Many of us grew up with the parental admonition to say “thank you” when receiving a kindness. In turn, we instruct our children to do the same. To stop there leaves out something important – thanking ourselves for what we accomplish each day, for what we have been through, and for the continuing functions of our mind and bodies. When was the last time you stopped to thank yourself for the incredible person you are, and your body for the amazing job it does for you each day? We show love and appreciation to those around us, but we often forget to do the same for ourselves. Here are a few suggestions for getting started.
Let’s thank ourselves, along with our Higher Power, for the courage and strength everyday living requires. Whether it is relationships, health, finances, jobs, or parenting, we all have challenging situations we must deal with regularly. As the details of each day evolve, we evaluate our resources and manage them to the best of our ability. We in Friends After Diagnosis know cancer can be one of those challenges. In the middle of treatment it’s important to stop and thank ourselves for hanging in there and doing what needs to be done. But, courage shows itself in more than one way. Mary Anne Radmacher writes, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.” Often we are stronger than we know, and that deserves an affirmation.
Let’s thank ourselves for our own unique beauty that comes from being authentic. When we live our life with integrity, we shine our light wherever we go, becoming a path finder for others. Doing what we know to be right, even though no one is looking, is being authentic and deserves a “well done.” Taking care of our bodies by nurturing them on all levels (physical, spiritual, mental, emotional) enhances our inner beauty by affirming who we were born to be, and our outer beauty by putting a glow in our skin, a shine in our eyes, and a smile on our face.
Let’s thank ourselves for being brave enough to listen to our heart and intuition, which is the voice of our Higher Power. Albert Einstein wrote, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Every time we ignore the loud voices around us and listen to the quiet voice within, we honor our spiritually guided intuition. It is bold and brave to live in alignment with our inner wisdom. This deserves our acknowledgement.
Let’s thank ourselves for our thirst for growth. When we value our experiences as a tool for growth, we open ourselves to life-changing lessons found in even the most difficult of circumstances. Like an alchemist, we take every life interaction and turn it into new-found wisdom. Turning wounds into wisdom deserves a big “well done.”
Let’s thank ourselves for practicing forgiveness with the help of our Higher Power. We know that holding onto grudges, anger, and resentment is toxic for us and everyone around us. Forgiving releases us from this damage, enhances physical and mental health, and improves all our relationships. Forgiving releases us from living in negativity. Every time we practice forgiveness we can choose to appreciate the miracle that has just happened.
Let’s thank ourselves for actively using our sense of humor. Even the most difficult situations can feel less stressful when we practice appropriate humor. When used with sensitivity, humor can lighten a funeral service, bring a smile to a hospital room, soften behavior corrections, or diffuse conflict. Every time we do this we lighten up the situation and boost the spirits of the people around us. Congratulate yourself.
Let’s thank our bodies for the service they do for us each day. During a recent massage I thought about all the things my feet do for me without getting any acknowledgement. Then I began to think about the rest of my body that I often take for granted, until something breaks down. The inner and outer workings of our bodies are amazing, and they deserve love and appreciation for the miracle of their daily performance.
Today, take time to thank yourself for the unique person you are, with all your courage, strength, inner listening, commitment to love, messy imperfections, and daily accomplishments. Take time to acknowledge what you’ve learned over the years and what you’ve done with the information. Each one of us is vitally important, so who you are matters to yourself and the people around you. Thank your body for how hard it works for you each day – even when specific parts are not functioning well, it is still doing an amazing job. If this sounds too hard, choose just one thing to appreciate and honor about yourself today. And, if you’re feeling brave and ready to express gratitude, you could share one thing you’re thanking yourself for in the comment section. It’s time to give yourself the credit you deserve!
Until Next Time – Sylvia