When Nostalgia Makes You Cry: A Lesson in Kindness and Feeling “Enough”

Hey friend 🙂

Today I Googled myself. Have you ever tried that?

I applied to a new job last week, and I wanted to do a quick check-up on my digital footprint. I figured my future boss will Google me, so why not?

Aside from a few social media accounts that popped up, I found multiple articles that were over six years old  and mentioned my name. The writers praised me and other students for our accomplishments in the arts and awards we earned in various academic subjects. I remember how grounded and confident I felt when I succeeded in those moments. Hey world, people think I’m smart! And talented! I remember how proud my parents were. They bragged about me for weeks to anyone who would listen. I pretended to be embarrassed, but I loved it. It felt so good to be acknowledged. Everything attached to my name was squeaky clean, but I burst into tears.

Oh, yes. I cried.

I cried because the mean monster voice inside my head hissed, “I bet when you were that age you thought you were going to be way more impressive than you are now, huh?”

*Gulp.*

In a moment of weakness, the nostalgia I felt for the past person described in those articles made me feel so damn self-conscious about my current self. The automatic thoughts rattled off:

That past person was a model student and was great at her hobbies…
That past person did not know heartbreak, physical pain, or mental illness…
That past person doubted herself at times, but she worked hard to get what she wanted…
That past person was strong and she didn’t make excuses…

The monster croaked, “Hey, what the hell happened to her?”

STOP! 

*Deeeeep breath*

~Reset~

During these moments, I like to remember a time from a few months ago. After ranting to my boyfriend about how much I thought I was “screwing up” in one way or another, he said gently, “Be kind to yourself.”

I stared at him, stunned and speechless.

It is such a simple concept, and yet so many of us forget to do it. I forget all the time! These unkind, automatic thoughts cycle through our minds unchecked and make us miserable. Thoughts like “I bet when you were that age you thought you were going to be blaaaah deee blahh deee blaaaaahhh….”

Often these thought patterns stem from not feeling “enough.” I Googled myself today, and it made me feel like I wasn’t accomplished enough, or interesting enough, or glamorous enough, or WHATEVER random quality the mean monster voice was trying to convince me that I was a huge disappointment for not being enough of. I see how warped, unkind, and damaging these kinds of thought patterns are. Would I ever want to speak to another person or have another person speak to me the way I was speaking to myself? Hell no!

So, dear friend, please remember to be kind to yourself today. You are enough. You are enough right now. Not six years ago, not six years in the future, but now.

Also…only Google yourself when you absolutely must (and when you’re already in a strong headspace!)  😉

 

With Kindness,
wavybrain

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