We are so hard on ourselves. We are continually comparing, constantly looking outward at where everyone else is and what they’re doing, rather than smiling at the inherent wonder and beauty that is within us.
We are so quick to point out our own faults before recognizing these same characteristics in someone else. We are unwilling to accept that we are capable of change or new beginnings, even though we have no qualms about granting this patience and love to someone else.
When it comes to our mistakes, we hang onto them, holding them above our own heads. We are all too comfortable sitting with our guilt and shame, as opposed to letting go and learning to become stronger from this moment forward. We are unwilling to forgive ourselves, even though we can fully acknowledge how powerful this redemption is when we give it to someone else.
We are so tough on our little hearts.
This soul within us, this skin we embody—this is ours—for as long as we’re here. We will make mistakes. We will hurt the people we love. We will fall short, break, do the breaking. We will be powerless to the storms that rage around and within us. We will jump into arms that don’t care to catch us, and press our lips to mouths all too willing to kiss, and take, and leave. We will do and say things, get angry, lose our way.
But none of this defines us; none of these moments determine who we are.
We are our own worst enemies sometimes. But we don’t have to be. We don’t have to be forever pushing, as if we are not strong enough. We don’t have to be forever wishing, as if we are not capable. We don’t have to feed ourselves negativity, as if there wasn’t enough in the world already.
We don’t have to treat ourselves as if we are disposable, all the while searching for someone to treasure us in all the ways we are unwilling to treasure ourselves.
The truth is, if we choose to focus on what we don’t have, what we’ve lost, what we’re struggling with or not quite achieved—we’ll never make it to where we want to go. If we never let go of our pasts and failures, we’ll always be stuck in the same rut, spinning in circles—hoping but never moving.
We are not perfect. But we don’t have to be. We just have to keep going, keep loving, keep trying, keep sharing our heart with the world.
We must loosen our hold on the past, understand that everything comes and goes and failed moments do not equal a failed person.
So if you find yourself in a tough place, back against the wall, sins and shortcomings staring you in the face—close your eyes and breathe. Know that life is a journey and you won’t always be along the best path. Yet you are still capable of moving, of changing, of becoming something vastly different than you were before.
It’s not about perfection, not about being ‘right,’ or beating yourself up until you’ve ‘learned the lesson’ your mistake was supposed to teach you. Sometimes it’s not about trying so hard to have it all figured out, but smiling at what you’ve fought through, acknowledging where you’ve been as a stepping stone to where you’ll go.
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give yourself is nothing other than forgiveness—the will to stand up, dust off, and begin again.