BY BOB SHENEFELT
There is a lot of talk these days about bullies in school and bullying happening to teenagers. Recently, I realized that I am one of the biggest bullies that I know. Not to others, but toward myself. I'm a very kind person, and I don't think I bully anyone, other than the conversation happening in my head. That may be my ego, it may be my conscience, it could be the self-doubt in my head. I find often it is a one-way conversation coming from my ego, and it's often telling me: you never do this, you always do that, you should do this, you should do that, and there must be a better way. And, I've realized that I can use my relationships with others, that are based on trust and creating a safe space, to practice creating a better relationship with myself. A key component of that is to be aware of the verbiage that I use with others. To be aware of exaggerating, to be aware of using the fiery words, better and should.
I have found that as I have practiced with others eliminating exaggerations, and the words better and should, that the conversation in my head has shifted to a safer space. It is a conversation between me and my ego, and it has become a real conversation, not the one-way, negative-bashing that I used to have. Ultimately, practicing creating great relationships with others has helped me with the greatest relationship of all, and that's with myself. I now find I actually have a friend in my ego, a supporter, a cheerleader. I'm glad I stand up for myself, and I'm creating great relationships.
I'm Bob Shenefelt
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