This weekend I missed two separate buses to NYC and spent an extra $270 on a last minute train ticket in order to make it to my grandmother’s birthday brunch. Which I showed up to late, sans gift, and sporting a mass of crazy windblown hair and snow-drenched clothes.
And I had a wonderful time.
A few years ago, however, this would not have been the case. I would have been so caught up in a mental loop of self-criticism that the whole afternoon would have been toast.
I’ve decided to forgive myself.
For missing buses. For making cringe-worthy typos in important emails. For getting parking tickets. For fumbling my words when I want to appear calm, cool, and collected. For unintentionally hurting people I love. For getting hurt. And for being absolutely, completely and irrevocably imperfect.
And I invite you to do the same.
Because no matter what mistakes you’ve made or how you’ve failed to measure up, you are deeply and completely OK.
Self-forgiveness isn’t about granting yourself a free pass from trying your best or from making amends for your mistakes. But it is about softening your inner dialogue when you do miss the mark, and treating yourself with as much kindness, compassion and love as possible.
And it’s not just for your own benefit. Because how you are with yourself is ultimately how you will be with others. And just as you will F up royally from time to time, so too will the people you love.
The more regularly you practice forgiving yourself and others, the more happiness, freedom and love you will experience, causing a ripple effect in the world.
So the next time you do something you wish you hadn’t and feel yourself getting sucked into that familiar cycle of self-criticism, pause. Take a few deep breaths and try a gentler approach. It’s a better way to live. Promise.