Be Gentle With Yourself.

Imagine a friend of ours coming over. When we saw her, we realized that she has gained some weight. Do we tell her: “You’re so fat. You’re so ugly. You’re lazy. You don’t work out. That’s why you’re fat. You’re fat and there’s nothing you can do. You’re hopeless!” 

Another time, maybe our nephew is having problems with his math homework. Do we tell him: “You’re so stupid! You are never good in math or in anything else! You’re just stupid and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to grasp it!” 

Or our friend, who is struggling with his music career. Do we tell him: “Just give up. You’re not talented. You’re wasting your time.” Or a colleague, who is struggling with her relationship. Do we tell her: “You’re pathetic. You’re always unlucky in love. There’s no way for him to love you. Of course he doesn’t love you. You don’t deserve love. Nobody loves you. You’re worthless.”

Do we tell them these things? I guess most of us would say, “Of course not!”

So, why don’t we say those things to them? “Because those words are just mean,” we may say. “Because it feels heartless to do so. Because we’re afraid that these harsh words will hurt their feelings and make them feel worse. Because we know words are that powerful.”

The thing is, if we don’t say these things to our friends or our colleagues or a little kid, why do we say these things to ourselves? Some of us even repeat these words to ourselves way more often than others. Why do we say I can’t do this or I am not good in this or I am fat or I am ugly or I suck at this or I’m such a failure?

If harsh words that we say to others can hurt their feelings, what about those harsh words we say to ourselves? When we say harsh words to others, there’s still a distance. A distance between us (who said those words) and the others (who received those words). Even with this distance, we know our words can hurt their feelings deeply. Imagine the time when we say those harsh words to ourselves. There’s no distance whatsoever. Imagine how much more it hurts. Imagine how severe the impact could be.

So be gentle with yourself. We know how nice it is to hear others saying good things about us; or giving us compliments, support, and encouragement. Let’s do this to ourselves more often from now on.

*) inspired by a conversation I had with my friend Eva a long time ago. photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt from Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc


28 Comments on “Be Gentle With Yourself.”

  1. poohbauer says:

    damn a friend of mine could definitely use a reading of this. great post!

  2. elva says:

    love this part “be gentle with yourself. We know how nice it is to hear others saying good things about us; or giving us compliments, support, and encouragement. Let’s do this to ourselves more often from now on”

    i’ll do that :)

  3. sheenmeem says:

    Hey! You are wise for your years.

  4. Alderina says:

    Hanny, ini juga hal yang sedang aku pikirkan sejak beberapa waktu yang lalu. Prakteknya masih kesulitan tapi lebih baik dimulai dari pada tidak sama sekali tho :D

  5. Elia Bintang says:

    Instead of being gentle or hard, what about being truthful? Being open? True that we need to be gentle to ourselves at times, but what is gentleness without real truth?

  6. Your post is the only peaceful thing I have on my day today.
    Thank you for bringing the gentle serenity <3

    • My dear! Meet up in Jakarta, soon, okay! Can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming beautiful project! It’s always a pleasure to spend time with such a talented, passionate, and wonderful soul like you *hugs*

  7. beau D says:

    Thank you hanny for post this kind of sweet truthful. “Truth doesn’t have to hurt” powerful quotes! Thank you….

  8. thomhertsiadari says:

    This is my second time reading this article. I like it. I looove it. Be gentle, when we even don’t want to hurt others but why we have to hurt ourselves. A very nice article. Thanks :)

  9. lisniland says:

    I love your blog Kak, it’s so inspiring and motivating as well. Keep writing, your post can change someone’s mindset and life without you notice it :)
    Love you! :D

  10. Jersey Bola says:

    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same
    layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!


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