Anyone who has known me for a long time will agree that I used to operate in turbo mode. I’ve always prided myself on being an independent woman. There were always a gazillion things on the go, place to go, people to see, money to make….and the list could go on and on. I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. The expectations I held myself to, have always been very high, and I would put a ton of pressure on myself to meet those expectations. The thought of lowering my expectations, in my head, meant I was giving up. To me, it meant that I was letting my illnesses win. Letting them defeat me. I have since realized that it doesn’t mean that at all. The harder I fought to keep doing everything I was doing, the worse my health was getting. It took awhile, but I finally realized that it wasn’t my illnesses that were defeating me by having to adjust my expectations. I was in fact defeating myself by NOT adjusting my expectations! It was an enlightening moment.
Learning how to be gentle with myself and to cut myself some slack has been challenging. Allowing myself to be realistic about what I expect from ME. To realize that not everything has to be perfect, and my happiness should not be based on whether my house is clean, or my laundry is caught up. That it is okay to let others help you when you need help. I’ve had to let a lot of things go. Some things have been a bit easier to accept than others, but all in all it has reduced the pressure I place on myself and the stress I feel as a result of it all. I’ve learnt to be happy with each and every accomplishment, whether it is big or small, instead of beating myself up for what I am unable to do. What I do hold myself to, is to do my best each day, no matter what that ends up being.
I try to remind myself that my inner voice should be the same voice I would use to talk to a loved one. I don’t judge or criticize others for what they don’t do, or are unable to accomplish. I treat my loved ones with respect, care, and the compassion they deserve. We all deserve to be treated this way don’t we? Especially, from ourselves. My inner-self has been so much more at peace, when I started working with her, instead of against her. Each day I try to take steps towards being a friend to myself, rather than being my own worst enemy.
Today, I hope you too, will be gentle with yourself.
~ Gentle Hugs