I see the perfectionist in her already. Her fear of not knowing the answer, her fear of not doing it right the first time. Her fear of trying, her fear of failing. Her concern about what people will think. I see her holding back, afraid of pushing to places unfamiliar and uncomfortable. For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been an observer, taking in the whole before engaging in the parts. It aches me to see myself in her.
This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-compassion and what makes it possible to get there and stay there. Somehow it was easier for me to start with them.
For you I want:
To believe you can change your mind. If you give it a good go and find yourself somewhere you don't want to be, you get to change it. It won't always be easy but it's fair. You are worth it. Your ability to be available for anyone else depends on it.
You don't always need the right answer the first time around; don't let it hold you back. Ask for help, ask for what you need. And when you don't know, still ask for help.
Laugh. A lot. It’s contagious and people need it, including you.
Surround yourself with all types of people. Those you can learn from, those you can teach. When you have the answer, share it. Share your experience, share your failures, and share your wisdom. There is so much more to learn when you teach. It will enhance your experience.
Live big in the little places with those you love. It's not the big news, the big trip, or the big weekend that counts. It's the strength that comes from the little ways you connect with them in between.
Stay where it’s uncomfortable. It’s not about being perfect or arriving at the end. Real work, real growth happens right in the middle of it all.
Ask for what you need. Ask for what you want. Expect it, you deserve it. People can’t read your mind so communicate it, lovingly.
Listen to that quiet voice inside. It means what it says no matter how much you try to silence it. It knows.
Things don't always work out the way you want. Or, the way they're supposed to. And sometimes, it won't make sense for a very, very long time.
You can't always fix it or change it. You can’t always help. Protect yourself.
Surround yourself with healthy souls. Sometimes when you don't know what you need, they do.
Lean in. Feel it. Let it happen. Allow yourself to have a reaction. Be brave enough to move past it.
Let bad days happen. It means you're growing, it means you care enough about something that’s not working.
Find your one thing. Find something that makes you passionate, something to neutralize and bring balance. A place where you stop to restart. Be selfish about it. It’s yours. Protect it, prioritize it, and make it important, because you are.
When I started this blog six years ago, I had no idea how much would be revealed to me. The value in documenting life, appreciating the sum of small ordinary moments, creates greater meaning and understanding in the whole of this experience.