My first step to awareness on how I was treating myself was the insight that I wasn’t gentle towards me. Doing gentleAnd that I could be.
During a therapy session many years ago, my therapist saw me treating myself with mental boxing gloves, and pointed it out to me.

Why are you so hard on yourself?, she asked.

I was flabbergasted.
Because in asking, she implied there was another option. And I just had not seen that, had not known that.
So I asked Don’t I have to be?

She smiled her sweet and gentle smile at me, and told me how she would have handled the situation we’d just been discussing.

I broke down in tears, exclaiming I didn’t know that I don’t have to be harsh towards myself.

I truly didn’t know that gentle was available to me.
Do you? Do you know, deep within yourself, that you can be kind and gentle towards yourself?