BY: T. Franklin Murphy | June 2018
Life is difficult enough without the need of a harsh inner critic. Try being kind-- to yourself.
The beautiful complexity of a complicated world. We dynamically dance through life, bumping into experience, exchanging moments, and moving forward. Each collision with life demands a choice—an action. Emotions arouse and push towards or pull away from the stimulation. Sometimes we react perfectly, achieving the desired goal, other times our response fails. We zigged when should have zagged. We fearfully retreat when we should have embraced. Error is a given for living in a complex world, while driven to act by unseen internal forces. With patience and direction, we refine our skills to appropriately respond to life—not perfectly; but effectively.
All too common, we expect a better performance from ourselves. Somehow, this unscripted life is supposed to be perfectly navigated. And when post evaluation exposes error, we grumble about our stupidity. Stop that nasty habit. Self-denigration gets you nowhere; embrace a little self-compassion. Personal imperfection is okay. We are imperfect (perfectly imperfect). We never eliminate all the mistakes, missteps and even occasional evilness. Weaknesses impose on our lives, reminding of our human heritage. Mistakes are here to stay.
A single choice doesn’t define the entirety of our character—as poor as that choice may be. A skilled approach evaluates the self by examining the entirety of choices—and our adjustments to faulty choices. It’s okay to make mistakes. We live effectively by recognizing mistakes and consciously addressing them. Patience and self-compassion must accompany this process of becoming. Expecting perfection frustrates the process. Through introspective thinking and compassionate understanding, we gain wisdom from errors. And with the wisdom, we improve at the skill of living.
When we harshly judge the normal slips and stumbles, we undermine personal value. By lowering self-image, we invite discouragement. This mindset weighs down the mind and drains precious energy, focusing on the self instead of the actions. We inevitably will make more mistakes. We need to lift our heads, widen our perspectives and view life with more kindness. The softness of kind-sight will create an internal support system to lift us through the difficult challenges of change.
Give your self a little more kindness and thrive.
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