My therapist asked me to work on being kinder to myself and I have no idea how the hell to do that, so I went to the interwebs in search of help.
When you search “how to be kind to yourself” on the internet, you get a lot of posts about self-care, which…yes? Maybe? But that’s not really the right answer. Or maybe it’s the answer to a different question, like “how can you relax more?” because those posts always involve things like “take a hot bath” or “have a cup of tea” or something.
But that’s not my problem. My problem isn’t a failure to relax. My problem is I treat myself in a way that I would sue someone for if they did it to my kids.
I’ve tried to solve my problem by saying to myself, self, what would you do for the kids in this situation? But the thing is, I make them eat balanced meals because that’s a responsible parent thing to do. I’m not trying to be nice to them. I make them do homework because I want them to not be idiots. This isn’t a kindness. It’s terror of ruining their lives in some way.
Indeed, when I’m being nice to them I order a pizza or bake a cake. Maybe I’m actually a terrible parent. Yikes.
And then I found this post from Wil Wheaton on the recommended feed of my Pocket account. It’s about how to trick yourself into being kinder to yourself. I’ve read it maybe a dozen times this weekend.
Basically, the idea is that you should think of your future self as a distinct entity and do things that will make future you happier. You might not want to make your bed but future you wants a bed that was made, so you make the bed. And so on.
It’s a solid concept. I’m going to play with it for a bit and see how it goes. But the trendline is not good. I had biscuits and gravy for dinner last night and was up a pound this morning, because…biscuits and gravy for dinner. And then had biscuits and gravy for breakfast. What are you doing, past me? WHY?
And past me has done a lot of bitchy stuff that has caused present me problems. Past me decided to make the jump to freelancing before the income had really gotten up to replacing my day job’s check because my day job was terrible. I’ve been struggling for years as a result of that decision. The less said about what past me did to present me in regards to the ex-husband, the better. Past me should maybe have made every decision differently.
It really makes me question present me’s ability to make good choices for future me, actually.