If you take one thing into 2019, make it Elizabeth Gilbert’s call to stop tearing yourself down


Thumbnail for If you take one thing into 2019, make it Elizabeth Gilbert’s call to stop tearing yourself down
Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/Robin Marchant

There’s a clichéd (but 100 percent true) meme circulating on the internet that goes: “If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.” Actually putting the statement into action though proves much, much more difficult for some reason. In a recent Instagram post Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, explains why.

Simply stated: We can’t hear all the things we admire about ourselves over the chorus of cruelty we repeat each day like mantras. “You guys, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t attack myself. I can’t insult myself. I can’t respond to a compliment by offering up a list of my flaws. I just…can’t. It feels like such a violation of the sacred. I don’t have the heart for self-deprecation anymore,” she writes in the caption.

View this post on Instagram

You guys, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t attack myself. I can’t insult myself. I can’t respond to a compliment by offering up a list of my flaws. I just…can’t. It feels like such a violation of the sacred. I don’t have the heart for self-deprecation anymore. Somewhere along the way, over the past few years, I’ve lost the dark (and particularly female) talent for self-criticism, and for tearing myself down. It feels like sacrilege. My mouth can’t form the hateful words. And I can’t bear it anymore, to hear another woman demean, degrade, or diminish herself. It shocks my senses and hurts my heart. To witness a woman denying that she is beautiful is like watching someone set fire to an art museum. It’s like watching an angel drink gasoline. It’s like watching a Phoenix rip off its wings. I just can’t be around it anymore. It hurts too much. This is my official plea: I beg you to stop doing that. You are a magnificent creature. Start knowing it. Stop lying about yourself. I love you. Onward. ❤️ LG

A post shared by Elizabeth Gilbert (@elizabeth_gilbert_writer) on

I thought about how spot on Gilbert is while reading the words on my tiny iPhone screen. Just minutes before, I’d been ruminating on how much I hate my legs (one of my most-frequented self-“insults”). I’d just gone for a run with my sister and been furious with myself for not being able to keep up with her pace. And the day before, I’d deflected a compliment from a family member as if swatting a fly.

The author is right: It (*clap*) has (*clap*) to (*clap*) stop (*clap*).

“To witness a woman denying that she is beautiful is like watching someone set fire to an art museum. It’s like watching an angel drink gasoline. It’s like watching a phoenix rip off its wings. I just can’t be around it anymore. It hurts too much,” Gilbert continues. So, to mix a few metaphors here, it’s going to be pretty darn hard to grow using all those kind words until we stop plucking out our own feathers (which, remember, are super colorful, dipped in glitter, and basically magic).

Or as the author says, “This is my official plea: I beg you to stop doing that. You are a magnificent creature. Start knowing it. Stop lying about yourself.” Sounds like a worthy mantra to bring into the New Year, right?

Also carry these A+ productivity tips and this stellar relationship advice into the shiny new year ahead.

Loading More Posts...