Do you talk to your child with those thoughts?
I can see your face now, Beautiful. “What kind of question is that?” “Do I talk to my child with those thoughts?” “What is she talking about now?” Stay with me for one minute.
I think we have all heard it before in one way or another -as Brene Brown’s quote so adequately states, “Talk to yourself like someone you love”. What exactly does that mean? Should I talk to myself as I speak to my partner, or perhaps my extended family (yeah, that sounds like fun), or my mother-in-law, or maybe still my neighbor (who by the way, barely waves when I enter my garage)? Because shouldn’t I love them all? I think honestly maybe we should define love and what love looks like to each of us because I guarantee it’s not the same for everyone.
Instead, maybe we should start with the way we love ourselves, and better yet, the “thoughts” we say to ourselves. I can promise you this, Sunshine, some of those thoughts you have and “say” about yourself, you would not in a million years express to your child in conversation. So, then, my question is if we would not say those things about ourselves to our child in conversation, why we are having those thoughts in the first place and why in the hell are we giving them head space. I don’t know if you are like me, but Sugar, I don’t have extra head space for those thoughts. I barely can remember why I walked from one room to the next. Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Sometimes the thoughts creep in and it's not on purpose. Sometimes we can do all we can, and they still find their way in. I’m talking about the thoughts we allow to sit, stay, and repeat. For example…. “I am a bad parent”, “How stupid can I be?”, “Why would anyone love me?”, “I am not beautiful”, “I can’t do this”, “why do I even bother?”
“Embrace the glorious mess that you are” -Elizabeth Gilbert
First, just stop fighting who you are. I think many times the thoughts that plague us and make us feel so guilty are the thoughts of “IF”….what if.... could if… should if… stop “if’ing” it. “They would love me if I lost the weight”, “If I could just be like “Marie” I would be such a better parent”, and the thoughts go on and on. Just stop! Now if you are using those thoughts to “motivate” yourself and get something done, then do you Love. However, if that thought is sitting there making you feel like crap and guilty, then let it go. Embrace who you are… do you know there is only one of you ever and you are exactly who you should be for the child that you have and for yourself, dammit!?
“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are” -Beyonce.
Second, did you just read that quote? Well, read it again for good measure. You, you, you, you determine your self-worth, your thoughts, your actions, and your responses. Tell yourself how much you love yourself; “you are a kick-ass parent”, “you look good naked”, and “YOU are worthy of love”- that includes loving yourself. You have the power to change the thoughts that tell you anything but the truth and remember that this is not just for you. It's for the “thoughtful” conversation you want to be able to have with your child.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens”- Louise Hay
I literally just want to “drop a mic” right here. This … this… all of THIS. If you are living in thoughts of guilt, negativity, self-hate, and anything else that doesn’t belong, please try something different. Please know that I am not just “talking” at you; this is something that I am practicing daily. I get up, I get dressed and I tell myself that I am beautiful, and I am one hell of a mother. So, let’s do this. Let’s change these thoughts and always be in a place where we can talk to our children with our thoughts.