Forgive Yourself

I'm going to ask you to do something today that will require a lot of strength. It's not going to be easy. You might even shrink away from me as a first response. That's OK. I know that feeling. I have lived that response. I wouldn't ask this of you if I weren't asking it of myself. Promise. So, we're in this together, friends.

Here it is: be kind to yourself. Yesterday we talked about inner silence. Hopefully that sank in and created a softer place for this conversation to land. At first glance it seems like a cheesy blanket statement, but dig a little deeper; use your new inner silence to consider the implications of self-kindness. Because I don't mean pamper yourself. I don't mean justify your right to defend yourself. I don't mean fight for your footing. I mean this: stop hating, stop shaming, stop judging, stop clawing away at yourself. Just stop. Maybe just for today. Maybe just as an experiment. Maybe for the sake of growth and healing.

You may not be very good at something. That's OK. You might be heavier than you used to be. That's OK too. Your body may have changed after pregnancy or illness. That's definitely OK. You might not eat "right" or be struggling through a new diet. That's definitely OK. Because we aren't going to camp out in self defeat. We aren't going to hand ourselves over to old patterns of behavior and surrender ourselves to a life of being stuck. But we ARE going to take the first step towards health. That first step is self-kindness.

Today let's make a pact. No negative talk. No self-condemnation. No "I Can'ts". No beating ourselves up for eating a cookie, dairy, wheat, sugar, or gross fast food. No shame. Shame doesn't have a place in our growth. Shame keeps us locked up tight. We need to find a way to step past shame and then weigh what is genuine conviction. We'll never get there until we stop destroying ourselves. We'll never grow until we stop planting weeds all up on ourselves.

So, today, you and me - we're done. We're just taking this one little step forward. We're pressing against the current of our thick, sticky old patterns. We're choosing to do something new. We're armoring up because it's going to take some glorious inner strength on our part. We're going to have to draw from a well that is deeper than us. We're going to have to stand in a new space, one that our feet find unfamiliar and unsteady. It's going to feel weird and we might be easily discouraged. That's why we're in here together.

Essentially we're fasting from negative self talk. We're fasting from self-made rules. We're embracing grace and admitting that our kind of grace is messy. We're diving into a new way of life - a way of life that just might change EVERYTHING. Are we brave enough? Are we silent enough? Let's find out.

Whatever you find in this new space is worth sharing. So, share it. Use your voice to inspire hope and change for others. Use your voice to build life within this community. Tell us what you find here - whether it's dirty or sparkling clean.

Ready? Press in, friends.

*February 2013