Did you know that according to Forbes, Americans spent $136.8 billion on their pets? Pets are loved and cherish. We forgive them their clumsy behaviour. We love them so much because they are so cute.
But, do we treat ourselves with a similar respect? Not really. The inner critic that we still won't fire, tells us vehemently off for anything that is less than perfect.
Why do we do that? That's a good question that I don't have an answer to. But my recommendation for todays article is to love ourselves the way we love our pets.
Gentle understanding instead of rude scolding
How many time have you caught yourself being rude and super negative after a silly blunder? The inner critic won't let us have it. It won't shut up until we hate ourselves, our life and everything around us.
So next time you hear that old song: how could you! You stupid this and that. Just imagine you are talking to your pet and replace your negative inner monologue with: there there, you silly darling, I know, it was not great, but things happen.
Praise instead of punishment
There are times when you make mistakes. Mistakes are unavoidable for humans. True fact. And when we make mistakes we end being our harshest critic.
If you want to punish yourself as per usual by depriving yourself of me time or by making yourself work extra hard - pause. Now think of yourself as your favourite pet who broke your favourite vase when hiding from visitors attending your party. It's sad and you might feel angry for a second or two. But then you'll see that it was not done out malice, but by accident, out of feet and anxiety. Youd then find your pet and give it a hug and compliment it for being so brave. Do the same for yourself. Find what to praise yourself for. Maybe you sent your work report late, but the quality was outstanding. Maybe you've burnt that pie, but your child did not fall of the chair and hit itself. Think about and even if you are not super happy with yourself you will still find something to give yourself a praise. It's better than punishment.
Me time instead of overtime
We are so good at tiptoeing by our children's or spouse's rooms not to disturb them, wanting to make sure they have enough rest. When we see our pet resting after a walk, we do the same. We won't demand to play with them or kick them off the sofa because we want to sit on it. Oh no. Our poor darling is tired.
But when we are tired, we often don't know about it but if we do we sort of ignore it. We push it to the back of our minds and pretend everything is fine, everything is awesome. Who needs me time? Not me!
Basically you care more about your pets wellbeing than your own. How does it make you feel? It makes me feel a little bit angry if I am honest with you. Because my metaphorical pet does not need to wake up couple a times in the middle of the night to attend to my kids. It does not go to work, clean the house or cook dinner. It does not plan weekends' activities so we don't destroy the house and be on top of each other for 24/7. No, my pet does not do it all. I do. And then I neglect my needs and defy self-care as silly, luxury, or for week people. Seriously. What's wrong with me? Would not I want to spend my days by the radiator purring and stretching? Like hell I would, so why don't I?
Final thoughts on Loving Yourself Like You Love Your Pet
Basically, next time you feel like neglecting your needs and desires, putting everyone first and spoiling your mood by listening to your grumpy perfectionist inner critic - think about yourself as you'd think about your beloved pet. Would you shout at it? No. Would you criticise it for being too slow or too fast? I don't think so. Would you make it work extra hard at entertaining you only because you feel like it? I doubt it.
Now apply all of these wisdom to your life. You are your favourite pet. Love yourself like you love your pet and I bet you'd be so much happier as a result.