November 21, 2016

Let This Be Your Kind Reminder To Be A Little Less Hard On Yourself

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What is the issue?
Vitaly Taranov
Vitaly Taranov

It’s easy to get down on a moment, to have the feelings of right now completely overpower what your perspective might otherwise remind you. At least, I’m often way too much at the mercy of my immediate feeling. And while my feelings for others do not change—ever—as a switch could, my feelings for myself do. Is this not the biggest heartbreak of all?

Harboring disappointment in ourselves can often feel like the one constant in life. It’s always something, you know?

The apartment not being more pristine. The clothes not fitting right. Our dragging through the day after no sleep. The text message we sent going unanswered. Not being further along professionally. Or, romantically. We can overcome one of these and sure enough one of the others will crop up in its place.

The reality that we can exist like this, day after day after day, is sad. And hard. It hardens us.

It hardens us because it’s unnecessary. We don’t have to feel behind on life just to motivate ourselves beyond our current circumstances. We need to applaud ourselves more for the small, daily rituals, for the small ways we splice through our own resistance. My God, I want to get good at celebrating that. I believe it could change everything.

When we have something to celebrate, we’ve got to allow ourselves to celebrate it irregardless of its grandiosity, perhaps in spite of grandiosity. And then, we must stay in that celebration without rushing off to tackle the next thing.

I’ve been down on myself lately, wanting more from myself. But then I received an email from a reader and that email took hold of me and kind of just shook me a little as if to say, “Snap out of it. You are achieving your dream. You are helping others, even one person, feel less alone. This is why you say you write. You’ve done it. You’re doing it.” This was a wake up call for me to slow down and notice my progress and appreciate the journey that I alone have set into motion one small and simple step and a few enormous leaps at a time.

This was a wake up call to love what is already happening.

My heart is no longer aching now that I have this reminder. And I’ve needed this reminder more than I’d want to admit. I’ve needed something for awhile now. Something like a message to come my way that tells me I’m allowed to appreciate myself—honor myself, celebrate myself. For the last several weeks, I’ve let myself become so discouraged by own thinking, so discouraged by the feelings that my own thinking then inspires. Like, the thought that “things” aren’t happening fast enough. Like, I’m not happening fast enough.

Mindset is everything and often I welcome far too much self-loathing into my life. I hate to imagine that my mindset peaks or tanks based on validation. But maybe, just maybe it helps.

Historically I can say that validation from the sidelines has never been enough, that ultimately one must believe in themselves and their own efforts before the glorious words of others can ever be felt. I have to acknowledge though that this message—this validation—has somewhat snapped me awake, has somewhat lifted my spirit up. As I said, I read the words coming in from one of my readers and immediately could feel my heart pound. But why?

Maybe it’s because I feel like there are no coincidences. Maybe it has something to do with my realizing how much faith a good life takes. Maybe it’s this want to believe that in some corner of the world there is some vague force that’s got my back, that doesn’t want me sinking again, that doesn’t want me falling backwards.

It’s almost as if every time I’m slipping up and on the edge of spiraling, of letting my mind be overtaken by doubt, something comes along—like, a reader’s message—as if to say, not so fast, as if to say, I won’t let you go there again. The “go there,” I realize, is the expectation (or perhaps myth) that “things aren’t happening fast enough,” that “I’m not happening fast enough.”

But what is this “happening” that I’m so greedy for?

My intention for writing has always been to help someone, somewhere feel seen, to help them feel less alone. And now look where I am, now look what I have. A single reader that’s come along to remind me that is happening. And I must celebrate it. I must celebrate the one person I am able to reach rather than wait for the day I can celebrate the 5,000. TC mark

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