Be kind to yourself

If you have an Apple device you are well aware of the regular updates you have to run to ensure that your phone or tablet continues to run smoothly. The performance of apps improves with every update, ideally. So, even though you may be annoyed that something doesn’t work 100%, with the next update it is sorted and you do not waste a thought on how less good it performed before the update. Update – new version – sorted. So why is it that we beat ourselves up for actions from months or years ago?

The retreat opened my eyes to focus more on how I communicate with people, how I talk to myself and what a difference it makes. We oftentimes are not very good at talking nicely to ourselves, we hiss the harshest words and ugly things, calling ourselves names of all sorts. Would we talk to friends or loved ones like this? No. Would we talk to acquaintances or strangers like this? No, certainly not.

So why is it OK to behave in such a way towards ourselves? We are our biggest asset, treasure, friend and companion. So remember to be nice to yourself! Don’t beat yourself up about mistakes you make – mistakes are nothing more than a lesson, move on and make it better next time. Don’t berate yourself for something that went wrong three years ago, you can’t go back and do it differently, so draw a line underneath it and look ahead.

Coming back to the app update example at the beginning, every new day, every time we wake up in the morning we are a new version of ourselves. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter anymore. We may have made mistakes, yes, but we do not berate ourselves – instead we will try to make the best of the day ahead, fixing mistakes if possible. If we promise ourselves to be the best version of ourselves today, there is nothing to be angry or upset about – we do the best we can, that’s all we can expect. From ourselves and from others.

It’s a challenge I set to myself every morning. And there are days when it is really hard. Absolutely. But as we are ‘plotting on’ anyway, we can do it in a gentler way. Therefore, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself of what you have accomplished, and be proud of it.

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