I want you to do something for me. You can close your eyes if you wish, but don't feel pressured to. I want you to think about yourself. I want you to imagine those words in your head. I want you to notice them. Do not fixate on them, just notice them. Think about them. Think about whether they are good or bad. Think about which ones step forward in your mind. Are those words good or bad?
Now I want you to think about those words that you used to negatively describe yourself. Think about when you first started to dislike yourself. How old were you? For me, I was 7 years old, so for the purpose of this exercise, we shall use that age. Tailor the age to the one that is in your head.
Imagine yourself as that seven year old. Imagine that seven year old child sitting across the room from you; on the bed, the sofa, a chair, the floor... wherever feels comfortable. Turn and look at the seven year old child. Now tell the child all those horrible things that you just thought about yourself. Go on, say it. Say it to the child. Tell her/him that they are nasty, evil, useless, pathetic, fat, horrible... Tell this to a child.
Was it hard to tell a seven year old that they were evil? Did it sit right?
I saw this exercise or exchange on My Mad Fat Diary, in Monday (31st March)'s episode. I admit that I might not have written it well, it was aired on a comedy drama and I am not qualified in any way to know what I am talking about but, regardless of all of that, I think that the scene held a powerful message. The little girl or boy inside of you still exists, s/he's still there, and every time that you tell yourself that you are horrible, you are telling the child inside you too.
"Remember that little girl/boy, s/he is counting on you to protect her/him." I think that's true. There is a child within us all and who is going to protect that child if we don't? The child and ourselves, we are one and the same, and, perhaps, we need to start being kind to ourselves as we would a child, who is perfectly innocent and kind and loving. I guess it hit me because I never really thought of it that way and, when you keep this in the forefront of your mind, well, it's hard to be horrible to a child, even if you want to be horrible to yourself.