I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately for the book I’m writing. And by interviews I just mean that I get to sit and talk with some amazing women while they are brave enough to be vulnerable about some pretty heavy stuff in their lives. And you know what one of the most common themes I’m finding is?
We are so damn hard on ourselves.
We really are. All of us. Ridiculously hard on ourselves. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards.
I’ve spoken to women who have gone through infertility struggles, women who have been caretakers, women who have children with special needs, women with mental health issues, women who have struggled with homelessness, women who love someone who struggles with addiction, women with chronic illness, and women who have escaped toxic marriages. Women who have felt alone, misunderstood, and tired. Women who have felt like they haven’t done enough, been enough, accomplished enough.
All of these women have been through hell and come out the other side with a battle cry and a motherfucking sword in their hand. They are warriors.
But sometimes when we go through hell, we can become the devil in our own ear. The way our inner voice talks to us sometimes is downright abusive.
Everyone else is getting so much more done than you. You’re worthless.
Crying again? You can’t even keep your shit together for one minute.
Look at how fat you are. Can’t even resist temptation. You have no self-control.
You call yourself a Christian? You just typed the f-word in a blog.
You don’t spend enough time with your kids. You’re a shitty mom.
Look at all the wonderful things in your life, and you’re still not happy. You’re an ungrateful, miserable person.
Why are we so good at being hard on ourselves? We go through the day thinking about all the ways we’re failing. How we aren’t _____ enough. Whatever your blank is. Skinny. Rich. Talented. Stable. Happy. Present. We feel guilt upon guilt upon guilt and so much shame.
Sister friend, you have got to give yourself some grace. You’re doing your best with what you have. We all are. Everyone is struggling in some way, and your struggle is just as valid as everyone else’s.
Should you have goals and dreams and self-discipline? YES! But please stop being so cruel to yourself. You’d never talk to someone else you love in such a way. And I’m here to tell you that no one is thinking the things about you that you are thinking about yourself. (And if they are, they have some inner demons that they need to focus on and work through. Best to distance yourself for a while.)
Give yourself a little bit of grace and kindness and love today. Be kinder to yourself and watch how your soul responds. You’re a warrior. But you have to stop going to war with yourself.
Grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.