Last Sunday I had the privilege of talking with some young children about how to talk to themselves compassionately when they do something wrong. There were about 12 kids there and it was so fun to talk with them.
I started by asking,
“How many of you have broken something important of your mom or dad’s, or a special toy?” All the hands went up! They shared that they felt, sad, bad and scared they’d get in trouble.
I then shared something that happened to me last week, and talked about how I was able to be kind, rather than mean to myself.
I just ate a big salad in my favorite white bowl. It’s the bowl I use every day and I’ve had it about 20 years. I was walking into the kitchen to put it in the sink, and all of a sudden, I dropped it! I was distracted by something, and down it went…crash into a thousand pieces. There were sharp pieces of glass everywhere. You couldn’t even tell it used to be a bowl because there were so many pieces. I felt so bad I did it, and I also felt bad I had to clean I all up. Ugh!
I also noticed I started to say mean things to myself like, “You’re so stupid, you should have been more careful, how could you do this?” Then I started feeling even worse.
I stopped myself from saying mean things to myself, and instead said, “No, you’re not going to talk to yourself like this.”
Tell yourself the truth:
- I did drop the bowl and broke it
- I didn’t mean to, everyone makes mistakes
- I’m not stupid or bad
- It is sad that I dropped my favorite bowl, but I didn’t do it on purpose.
- It’s amazing I didn’t drop it before now.
- I’m going to be a good friend to myself and not beat myself up for making a mistake.
- I’ll try to not be distracted in the future
- I’m still a nice person, I just dropped this bowl.
A lot of us say mean things to ourselves when we break stuff or get in trouble. It makes them feel worse, so it’s better to say:
- I did the wrong thing
- I’m sorry
- I’ll try to be more careful next time
- I’ll ask God to help me
- I’m a good kid who made a mistake
It’s important to be nice to yourself when you make mistakes.
I enjoyed talking with them and thought this lesson might be an encouragement to you too. After I shared with them I also talked with the congregation too. I was able to sit down and have a conversation with the pastor, about some important topics. I’ll share more with you about this soon.
Here’s the 7-minute video of my talk. You can’t see the kids because of privacy issues, but they were all sitting on the steps just below me with rapt attention.
So, What do you think?
What touched you the most about what I shared? What difference would it make to you to talk to yourselves with compassion when you fail? How about making 2018 a year of showing yourself compassion?
Please leave a comment below, and share with those who could benefit via e-mail or on social media.