We all need to learn to be kinder. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it agin. Kindness is what is needed to make this world better than the way it is now. There’s just one problem.
It’s not always an easy choice to be kind.
Kindness is difficult to show to others. It can be damn near impossible to show to ourselves.
We can be jerks to each other, but we can be the absolute worst when it comes to being better to ourselves.
We hear it all the time that we’re our own worst enemies. When I’m not able to complete a task or if I make a mistake, I beat myself up repeatedly until a new mistake is made to replace it. Then lather, rinse, repeat.
Take my writing for instance or, rather, my lack of writing.
When I can’t write or if I write something that receives negative feedback, I feel guilty and stressed. This depresses me which makes me unmotivated to write, which makes feel guilty. I beat myself up and get in my own way. Even when I do write, if the writing doesn’t come easy, I feel like I’ve failed. Maybe it’s my personality. If things don’t fall perfectly into place, I feel really terrible.
So basically since life rarely offers a truly, one-hundred percent perfect day, I feel bad quite a lot.
I will be completely honest, I don’t often have good days anymore. One detail falls out of its perfect place, and I place the day squarely in the bad category. A bad thing happens, the day becomes bad, and then I feel bad.
Then, I feel bad for feeling bad.
I think sometimes we try to diminish our own sufferings and stress as if we don’t have a right to them. We can often feel so guilty if we feel sad or stressed about a break-up or a bad day when we see such tragedies on the news. Sure, there are terrible things going on in this world, and it can seem like our own issues just aren’t worthy of stress or sympathy.
There is a phrase I have heard hundreds of times from friends and family, even from strangers.
“Other people have it worse than you do.” Gee, thanks. That doesn’t make me feel worse. People usually say this to try and help you put things in perspective, and it does. However, it doesn’t alleviate the bad feeling that occurred due to your bad thing; it usually just makes you feel guilty for feeling bad in the first place, and it absolutely shouldn’t.
Let me say this once and for all: you have a right to be sad, frustrated, stressed, or scared. Whether you are going through a devastating crisis, just had a rough day at the office, are suffering from a mental or physical illness, or something somewhere in the middle, your feelings matter. Just because someone else seems to be in a worse situation, it doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel bad or stressed. You can be sad if you feel sad; you don’t have to feel guilty.
Remember this though: You have a right to stress and suffer over whatever situation, but you don’t have to stay that way forever.
Take it easier on yourself and take care.