Be Nice to Yourself, D@mnit!
I will be the first to admit that years ago, I was a very reluctant hippy. (Writer’s note: I use the term “hippy” in the most loving, albeit somewhat sarcastic way- more on that later.) If you had told me in high school that someday I would be all into self-healing and believing in higher energies and all that, I would have laughed in your face! My spirituality as a teenager only went far enough to eye roll religion and dabble in witchcraft. But mainly the reason I would have laughed in your face is because I was very, very attached to my identity as a sarcastic, scorned, bitchy, bitter person who drew more inspiration off of self-loathing than self-loving.
I loved loathing myself. I wrote songs about it even. I loved being bitter about life, and being able to “I told you so” my way through one seemingly unrelated tragic event after another. My scorn reverberated throughout time and space, my sadness lingered at every turn. I hated everything and I felt hated. It was not a party, let me tell ya.
Feeling this way may have led to some decent songs being written at times, but sadness and anger can only take you so far. Later in life I would learn that anger is actually motivating, but back then I thought the road ended at anger (or better, yet, revenge). I was missing the point of anger: that it leads to action, or so it should. Too much anger and that action could lead you to burn down your ex's house (shout out to Left-Eye!), but just the right amount and you could leave your abusive spouse, for instance.
That sad, angry, bitter version of myself was familiar, and I knew what to expect from life: nothing. At the root of it, I didn’t love myself and couldn’t fathom that anyone else could either. Not loving myself, and not even being nice to myself, caused me to see myself as faaaaar less than I was worth. I based relationships around this concept, and ergo, dated some seriously terrible people. I even married one!
We get what we give, and I think we apply the meaning of that phrase entirely in the wrong direction. We think that we “get” things like our terrible relationships, bad jobs, shitty friends, lack of opportunities, etc., from what we “give”, meaning what we put into those things. We immediately hear a chance to blame ourselves in this statement, when often we’re giving much more than the other person, the job sucks, these people don’t deserve us, and this limiting self-belief is blocking us from any truly good opportunities that should actually be coming our way. What we “give” ends up being more what we “sacrifice” about ourselves, our time, our energy, and becomes what we settle for.
But it also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we think little of ourselves, that leads to little action on our parts to achieve what we really want in life because of self-doubt, this in turn leads to lesser opportunities coming into our lives, we end up settling on people, places, and things that are sub-par and below what actually deserve, and the fact that this is what we see we are “stuck with” confirms, in our heads and our hearts, that this is “all” we deserve.
If you are doing this, please: Don’t believe everything you think.
The fact of the matter is this: you get what you give, meaning when you “give” yourself limiting thoughts and beliefs about yourself, that is what you end up with in life. When you can imagine and believe that you deserve better, you can actually “get” better. Granted, it’s easier said than done.
Yes, this all has to do with needing to love yourself, which my 19 year old self would have rolled my eyes so far back they would have rolled out of my head. But beyond that, you need to just be NICE to yourself. If you can remember to be nice to yourself, you will start to change your reality, and create a much “nicer” one for yourself.
It sounds so simple, but it’s so true; JUST BE NICE TO YOURSELF, DAMNIT!
We think between 60,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day. How many of those thoughts have to do with ourselves? Probably quite a few. Of those thoughts that we think about ourselves, how many of them are actually nice towards ourselves? How many are limiting beliefs about ourselves? How many are thoughts that doubt ourselves? How many are just straight up mean towards ourselves?
Whether you want to accept it or not, we are always creating our own reality, something my teenage self would have HATED and outright rejected. It’s so much better when you can blame everything in your life on everything else, right?! And yes, like I said, those outside sources making your life suck, actually DO suck! But it is often our limiting belief systems about ourselves that make us accept those sucky things or welcome those sucky people into our lives. So yeah, if we want things to suck less, we have to imagine that WE suck less. We have to envision that we deserve better, that we are worth it, and dare I say it: be nice to ourselves.
So be nice to yourself! You can’t just “say” you love yourself; you have to ACTUALLY love yourself! And that means being NICE to yourself, all the time, in your words, thoughts, actions and feelings. Your words, thoughts, actions and feelings are what is communicating to the universe, chi, the ether, energy, consciousness, or whatever you want to call it. And the universe (or energy) communicates right back to us what we just said, thought, did, or felt. This is how you can make that terrible “self-fulfilling prophecy of sadness” happen on repeat in your life: think crappy things about yourself, get crappy things in your life. But on the flip-side, we can also make AMAZING things happen in a self-fulfilling prophecy of AWESOMENESS, if we think wonderful and kind thoughts about ourselves, what we deserve, our possibilities for the future, etc.
Starting my journey into the world of healing was slow and quite reluctant on my part for many years. I was half in, half out. I wasn’t ready to let go of that bitter version of myself that could prove to you that everything in her life does suck, nor was I ready to let go of everything in my life (people included) that did, in fact, suck. In fact, I started calling every Tarot deck I bought, crystal book, and every psychic development class or meditation I went to as “my hippy studies”. It was my way of continuing to be somewhat snarky with this stuff, while also trying to learn to take it seriously, because I knew that there was a lot there that could help me (and it did). Eventually I learned how to be nice to myself, despite all of the bad things (and people) I had let into my life in some form or another, I was able to dream of a better life for myself, and I actually started creating a better reality for myself. But I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without this simple act: I had to be nice to myself.
Life is truly a choose-your-own-adventure on steroids, so be careful with what you think about yourself and say to yourself in your head. And if you have a hard time loving yourself for real, fake it til you make it. Intend it and pretend it. Do good things for yourself. Take good care of yourself. Thank yourself. Thank your body! Give yourself credit where credit is due. And most importantly: validate yourself; you can’t wait for other people to do it for you. One of my favorite tools is saying “cancel that” in your head when you catch yourself saying something limiting or mean towards yourself. Just tell the universe to “cancel” whatever mean thing you just said to yourself, and then replace the canceled words with better, kinder words. Tell the universe, “I meant to say….” and then fill in the blank.
The wheels of life don’t move very smoothly when we waste our conscious energy being mean to ourselves. And my 19 year old former self would absolutely hate all of this! But thank the universe that I grew past that version of myself (although sometimes, it can still be a bumpy ride). I do know from much personal experience now, twenty years later, that I eventually figured this out, and whaddayaknow: my life is a LOT better than it used to be because of it. So, be nice to yourself, damnit.