Lose the labels

To label yourself a good or a bad person (or any other label - the klutz, the responsible one, the misfit, etc) is to severely limit yourself.

It's far healthier to take a look at your behaviors and see how they're lining up with your core values.

When you choose a behavior that goes against who you'd like to be - honest, warm, connected, kind, calm, etc. - you're likely to feel uneasy, unhappy, unsure. You might even call yourself a "bad" person. "I'm such a bad mom. I yelled at my kids again. I'm such a disaster. But they drive me to it." That kind of shaming and blaming self-talk is highly damaging and furthermore, it does nothing to help you behave better the next time.

A better option is to acknowledge that you DID something bad (not that you ARE bad), take responsibility (which is so different from taking the blame), forgive yourself, and fix it. The kind of self-talk that's truly helpful sounds like this, "That was the wrong thing to do. I want to be a person who is patient with my kids when they push my buttons, and instead, I yelled at them. What kind of support would help me come back to my values?"

Many of us experienced childhoods in which the words good and bad were used as weapons to control us -- you were good if you did what you were told and bad if you didn't. Discipline meant reward and punishment, which may have unintentionally led you away from an ability to find your own moral center.

If you were raised this way, you may feel bad if you do something that goes against the voice of authority from your past. Conversely, you may feel good when you do what others told you was right. But what about you? Where's the voice of your "inner executive" who is guided by your most deeply-held and unique values?

Maybe you're asking yourself what your core values even are. Maybe your "inner executive" is buried so deep that you haven't talked in a good, long while. Maybe you're so used to living in shame, blame, comparison, and judgment, that learning to be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, accept yourself and others feels uncomfortable.

With great love, 

How big are emotions?
What are you here for?


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