Self-abuse seems to come naturally to most of us.
Yet, most of us would never assault another human being the way we assault ourselves. We wouldn’t tell a stranger, let alone a friend, “I hate you! You are fat! You are just so stupid!”
Yet we don’t seem to have any problem saying those things to ourselves.
We do to ourselves what we would never do to others.
Look at how you treat yourself.
Self-abuse is what you do when you inflict harm to yourself. There are extremes, of course, like cutting yourself, drinking yourself into oblivious, or taking drugs.
But the truth is, any time you inflict emotional harm to yourself, you are abusing yourself. You are not honoring yourself.
And even though there is a legal consequence to driving drunk, there is none for punching yourself in the face emotionally. But, oh, the price that your soul pays!
You might say to me, “I will stop abusing myself once I love myself.”
But it doesn’t work that way. You have to start by honoring yourself. It’s time to tell your own self that it is no longer legal to do the harmful things you have been doing, to say those things to yourself.
What are your standards for yourself?
You have clear standards for taking care of yourself, and you have practiced honoring them.
You probably have a standard that you will not go a whole week without showering. You have a standard that you won’t drive without putting your seatbelt on. These are ways that you protect yourself in life. These are boundaries that you set for yourself.
You can do the same with your emotional self.
Are you treating yourself with love and compassion?
You can decide that you are worth nurturing.
You can decide to stop beating yourself up. Or at least, to not stand idly when you notice yourself doing it. Can you see that this is an act of violence against yourself?
You are worth much more than that! Put your foot down with yourself.
You can decide to never, ever again speak meanly to the image in the mirror, regardless of your weight, your age, your whatever.
It is no longer okay to treat yourself that way.
You can commit to honoring yourself.
“I will no longer participate in self-abuse.”
In order to stop assaulting yourself, you have to destroy those toxic pathways and replace them with new ones.
You have to begin treating yourself with the utmost respect and tenderness. You can begin loving yourself. Honoring yourself. Moving from one way of thinking to another.
- Find a “win” each day. A win is something you did well. It could be as simple as doing a good job brushing your teeth. Make a list of every win, and treat yourself to something special when you reach 100 wins.
- Decide where the boundaries are. What will you never, ever do again that is harmful to you? It could be as simple as ruminating on “I will never amount to anything.” Write it down every single day, so that you remember.
- Journal the answers to these questions: What thought is behind the harmful behavior or words? What new thought do you want to replace it with?
- If these steps are too difficult for you to do alone, hire a life coach. He/she will help you move past the abuse into a life filled with purpose and joy. Being stuck in self-abuse is the most dangerous place you can be; you cannot afford to wallow there.
So, my friend, what is your conclusion? And what are you going to do about it? Let us know in the comments! And I am here for you if you want to explore the life coach possibility.
As always, please share with anyone you know who would benefit from this blog post!