I have been accused, more than once in my life, of being “too hard on myself.” I will not deny this. However, speaking on behalf of all the people in the world who tend to be hard on themselves, it isn’t helpful. What we generally hear when people say that is, “You’re too hard on yourself. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Stop doing that,” which we will add to the long list of activities we are already should-ing ourselves about.
I know, it’s messed up.
I can be hard on my soul. And while pushing myself might help me accomplish more, it’s not life-giving.
My soul needs gentleness.
This is what God has been whispering to me the last few weeks, “Be gentle with yourself” and I say, “that sound like a great idea, God. What does that look like?”
Being gentle with my soul looks like grace. It looks like taking a deep breath and enjoying the moment. It looks like letting go of the should’s and ought’s and could have’s. It looks like smiling at the mistakes and moving on. It looks like compassion for ourselves.
This week, for me, it’s looked like seeing the to do list still undone at the end of the day and saying, “It’s ok.” It’s looked like turning around and apologizing for a quick word and forgiving myself in the process. It’s looked like saying, “You’re enough.”
So what could you say that would be helpful to the “too hard” crowd? Maybe the question, “I wonder what it would look like for you to be gentle with yourself right now?” However you say it, do it gently. Our souls need it.
What does gentle look like for you?
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