One of the things that magnify some mental health issues is what we say to ourselves, the internal conversations we have are critical and should be monitored closely.
Today, I want to chat about showing grace to yourself. Merriam Webster dictionary defines grace as the disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Many times, we can be hard on ourselves because we are pursuing a sometimes “unrealistic” idea of perfection. We push ourselves hard and may end up with unmet expectations. This can easily lead us to being harsh towards ourselves and neglecting ourselves. We neglect ourselves in many ways such as not listening to our bodies when we are tired, or saying statements like “I’mso stupid, how could I do or think that”.This statementmight seem harmless because you may not mean it, but it is dangerous.
Psychologists have conducted studies that show that our brain listens to what we say to it. The more you feed it, the more it believes what you are saying. The bible also highlights the same thing. It informs us that faith comes by hearing (2 Corinthians 5:17). This simply means that to believe something, you need to hear it constantly and the brain registers it as a fact. So, with the many times, you tell yourself that you are stupid, or useless, you are feeding it false information that will be registered as truth. We are often warned to be careful of the things we listen to, or what we watch. The reason for this is the same, what you watch or listen to infiltrates into your thought life and eventually forms patterns and you end up becoming that person. Sometimes we are blinded to the habits we have because we have practiced them for so many years. Have you ever wondered why you have cycles in some areas of your life? you may need to take into account and assess what you are feeding yourself.
As human beings, we will continue to make mistakes, this is a part of life. However, what we do with our mistakes counts, how we handle ourselves and what we say to ourselves makes a huge difference in how we move forward. As we continue to live life, it is important to advocate for ourselves, to ourselves. What I mean by this is, we are sometimes our biggest critics- although constructive criticism can lead us in the right direction, being critical all the time is not good for one’s mental health. It is good to dream big and want better for ourselves, but it is also wise to be flexible to what life brings to us. We need to learn to adapt when things do not go our way. In the process of being disappointed with ourselves, we must acknowledge our errors but also be encouraged that we can do better next time.
A lot of times, how we treat people reflects our internal struggles and issues. If you have ever come across very nasty people, you may find that they are frustrated with their own lives and their reaction towards others is reflecting what is going on internally. Sometimes, they are simply projecting what they feel and do not understand why life is different and frustrating for them. This is a lesson we can all learn because all of us are to pursue a healthy relationship with ourselves. It is time to review how we treat ourselves; this may help restore broken relationships.
I encourage you to remember the responsibility God has given you to take care of yourself. This includes being merciful in your areas of weaknesses and being kind to yourself. As mentioned above, what you feel internally is often what comes out in your external relationships. As you take care of others, do not neglect taking care of yourself because this makes your relationships unhealthy. Healthy doses of self-love and care are extremely important. You matter, do not be the one to bring yourself down, your level of healthiness regarding mental health depends on it.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” -Numbers 6: 24-26.