Speak Kindly: Where’s my pen, stupid?!

Speak kindly to yourself. Don’t be your own abuser. If you wouldn’t allow others to speak to you this way, why do it to yourself?

Today I gathered a pad and paper along with my study materials. When I settled in to study I couldn’t find my pen and immediately I began to berate myself. “You’re kidding. You’ve lost the pen already? This is ridiculous. So stupid.” …Then I stopped. I stopped right there….

Using words that belittle myself don’t leave just a single wound. There are the emotions that come with it. I couldn’t do anything right. I was stupid for losing the pen and that made me unreliable and unable to do anything right. My stomach felt heavy, my head felt heavy. With just a few sentences I managed to inflict several wounds. This will be an interesting endeavor as I learn to speak kindly to myself.

Why should I speak kindly to myself? I mean, people say I should but why? What’s it going to do for me? Let me think about this. I’m just going to write off the top of my head.

  1. I’ll feel calmer because there won’t be as much arguing and anger in my head.
  2. Maybe my thoughts will be clearer if my focus isn’t interrupted by emotional cruelty.
  3. I might be able to start and finish tasks if I’m not dodging missiles.

So, I’ve got clearer thoughts, better focus and more confidence to start and complete tasks. I’ll tell ya what. I’m going to take the three things I just wrote and see how they stand up against the studying I just did. Before I do that, I want to mention that I did talk to myself about the pen. (softly, in my head) “Faith, its a pen. You lose your pen all the time but it doesn’t change what form the ink takes.”

I found the pen under the pad, I took a deep breath and started the project. There was trepidation and criticism. I quickly corrected it saying I needed to focus on the task. I reminded myself that I could take breaks if needed. I set a stop watch so I could monitor my time. I can see where some of my actions helped clear my head and helped me feel calmer and capable of taking on this study session.

During the study session I did need to stop a few times, but I got back to business as soon as I could. I felt like I was able to grasp and retain what I was reading. Those weren’t just words either, they were emotions that complimented my actions, they were emotions that spoke kindly. I was excited and thought, “Good, good, you did it.” Self satisfaction after completing a goal is great fuel to help a person continue to glide forward.

After an hour and a half I put my pen down because I realized I was tired and shouldn’t push it. Those are words spoken kindly, too. I recognized what my body was saying. I recognized that I needed to rest. Putting the pen down said, I hear me.


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