Learning How to be Nice To Myself

It's not as easy as it sounds

Last session, my therapist told me to be nice to myself. But before I could clarify what exactly that meant, it was time to “release our shared space for the moment.”

My first guess was that being nice could conceivably mean a carte blanche trip to Donut Dip.

After I regained consciousness, I tried buying myself a little something nice and ordered a case of freeze-dried emergency rations to tuck away in a closet, just in case.

I even tried putting those cucumber things on my eyes and relaxing with a good book.

I realized that I didn’t have any idea how to be nice to myself. Nonetheless, I blindly took one last wild swing at it with a Costco 3-pack of whipped cream.

I dragged myself outside to walk it off. At the least, I figured, it would be good to take a break from trying to become successful enough to prove that I’m worth the food and electricity I consume.

Fortunately, the walk proved enough of a distraction to give me a little break from my unprocessed feelings and enduring childhood traumas.

The fresh air, movement, and wonders of nature helped me calm down a bit and even enjoy a glimpse of hope!

I felt open and expansive which flooded me with grief for all the lost years that I spent feeling anxious and clenched instead.

My longing was deep and emotionally eviscerating. But it also felt curiously good and somehow authentic.

There was an immediate release in surrendering to the pain that I usually battle to keep at bay. And afterward, I felt awake and replenished. Maybe simply feeling my feelings, I reasoned, was a very nice thing to do for myself.

That, and a nap.

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