Permission slip

A goal of therapy has been to recognize in the moment when I am speaking unkindly to myself and change the script. I am my worst and harshest critic. No one can say anything to me that is worse than what I say to myself.

It’s also an unforced error. There is no imperative for me to direct negative commentary inward. It hurts me. It makes me angry, sad, and demoralized. And, it’s completely unnecessary.

In conversation with a friend yesterday, I was reminded that I don’t give others permission to speak to me this way. There is no reason to give myself permission to treat myself this way. It goes a step further. I simultaneously withhold permission to speak to myself with care and kindness.

If this resonates with you, I’d ask, how can you give yourself permission to speak more kindness and love to yourself right now?


  1. I literally stop everything if I catch myself doing it. Stand in the kitchen doorway with the mug of coffee. Turn the shower off. Stand aside on the pavement. Wait until I’ve been able to reframe things in line with what my therapist taught me and what I read in Dr Neff’s book. Then I carry on. Don’t give the infection time to spread. Don’t let it win.

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