I LOVE gifts. The more presents, the merrier! I enjoy buying myself little things, opening gifts on my birthday or the holidays, and getting a surprise something from a friend or family member absolutely makes my day. I also love to give gifts, whether it’s chocolates for my sister, a new ball for my dog, or a personalized notepad for my boyfriend It can be hard to treat myself right, but if I imagine offering gifts to myself, it makes it easier for me to accept the self-kindness.
For example, if I really want a chocolate pastry and can sense I’m denying myself not because I want to stay healthy but in order to self-sabotage, I can tell myself I’m getting it as a gift to myself—a gift to the core me: the part of me that holds my passions and dreams. My highest self, pure self, core self—whatever you want to call it. If I start to reject something good, I see the good thing as a gift and . . . as with most gifts . . . I take it! I take it and open it and bask in it and treasure it.
Somehow—I’m not quite sure how—viewing my choices as gifts instead of just choices I should make to achieve a certain goal, allows me to receive them and embrace them where normally my bullying, self-sabotaging side steps in and runs the show.
After all, I can’t turn down a good gift. 😉
For example, I’m writing this as a gift to myself. I was resistant. I felt like a failure, worried that I sounded fake, that my intentions weren’t pure, and that I didn’t deserve to speak up. I felt ashamed, withdrawn, and numb.
I didn’t want that for myself. I wanted to write, to share, to express myself. I knew I deserved that. So I decided to make this a gift to myself—to write this post and share it because it honored who I am at my core. I chose not to honor the part of me that bullies, shames, self-sabotages, and lives in fear. I don’t blame that part of myself or want to villainize it. Those voices, in their proper context and roles, have their purpose.
Right now, those voices have gone beyond their proper roles, and when they come howling, I feel powerless to shout louder than them. I feel powerless to make myself choose differently or speak kindly . . . unless I offer kindness and love to myself as a gift. Because it’s my strongest love language, I just can’t turn it down.
When I’m empty and tell myself the following, it does nothing for me:
“Don’t feel down. You can do this!”
“Your thoughts are lying to you. Do something you enjoy.”
“You need to meditate for a few minutes and practice self-acceptance.”
However, I have trouble resisting this:
“Do you want a present?! 😀 You can meditate for five minutes as a gift to yourself. It’s yours to unwrap and enjoy! Want to see what’s inside?”
I’m not sure what it is—perhaps a shift in tone. Whatever causes it, it pulls me away from trying to talk myself into doing what I should do and instead entices me and makes it fun. It changes the focus from “let’s get you back on track” to “I have a surprise for you! Look at this!”
And so I’m writing this post . . . and enjoying it. It makes me smile deep inside as I see myself playing with it and having fun instead of worrying about how I sound or whether everything I say is 100% correct. Instead of dishonoring myself by writing through a self-censoring filter (not the healthy kind), I’m writing from a place of love, acceptance, and fun!
I want to hear from you. Do you self-sabotage when good things come your way? Do you choose a poor decision because of it? Do you try to talk or reason your way into a better place? If so, you’re just like me, and I feel for you! Is there a way you can shift the focus so the positive decisions are more fun to make? A shift that allows you to treat yourself more kindly and puts less pressure on you to “get on the right path already”?
Give yourself a gift today! It could be something physical, like a special treat or your favorite soap, or it could be something like meditating, saying a mantra, journaling, taking a walk, or just slouching in your seat and letting it all hang loose.