Few things were more infuriating than when your older sibling would play the stop hitting yourself game with you as a child.
He would use your own hand against you, playfully and annoyingly forcing you to hit yourself in the face while repeating the silly statement.
And all you could do was take it. Because the sole purpose of the game was to elicit a reaction from you. If you cried or screamed or called for mom, you lost.
What’s unfortunate is, that game never stops. Even into adulthood, most of us are still hitting ourselves in some form. It’s an all purpose defense against the pain of life.
We judge ourselves too harshly when we fail or get rejected. We reflexively react with anger and scorn when we feel embarrassed. We roll our eyes at ourselves when we behave in ways that are inconsistent with our precious little identity.
And the irony is, we secretly like how that feels. Beating ourselves up validates our high standards. It upholds the societal nobility of struggle and sacrifice. And as a result, we get so familiar with our habit of self punishment, that it starts to feel like a permanent part of who we are.
This would be a perfect time for our older sibling to chime in.
Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.
The point is, all feelings of inadequacy are dependent on what standards we have set in our minds. If we’re doing something that creates guilt or shame or insecurity or hatred, perhaps it’s time to adopt more realistic and compassionate standards of mental health for ourselves.
To navigate in a new way when we feel pain and turn our energy back out into the world, as opposed to isolating ourselves with toxic inner dialogues that ultimately lead to eating an entire box of cereal in one sitting.
Remember, forgiveness means we stop punishing ourselves for what you think we’ve done wrong.
It’s time to stop hitting ourselves.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your preferred method of self punishment?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
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