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Be Good To Yourself

This week's blog post is about being good to yourself. Really, it's about forgiving yourself. I consider myself an expert on this subject since I've had to forgive myself OVER and OVER and OVER again. I expect that at least some of you can relate. Especially if you are a perfectionist or a high achiever. I don't consider myself the former, but I AM the latter....It was impressed upon me, at an early age - that if I just worked hard enough - studied hard, practiced often, didn't fool around or screw up, I could go far in life. Which is a valuable thing to learn - I think it's important to learn the value of hard work and reaping the rewards of what you sow. However, things don't always quite work out the way we plan. And sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes, even when we don't make mistakes someone else simply does better or is better at something. Maybe we don't get the job we applied for, or we lose a job, we lose a friend, or our marriage fails (I've experienced ALL of these, btw!). These BIG losses in our lives cause us to self-reflect (as we should) - but high achievers can be incredibly hard on themselves when they fall short of their own expectations. That's where the forgiveness comes in. Self-reflection is important - especially when relationships end that are important to us. It's good to be honest with yourself - maybe even take time to go on a retreat and self-examine. What could we have done better? What mistakes did we make? If you don't take the time to self-reflect, you run the risk of repeating the same mistakes in future relationships. And that self-reflection process may take time. It may be months, or even years. However, it's also important to forgive, let go and move on. Be kind to yourself. If you end up blaming yourself constantly or hating yourself, you also will not be able to move on and engage in healthy relationships, and you risk falling into depression, or worse. Sometimes, as in when we don't get that job or role we applied for, we never know why or what we could have done better. But we still have to accept that the timing wasn't right or that there are other things waiting ahead of us and move on towards those things or we are stuck running on a treadmill that doesn't go anywhere. I'm going to use a sports analogy here. We all know what it's like to watch our favorite baseball team lose a big game - the playoffs or the World Series. I've always wondered what it's like for that poor guy who is responsible for the last out in the playoffs, or likewise who makes the final out that loses the Series. Except that the reality is that the loss doesn't really rest on that person's shoulders alone. Failure isn't typically relegated to a moment in time that could have been avoided. It is usually a combination of things or events that culminate in a final action. In other words - there were other losses before that last game. There were probably multiple mistakes made by several players. In a sport like track or tennis - perhaps the player who doesn't place or win the game wasn't feeling well, wasn't at their best that morning - maybe they weren't practicing at their highest level - maybe the other player was simply stronger or better. It doesn't mean the person who loses IS a failure. But, in life we don't celebrate our failures or our losses. We either obsess about them or we move on to the next game or the next thing. We hear a lot on social media - especially from inspirational speakers who tell us that when they just made a decision to follow their dream or bliss, that everything "just fell into place" - the way was shown to them, the right people and finances showed up and everything was right in the world. One person's facebook page I read literally said, "When you have PASSION, PURPOSE and a desire to make a DIFFERENCE in the world - the Universe will CONSPIRE to make it happen...doors magically open, people just show up, and resources suddenly appear." I'm here to tell you - that doesn't happen for all of us, and please do not beat yourself up if it doesn't happen that way for you. Most of us simply work hard everyday and when things don't work out, we look for another way. And we keep trying. My words aren't as shiny and don't sound as wonderful - but they are really real. Remember that song, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down...."? If you have support from people around you and are financially stable - you will be in a much better position to accept things if you should fail to achieve your goals and you will be able to more easily create new ones and you will have a better chance at success. That is true. But if you don't have access to those things - you have to find it deep in your soul - the courage to believe in yourself and be good to yourself. Because YOU are also the Divine incarnate. YOU are here and YOU matter and YOU have purpose. There is nothing wrong with you. I invite you now, today - to let go of all the times you may have fallen short of your own goals and expectations. To embrace tomorrow as a new day. Make new goals. Embrace yourself. Love yourself. Be Good to yourself. Because compassion for others starts with compassion for yourself. As one of my favorite singer/songwriters said, "Be good to yourself when, nobody else will, Oh be good to yourself. You're walkin' a high-wire, caught in a crossfire Oh be good to yourself" - Steve Perry, Journey

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