Be Kind to Yourself

Too often, we are our own worst critics and we move through life feeling as if we are not doing all we ‘should’ be doing.  Susan contributed these reflections triggered after observing this trend in a couple of forty-something accomplished individuals who were struggling.

Thought for today, by Mark  Nepo:  ‘The glassblower knows:  while in the heat of beginning, any  shape is possible.  Once hardened,  the only way to change is to break.’

Once again, as with Elizabeth Lesser’s book, ‘Broken Open,’ I am reminded of how we all have parts of ourselves which seem  broken.  It’s not our downfall this  brokenness, its part of the fiber of our lives.  And it is in looking at our lives – warts and all – with compassion, that begins to make us whole. 

Paul Ferrini wrote “In each moment  we are modeling something.  Sometimes it is fear.  Sometimes it is love.  The  question is not ‘How can we get rid of our fear?’  The question is, ‘How can we hold our  fear with love?”’  If fear is the  base of our flaws, our harsh judgments of how we are broken, what better way to  heal than to hold these aspects of ourselves in love, with the same  loving kindness in our hearts that we would a small child who has made a  mistake.  We are children,  children of God, and we forget that all of us are doing the best we can at any  given moment.  The courage it takes  to pick ourselves up, forgive ourselves for whatever we perceive needs forgiving  and move on – that is the courage of a compassionate traveler in this journey to  reach our best selves.  We are all  on this path, whether we know it or not.  Each must walk at his own pace, and know that in picking up the broken  pieces we have the opportunity to create the shape of the life we genuinely  want.

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