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“I loved this newsletter. It's great how you break down us readers' resistances to taking care of ourselves, and do it with such a sweet and gentle voice with that touch of humor. Questions like those are excellent tools for re-focusing; getting back on track with what's important and letting go of what's not.”

- Ella Jolly, Social Worker
New York City

“Ugh, I should’ve known better!”

“Ugh, I should’ve known better!”

You lifted too much. Bent too far. Stretched too long. Went too hard. Sat too long.

You should have known.

Or should you have?

I’ve heard this so many times in my practice (and I’ll admit to having said it myself).

And then I feel that subtle layer of shame rise to the surface. That shame that says something along the lines of, “You idiot,” or “If you weren’t so weak, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Mmmm. Now we have pain AND shame! Delish.

Now, I’m not telling you to get rid of your shame (doesn’t really work that way, anyway), but I’d like to ask:

What else was going on at the time of the injury or insult?

* Were you exhausted?
* Were you in a rush or on a deadline?
* Were you trying to prove yourself to others or to yourself?
* Were you trying to fit in?
* Were you feeling anxious or depressed?
* Did you do the best you could, given the situation?

If any of the above, I invite you to cut yourself a little slack.

Just a little.

Chances are, you’re not an idiot. And you’re probably not as weak as you think.

As much as you can, take the pain and use it as an opportunity to practice some self-compassion. Use it as an opportunity to learn what you body needs and how you can do better next time.

Sometimes, we need to receive a message multiple times before we hear it.

Sometimes, the cards are stacked against us already, making it truly hard to make good decisions (stress and sleep deprivation are awesome at doing that).

You’re doing your best. You’re doing your best.

I’m cutting you some slack. Now you try? :)

P.S. When you feel the shame or embarrassment decrease, do you feel a shift in the sensations of pain or tension? Asking for a friend ; )

[Originally posted on on September 15, 2017]

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