Something unexpected happened last week. I was snuggling in bed with my 6-year-old daughter, doing our nighttime routine: reading a book (which I got REALLY into!!), rubbing her back, and kissing her goodnight. In the middle of reading, we got into a silly conversation and started making up new words to songs on the radio like, 🎵 🎶 “I had a dream I was licking ice cream off the sidewalk on my day off…” 🎶 🎵
But you know what changed my experience with this? When I lowered the bar. Yup. I changed my expectations. The ONLY thing I asked myself to do was to notice what it FELT like in my body when I made the choice to stay downstairs when I REALLY wanted to be climbing into bed. And I only asked myself to notice this for micro-moments. That’s it.
The demands of self-care can so easily become one more expectation on your plate. And then you start to resent the acts of self-care altogether. Sounds familiar, right? And before you know it, your inner Judge Judy is criticizing you even more because you failed, yet again, to succeed in your self-care attempts. Ohhhhh, it’s such an exhausting cycle!
We’ve ALL got that inner Judge Judy who loves to yammer on in unsupportive and even downright mean ways inside our minds. And sometimes this voice becomes so routine that we stop noticing its presence and it simply runs in the background. But this doesn’t stop its words from impacting how we feel.
A reader of last week’s blog about secrets and sexual abuse responded with a powerful question. And it might just be a question you share with him…
My secret had me convinced that the true me couldn’t be shared. Instead, I believed it was necessary to create an alternate version of me that would be accepted by others.