resilient. (I know this because you have already been through so much, and yet here you are—still open to learning, connection, and growth.)
You are worthy of love and compassion.
The most life-changing compassion you can receive is the compassion that you offer to yourself.
Rest and self-compassion are not luxuries that you have to earn or indulgences of which you need to be ashamed. They are necessities. They are the building blocks of well-being.
Rest, be still, be kind to yourself.
If any of those are things you need to hear, please tell them to yourself. Read them aloud, or put them into your own words, and repeat them to your reflection in the mirror. Take it one step further, if you’d like, and give yourself a hug while you’re saying them. Cheesy? Absolutely. Cheesy and effective. Science backs me up on this. (Check out this article on the health benefits of self-hugging.)
Maybe there’s something else you need to hear that isn’t on the list above. If so, notice that. The simple act of noticing—of paying attention to your intuitions and feelings as if they are worthy of notice (they are)—is the starting place for self-compassion. Notice the need, and then try to put words to it. To quote folk singer Gillian Welch, “If there’s something that you wanna hear, you can sing it yourself.”
Wishing you a week of self-hugs and songs!
P.S. Stay tuned for another yoga video with next week’s newsletter. I just bought a mic, so the audio quality should be better!