Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself: The Little Girl You

Source: tumblr.com via Kyle on Pinterest


I can't take credit for today's post really. It comes from a conversation I had with a mentor, a woman I really look up to. We were having a pretty intense conversation about the personal struggles and pain in our lives (and I know we all have that, on some level) and I expressed my feelings of sadness and fear to her. I felt worn out and broken. Unsure of myself.

Her face grew concerned and she said, "Sometimes you have to take care of the little-girl-Elizabeth, you know? Sometimes you have to comfort the little girl inside of you who can't handle all this really hard stuff. So you put her in a safe place and you tell her that you'll go take care of all the big, scary grown-up stuff and you'll come back. You can help protect that part of you."

I'd honestly never thought of it that way. And maybe it's just one way of looking at the stressful, frightening things we experience but it's certainly been comforting to me. When I feel overwhelmed, I can tell the younger, more vulnerable me that I will be the grown-up and she doesn't need to come along for the hard part. For me, it's become another way to be kind to myself. To keep myself emotionally safe in the worst moments.

All of this reminds me of a prose poem/story I heard a long time ago by Sandra Cisneros called Eleven in which she talks about being eleven. My favorite bit goes like this...

"What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven."

 



What about you? What are YOU doing to be kind to yourself today?

love, elizabeth

PS: And the giveaway will open TOMORROW!!! Be sure to check back in in the morning to enter! Clue #5: I really like it so if no one wants it, I'm totally keeping it.

10 comments:

Chloe said...

I loved this post!
I really needed to read this.
I can totally relate.
I'm going through some stressful experiences and this post helped me feel better.
Thank you!!
:)

Sarah (Not Her Real Name) said...

I love this post. Sandra Cisneros is such a great writer too.

And "If you don't like it, I'll just keep it" - I've only heard that every time you've ever given me anything since middle school.

I MISS YOU

Jenni @ Story of My Life said...

This was just SO beautiful, Elizabeth, and just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Emry said...

The perfect thing to read on a Tuesday when I'm dealing with big, scary, grown up things! I will definitely be locking away the little-girl me for a few days just to keep her safe...possibly with some Oreos and apple juice.

Love and miss you!

Becca {A Blonde's Logic} said...

Great post! :)

Becca
http://blondeslogic.blogspot.com

Kathi said...

Sweet. And true. The older we get the more able we are to feel all those previous ages combined in who we are today.... and remember. Beautiful reflection and insight Elizabeth...

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

VERY true. What a wonderful thought. I am so inspired by your blog, Elizabeth! :)

Janet @ Made For This said...

Well, you know you could always come home for a bit of being that little girl again. I wouldn't mind. Oh well, okay, go ahead and get your PhD. THEN you can come home. I love you, Baby Girl. Mama

The Little Flapper said...

I love Sandra Cisneros! I've actually met her and had her autograph my book. such a great reminder lovely. I've been kinder to myself in terms of not seeing only the flaws in myself when I look into the mirror. I love surrounding myself with positive people :)

Jennifer said...

Oh I LOVED this! I know you wrote this like months ago now, but I'm wondering if maybe we have the same mentor. I swear, mine told me the exact same thing!!!! (o: Wonderful, beautiful advice - and stuff that is so good to remember. I loved the thought about being eleven - I feel that way still and I'm 30!

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