There are times when we can meet the expectations we set for ourselves—when we can give and give without feeling the weight of it all. Times when it seems as if we are made of something otherworldly, not just blood and muscle and bone, for what we do is extraordinary. What we do is impressive. What we do is something that others look up to and admire.
Then there are other times when it all feels too much—when we feel as if another thing placed upon our plates will make us break. Times when we feel like we’re getting pulled in so many different directions, we will undoubtedly snap into a million tiny pieces.
And so we get frustrated. We get too hard on ourselves, punishing ourselves for not using our time efficiently, berating ourselves for not being where we’d hope to be, pushing ourselves to give more to our work, family, and communities.
When that happens, I hope you’re gentle with yourself, for you’re doing the best that you possibly can at this moment.
You have been treading water for what feels like days, and yet somehow, you have not slipped beneath the surface.
You have been running a marathon without a break, and yet somehow, your legs still carry you from one point to another.
You have been walking in the woods without a compass, yet somehow, you have managed to say the course.
I hope you’re gentle with yourself as you navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead. I hope you chase the dreams that you’ve set for yourself, but I hope you let yourself rest, too. I hope you pay attention to what your body, heart, and soul need, and I hope you nourish them all accordingly.
I hope you see that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for—but just because you can tread water, and run marathons, and walk without a compass in the woods, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to fall. To rest. To take a break.
Be gentle with yourself, for you’re doing the best that you can.