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How To Be Good To Myself

By Saffie Ng 

Being good to myself, when do I have time for that? Wait a minute, let’s rewind a little bit. Have you ever thought that you’re not good to yourself? If so, the word ‘peacefulness’ probably rarely appears in your daily vocabulary. Being negative is easy, you don’t even need to do it yourself, I’m sure many voices around you have that covered.

“If you only treat yourself better, this wouldn’t have happened…”, 

“Stop making a fool of yourself, be good please!”…

You may not know at the time, but these subtle messages of being “not good enough” are constantly seeded in your head. They make you focus only on your imperfections. Leave you feeling incomplete, lonely and even ashamed to be yourself.

“Should I have done this…”, “Was I wrong about that…”, “I should have…” ….

Self-doubting voices are always forming and challenging our healthy minds. They actually destabilise our physics and haunt our every decision. Day by day, we voluntarily allow these destructive inner hurtful monologs to consume our pure spirits. The more we judge and compare, the more we feel we don’t measure up. Criticism after criticism, this degenerative pattern becomes a seemingly never-ending destructive loop. 

If this is what you are going through, you have to realise that you have the power to break free from this negative cycle and start being good to yourself.

When the mind is about to start a new dive into destructiveness, pause for a moment before the negative thought forms. Be aware of what is happening and stop blaming yourself. Listen carefully to your feelings, give yourself a chance to consider what is true and what is just your non-productive imagination.

“The entire outside world is based on your thoughts and mental attitude. The entire world is your own projection.” 

― Swami Satchidananda  [1]

In the book of The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali has given us words to enlighten our confusion – whether we are in heaven or hell is apparently entirely up to us. Our state of mind actually affects our decisions and ultimately the outcome. We all have the power to control our negative feelings and this powerful gift has been with us since birth. It’s time to realise that we have control of the mind, and stop letting the negativity disturb our peacefulness.

“As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind. If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.”

― Swami Satchidananda [1]

Instead of feeling wholly inadequate, take a plunge to challenge your faulty beliefs! Give yourself the permission to acknowledge that you are only human! Embrace the fact that we are all imperfect, which in simpler terms means cut yourself some slack. It’s absolutely OK to be a few shades from perfect, missing one or two things and even a few points shy of complete. 

Starting today, be good to yourself, look at yourself in the mirror with kindness and not with harshness. Tell that person “you are good enough”, and remind yourself all you have accomplished to be where you are now. As this positive power grows, you are practising mindfulness and bringing compassion back into your life. This is the beginning of being good to yourself. Progress is as easy as starting to love yourself.

[1] Satchidananda, S.(1978) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda. 7th ed. Intergral Yoga Publications. Buckingham, Virginia


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