Some have suggested I adore Rainbow MagnifiCat too much (impossible).
When I stand up to open the door for her, I say, ‘Just opening the door for you. No pressure. You can go out or stay in. If you go out, stay safe, have fun, come when I call you and back before ___*’
Sometimes, the above scenario plays out several times within a few minutes. Cats change their minds. And I have all the time in the world for her even though patience isn’t one of my biggest strengths.
Catching myself talking patiently and sensitively to her several times recently, I wondered how much easier challenging** tasks might be for me if my own default self-talk was as soothing.
Sometimes, I think Rainbow assumes her name is really ‘Divine wondercat’, ‘Most magnificent creature to have ever walked the planet’ or similar.
I wouldn’t want to go overboard with myself (I’m only human) and yet, on days I smile at my reflection (after years of therapy) rather than think, ‘Urgh, I look like Jack Nicholson***’ I realise that my self-talk has improved.
These days, if I break something or similar, I often hear myself calling myself ‘Kitten’. I’m dealing with the breakage (or whatever flaw) but in a much gentler way than I used to where I’d have been mentally bludgeoning myself over being clumsy.
I feel a little embarrassed writing this. Not because of the cat worship but because after 15+ years of this kind of work and so many improvements in my own self-care, it’s taken the last few years of cat care to embed this particular shift.
How might your self-talk improve if you spoke to yourself as you would to a beloved dog / dragon / child etc?
Notice how you feel when you express patience and compassion for yourself rather than criticism and judgment.
As with everything, it’s a practice. But the kinder and more accepting we can be to ourselves, the easier it becomes to make any change and improvement.
Cultivating a more caring voice for our self-talk is worth doing.
Feel free to share below.
* curfew works 95% of the time but she IS a cat
** not that coming in and going out is challenging for her
*** no offence to Jack Nicholson intended. He is a beautiful man but I don’t want to look like him