Wellness

The Importance of Self-Kindness & How I Struggled With It

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Usually, I’m a perfectionist and always looking for the perfect segue into a topic, but today is one of those days where I’m just going to dive right into it. Yesterday, I discovered a new podcast. ‘I’m Here For The Food’ is hosted by Melyssa Ford of ‘Hollywood Unlocked’, along with her co-hosts Blue Telusma and Chantelle Anderson. The podcast is described as a place where the ladies expand on conversations and topics related to “today’s every woman.” They will share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences on womanhood and trending topics in a long-form discussion.

The ladies are about six episodes in, but because I was late to the party, I am just wrapping up episode one. In the first episode titled, “Meet Your Besties,” we got to learn more about the hosts and how they were brought together to form ‘I’m Here For The Food’. Melyssa touched briefly on her experience as a media personality and the influential musicians and actresses she’s been pleased to interview. She discussed having to give herself somewhat of a pep-talk to increase her confidence when in the presence of such respected individuals. Melyssa also revealed that there was a time that she struggled with self-kindness, which is something that I can totally relate to. 

“I’ve had to come to terms with, at one point in my life, how cruel I was to myself,” she said. “I was the definition of a masochist.”

It wasn’t until I heard Melyssa say this that I stopped dead in my tracks, simply because I was all too familiar with the dark and negative internal dialogue she spoke of. She also referenced being a Scorpio, which we ironically have in common. Now, I’m not at all conversant on the subject of astrological transits or horoscopes, so I don’t know if being a Scorpio necessarily has anything to do with us being overly self-critical or if at some point I just began internalizing unhealthy experiences and the debris from past failed relationships or simply not being where I expected to be in life by a certain age, which caused me to somehow self-loathe and become insanely self-critical. My internal dialogue would be calling myself “the dumbest person in the world” for something as minor as leaving the house without my phone or workbag. I’d also gotten to a point where I would talk myself out of thinking I could truly be successful or loved. I’m no psychiatrist, so I don’t have the answers. I’m just a woman who realized that with this way of thinking, I am never going to reach my full potential if I don’t start supporting myself and nurturing my emotional health like I do for everyone else, which is advice that I would give to anyone who is struggling with self-kindness.

As we all know, the first step to change is realizing that there is a problem and being able to identify or label what that problem is. Sometimes we know that what we may be experiencing is wrong, but we don’t know what to call it. In my case, I was lacking self-kindness and self-compassion. A great way to look at it, according to Psychology Today, would be that self-kindness involves generating feelings of care and comfort toward oneself. Instead of being self-critical, self-kindness involves being tolerant of our flaws and inadequacies. It also involves learning simple tools that give us the support we need whenever we suffer, fail or feel inadequate. In the words of Blue Telusma of ‘I’m Here For The Food’, “always be accountable, but never cruel.”

‘I’m Here For The Food’ airs Tuesday’s at 10:00am PST on YouTube & all podcast streaming platforms!

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