It’s so easy to forget (how) to be kind to ourselves. I feel like I need to re-learn it from time to time. I wonder if kindness could be what I “do for Lent” this year… It’s a good time to change habits…
It’s so easy to judge myself for what I can’t do, my limitations and mistakes and failures, and yet it won’t make anything better, neither for me nor others.
I can’t be perfect from everybody’s point of view, I can’t meet everyone’s expectations. And I have to set boundaries to look after myself even though I might wish I had endless resources. I don’t. And before I can love anyone else well, I need to show love to myself.
Can I be kinder to myself?
That is the question…
Can I be kind to myself while I do not have “the answers”? While I don’t know how to “fix” things in my life? While I struggle with where I am and where I’d like to be? Or not knowing where I’d like to be, just knowing it’s not here?
Can I be kind to myself while trying to understand myself? While trying to make sense of how I have become who I am, and which bits are here to stay and which bits I might be able to improve?
Can I work on improving with kindness?
Can I be kind to myself while I dream, and hope and wish? While I doubt myself and hesitate and wait for I’m-not-sure-what?
Can I have compassion with myself when things take time?
Can I trust myself a little more?
Can I have faith that I’m alright, really?
I’d like to take small steps towards this sort of kindness. Whether it’s accepting encouragement, or saying ‘sorry’ to myself if needed, or saying ‘no’ to others, or asking for help. Or going for a walk. Or reading a book I like and have that be the only thing I do for one day. Accepting that being is good enough. Not everything has to be achievement.
I very much need to come back to myself again. It’s hard to protect the space I need to know what is right for me, and what isn’t, in-between everything that’s going on around me. I lose my sense of direction, and any resources I would like to offer to others.
So this is the plan for the next weeks, whether or not I’ll bind it to religious observance (we’ll see). Every day, I can show kindness to myself in whatever way works that day. And I’ll keep track of the experience here – not necessarily daily, but when I can. I’m pretty sure I’ll have run-ins with guilt and judgment and self-criticism, but I’ll try. And try gently. And I hope I will end up having more life in my life again, more peace and compassion, more to share and more to enjoy.