“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” -Lama Yeshe
All too often we’re unforgiving and cruel to ourselves in a way we’d never treat our friends.
We’d never look a friend in the eyes and tell her she’s not good enough. We’d never beat a friend up over one mistake he made years ago. We’d never expect a friend to move mountains when she’s exhausted and clearly needs a rest.
Why do we sometimes do these things to ourselves?
But in much the same way we show love in relationships through tiny acts of appreciation and consideration, we can love ourselves through small, maybe even random acts of kindness.
For me, that means allowing myself to relax if I need to, even if I feel like I should be productive. It means treating myself to a nice lunch every now and then, even if I feel I should save money. It means responding to negative thoughts in my head with the same uplifting advice I’d give my sister.
Sometimes it also means seeing in the mirror that little girl who I used to be—the little girl who always did her best and wanted nothing more than to have someone hug her and tell her it was good enough. It’s my job to do that now.
It’s all of our jobs.
Today, give yourself the consideration and kindness you’d extend to the people you love. If you’re dissatisfied with your progress, remind yourself of all you’ve accomplished. If you made a mistake, cut yourself from slack. If you’re tired, take it easy.
All the goodness you put out into the world starts with how you treat yourself.
Photo by AlicePopkorn