A few weeks ago, I hiked with some girlfriends. They are young, beautiful mamas and for some reason, they like hiking with me. I have about fifteen years on them and pounds. We hike in some beautiful mountains behind my house. We hike hills. Big, hairy, fat hills that kick us in the butt.
There is a hill on the hike that I felt like sprinting up (I use the word sprint loosely.) I challenged the girls and up we went. Think molasses, pouring uphill, in the winter. Anyway, I kept going to the top. I about died except for the fact that the girls were cheering for me. “Look at her go!” “She’s forty-five and look at her go!” I didn’t think much of it and I am not writing this to brag. If you happened to see me go up the hill, you’d know there is no bragging to be done.
Here’s what struck me days later. I never think, “Look at me, I am forty-five and I can hike/sprint/run up hills! Awesome!” It’s more like this, “You should be doing such and such. You shouldn’t be eating that! You should be moving your bleep. You’re slow!” I’m harsh. I beat myself up. My inner dialogue is brutal. I didn’t even realize it ’til my sweet friends were cheering me on saying they hope they can do what I do when they are forty-five. It shocked me.
I’ve been pondering it ever since and I realize that I want my inner dialogue to cheer for me, not tear me down. I want to see myself as others see me.
I’m so grateful to those girls for cheering me on. It went deeper than I ever imagined. I am now much more aware of my inner dialogue. I stop myself when I am being harsh with myself. I am praying for a more truthful view of myself. I will fist-pump myself when I sprint up a hill. Because after all, forty-five IS the new jive.
Are you aware of your inner dialogue? What steps can you take to be gentle with yourself in your inner dialogue?