As last week was Mental Health Awareness week thought I would share a little story of my own and my purpose behind it. I believe the theme this year is being kind and it was being just that. that turned my life around 11 years ago.
To the outside world I was a pretty caring person, walked the extra mile and defended fairness with a passion. But when it came to me I was the biggest nastiest bully around, out to shut myself down and prove myself wrong , I couldn't do it or right I was useless, again and again self abuse and torment.
I demanded I had to be a certain way and told myself life only treats bad people the way I believed it was treating me, and held no respect for myself often allowing others access to use and abuse.
Life changed when 11 years ago after a good 35 years of mental torture, I was introduced to self esteem and from the bottom of the pit I was encourage not to shut myself up or run from my feelings, but to listen to them and show myself the time and empathy I showed my friends. I learnt that the bully in my head was defenceless to truths ..so over time I started to learn to tell the truth, and replaced the lies with facts about myself and life. Making friends with feelings, illuminating labels of good / bad / positive / negative and experiencing them without fear. And the demands that I had to be strong , hard, work harder, do everything, fix it ,be perfect - well they all became lies too.
I have a pile of tools I use to process, to catch when the lies niggle in my head.
I'm sure you too know the bully I refer to and how it will rise in power when something doesn't go to plan.
What you hear are the lies, they are generalised statements - always / never / no one / nothing / any / useless / non specific. Next time you hear it ask yourself, is that fundamentally true about me or life ... is it true nothing goes to plan ....
When you discover you are no longer what you accuse yourself of being, you no longer have to meet your mind's demands to avoid them. Instead you can choose. Choose because you want to, not because you have to, in order to be who your mind demands OR to avoid who you accuse yourself of being.
So being kind was important for myself and through being kind to myself I have been able to develop and gain skills and insight. I now support others through workshops and training because I choose to.
What will you choose for you today because like me you truly are an amazing human being?
Click here to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of Kindness.