I can be very hard on myself at times, and was especially so while going through my divorce.
I was constantly berating myself for everything:
If only I had looked my best throughout our marriage, kept off that extra five pounds, exercised more…
If only I hadn’t nagged so much…
If only I had given in, been more understanding…
I could come up with a million reasons to tear myself down, beat myself up, sure that the end of my marriage was my fault.
Then one day, I was listening to a friend in pain, share her own doubts about her abilities. Each time she began a sentence with “If only…” I comforted her, was gentle, compassionate and reminded her that her divorce had damaged her self-esteem and once time allowed her to heal, she would be able to see again that it wasn’t all her fault, that she was a wonderful and lovable person, and that we all make mistakes in our relationships that we wish we could correct.
As I heard my words soothing her pain, I wondered why I had never been this kind to myself.
Self-criticism is a punishment I no longer want to afflict.
I have suffered enough.
I must find away to forgive myself, be kind to myself, and know in my heart that I did the best that I could.
“Dear God, help me to be kind to myself. Help me to see that I am not perfect, that I make mistakes, but that I must learn from them and forgive myself for them.”