“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James
The best advice I have been given to date, this year, has been “Be Kind to Yourself.” When he said it to me, I was actually caught off guard and tried to give my, “Gee thanks” smile. I think I must have failed and given more of a “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” smile. Because he laughed, at me/with me? I wasn’t laughing – so, definitely at me, and went on to explain. “This is my goal for the year. Our line of work can be challenging, and we can forget to take care of ourselves. I want to be intentional about being kind to myself. I have noticed that you hold yourself to very high expectations, and I want you to grant yourself a little more grace. Be kind to yourself.” I allowed that to sink in… I could accept that explanation, even if I did not enjoy being read like a book by that guy – who said I was an open book?
“Be kind to yourself.” It isn’t always easy to be kind to ourselves. We think of everyone else first, right? Especially as a mother… I have had conversations with other mothers over the last few days, and my heart really goes out to these women. Being a wife/mother does not mean losing sight of self. It also doesn’t mean holding yourself to unattainable expectations a perceived sense of perfection that leaves you feeling inadequate at the end of the day. Why do we do this to ourselves? Just yesterday, I explained to a friend, “It’s only been in the last two years that I have figured this out for myself. Please don’t think I have it all together!” Truth is, no one has it all together or all figured out. We all have our own journeys and paths to follow. So, on your individual path, be kind to yourself, allow yourself time, don’t compare yourself to others, and please, be true to yourself.
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” – Ernest Hemingway
I saw a poem reposted on Facebook. Not sure why I read it, I don’t typically read the wordy posts. It could have been the picture that grabbed me, or the few lines in the beginning? Whatever the case, a poignant poem where I felt as though the author somehow knew me – those parts of my past I am ashamed to tell. The words that impacted me in not so positive a way, that I have fought with all my might to overcome. A reminder that there are many women and men out there that survive bad relationships… I know this from clients, but to see it in black and white, I’m not the only one who has been called names… Sticks and stones – words do hurt.
As I reflected on the words in the poem, memories I didn’t know remained surfaced. It isn’t that I looked back with regret, it isn’t even that I became sad. It became more of a reflection of the relationships past. I can be rather hard on myself at best. I had to wonder, looking inward at me, choosing to be kind, perhaps the author was onto something…
“It is better for someone to break your heart once by leaving your life, than for them to stay in your life and break your heart continually.” – Terry Mark