Be patient with yourself.
We wait for flowers to grow, diligently watering them, turning their petals to the sun. We stand beside our best friends, holding tissues and leaning closer so they can rest their tired heads on our shoulders, never telling them to wipe their tears, to hurry their healing. We wait for buses, for trains, for stoplights. We give so many chances to people, to the world, but never to ourselves. We’re so tender when it comes to little ones, to animals, to lives that are not our own.
Why is it that we can’t extend that same patience to our own beating hearts?
We expect our brokenness to resolve in a matter of minutes, of days. When we’re shattered, we want to rush, want to glue our pieces back together, want to get over him or her so quickly. But we forget that we are only human, that our souls are beautiful, but can only take so much. We forget that un-remembering the taste of someone’s lips or their touch on your skin takes time.
We forget that every day we’re lifting our head from the pillow counts as something. We forget how strong we truly are.
When we fall down, we want to rise back to our feet in seconds. We don’t want to mourn, want to wait, want to go through the process of building ourselves back. We just want to be okay. Immediately. We just want to pretend nothing happened, just want to move on.
But when we don’t give ourselves the time and space to grow, we won’t. We’ll forever be stuck in an endless loop of self-pity, of defeat, of longing for a person who’s left this earth or left our lives. We won’t ever be happy.
So why don’t we extend the same gentleness that we give the world to ourselves?
We have to be patient. Like we are with flowers, with children, we must take careful steps. We must build a fortress around us so that we can re-strengthen, rebuild. We must speak positive words to ourselves, must encourage rather than berate. We must find the good to focus on. We must not only forgive those who have hurt us, but more importantly, forgive ourselves.
We must understand that life is not easy, won’t ever be. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of rising, of making something beautiful out of the pieces we’ve been given.
We must understand that we are only human—we are bound to make mistakes, to scrape our knees, to let our loved ones down, to hurt and be hurt—but we are also destined for incredible things if we give ourselves a chance. If we learn to love who we are as much as we love the things and people around us.
We have to be gentle.
Let ourselves grow at our own pace. Let our hearts beat to their own slow rhythms as we unlearn the love we thought we’d have forever. Let our souls shine with their inherent brightness, instead of soaking up the dullness of the world. Let ourselves fall down, be confused. Let ourselves begin again, but in the process don’t rush.
We are doing just fine.