Irrational “Stories” on Valentine’s Day and Beyond
“I don’t have friends.”
“I’m always left out.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I will never be successful.”
“Nobody really sees me.”
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Notice how these statements landed with you. What sensations do you notice in your body? How does your energy feel?
I notice that my breathing is shallow, in my chest. These statements are weighty, heavy. They feel like chains pulling me down; I feel trapped. There is a low, tired, and draining energy in these words.
Yet, these are REAL thoughts that scroll through my mind from time to time. These are actual words I have said to myself on more than one occasion.
Clients I support, both teens and parents, have shared identical statements with me. These are irrational stories that we tell ourselves. Furthermore, these stories, which may seem mild, are actually a very harmful, form of self-abuse.
If that hit you really hard, I’m with you. It brought me to tears when a fellow coach framed negative self-talk this way. While this is a hard truth to uncover, the healing and the freedom on the other side are worth it.
Take three comforting breaths; a comforting break is any breath that feels soothing and supportive to you.
The feelings and beliefs behind these irrational statements are real, despite the statements themselves being untrue. Said another way, it is real and valid for me, you, or your teen to have self-doubts, and they are not reality.
Loving, Compassionate Truths on Valentine’s Day and Beyond
Now, let’s flip the script:
“I am perfect just as I am.”
“I am connected to people I love.”
“I am loved.”
“I create love and beauty in my life.”
“I can take up space.”
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Again, how are these statements landing with you? What are you sensing in your body? How is your energy?
I feel lighter and brighter; I am smiling. I can see beyond my own experience, literally noticing the sounds in the room and objects around me. These thoughts and words carry a buzz of joy and freedom.
For years, I’ve been receiving a daily email from TUT, “The Universe,” and the premise of these messages is simple: Thoughts Become Things.
We are always telling ourselves something, and we get to choose if it’s going to be an irrational story or a loving, compassionate truth. Truths are nourishment for your Connected Heart. Truths are the pathway to more complete self-acceptance, self-care, and deep, boundless self-love. Today and EVERY DAY, you have the chance to create your thoughts and the reality they will inform.
As a parent or caregiver, you are constantly modeling self-love to your children and teens. You want them to love themselves, therefore your self-love is the best way to teach. Do not strive for perfection here; seek only to improve and grow each day. Notice the thoughts you are choosing today. Observe with compassion. And, as it feels right, create a daily practice of offering yourself loving, compassionate truths.
Practicing Self-Love Every Day
Painful experiences and traumas from our past can contribute to challenges in truly loving and accepting ourselves. Furthermore, consumerist, corporate-created “rules,” ideas, and holidays can add to the mental chatter and doubt.
How, then, can you let go of untrue stories and baggage? How can you tell yourself truths that bring you into loving energy?
(P.S. Valentine’s Day is actually my favorite holiday because of a personal journey and mission I started when I was 18. Read more about it here!)
On Valentine’s Day and every day, you can make the choice to tell yourselves loving, compassionate truths. Each day is another beautiful opportunity for you to know that you are loved. Each day is an opportunity to explore your inner life a little deeper and to support your children in doing the same.
Start Where You Are Today
Self-love is a personalized practice and experience, and awareness of your self-talk is the first step. The negative self-talk from the opening of this chapter likely tipped you off to a few patterns you are stuck in; now, you are shining the flashlight on them.
With this awareness, you will begin to consciously, gently recreate your thoughts, as you did in reading the loving, compassionate statements. You will tell yourself truths.
Positive affirmations or motto practices can be impactful ways to grow your self-love. I use these daily and have a few posted my bathroom mirror. A teen client emailed me an update recently: “The weekend was good. I’ve done some journaling and a lot of mantra.” On our next call she elaborated, “It makes me feel really good to be positive instead of negative.” That’s the power of truth.
If you’re looking for accountability as you integrate this truthful mindset and way of BEing into your life and your family, let’s connect!