“We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love,” author Lori Deschene once wrote.
Some of those motivational coaches on social media would argue differently. Still, there’s no beating around the bush: even if you constantly criticized yourself (or your “past self”) as some form of motivation to reach your goal, at the end of the day, you got there through resentment.
And what’s the point of reaching that goal if you still harbor hate for yourself underneath it all?
For many, the past two years have been monumental in discovering what forms of self-care and healthy habits work best in nurturing our relationships with ourselves.
Social media apps like TikTok are abundant with daily self-care routines and “Day in My Life” videos that many viewers continue to enjoy and take inspiration from.
But what isn’t quite acknowledged are the days when it feels like the best decision is to stay in bed, the weeks when the healthy habits we’re pursuing seem to keep falling off, or the times when we were bad at something we swore we finally got the hang of.
These days are inevitable, and knowing they’re part of the process and choosing not to resent ourselves for having them is crucial to becoming a version of ourselves we’re proud of.
While healthy routines are essential, we also must stress the importance of treating ourselves with forgiveness and compassion when the slow days inevitably show up.
Just because you miss that ‘non-negotiable’ for a day or two doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve failed and deserve some form of punishment. Falling into a spiral of shame will only keep you in the same place.
As we grow into better versions of ourselves, whatever that may look like individually, learning to be forgiving and compassionate with ourselves when we miss the mark or slip a little is essential in developing our ability to get back up.
Just like we wouldn’t exactly love a friend that constantly berates and curses us out, doing the same to ourselves when we make mistakes or fall a little short won’t shape us into becoming a person we’re proud of.
So forgive yourself and treat yourself with compassion, knowing that whatever the setback and no matter how long it may take, the love you have for yourself will take you to where you want to be.