If you've been following my work for a while, you'll know that most, if not all, of my messages are about being kind to yourself.
Because I believe it is only when we can extend gentleness and compassion to ourselves that we can truly begin to embody this for our children.
But there's a difficult truth that many of us come up against as we begin the slow and haltering work of learning to like ourselves a bit more.
Which is that, just as we are beginning to accept who we are, those around us may feel very uncomfortable.
This can cause you to doubt whether you are on the right path.
It can make you retreat back into familiar patterns of self loathing.
These are times when you need to really flex that fresh muscle of self compassion that you have been building.
Compassion for them in adjusting to this new version of you. And deep compassion for your vulnerable new self.
What prompted this reflection was the fact I was listening to Tomboy by Destiny Rogers with my daughter when we were round at my mum’s house.
The lyrics go like this:
My mama said, "Marry a rich man"
And I was like, "Mama, I am that rich man"
I said I really liked that some songs these days have an empowering message for girls.
In response, my mum said in a disparaging tone and with THAT look in her eyes, ‘you have always been determined when you want to be…’
I didn’t hear support for my self confidence.
I heard years of messages to be small, to hide, to try and fit in.
What I wanted to say in response, but didn’t, is:
‘Thanks mum, perhaps I do risk developing a rampant ego.
But while I love you VERY much, and know that you want to keep me safe, I will never diminish myself again.’
That conversation is probably in phase two of my evolution.
Have you found that people find it hard to accept you, at the same time as you are working hard on accepting yourself?