Yesterday, while I was drawing this, we were having a discussion on Periscope when someone unknown to me, or the #NapkinKin (our tribe) who were watching the scope, came in. He proceeded to say he was depressed and suicidal. I had a feeling he was a troll but I took it seriously anyway, doing my best to give him reasons to live. Others in the scope immediately helped out, giving suicide hotline numbers, explaining that they too suffered from depression and anxiety, and in general trying to help. It was amazing to be a part of it. It really made me love my #NapkinKin tribe more than ever before. He was in only a short time before he said an ominous “Goodbye…”
Mind and Body
I have no idea who he was or what he was about. I hope if he was serious we helped and if he wasn’t he will mature and not do such stupid things. But it doesn’t really matter for the sake of this discussion. The reason I mention it is because we then realized we could substitute ‘mind’ or ‘brain’ in place of ‘body’ in the quote and it would be the same.
Loving Doesn’t Equal OK
Loving our bodies, or our minds, is not the same as saying everything about our bodies or minds are perfect and no change is needed, just as with a misbehaving child. You aren’t going to tell the child that because you love them even when they misbehave that that means their behavior is ok. It’s not ok and you will likely find a punishment for them as a result. That is not the same as not loving them. As a matter of fact, it actually is evidence that you do love them (as long as the punishment is not abusive and hateful).
The same is true with your bodies and minds. If you have an issue with weight that precludes you from living a healthy life, then you are loving your body when you take action to reduce the weight. If it isn’t about weight but about bad skin, or no muscle tone, or bad acne, or a disease or illness, or something else, you are loving your body when you take action to remedy the situation as best you can. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you don’t know some areas need to change.
Evaluation vs Judgment
And so it is with our minds or our behaviors. I can love my mind while still realizing my predilection towards procrastination and avoidance needs work. I can still love my mind while still realizing my hot temper or anxiety or depression or ADHD or any number of things needs to be addressed.
The key in all of it is honestly evaluating who you are WITHOUT judging and condemning who you are. Evaluation is neutral. It says ‘this is an issue and I will address it’. Judgment is morally condemning. It says, ‘I am stupid for letting myself get fat.’ or ‘I am worthless because I can’t focus on something long enough to accomplish it.’ or ‘I hate myself because I can’t stop drinking.’
How Different Would It Be?
How different would you see yourself if you loved yourself no matter what? How different would your progress in whatever area you need or want progress in be if you allowed yourself an honest evaluation of yourself instead of condemning judgment?
Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote is anonymous