The majority of us are taught from an early age about being kind to those around us; family, friends or people we come in contact with only briefly. What about being kind to ourselves? Merriam-Webster defines kind (the adjective) as “having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.”
It is easy to be kind when people are treating you nicely, your health is good, you are feeling happy and life is going smoothly. The same thing can be said for being kind to you; however, the truth is that we all make mistakes, some large, some small. Some of us even make mistakes and regret things we’ve done that we would say are unforgivable and cause far-reaching consequences and hurt, to others and ourselves.
At this point in my life, all mistakes are the same to me. Of course there are ones that are easier to handle and those that are much more serious, they all show our individual weaknesses as a person, and our actions are usually based on our current knowledge and what we have been taught and learned throughout our lives. It is inevitable that we will make bad decisions, and that is where kindness comes in. I love the quote by Buddha that says,“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” We need be kind to ourselves, be gentle and understanding that we are going to make mistakes, that is how we learn and grow.
When I am feeling down about something I’ve done, berating myself internally, I usually call upon my ‘inner person’ to have a ‘talk’ with myself. Much like how I would talk to a good friend who made the same mistake, I’ll go over what happened, why, and what I have learned from the experience. Then I’ll follow up with the thoughts of “You’re okay, you are still a good person and trying to be better. It’s okay to make mistakes.” I give myself the same benefit of the doubt that I give others.
One of my favorite all time quotes is-
I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I’m thinking of making a few more. -Unknown
We will all make mistakes over and over; sometimes even the same mistakes, it’s a part of life, something we need to accept, and learn to show ourselves kindness so we can learn what we need to and move past what happened.
Sam Russell wrote an excellent post on TinyBuddha.com How to Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Mistakes It’s a great read if you have time!