Imagine for a moment a child, innocent and sincere, looking up at you with big, brown eyes asking you to do something important. Something that means the world to that sweet child. Some wish that only you can fulfill.
“Yes,” you nod, crossing your heart, gazing back into those soulful eyes with all the good intentions in the world.
Would you keep that promise?
Would you jump over burning hot coals to make your very best attempt?
How about if that promise was made to your boss? Your spouse? Your dearest best friend in the entire world? Your beloved kids?
Now how about if the promise was to yourself?
Sadly, when it comes to keeping promises to ourselves, the conviction and integrity we reserve for others seems to dissipate like melting ice cream on a hot day.
It looked great for a moment or two, but the desire to keep those hearty promises quickly melts away under the onslaught of busy schedules and other people’s needs. We wouldn’t dare let anyone else down, but our own selves? Well, we quit looking our own selves in the mirror ages ago.
We aren’t nice about it either.
“What a jerk. Look at you, you miserable, lazy slob. You’d think for once in your life you could get something done instead of sitting on your fat, lazy ass all day, stuffing your stinking face. Pig.”
And that’s if we used the nice words. The ones we can actually print here. We all know we can be even more brutal than that.
Who else but yourself would you ever speak to that way? We’d never get away with speaking to a loved one that way. Certainly not a precious child. And not your Boss. Not if you still wanted to have one.
But that person in the mirror? Free license to use and abuse. And why? Because he/she let us down. Time and time again, proving her lack of trust and worth and the fact that for all intent and purposes, she’s no good to anyone anyhow and if the real world had ANY IDEA how many times she doesn’t come through, they would be just as appalled as we are.
Sadly, so very sadly, there are a lot of people who actually believe this of their internal person. They have lost so much personal integrity and trust in themselves that their inner spirit has become a daily battle in self-loathing. They hear words like “You must love yourself before you can love others,” and it’s all they can do to not groan or vomit right there out loud. And they have no earthly idea how to end the vicious hatred for their inner person.
They secretly hate themselves.
You do not wake up one morning a bad person. It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest. ~Robert Brault
What if it could all change?
I know it can. I KNOW it can. With all my put back together heart I know it can because I was one of them.
I used to hate my own guts and now I don’t. I can honestly say I don’t. In fact- I love myself. I know it isn’t common to hear someone speak like that but I do. I think I’m pretty darn awesome and I’m proud of myself. I kick butt all the time, I meet my goals and I celebrate my victories and shout them to the rooftops. I cheer, I smile, I whoop and holler and I pass on all that piled up love to my friends and family.
I want that feeling for everyone else too. I want everyone to live a life full of passion and inspiration and self-love and happiness and joy overflowing so that they can spread it out all over this world.
You can have it too. It all starts with ONE FIRST STEP. One drop in the bucket. If you want that kind of a life you have to be willing to take one first step. And then one other behind it. And then your journey will begin.
You have to make a Promise to Your Heart.
And the Promise goes like this.
I promise from now on, I will start treating you with the same honesty, kindness and integrity that I would to any other dear, beloved, wonderful person in my life. I will not lie to you, I will not be mean to you, and most importantly, I will not make promises to you that I won’t keep, and when I do make a promise to you–I promise to do everything in my power to keep it. And if for some reason out of my control, I fail, I will treat you with forgiveness and grace and do better next time.
Did you have a little voice inside your head saying, “I can’t do that, I wouldn’t be able to keep that promise for even five minutes before I screwed it up, I’m too big of a jerk.”
That’s okay. It just takes practice. One teeny step at a time. Once you make the promise, you will be aware of it, and even if you have to start over every five minutes at first, at least you will be being intentional about learning to be kind to yourself. Amazingly, I think you’ll find that each time you will last a little longer.
The One Other Thing Behind It
Start off with Tiny Little Promises. Teeny, Tiny Ones. Trust me on this, it is REALLY Important. You need instant, steady and buildable success.
If you are a chronic self-hater, there is a good chance you have been breaking promises to yourself for a really long time and the ones that you have kept, you have ignored and gave yourself no credit for. Those were kicked under the rug with a mumbled, “Yeah, any jerk could have done that, it’s no big deal.”
No more of that. From now on, whenever you make a promise and keep it, you are hereby ORDERED to celebrate in a healthy, fun, loud way. Even if you are by yourself.
ESPECIALLY if you are by yourself. Chronic Self- haters are often also people-pleasers. They are so busy taking care of other people’s happiness; they never take care of their own. They also have this fantasy that someday someone is going to ride up and magically make them happy. That day isn’t coming. So celebrate for yourself! Do something to make you happy all for you.
Work on your Teeny-tiny kept promises for at least thirty days. Notice how much prouder you feel already. When you are ready to move up, only move up one teeny-tiny step at a time. One of the recipes for failure is that we are impatient and think we can jump into everything all at once. Then we hit overwhelm and crash, starting the vicious self-loathing all over again. No more. Just back up, be nice and remember, we aren’t allowed to promise more than one teeny step at a time. We are building steps to success, not running up a mountain.
AND EVERY STEP GETS CELEBRATED.
That’s it. Make the Promise to your Heart. (And don’t ignore the part about being nice either.)
Only make Teeny-tiny Promises at a time, building up stepping stones to success and celebrate each and every step.
Ready to give it a try? There is a love story waiting for you if you do….and it will feel…wonderful.