So, after I published my first blog, finally (and tentatively) I sent it to my mum to read.
“Blog?” she asked bemused, ‘What’s that?” Anyway, after my brief explanation and reasons for choosing to do it, she read it and said “It’s very nice.” Now believe it or not, that’s high praise indeed from my mum, so I was delighted.
After I’d written my last blog, there were a couple of themes running through the messages that I’d received from people:
a) I didn’t know you’d been through all that!
b) Parts of what has happened to you, has happened to me too.
Both things made me realise something – you may ‘know’ many people, but how many people really ‘know’ you? After publishing the post and reading what people had written, texted or said, I turned into a gibbering wreck – crying at the drop of a hat. Finally, it was my husband that made me sob uncontrollably for a full ten minutes, (or thereabouts – I wasn’t timing myself!!) How? Well, it was through something that gets me every time – kindness. I was feeling emotional anyway, we were watching a light-hearted film to lift the mood, then he held my hand and said, “You know something? You’re amazing! You don’t believe it, but you are.”
Well that was it… Sometimes when I watch my daughters cry if they’ve been hurt, there’s something so wonderfully honest and free about it. They don’t care about the noise they make, about how their faces change, how loud their crying is, that they’re creating a ‘scene’ – it’s a good, honest, loud, cathartic release of emotion. Within seconds they feel better. That’s probably how children ‘bounce back’ from things so quickly. As we grow up – well that’s just not done is it? We have to practise gentle, dignified crying if we allow ourselves to even do it. Silent tears are great. Pretty crying – essential. And men, if you cry – well who’s ever heard of real men crying anyway??!!!!
Anyway, last night for ten minutes-ish I cried like a baby. Loud, undignified, blotchy, noisy, messy, nose blocking, shuddering, shaking, therapeutic, child crying. Best feeling ever (afterwards), because I felt better again.
And then I started thinking about what on earth had he said that triggered that dramatic reaction anyway? Yes, partly it was the kind compliment – but the biggest thing that affected me was, ‘You don’t believe it, but you are.’ And that was it – how many people actually believe, accept and absorb the compliments that are given to them? I remember being in my twenties and still not knowing how to accept compliments, eventually after a conversation with a colleague, she said “You just say ‘thank you’, it doesn’t make the giver of the compliment feel like such an idiot then!” So obvious!
So I’ve finally got to it – self-talk. The internal dialogue that happens within you. What you tell yourself. There’s no way that I can talk about this like an expert – in fact some of you, are way more qualified to talk about this than me. But what I do want to say that even at my age, I have to practise thinking positive thoughts, and saying positive thoughts internally. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m much more inclined to think – I’m not good enough. So I practise. I practise thinking good things about myself. I say good things to others – if I see something good about someone else, I’ll tell them. I’m lucky enough to work with children and I make sure that I praise them to the skies as often as I can.
My father-in-law often puts his hand on my head and says ‘Be happy!’ I didn’t get it at first – but I’ve realised that you have to practise being happy. You have to practise positive self-talk. You have to cut out any toxicity in your life and only surround yourself with good people, that lift you up, that believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. AND PRACTISE BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!!!!!
And every once in a while – cry like a child – cry like you did when you were tiny. Make an absolute spectacle of yourself. You won’t regret it.
Finally, I’m going to leave you with two messages that I have in my kitchen, one that I bought and one that a dear friend gave me…both are reminders…