We are told to be kind; to give and to sacrifice, to sympathize and to forgive. To make the world a better place for everyone. And all of this is grand. But as you do these things for everyone, you shouldn’t forget to do them for yourself. You shouldn’t forget to be kind to yourself.
So when you love, love hard. Give our absolute best. But that doesn’t mean that you should accept crumbs. That you should accept to be guilt-tripped and manipulated into becoming a doormat and a punching bag. No. You should not be shy about asking, receiving and taking. You should not stay when you are not wanted or beg people to stay when they want to leave.
Recognize that you are on your own, and you are your own person first and foremost. When people walk into your life, they are not obligated to stay. So be kind to yourself and stop brooding over bygone situations and people and move on with your life.
Being kind to yourself means that you have to embrace and delight in the limitations of humanity. It means putting your best foot forward staying aware that you are not in complete control of the outcome. And so things might not work out sometimes despite your best effort.
But the fear of failure shouldn’t keep you from trying. Because delighting in your humanity also means recognizing that it is laughable to be afraid when you are mortal. To treat life with so much fragility and yet you’re eventually going to lose it. So just go all out and if things do not work out, take comfort in knowing that you gave your best.
If it is your fault that something has failed, be kind to yourself. Remember that you are human and therefore fallible. So be honest and accept responsibility for your mistakes, learn from them, and then be kind to yourself enough to forgive yourself and carry on.
People have expectations. Some unrealistic, and others selfish. Be kind to yourself enough to stay true to who you are. You can be of service to other people without changing yourself into someone else, someone that you do not recognize or like. So give without spreading yourself thin and learn to say no.
As you get older, you get a great deal of unsolicited advice about different aspects of life. You will be told to aspire to a particular definition of success. You will be told that your standards for a potential spouse are too high. Be kind to yourself enough to stay firm about what you want because you alone will deal with the consequences of your choices.
And you should not self-deprecate to make people feel better about themselves. Do not downplay your intellect to protect people from feeling intimidated. Do not make derogatory remarks about yourself. Celebrate your victories. Be happy.
But most of all, being kind to yourself means recognizing that you need people. Take down your walls and let people in. Laugh genuinely and love freely. Live.
– Elizabeth Buhungiro