Someone recently commented to me that they found me to be very self-aware and kind to myself. It’s interesting to hear how someone else views us, isn’t it? It sparked me to contemplate a little.

I suppose I endeavour to…


WHY? Probably because over the years I HAVE put lots of pressure on myself, been very self-critical. But being hard on myself doesn’t feel good, it’s as simple as that. Going easy on myself feels better.

~ LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING AND OPPORTUNITY in situations that might otherwise seem ‘bad’ or ‘unfortunate.’

WHY? This comes from my experience that looking for the humour or the incredulousness of a situation, or even considering ‘well, THIS will become a great story to share later’ brings me a little levity and fun, and feels better than dwelling in how much of a drag this situation is at the moment.


WHY? Likely in large part because I have experienced many larger goals NOT be realized for various reasons and frankly I just grew tired of wallowing in disappointment. It just feels better to cheer on the small successes – however small and seemingly mundane – rather than only focusing on a larger goal I ‘missed out on’ or ‘didn’t quite reach’ or ‘haven’t quite met.’ After all, I don’t think any of us were supposed to reach that goal we seemingly ‘missed’ at one time anyway – it just wasn’t meant to be at that moment, so why spend time lamenting it?

~ OBSERVE HOW I’M FEELING AND INVESTIGATE WHY. If I find myself reacting strongly, I get curious and ask myself: where might this feeling be rooted? Why am I really upset? What else could it be? Is it really about the situation or person or the thing that was said – maybe that was the trigger, but what assumption or belief does this bring about? What is this triggering for me?

WHY? Because I’ve discovered that the feeling is often rooted in something different than what it appears to be on the surface, or what initially ‘made me upset.’ Looking into this helps the initial reaction dissipate a little, because I’m disassembling it, I’m looking into it more deeply, and I’m open to it being about something else. Looking to find the root of the issue allows attention to be placed on things that might be more beneficial in resolving it and eventually feeling better and moving past it.

SO, WHAT HAS SPARKED ME TO ADOPT THESE PRACTICES? Part of it is simply trusting that even the seemingly ‘unfortunate’ events are leading to something new and different and better – that there really is no ‘wrong’ decision in life (a cautious exception might be decisions made intentionally to harm others in some way). Each one just leads to a different course of events to follow.

We assign ‘bad’ or ‘good’ to events. My favourite line from Shakespeare is from Hamlet: There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

BUT THE DISAPPOINTMENT, THE SELF-CRITICAL THOUGHTS, the being hard on myself – it’s not as though these feelings are no longer there for me. My initial internal reaction to something might still be frustration and I too get discouraged and upset. No matter how much inner work we have done, or how much we trust that things are working out – these are human reactions and natural emotions. We don’t want to get rid of them.

But perhaps I could say they’ve become more dulled over time? A little less strong? And maybe they last for less time?

While it’s become more reflexive and I’m perhaps quicker to become calm and at ease about things that don’t seem to be going ‘my way,’ sometimes it still requires a conscious reminder to bring myself back into the moment, back toward seeing an opportunity, noticing the positive, the glimmer of something brighter in my midst, and so on.

Also, an important part of going easy on myself is not being hard on myself for not going easy on myself 100% of the time. 😉

Inviting you to go easy on yourself today – perhaps look for a silver lining when something goes ‘wrong’ and cheer on your small successes. Look into the ‘why’ of your feelings and reactions a little – and see if it is helpful. ❤

(Photo by Johannes Plenio, pexels(dot)com)