I have come across a common complaint among many of my spiritual life coaching clients. They are tired of beating themselves up and want to stop. The reasons for this behavior are as different and diverse as the clients themselves, but almost all began in childhood. Being unusually hard on themselves, many of these clients have subtle patterns and overt behaviors that often go unnoticed or accepted by others in their lives. Think of the people in your life who you know have great difficulty accepting a compliment, or those who are never satisfied with the work they do and seem to always find fault with some aspect of it, or those who can get particularly worked up and angry with themselves over some small shortcoming or flaw. Any kind of failure is unacceptable.
This self-bullying behavior sends very distinct messages to our bodies. It also takes a great amount of energy. Imagine the time that is wasted in this activity! If you wish to see what if feels like to be a bully to yourself, get quiet and focused. Think about a time when someone made you feel really bad about yourself. Maybe they humiliated or embarrassed you, or perhaps they yelled at you and used you as an example to others. How is your body reacting? How do you feel? What thoughts begin to go through your head? For some, this reaction, these thoughts and these feelings are far too common.
Not treating yourself with respect and in a kind manner is like a bad habit. For those who have been at it for a while, it is very hard to break the pattern. But being aware of how it makes us feel, focusing on the time and energy we are wasting doing it and wanting to make a change are all part of the first steps in transitioning out of this behavior. I often suggest to my clients to make notes about how bullying makes them feel both during the actual act and then later. Sometimes this gentle noticing brings about such a strong want to change that they are able to make the necessary shifts in thoughts and perspectives to do so. For most there is a deep desire to be healthy and happy, to live a life filled with peace and contentment. If that want can shine through the fog that is created by self-bullying then the change can begin.
Blessings ~ Lisa
©COPYRIGHT 2012 Lisa Meade