Healing Power of Kindness

This past weekend I had a booth at the Saskatoon Body, Soul, and Spirit Expo. I was doing angel card readings for people and realized after Day 1 of the Expo, there was a theme emerging in the readings. That theme was: Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Talk to and about yourself kindly.

It seems there is quite an epidemic of people bashing themselves and having very negative self-talk. This is associated to the part of us that strives to be perfect and is absolutely ruthless when it decides we are not. Every perfectionist out there knows the pain of self-bashing – the calling yourself useless or stupid or something even worse after making a perceived mistake. Often we learn this self-bashing technique in childhood. While on the surface it may seem like a great motivator, it is instead an incredibly harmful and hurtful practice. The soul is a tender loving thing and can bruise easily.

My perfectionist, self-bashing ways were brought to my attention this weekend in a rather embarrassing way. I’m going to share my experience with you anyway, because I think if we are truthful, we’ve all experienced something similar. It is my wish we stop experiencing this kind of self- torturous pain.

On Saturday of the Body, Soul, and Spirit Expo, I got up early and rushed to get there before the doors opened at 9am. When I arrived at 8:45am, the doors were locked. This is when I realized the Expo didn’t open until 10am. I was not happy. I got back into my car and realized I was having a peculiar over-the-top emotional response to this mix up. It may have been because I was tired and could have really used the extra sleep, but I truly over-reacted.

I started crying. While my rational adult self was saying, “Fay, pull yourself together. Go get a tea and wait it out. Sheesh.”, my irrational inner child was panicking and scared. You see, my emotional response was not from my adult self. It was from a still hurting little girl who was trying so hard not to make a mistake and be perfect. She was telling herself things like: “ You’re so stupid. You should have looked at the schedule closer. You can’t get anything right. You just screw everything up. You’re dumb. How can you be such an idiot.” Pretty harsh words for a little girl with a tender loving soul to take. Here I am 40 years later, saying the exact same things for the exact same reasons. The inner child had not been healed.

I drove to the river and found a secluded spot to sit at. As I listened to that emotional little girl beating herself (myself) up inside, I realized I had turned the truth of “I made a mistake” to “I am a mistake.” I then began speaking very gently and kindly to that little girl inside me telling her it really was no big deal, that she is a wonderful person, and that she will be ok. I told her she was loved and that everyone makes mistakes; we just need to laugh at them. As I began treating myself gently and kindly instead of telling myself how stupid I was to be overreacting, I began healing that part of myself. I soon was smiling, thanked the river for listening, and went to the Earth Bound Organic Bakery and bought myself a yummy fresh scone and a tea. It was delicious.

All this drama occurred in the matter of 20 minutes. When we apply love, it doesn’t take much time to heal years of pain. When we treat ourselves gently, life treats us gently. When we stop judging our reactions and instead love ourselves, despite how childish we may be feeling or acting, our reactions change to feeling loved and being loving.

I had the most enjoyable, wonderful day at the expo once the doors finally opened. I know from experience I could have used the morning’s events to make the whole day a disaster. By treating myself with love, I created a day filled with love.

Are you nasty with yourself? Do you talk to yourself with contempt and scorn? Stop. It doesn’t teach you a lesson or make you a better person. It just hurts. I don’t care how old you are. Treat yourself with kindness. Treat yourself with grace and compassion. Notice how different and calm you feel when you do. There is nothing like truly loving yourself with kindness to heal a past hurt and make a seemingly bad day the best one of your life.

Fay Thompson