We all have to live with ourselves day in and day out. As Bruce Springsteen put it, “It’s a sad man my friend, who’s livin’ in his own skin and can’t stand the company.” We need to come to terms with ourselves which means being caring instead of harsh as we make mistakes and hopefully learn from then.
So, the idea of getting right with yourself means learning how to have compassion for your shortcomings and not judge yourself unduly. Another way to look at it is being a good parent to yourself. We treat, or parent ourselves, the way we were treated by our parents. This if often in a judgmental and critical way.
The first step is to tune into your internal dialogue. Start listening to the conversation you are having in your head all day long. As you become aware of it notice how much of what you are saying to yourself is negative or critical. This awareness is the first step in the change process.
Not being right with yourself is to continue with the old pattern that might say “What an idiot! You should never, never, never make mistakes! They should be avoided at all costs.” Instead of a more caring and adult response: “We all make mistakes. That’s how you learn. It’s OK. And you are OK”
Imagine how freeing it is to accept making mistakes which are unavoidable in life! It is about changing the tone of how you speak to yourself and learning self-acceptance.
Getting right with yourself is to start being a healthy parent to yourself. Having a healthy parent onboard means you are treating yourself with compassion and making sense of the world. The definition of the healthy parent ego, or voice is called the Nurturing, Structuring Parent.
The Structuring part helps you make meaning of the world and your experiences. It is the voice that helps you understand yourself, your feelings and other people. An example is when you have a difficult conversation with a friend. The nurturing self helps you calm down, take a break, so you feel less stressed and upset. The structuring self talks to you and says, “I may have had poor timing in bringing up that old argument I wanted to resolve with them. What is it I wanted to get out of bringing that up?” And then answering the question. Addressing yourself again that part says, “Maybe the reason was you wanted her to know how much you have grown from that point in time. Well, you know what? I see how much you have grown. She doesn’t need to see it if I know it, and I do!
And finally, getting right with yourself is the idea of accepting “good enough” and letting go of the idea of perfection. There are very few situations in life where we can be or do things perfectly. If we can let go of perfection, we are on the path to being more accepting of ourselves and other people. In doing that we can take ownership of our failings. Getting right means accepting others so you can accept yourself.
If you take the time to become aware of your inner dialogue and as you do it you will get clear about the way you are speaking to yourself. It is an opportunity to change that dialogue from critical to something that will enhance your self-respect and finding a new way to see your missteps as opportunities for growth. As you sooth and accept yourself that inner parent will carry you forward with optimism and more joy.