“Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
I spent the last year learning how to be compassionate to myself. It sounds strange. It seems like it would be easy to be nice to yourself over anyone else, but it’s not always the case. I am my harshest critic. I am a perfectionist which sets my expectations very high for me. But, I find it very easy to be forgiving to everyone else, but I rarely forgive myself. I am getting better with time.
When I feel myself going into critical mode on myself, I am aware of it and then I find ways to let myself off the hook. Even now, I’m supposed to be resting because I spent hours last night working on something. Instead, I am sitting here writing this post and I have opened two other documents and a class that I need to take instead of relaxing. One day, I will master how to relax, but for now, I’m energized that I have the opportunity to do these things and they are at my fingertips.
But, here is another strange effect. When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world and everyone you meet. What you judge in others is what you judge in yourself. If that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t care. I get frustrated when I see someone who isn’t giving their all to something. But, I’m starting to realize that it is because of what I just described. I push myself too hard, therefore, I view someone else’s relaxation with judgement because I haven’t made peace with how to allow myself to relax. What you dislike in someone else or in your world is what you haven’t made peace with within yourself.
I’ve decided that 2013 is going to be the year I let myself off the hook. I’m going to make peace with the parts of myself that I don’t allow myself to experience. The part of myself that says you have to keep working and keep creating and you haven’t earned fun yet. That part of myself is so annoying, but I need to find the balance. It’s wonderful that I have a great work ethic, but I know that if I don’t balance it with fun that I will drive myself to destruction.
I’m even thinking that I need to change some direction on this blog. There are so many more things to talk about and I have an opinion about every part of life. So, I’ve decided to expand what I talk about. There will be enlightening pieces, but let’s get into more about sex, relationships, pop culture. I’ve decided to open it up. I hope that you will be inspired to let yourself off the hook.
It’s easy to be your own harshest critic and restrict yourself from enjoying life. Look at your life and see where you may have placed unfair rules on yourself. Often, what we hate in others is due to the restriction we have placed on ourselves. I’m going to spend this year undoing some of the ties that bind me and allow myself to have more fun. Maybe, you will join me.
Let me know your thoughts. Share in comments.