Updated: Jan 28, 2021
I couldn't sleep last night because I wasn't feeling great. Lizzy was also pacing around the bedroom so both of us headed out to the living room for a change of scene and to not wake anyone else up. And as I lay on the couch, I felt myself getting frustrated and my thoughts getting really mean. I was flopping around on the couch, miserable - literally rolling my eyes at myself for not being able to sleep.
Can't sleep again.
Not feeling good again.
Ugh, so annoying.
Not getting good sleep again.
This perimenopause is going to continue kicking your ass.
This is just your life now, old lady.
Tomorrow is gonna be so hard since you didn't sleep.
What is wrong with you?
Then I remembered being sick when I was little and laying on the family room couch and Mom taking care of me. She wasn't beating me up and admonishing me with her words, she was comforting me and doing everything she could to help me feel better. And that felt so good, I felt so cared for. So I decided to try it - to give myself some compassion instead of impatience.
Oh Jennifer, I'm sorry you aren't feeling good.
You will feel better.
I love you.
Sleep will come.
Don't worry. Just relax.
I'm here, taking care of you.
What do you need? - maybe let's move this pillow. Oh yes, so much better.
What can make you even more comfortable? - let's try a different blanket. Mmm, thank you.
And just like that, everything shifted. Instead of kicking and moaning and grunting, I pulled the fuzzy blanket up to my chin and cozied up with a smile on my face. I drifted off feeling supported and taken care of with the beautiful mothering energy I was able to bring. I was able to peacefully get back to sleep knowing I was loving myself and taking care of myself so compassionately.
I read once that if the voice in our head was a friend, we would have kicked that friend to the curb a long time ago. (I think it was from a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer) I didn't believe it for myself. I loved myself. That was impossible. But sure enough I started listening more closely and I was NOT being nice to myself. It was like I was in an abusive relationship with myself! So now I do my best to talk to myself and give myself the advice and compassion I give to a good friend. I still catch myself sometimes talking shit about me, but being more aware makes catching it easier and I can more quickly get back on track being a good friend or being more nurturing and supportive. It really does make a difference. I mean, we spend the most time with ourselves, with the voices in our heads, they might as well be kind and loving!