There I was, cheering and whistling at our teenage girl’s fashion show at church. It was corny and fun as each girl modeled her school clothes, church clothes, or old prom dresses. It was a relaxed atmosphere as lights were strewn on the floor for the edge of a homemade pathway and upbeat music played. The girls became more comfortable and confident each time they came out to show another outfit. But then the relaxed evening changed to complete anxiety for me. I came as an observer, or so I thought. The girls began to chant and clap for the adults attending to walk the…”plank.” The 5 adult leaders who had worked with the girls and knew them well, one by one, got up and began strutting “their stuff” as they walked with the beat and modeled just what they were wearing–some with snow boots, others with sweats. I realized that it was coming quickly to my turn. But I couldn’t do it. I literally began to have a panic attack as each got up to walk! I could not stand up. I could not move. I could not even breathe. In my head I told myself, “YOU CAN’T WALK OUT THERE, YOU ARE A BROKEN GIRL!” As the attention was on the last woman, I got up and slipped out quickly and went home feeling horrible.
Since that night I have caught myself saying or thinking things about ME, that is not kind! “What are you thinking, you can’t do that…” keeps playing over and over in my head. I am down right mean to myself sometimes!
Do you ever berate yourself?
My New Year’s Resolution is to be kind to myself. This bullying has got to stop! A good friend of mine once told me, “Every cell in your body hears what you say about yourself.” It is not right to say unkind things to other people. It is also not right to say unkind things to yourself…over and over. Here is my plan: I am taking a dry erase marker and writing one great thing about myself someplace where I will see it often; on my bathroom mirror, rear view mirror, computer screen, phone, etc. It will remind me to stop the bullying and start realizing I am good, not perfect, but good enough! When I had cancer I lost my hair, my eyelashes, and my eye brows and I would write kind notes on the mirror to encourage me each morning when I had to face myself. Here is one note I wrote to myself on my mirror…’At least you have your dimples!’
Yikes, I’m sometimes a bully to myself and this has got to stop, NOW!