I’ve just bought some books on feelings to read to my two year old twins. One of them is gorgeous and teaches how it feels inside to be happy, to be sad, to be angry and to be excited. It teaches that all feelings are OK and valid and normal.
I was shocked that one of the books teaches that happiness is achieved by being nice to other people, by focusing on making them happy and not being mean. As I read it I became acutely aware that there was no mention of being kind to yourself, of loving yourself and being as generous to yourself as you are to other people. If this book was published 40 years ago I could understand it, but it wasn’t, it was published only ten years ago and it’s so outdated.
Pretty much every adult I know is currently, or has been in the past, so tough on themselves, so scathing, so intolerant and, even if they are lovely to other people, it does not lead to happiness. Being generous, kind and caring to people around you, to family, friends as well as strangers is just part of how to be happy. Learning to be as generous, kind and caring to yourself if absolutely key too.
How generous, kind and caring are you to yourself?
What could you do today that would be even more generous, even more kind or even more caring? How about stopping that inner critic and accepting that you didn’t meet the deadline, that you forgot to do something, that your children were late for school, that you aren’t as prepared as you want to be for the meeting, that you had a second piece of chocolate cake? Try it and see what happens.
How about letting stuff that happened in the past go, just let it go, you can’t change it now? Try it and see what happens.
How else could you be generous, kind and caring to yourself today? What about tomorrow and the next day?
Kate, Phil, Helen and Jacqui