Being Kind to Myself
June 14, 2022

One of the hardest lessons in life that I struggle with every day is to be kind to myself. As a parent, author, chronic illness survivor, and human, it is hard to remember this simple truth: Being myself is enough. I don't need to overachieve, which was a part of my life since childhood.


Mentally losing motivation and will is a serious problem in today's society, accounting for too much angst and suffering in our lives. It's easy to compare ourselves to the best attributes of others, not their overall packages. One person is better than me at one thing and the next at something else. If I compare myself to the greats in each category, then I set myself up for disappointment. Competing in all things has consistently lead to over-doing it. I’d rest too little and eventual I burned out, a factor that may have contributed to and compounded my illness.

| “Remember, be kind to myself.”


I suffer from depression. That ugly beast visited me at various stages in life, often critical ones. When I’m down, the ugly demon of self-deprication bites into my view of self worth. Depression and self-loathing go hand in hand, fingers entwined in a chaotic evil embrace. On my descent into the hell of pain and an endless stream of random symptoms, I could do less and less, which ruined my self-esteem and sent me into a downward vortex, and therefore a vicious onslaught of self-loathing.

| “Be kind to myself.”


As an introverted author, a lonely profession, isolation contributes to the challenge of being kind to myself. Further, there I’m always faced with the question of whether people will like what I created. Putting myself out there for the judgment of others is hard. Luckily, I have lots of practice from my days as an academic, so I know how to compartmentalize criticism…most of the time.

| “Remember, be kind to myself.”


It is too easy to ask whether I’m doing a great job at my most important role. The stakes are so high, and I have no idea if my kiddos will succeed at becoming fully formed humans. By success, I don't mean in their careers. I’m referring to emotional stablility. Yet, I won’t know if I’ve done my job until they are adults, at which point the damage may have already been done. That “if” sometimes plagues me, moreso now that I’m terribly limited mentally, emotionally, and physically.

| “Be kind to myself.”


Everyone should receive an act of kindness from time to time. We live in a world where it is easy to assign blame and villainize those with different opinions, goals, and levels of talent. Anger toward others might make me feel better for a moment but results in chronic angst and stress. It has been proven over and over that helping others improves ones views of self-worth.

| “Remember, be kind to myself.”


I wish I could have read and believed in posts like this while I strived to achieve great things and even more so when I descended into chronic illness. I used to believe that if I focused on my flaws in a negative way, I'd learn to be better. Doing so can be a powerful tool for motivation, but not a good one for happiness. I am proof that it is possible to learn to be kind to yourself.

I hope this post helps even one person. If you're suffering and need someone to chat with, please message me on Twitter or Facebook.

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J.F. Lawrence | Jesse Lawrence
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