Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

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Maybe our parents, our teachers, our friends assumed that being kind to ourselves was a given. That we would just be.

Walking through the world with a smile on my face and an internal whisper that says, I am not enough, I failed, or I should have done better. Perfection was always just out of reach. The perfection that everyone else was seemingly able to achieve, except for me. 

No matter how hard I tried I just kept coming back to, I am not enough, I failed, or I should have done better.

And then one day I was watching my daughter try to paint a doggie, with 11 legs, and the paint dripped down making the 12th line. 

Its ruined! my 2-year old exclaimed. I messed it up and now it is ruined.  I’m not good at painting.

Watching this scene unfold I saw the words that I thought were only whispered in my mind, where no one else could hear them, I am not enough, I failed, or I should have done better, run through my daughter’s mind. The shadow of self-doubt the bite of perfection that without words my sweet daughter was learning. 

I grabbed her up, wrapped her in my arms, and said, Be kind to yourself my sweetest love, it was a mistake. You are an amazing artist and mistakes happen. Let’s use that line for the tail.

In that moment I made a choice, to love the imperfection within me and within her. To change the internal monologue to say something else… be kind to yourself, perfectly imperfect, and try, try again.

Within my daughter’s imperfection, I was able to see the love and forgiveness I needed.  Unconditional love is a powerful thing. Often given freely to our children, it can feel so hard to give to ourselves.

MANTRA

You might need a mantra, here is one of my personal favorites:

Be kind to yourself. All the love today.

Take 2 minutes and breathe, deeply in and out your nose and repeat the mantra. Begin to find more kindness and love for yourself. 

Sahra Cahoon