13/10/2015 | eaglespi | 3 Comments This. THWACK. Hurts. THWACK. Me. THRACK. More than it hurts you! THWACK THWACK THWACK.. she would yell over me as I stifled my tears and held my screams inside. No way was I going to give her the satisfaction of hearing me cry out for mercy. But you know what truly hurt? The hateful words that hit more often than her hands. While the emotional bruises didn’t show like how the ones from the wooden spoon or her hand across my little tush, they were certainly as hurtful. She was a bully who towered over my childhood. She was also my Mom. And on my healing journey I defended her to others when it was pointed out that not everyone grows up like that. It’s common to protect one’s abusers, but on some level I knew that she was doing her best. On some level I knew she was repeating a pattern. As much as we can villain-ize a bully, inside them is someone hurting deeply. And what I have come to learn is that everything is either love or a cry for love. Maybe she really was hurting more deeply than I ever knew. I was only a child and could not make sense of her behaviour. In fact, I recall my 12 year old Self standing in the beige kitchen with the orange sheer curtains and explaining to her how she shouldn’t call me the names she did as I could grow up believing them and they were not true! Precocious or perceptive? When I couldn’t reconcile the way I thought families were supposed to be like from what I’d seen on TV with what my experience was, I held a great deal of anger. And while some of it was directed at her, long past the time of those terrible years, the bullying continued. But this time it was me. I was bullying me. I had carried forward those beliefs and added more ways to prove that I just didn’t fit in. The self-criticism was severe and while I presented a confident facade, inside I felt unworthy. As my self-esteem sunk lower I often made poor choices when I sought external approval. I know I am not alone in this, as I hear clients criticize themselves too. Often their health and even wealth issues centre around the lack of love and support they give themselves. Unfortunately, even when good choices are made self-sabotage occurs to ensure that life experiences mirror back low self-esteem. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can break the cycle when you recognize it. I know because I did. Sometimes you are the bullied and, if truth be told, sometimes you are the bully. It may not be what you have said and done to others when you have been your cruelest. The cutting words, the critical looks and the most bitter choices have often been directed at another target. YOURSELF. And so Talk Story Tuesday is dedicated this week to saying buh bye to the bullying.. in whatever form because now, more than ever, we need to feel the kindness within. Surrounding us. Healing us. And inspiring us to see others with love as well. Together we are stronger. Ready to stop bullying YOURSELF? Here are a few suggestions to get you started. 1. Acknowledge when you are being too critical of yourself. Criticism can be helpful at times when it is offered to yourself or another in a positive way. Being mean, however, is not going to cheer you on to a life you love. Seriously now would you say the things you say to yourself to anyone that you love? When you are gentle with yourself it is much easier to do the deep work. 2. Practice positive self-talk. Give that Inner Critic a new job. Promote him or her to Inner Cheerleader! Begin your day with 3 statements of what you LOVE about YOU. And then note some of the things you really handled well during your day as a nice way to nurture the positive choices you are making. 3. Make friends with your Inner Child. S/he may be the one who is holding the key to letting the bullies off the hook (yourself included) and finding out how best to meet your own needs. As Wayne Dyer said, ‘you are never too old to have a happy childhood.’ My goodness you can imagine how your daily Fun Factor increases when your little one is helping. Delayed gratification (I will wait until I graduate. I will wait until I get my first ‘real’ job. I will wait until I get married. I will wait until I start a family…. etc. etc.) only works if you actually get to be/do/have the good stuff that your dreams are made of. Dear God don’t wait till retirement to enjoy yourself. That is just too long! 4. Put on your oxygen mask FIRST! Think of the little yellow mask demonstration from the safety features spiel that airline attendants wisely share each time you board the plane. The visual is great. Before you try to help another, be sure you have your own supply of fresh air/energy. #Empaths are often over caring for others and at the end of the day we have nothing left for ourselves. Empath 101 is an empowerment program for sensitive souls that shares over 20 tips and tools to help you get your energetic mask on so you are back in your power. It is much easier to be of service when you are balanced and centred! 5. Create a great support team. Surround yourself with people and materials like great books or music or even media programming that makes you feel good. It is a great way to replace the old negative tapes that have been running in the background with inspiring and nurturing thoughts more easily. 6. Reach out for help when you feel stuck in a critical pattern that you haven’t been able to shake. When you are ready to work more deeply, contact me for an appointment (available locally and long distance via Skype) or seek out a local wellness professoinal, counsellor, therapist or support group. You are not alone. This Week’s Talk Story challenge. Let’s shine a light on the good stuff. Can you identify 3 loving statements about yourself that would be helpful to use in the morning? Give it a go! Write your answers down below in the comments section.