Be kind to yourself for you were born human, perfectly imperfect so that you learn with every breath you take. We are a kind obsessed with progress and, because of that, you will never be complete. You are wired to ask ‘what’s next’ almost incessantly, stopping only to take a photo of that stunning moment or to savour that delectable morsel or stroke the hand that’s attached to the eyes that gaze on you with unconditional love. Because you know those moments will pass and you will progress to the next. The happiest of us are the ones that embrace that fact and the process that comes with it.
Be kind to yourself because whilst we may be the most conscient species on the planet, we still have limits to our knowledge. And if we en masse don’t have all the answers, then it’s okay if we as individuals have moments where we feel we are operating half blind. We can only see so much in a lifetime, through our eyes and hearts, so understand that it’s natural when you don’t know it all. It is our sight which primarily drives our experience so, logically, we cannot hope to be omniscient because we can never see beyond our own perspective. One of the kindest things we can do is spend time seeking other perspectives to help us along.
Consider what you put in front of your eyes for it will form a huge part of that movie reel that is your life. When I went through a trauma years ago, I replayed the moments endlessly in my head. It was a relentless and infinite loop of pain during which I would try to freeze-frame the worst seconds to gain learning and meaning. I thought that, by re-experiencing it repetitively, I would see all the minuscule tipping points, so that I would never repeat them again for knowing them and that it would make me wise. What I forgot was to forgive myself, to be kind in the replays, to add a soft focus. I made myself a life of hard edges and I can assure you it was predictably uncomfortable.
Remind yourself gently that you may know all you need for you to be considered smart, a winner, even wise, but you will still make mistakes. That’s because you are human. In truth, it’s you trying to overcome mistakes that allows some of us to connect with you on a deeper level. Because it’s common ground upon which we have all walked. Each day you will tread a fine balance between heart and head and spirit. And in the cracks between the competing needs of logic and emotion and faith, you may slip on occasion. Sometimes it will be spectacular, sometimes so slowly that you won’t spot the consequences for years. But in the end, the only moment we ever live is now. And in the now, you can release all mistakes. Sure, acknowledge them, see them, but don’t think that you are defined by them. For the moment has already passed and you have already grown.
Above all, understand that everyone struggles with what they ‘should’ be doing. Everyone had a vision of what their life ‘should’ be. But considering at least some of it has possibly never happened, don’t hold yourself on a knife’s edge in attempting to get there. Don’t stand still. Be driven. Be focused. But don’t be fooled that progress is a linear process nor that your ‘shoulds’ are necessarily any more accurate than the belief that the earth is flat. Your early goals, unless you were blessed with a youthful yet godly mindfulness, will rarely be of your own making. If they don’t fit you now, cast them off. If your ‘shoulds’ play in your head with someone else’s voice, someone you know, then no matter how much you love them, set those goals free. For they belong to the voice, not you.
Be kind to yourself. Go gently into your thoughts and soften your gaze. Regret less and progress more. Talk to yourself as you do your best friend and honour yourself as you do your partner or family. Acknowledge your gifts so you can better give them away. Because no one can shine picking at scars with regret. Maybe then, today, you will have a good day and a better tomorrow.