More than a decade ago, engaged and almost married, Tim and I went to see a therapist together for the first time.
We lovingly referred to her as our interpreter, as it seemed there were many instances where we were speaking different languages.
That was the first time we sat in her office but it wasn’t (and probably won’t be) the last.
Over the years, she’s said many profound things that have helped to bring us closer together. But I’m not sure any one-liner will ever hit a deeply, powerfully, or lovingly as when she said…
“What if you assumed the best?”
What would happen if I was willing to assume the best in Tim? And him in me?
Let me tell you what happened: less defensiveness, fewer biting comments, and wayyyyy more openness for communication, connection, and understanding.
Assuming the best.
Sometimes to our benefit, how we do one thing is how we do everything. The more I assumed the best with Tim, the more I started to assume the best in my other relationships as well. This included my relationship with myself.
Assuming the best in your relationship with YOU can be transformative.
It reminds you that you’re already and always enough
Your imperfections don’t make you broken. They make you human!
Simply by being you, you are worthy of care, love, and respect. You are worthy exactly as you are!
Assuming the best makes it a lot easier to embrace these truths. And, embracing these truths makes caring for yourself and showing up authentically in your life a lot more likely!
It creates space for self-compassion
The benefits of self-compassion are HUGE, like decreased stress, increased inner strength + resilience, more happiness, greater overall feelings of wellbeing, connection to wisdom (hey there, intuition!), increased ability to learn new things, and experience growth. Also, not hearing “I hate myself” all day long is a pretty epic benefit, too.
Self-compassion is the act of offering yourself kindness and understanding. Dr. Kristen Neff describes its three main elements:
❤️Self kindness (in place of judgment): accepts the reality that you cannot be perfect, offers yourself warmth & gentleness in a tough or challenging moment
❤️Common humanity (rather than isolation): understanding that suffering is part of the shared human experience & you’re not alone in what you’re going through
❤️Mindfulness (instead of over-identification): acknowledges how you feel & what you’re experiencing without letting it define you
It helps you to shift from judgment to curiosity
Rather than judging yourself, assuming the best makes room for curiosity. And curiosity leads to stronger self-connection and trust!
It can help you to discover the positive intention
Most everything we humans do is fueled by a positive intention. Yes, even your self-sabotaging behaviors and inner critic!
Rather than trying to stop acting a certain way or silence the judgmental inner voice with positive vibes or affectionate phrases, give yourself permission to be with this part of yourself, to connect with this part of you.
✨What does this part of you really need? ✨
✨What is that inner voice saying? ✨
✨What is this part of you afraid you might lose? ✨
✨What is this part of you trying to protect you from? ✨
✨What is most important to this part of you?✨
✨What does this part of you need to feel safe? ✨
✨What does this part of you deeply desire? ✨
✨What is the “really good reason” or the “positive intention” behind the self sabotage, fear, judgment, criticism, comparison, shame, and/or blame? ✨
There’s such deep self-connection that can come from this practice.
When you can sit with your whole self, including the parts we often feel we “should” reject, you plant the seeds for a deep, trust-filled, and compassion relationship with the person you will spend your whole life with: yourself.
I’d love to encourage you to assume the best when it comes to YOU for the next 24 hours. If you do, let me know what you discover?