When was the last time you said thank you to yourself?
Sounds strange right? It is important because you are the first voice your mind and body hear every day and the one voice it hears every day for the duration of your life.
Sometimes all we have to do is really listen to ourselves. As I was walking this week, I had several opportunities to listen to what I say to myself when tired or in a challenging phase of the 5k. Some of my routes are very dusty and along main roads, others are gravel and a little stony so it takes focus to remain at a steady pace.
One day as I listened to my inner conversation, I heard the frustration about the environment coming out in my thoughts and it amazed me. It felt as if I was under a rain cloud that was moving with me keeping me drenched and tired. The beauty of life is that what we have coded into our minds comes to our aid and for sure help came in a flash.
The word strolled into the room and tapped me on the shoulder, Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Can you imagine the reality that hit me that day? It was clear that I must be intentional about my thoughts, more aware of what I am saying to myself and the root of it. I have to be in a consistent state of consciousness, watching what I say to myself and to others because it affects everything around me. But let’s take it further. I asked myself, “What would happen if I chose an attitude of gratitude towards myself?” This means that I look at what is going on around me and appreciate what has worked, every effort made to move forward and lessons learnt on the way.
So I chose to try to think about it differently.
Remember the question of when was the last time you said thank you to yourself? That was my starting line. I didn’t ask to be born but God designed me in his heart and mind then answered my parents’ prayer for a child with me. He knew that I was well designed and would be perfectly prepared for life by being placed in that home with all its intricacies, including the dramatic segments. I do not pretend to understand why some family situations are so difficult but I have learnt that when I phrase how I see my life from the perspective of how it will give me tools and strength for the future, it has given me the tools I need to thrive, it changed the whole conversation for good.
So I purposed to say thank you to myself.
Thank you for what you ask? Everything. Don’t we say thanks to people who help us, visit us, answer a question, make an effort, or anything else? Why is it so hard to be grateful to ourselves for the same? Why is it odd? Every morning it takes a certain mindset to get up, put on my gear and go out, I am grateful. It takes a clear choice to set the health app on 5km and choose the course and when for some reason it resets itself before the distance is covered like it did today, it takes a clear choice to do a second set to attain the course. It takes a certain measure of strength to go through every day and accomplish the goals set. It takes great effort and focus to raise children and support your family, be grateful. There is something to be grateful about every day so take time to appreciate yourself no matter what.
As I have been consciously grateful to myself for showing up and working on myself and the things on my plate, my inner strength has increased. It hasn’t totally negated the times I get disappointed when I don’t reach the mark but it has shifted how long I am upset and angry with myself for ‘failing’. It has allowed me to extend grace to myself and become a better person in the process.
Try it today and let me know if it changes something for you.