To Love Yourself “As Is” (Part 1)
“Be kind to others,” they told her.
“Be kind to yourself.” She didn’t hear much of that.
Maybe they assumed she just would be. But despite the radiant smile on her face, the voice in her head said, “Not good enough.”
It wasn’t enough.
It was never enough.
For years she tried to reach perfection’s highest rung, but she missed again and again and again.
And then she had little ones of her own. At first their messiness and mistakes reminded her of her own imperfections. She found herself losing it over trivial mishaps and typical kid issues. But living in the shadow of fear and inadequacy was not the life she wanted for her children. She made every effort to see beyond their mess and mayhem. And in her children’s disarray, their humanness, and in their silly little quirks, she saw something worthy of love and forgiveness. She offered them love without condition and restraint, and when she did, their little faces glowed with validation and acceptance.
To love someone “as is” was a gift, she realized.
So whenever her children messed up she’d say, “Be kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes.”
As the children grew, they started saying it to themselves and to each other. And one day, when she burned the bottom of the crockpot, the littlest one said it to her. “Everybody makes mistakes, Mama. Be nice to yourself.”
She wished someone had said it when she was young. But it wasn’t too late. Thirty-eight years of being unkind to herself was enough. It was quite enough.