Because of our brain’s negativity bias, where we give more psychological weight to bad experiences than good ones, it’s easy to fall into an inward cycle of gloom over outward error.
Even the smallest gaff can compel us to start beating ourselves up for doing something wrong.
Like when we can’t get to sleep one night, so we toss and turn for hours, getting increasingly pissed at our body for not inhibiting nearly all of its voluntary muscles for eight straight hours.
This is bullshit, why can’t you just fall asleep like everyone else?
It’s normal to feel this way towards ourselves, since our bodies and minds can be incomprehensible puzzles at times.
But that thought pattern only traps us into an infinite regression of wakefulness from which it can be devastating to recover. What we need in this moment is to make a special effort to sustain our faith, trusting that our body and mind will get the rest they need.
It all starts with forgiveness. Forgiving our body for being a body, forgiving our minds for running rampant, forgiving ourselves for being human, and so on.
Want to read a beautiful example of how to speak to your body with loving and encouraging words? There’s a woman who writes about her journey to recovery from childhood abuse, whose blog contained a letter that someone wrote a letter to their body. Here’s what she says to herself:
Dear body, I am sorry for not listening to you, and I am sorry for hurting you when you needed me most. I let you down, because I thought you had let me down. But really you were just doing what you have been programmed to do. It was not your fault, like it wasn’t my fault. Today I forgive you, and I will allow you to feel your memories and I will hold them and I will accept them, and I will not cover them up by harming you. Maybe you can forgive me too, for never listening to you, for putting you in that situation, for not being able to get away, and for hating you for so long. My mind left when you could not. You had to endure the things that were done to you, and for that I am sorry.
If we can learn to speak to ourselves with even a fraction of this level of kindness and acceptance, fewer and fewer of our mistakes and failures will knock us off course.
And it might feel unnatural to be gentle to yourself when you’ve been harsh for many years, but once you get the hang of it, and once you see what it’s like on the other side of forgiveness, good luck trying to beat yourself up ever again.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you talk to your body when it betrays you?