If you’re like most people, you probably put a lot of time and energy into trying to be kind to other people that you forget to be kind to the most important person in your life’s story–you. Now, I’m not trying to ignore the importance of being kind to others but I believe that if we aren’t kind enough with ourselves, it’s a bit more difficult to spread positivity around to the people around us.
When I talk about being kind to yourself, I’m not exactly referring to all the self-care stuff that we do such as going for facials, going for the occasional boozy brunches (we ALL love those don’t we? Ha!), taking a trip to re-discover one’s self, and all the other wonderful things. These are all amazing and, honestly, who doesn’t love self care days? It’s essential that you treat yourself once in a while and remind yourself that you’re wonderful and deserving of good things. If you’ve never had a self care day, I highly reccomend you take one asap! Anyway, I’m moving away from the point I’m trying to make, lol.
While it’s important to pamper yourself and do things that make you feel good and improve your mood, I’m referring more to the stuff that goes on inside of us, inside our hearts and our minds. We live in such a fast-paced society and everyone is trying so hard to be as successful as they possibly can–which is obviously a great thing–that we often times forget to take a couple moments out of our time to truly breathe and give ourselves a figurative pat on the back for all the stuff we’ve accomplished.
I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve mastered the art of being kind to myself, but I’ve begun my journey towards fully accepting who I am and where I am in life. I’m not where I want to be or rather, where I think I ought to be. I look around and I see most of the people I know doing big things and being ahead of me in a lot of aspects; and I won’t lie to you, I feel inadequate a lot of the time. However, I’ve learned that it’s completely unfair to me when I allow myself think and feel that way.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in wishing you had a better life, a better body, a better car, a better job, a better spouse even, but the truth is, no matter how much you have, there’s always going to be something better out there. I noticed that I had become so accustomed to focusing on the negative aspects of my life and all the things I wish I could change, that I didn’t always acknowledge the wins I had secured. I was being too hard on myself just because I felt I hadn’t done as much as I should have and this is, in part, because there are multiple messages out there on social media (and even from our family members) that are constantly telling us where we should be and what we should have achieved in our 20’s.
A lot of times, things don't go down exactly how you want them to and there might be a certain delay in achieving your goals. Don't be deterred, don't beat yourself up too much, just keep pushing.
I wrote like six different drafts for my second blog post, but none of the drafts felt right. The past couple of weeks were a bit weird for me emotionally, and I already started to feel down and had begun to have those negative thoughts and feelings that we all try to keep at bay. I felt like I was bad at yet another thing that I set out to do and as pathetic as it may sound, I ended up crying. Someone very special said to me, “Nasara, you’re being way too hard on yourself. The most important thing is you’re trying something different and you don’t have to be perfect at it. Doing it is enough.” Those words made me feel a lot better. After my mini mental breakdown, I began to think about how there are probably so many people out there who might feel the same way that I feel. There’s so much pressure, both internally and externally, to be the best person you can be, to attain certain goals at a certain age, to live a certain type of lifestyle, to always seem happy (even when things are spiraling out of your control), and these are just a tiny fraction of some of the pressures we deal with today.
If you’re like me and you struggle to not be so hard on yourself, I encourage you to take a deep breath and relax. Don’t let the world rush you, don’t let people rush you. A lot of times, things don’t go down exactly how you want them to and there might be a certain delay in achieving your goals. Don’t be deterred, don’t beat yourself up too much, just keep pushing. You may not know what exactly the next person had to go through to get where they are today. Also, remember that social media isn’t always a true reflection of people’s realities.
So, try to trust your own process, celebrate your victories (no matter how small they may seem), learn to love yourself, change some of those bad habits that you know you have, learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes and wrong choices that you made that may have led to certain bad life outcomes. You can’t beat yourself up about your past and you can’t be on the same level in life as everyone else. We are all uniquely different and special. Life is a journey, not a race. Focus on the present and what you can do now that can guarantee a more fulfilling future. Be kinder to yourself and see how much better life becomes for you and how much more positivity you can radiate to the people around you. I’m rooting for you!