Where is the Love?
Hey there ya’ll! April here and it been a while since I last posted although I’m sure you’ve been enjoying the last few posts from Cole (which you should defo check out if you haven’t already!). Check my fav one here
The reason I’ve been so absent from this platform is because I’ve dived head first into studying yoga and setting up my own little yoga business. Although OurVibes is and will always be something very close to my heart; yoga is something that’s helped me overcome a lot of mental turmoil and something I want to share with others. While I’ve had my nose stuck in a book I have learnt a lot about mindfulness and self compassion which is something I wanted to talk about today.
Who’s the Voice Inside Your Head?
All of us have that inner voice that guides us through life however sometimes we can find that voice makes us feel worse about the decisions we make, rather than give us constructive feedback.
I’m sure you’ve all been in that situation where you’re just about to fall asleep as that voice in your head reminds you of something silly you’ve said or done. Suddenly you’re reliving that moment over and over, until you realise you’ve been awake for another half hour worrying over it… I know, nightmare!
This kind of inner voice obviously isn’t your friend and in a lot of cases the more you listen to it, the worse you end up feeling about yourself. It can force you into unhealthy situations and keep you pinned there if don’t find the right way to combat it.
The past few months I’ve found myself listening more to let’s call it, The saboteur, inside my head. For me I have a very complex relationship with food and working out (which maybe one day we’ll talk about in another blog). My saboteur would make me feel guilty about my choices of food, making me feel as though I had no option but to work out excessively until I felt I had worked off my ‘bad choices’. The more I listened to that voice inside my head telling me I wasn’t good enough and I was letting myself down; the more I believed it and found myself getting further and further into the darkness.
Light in the Dark
It was one afternoon while finding a moment to step back from my emotions, take a few mindful long breaths and survey my thoughts from above. I realised just how destructive my inner saboteur had become. It’s difficult to see this when you’re so wrapped up in your own thoughts and so used to the one way of thinking. Listening to that negative voice is the norm and to suddenly realise you have to stop listening is hard.
I’ve been trying to practice self compassion a lot more as when you have that love for yourself you’ll find a lot of other things become easier to deal with. I realised that by listening to my saboteur I wasn’t showing myself compassion and it was driving me to self destruction.
The first step is being aware and now I could see that voice for what it was I could deal with it properly.
Fighting Your Saboteur
So there are a few ways to do this and different ways work for different people but the first step is always figuring out who’s talking in your head in that moment.
One way to figure this out is to say what’s in your head out loud. It can be quite shocking to hear some of the things physically spoken aloud as we realise we would never say these things to a friend or loved one; so why are we speaking to ourself in this way? This is how you find the difference between that saboteur or the true friend in your head.
If talking out loud is slightly weird for you (No worries I get it) taking a few slow deep breaths can help you view your thoughts from above rather than be amidst the chaos. In your own head ask yourself;
Would I speak to a friend like this?
Are these thoughts compassionate?
Is this the voice of someone who cares or someone who just wants to make me feel bad?
If you find that the saboteur is talking, keep taking those mindful breaths and let them pass you by. Instead search for that true friend inside yourself and hear what they have to say. Perhaps you did really make a mistake, your true friend will tell you this in a compassionate way, not making you dwell on it but find ways to make the situation right. Because we are talking to our true friend they will always show us forgiveness or the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you messed up but it’s okay.
In a lot of cases when we let our saboteur walk on by and find that compassionate voice, we realise that actually we did nothing wrong and our minds were just overthinking; triggering our saboteur to come a calling.
Where is the Love?
Speaking from experience I know how difficult it can be to change your way of thinking and listen more to the compassionate side of yourself. However the more you practice the easier it becomes and the happier you’ll find you are. Although sometimes I find myself going back to my saboteur for advice, the majority of the time I now give myself the benefit of the doubt and offer myself friendship instead. I’ve found it makes dealing with difficult situations a lot easier and gives me more space in my head to think clearly.
Having love for yourself means in lot of cases that you can show more compassion to other people as well. It’s like Ru Paul says ya’ll..
If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
Can I get an amen? ;)
Sending you peace and love