you wouldn't treat a dog the way you treat yourself

Today we ask that you treat yourself with the same kindness you would treat a beloved animal, or child.

For those of you who have had a deep loving relationship with an animal or a small child, please let yourself feel that feeling of unconditional love.  It does not have to be a present relationship.  It could be in the past.

If you have not had such a relationship, have you ever had someone in your life for whom you felt deep love, without resentment or judgment?  Maybe a grandparent, when you were a child?  Someone you loved and trusted completely?

Whomever it is — animal, child, person you loved and trusted — call this being to mind.

Let yourself really feel the deep, warm love for this being.  Love that demands nothing in return.  Love without resentment.  Pure love.

Once you have clearly called in this feeling, go to a mirror.

Looking at your own reflection, can you project deep, warm, unconditional love toward yourself?  Can you say “I love you” to the person in the mirror?

Most of you will find this extremely difficult.

It is very sad.

Most of you treat yourselves so very badly that if you saw another person treating a beloved animal or small child that way you would be horrified.  You might call the authorities.

Can you imagine treating yourself with the same kindness you treat a beloved animal or small child?

What would that look like?  What would that feel like?

Notice the resistance that arises.

Many of you will say: “If I treated myself kindly, I would never go to work or be responsible and get things done.”

That is not true.

Believing that is like believing that a horse must be harshly whipped to get it to go anywhere.  Most of you would not be comfortable whipping a horse — and yet you will whip yourselves.

And some of you are awfully tired, sick horses.  Some of you really beat yourselves into the ground.  You would never treat a horse the way you treat yourself.

Just as there are better ways to get a horse to run than beat it, there are better ways to motivate yourself than self-abuse.

If you could treat yourself with even a fraction of the unconditional love you bestow on a beloved pet or child, you would open up a whole new dimension of experience for yourselves.  A whole new way of doing things that would actually be far more productive than whipping and abusing yourself.

And it is a sad truth that any parent who is in the habit of chronic self-abuse will, sooner or later, behave abusively toward his child.  Perhaps not when the child is small, but as the child gets older.  It is how the cycle passes itself on, repeating down the generations.

Stop this now.

Tell the person in the mirror that he or she is loved.

Imagine loving yourself unconditionally.  What that might look like.  What that might feel like.

Please stop beating a dead horse.  Be kind to yourself.