Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Bullies

Do you know who says the worst things about me?

Me.

Not all the time and usually not out loud, but I bully myself an awful lot. The frightening thing is that I learned how to do it without anyone teaching me. All it took was growing up in a culture that's filled with TV, movies, magazine, stores, and commercials that are packed with the "ideal." Day in and day out, we're under a constant siege of "be this size" and "look this way" and "this is what pretty is." Of course, those two boyfriends I had somewhere in my mid-twenties telling me that I'd look so much prettier if I just dropped 15 pounds didn't help either.

Yes. That really happened.

I have my good moments, my good seasons more often than my bad. But I still say horrible things about myself when I look in the mirror. I think it will be one of the biggest regrets of my life- that I used my voice to beat myself up.

Staying healthy is hard for me. It might always be that way. I just don't naturally gravitate to choosing veggies over mac and cheese or opt for a 3 mile run over a Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon. {Sidenote:: Those women are seriously mean. And yet I can't stop watching. This could be part of the problem. But Team Caroline, all the way.} I have to work hard and practice making different choices for months before those things feel natural to my soul. And even then, once going for a run every day feels amazing and perfect, I'm easily distracted and thrown off course. But I have got to stop beating myself up. I have to stop saying things to myself that, if I heard someone say to one of my girlfriends? I would go absolutely bananas on that jerk. I have to stop being a jerk.

It's like I used to tell my middle school girls in youth group, "You are the only {insert name} there is and God made no mistakes when he made you exactly as you are."

It's also like my very wise (and very southern) Aunt Melba says, "Be kiiiind to yourself!"

And so I am. I am choosing to say kind things to myself. I'm surrounded by folks who say kind things to me and I believe them. But it's time to stop bullying myself. I've realized that bullying myself only makes me more open to being critical of others as well. And that's just not who I want to be at all. It's not who I was created to be. It's not what my voice was created to do.

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Do me a favor? Take five minutes and watch this. This woman is brave and I admire her.

5 comments:

  1. She responded with humility and not the least bit of anger. People--and I'm "people"--say the dumbest things (to themselves and others)!

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  2. i love this post. that is all.

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  3. What a great video! It's desperately hard to stop negative self talk. When I catch friends at it, I tell them, "You can't say that about my friend." Because if any other person were saying those hurtful things about them, I'd tell that other person the same thing. It's no different when they're saying it about themselves. Yet I catch myself doing the same thing.

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  4. A healthy reminder to all us women and our friends. I needed to hear this today and remember the culture we live in. I'm amazed at a few of my favorite celebrities who wholly admit they've had no cosmetic surgery, yet allow themselves to be airbrushed into 25 year olds on the covers of magazines. The message never stops. So, like Aunt Melba says, "Be kiiiind to yourself"!

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