“Be Gentle With Yourself”

“Be Gentle With Yourself.”
This is something my therapist has told me – a few times actually. These are words that I need to remind myself of often.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am a classic overthinker. Everything someone says or doesn’t say gets played over and over in my mind. Every action, taken or not, gets repeated. The what ifs of what if I had said this, what if I had done this, what if I had (fill in the blank) sooner becomes a movie in my head. What if I had been better, done better, said more, said less…

Those what ifs become a dangerous spiral where I need to remember to be gentle with myself.

Small things that won’t affect someone else can become the biggest thing in my mind. Micro-aggressions from another person can severely alter my mood, even if that person is no longer worth my time. Seeing a passive-aggressive post can make my stomach drop even if I know that post isn’t about me.

I need to be gentle with myself as I take on the pain.
I need to be gentle with myself as I take on the blame in a situation that was outside of my control.
I need to be gentle with myself when my expectations exceed the reality.
I need to be gentle with myself when things don’t go the way I thought they might.

I internalize everything – good and bad. I can bask in the glow of appreciation or praise, or I can swirl in a torrent of anxiety. I become teary-eyed at the simplest of kind words from a former (sometimes current) student. My heart aches when watching a rom-com or even an ASPCA commercial. My immagination runs wild…

I feel intensely and immensely…which is I think why I am so careful as to who I let in to my life – they don’t realize the power and the impact that they have…
When I care, I care deeply and quickly.
When I am hurt, it leaves wounds that don’t heal fast.
When I someone wrongs me, they no longer exist.
When I find happiness, I hold on to it as long as I can.
When someone becomes important to me, I hold on to their memory forever – even once they are no longer in my life.

Every emotion is bigger. Every thought is lasting. Every vulnerability is scarier. Every hope is momentous.

Words and actions matter more than we realize and that includes the words and actions we take with ourselves.
So no matter who you are, be gentle with yourself.

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