Do you sometimes forget to be thankful to yourself? I was reminded about this recently by a younger friend of mine when she said "I was so thankful to that past me who left my room tidy before I went to Japan. It was so nice to come home to a tidy room!' It is such fun to think like this. As the Dalai Lama says 'The seed of goodness is found in the soil of appreciation', this applies to all beings, including ourselves.
I am quite good at expressing thanks to others for their kindness yet often forget to thank a previous version of myself! We explored this idea in the 'OMGoodness the Dishwasher has been Emptied!' post where I told of my delight when one morning I discovered the dishwasher had been emptied. I thanked family members only to be told it was not them. Then I remembered it was me, I had emptied it before going to bed! I was tempted to let that self critical voice take over when it chipped in with a 'How could you have forgot that you emptied it! Thankfully I remembered not to go with that self-criticism and instead decided to be thankful to that past Maree, who the previous night had emptied the dishwasher, so the present me did not need to do it.
The 'self' exists as a changing self conception, so we can think of a past version of ourselves and be thankful to (and kind, encouraging and supportive to) that past self, in our present mind. In the present we are being a better version of ourselves for a future version of ourselves. Maybe this sounds a little tricky to get your head around. If it does maybe all you need to remember is Abe Lincoln 'When I do good, I feel good' and do good because it feels good in the present and has future good benefits too. And again, as the Dalai Lama "the seed of goodness is found in the soil of appreciation", including appreciation for ourselves.
The other Monday I was thankful to a past Maree who had cooked extra food and stored it in the freezer. I had my mum, aunt and cousin coming from Geelong for lunch. I had had a full and active weekend with no time for cooking. (Thanks to the reminder from my friend Monique, I am being aware to avoid the use the word 'busy' and instead use 'full and active' instead). Anyway, I was very happy to fish out all sorts of goodies from the freezer for our lunch. Thanks past Maree!
Sometimes that past version of ourselves creates some problems for the future us too. Maybe we went on a holiday and left our room in a mess, didn't prepare enough for an exam, didn't have food in the freezer or made a mistake! It is never helpful to give this past version of ourselves a hard time, with judgment and criticism. Instead remembering to be a kind encouraging friend to ourselves with words like 'we were doing our best with what we knew at the time', learning from our so called mistakes to do a 'better best' next time and forgiving ourself and others. These ways of thinking are much more conducive to our happiness, confidence and peace of mind.
Have a great week. Thank you all
Kind Regards and Best Wishes