No matter who we are, what we have been through or whether we think we are worthwhile, we all deserve to be kind to ourselves. However, for many of us we are unable to welcome any form of kindness, often forsaking our own mental health and wellbeing due to the held belief that we, for whatever reason imaginable, do not deserve to be kind to ourselves.
I have struggled immensely with this very issue, ignoring my own mental health needs and struggles because I have believed that I do not deserve to treat myself with kindness.
After entering into the professional workforce earlier this year, I had become highly aware of the expectations that others placed upon me. This motivated me to meet, but also exceed, the expectations that others had of me at the time, leading me to work tirelessly to prove myself to those who I had grown to deeply respect and admire.
However, I soon realised that I couldn’t meet these expectations, no matter how hard I tried.
After coming to this stark realisation, I started to tell myself that I did not deserve to treat myself with kindness, as how could I, after letting those closest to me down, be kind to myself?
This led me to disregard my own mental health and wellbeing, as well as thinking it selfish of myself to welcome any form of kindness after failing to make those around me proud.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised that, no, I do deserve to be kind to myself. This stemmed from a simple yet entirely profound realisation: we are imperfect creatures. When we stumble, we reach for a shoulder to lean on. When we fall, we stand back up.
While we may think that we cannot treat ourselves with kindness because of who we are, what we have been through or whether we think we are worthwhile, we are not perfect, and that imperfection does not, and subsequently shouldn’t, stop us from being kind to ourselves.
It is in accepting my imperfections that I have been able to view myself in a more positive light and, more specifically, come to the realisation that it is not selfish to be kind to ourselves, even during our darkest and most desperate moments.
It is sharing my struggles with accepting this simple truth that I hope to reassure you that, while we may not be perfect and make mistakes, while we may be hard on ourselves and push others away, we all deserve to treat ourselves with kindness, now and forever.