From my childhood, my mother taught me how to talk to elders, how to not be rude to people, how to treat everyone with respect and so much more about how to treat others. I think except on the days I have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I am generally pleasant, respectful and good to others (I think, at least in my head). But the recent days I have come to a realization. Parents, teachers, our mentors or whoever is giving us a lesson gives it from their perspective on how to behave in a society. All that is good. We live in a civilized society. We cannot function without each other and we cannot live our daily lives without other people supporting us through it. No matter how self sustaining you think you are, everyone needs at least one other person to help them out even in a small way. But you also need yourself – to work through the things in your life, to be a sane civilized human being in the society, to exist.
So everyone you meet in your every day life, they teach you something, anything, even if it is a very small thing, it is something. But, the thing that people don’t teach you is – how to be kind to yourself. They really don’t. And times when you really need to be respectful to yourself – you dive into self loathing, self criticism, hatred for oneself, injuring yourself, eating foods that don’t help you in any damn way, hurting yourself in ways you and only you know would hurt you the most. Nobody teaches you how to take care of yourself. All the self help articles, medical professionals and counselors everyone talks about taking your time, doing things that help you heal and talking about it to someone. So many, many, many things to try and heal. All that is great advice but it is not tailored advice. It never is. It is again, from their perspective things that “might” help you which have helped others. Others who have been kind enough to listen to others. Others who have taken their time to heal. Others who have learnt somewhere along the way to be kind to themselves.
You would think it would be common practice to be kind to oneself. I have realized it is not. As much as we like to blame others out loud or show our anger on others, our inner conscience knows who’s at fault really. Every scenario, every situation in life, there comes a point where everyone thinks, was there something I could have done. Why did I do something the way I did. What is wrong with me. I wish I could have done it differently. It is an easy question to ask yourself. Very easy because there is no one else to negate it or question it or say yes you are at fault. Retrospectively, you know you could have done better because you have had all the time in the world to think of alternate solutions and other ways a problem could have been solved or how things could have worked out differently, but given a time machine to send you back to that moment and given the information you had at the time you made your decision, you would still make the same choices and do what you did. That is how humans work. That is how time works.
I am not here to pour out some long drawn out advice because I have none. I am still struggling with how to be kind to myself. I still don’t know how to tell myself it is okay to make mistakes, how to not be so self critical that I lose my sanity, how to not blame myself for every little thing not going my way. This big rant right here, is my frustration that I never learnt how to be kind to myself. I never learnt how to not be angry with myself for everything. I never learnt how to let go and just be.
The funny part is, no matter how much you blame yourself, you continue to exist and live and move on and continue to face things you fear. So why not do it with some courage. Why not do it with some self love. Why not do it with the fact that you and only you can hold yourself and pull yourself up. Because time never stops and neither do you. Time will make people and memories fade away from your life but not how you feel about yourself. So why let that time move on with so much self hatred? You have an entire life to live with yourself. Be kind to yourself.