We don’t give ourselves a lot of grace sometimes. We are incredibly hard on ourselves when we think we haven’t done our best or let others down. We are our own harshest critic, and we can have a habit of not talking to ourselves very nicely.
If you find yourself staying awake at night thinking about all the things that went wrong during the day, think about why this is happening. Are you mad at yourself? Are you thinking of ways that situations could have gone better? Are you beating yourself up over a conversation you had?
If you find that you blame yourself for a lot of things, whether you could have changed them or not, you are doing yourself much more harm than good.
Here are a few things to watch out for and a few tips for treating yourself with kindness, grace, and forgiveness.
- You blame yourself. And, often, you’re blaming yourself for nothing. Think of those scenarios in your head that keep you up at night- were any of them ever in your control? Do you fid that you often have a much different memory of a situation or conversation than other people who were there too? You could be seeing the situation as much more personally negative than it actually was- you literally have nothing to blame yourself for. Practice letting go of blame, for yourself and others.
- Forgiveness is love. Love is a feeling and a state of being. Love can be between two people, romantic love, unconditional love. The love of friends, the love of brothers, the love that humanity has for one another. Love comes in many forms, and yet we sometimes forget that we ourselves are worthy of love. We deserve to love ourselves, to be patient with ourselves, and to forgive ourselves.
- Taking care of yourself means more than just exercising and eating well. It also means taking care of your mind and learning how to treat yourself well. There is a great amount of strength and power that comes with understanding how to forgive yourself. When you realize that you are in control of your circumstances, behavior, and happiness, you can accomplish anything. You can create space for love and acceptance in the present moment, leaving what happened in the past and what will happen in the future alone.
- Learning to forgive yourself can take time. It’s more than just saying the words; you have to internalize the idea that you are not to blame. When you feel these less-than forgiving thoughts intrude, take a deep breath and remember that you are good, whole, and worthy. Eventually you will get used to forgiving yourself and you can break the cycle of self-blame.
We will never be perfect, so stop expecting perfection from yourself. Be patient, graceful, and kind to others, but remember to be all of those things to yourself as well. You are imperfect, but that is what makes us all unique. Through forgiveness we learn to love.