126: a weird thing we all do (itty bitty thoughts)
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In some communities I hang out in, I see this really neat thing happening: people are encouraging each other and lifting each other up. And it’s so wonderful to see.
But I also want to tell you why I think it’s weird.
Not because I think it’s wrong, no. I think it’s weird because what I see is people are so willing to encourage other people (some of them are little more than strangers) but they have zero encouragement for themselves.
Meaning, many people are willing to tell total strangers good job and keep up the hard work and you can do it and you’re beautiful when they can’t even say it to themselves.
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Many of us are like this, even if we don’t first realize it at first.
We pay for the coffee behind us in line, but we don’t know how to handle it when someone does the same for us.
We will sit with a friend and tell them they don’t have to do all the things and that they aren’t made to be a superhero, but then we go home and open the closet and dig out the cape we think we are supposed to wear.
We’re more comfortable being kind to someone we hardly know than we are with being kind to ourselves.
We tell people who struggle under the workload of a busy homesteading season you don’t have to do it yourself, and then we turn into these self-reliant beasts who won’t accept help from others.
We allow other people second chances to get it right, but we expect ourselves to know what we’re doing the first time.
We tell others to take a break and to take care of themselves, but after a hard day of doing work, we tell ourselves we can’t stop, we just have to push through.
Isn’t that weird? Why do we do that?
Life is hard enough without having to wait for someone else to tell us good job or slow down. I’m not suggesting that we stop encouraging others— especially right now—but I do think we have to start encouraging ourselves.
Look, I know some of you reading this will think, I don’t need someone else to tell me I’m doing a good job or to remind me I’m good enough or that I don’t have to be everything to everyone. I don’t need that.
But you do need someone to say those things to you. And maybe that someone should be you. In fact, think of it as part of your self-sufficiency or self-reliance toolbox. Start relying on yourself and looking to yourself for those solid words of encouragement and kindness and patience and goodness.
Of all the people you spend time with, you spend the most with yourself, so make sure you’re telling yourself the right things. Those good, productive, encouraging things you’d freely tell anyone else should first be said to the person you see in the mirror.
— Amy Dingmann 3/26/21
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