On Being Kind to Ourselves

Hello there, friends. I feel the need to begin this entry with a confession:

I haven't been very kind to myself of late.


Haven't been kind to myself at all.


Instead of grace, I've spooned out judgment.

Instead of compassion, I've unleashed litanies of self-criticism.

I've pointed out to myself with regularity all the ways I've fallen short.

And not measured up.

And let people down.

And really, just failed to hold up the world with perfect precision.

Isn't that crazy?

But there it is:

Being an imperfect human feels quite intolerable these days.


It's such a strange place to be.

I spent years on an long, inward journey that led me to embrace grace.

To hold tenderly the broken places inside myself.

To offer those vulnerable places to God.

And to receive unconditional love and acceptance in return.


It was such a beautiful journey.

I came to know know, deep down, that our humanness delights the heart of God.

And I came to fight fiercely for this truth on behalf of others.


But these days?

That's not where I've been living at all.

These days, all I hear is the cacophony of merciless self-judgment.

These days, I barely even remember grace exists.


I'll be honest.

All of this has made me near-blind and near-deaf to the nonviolent journey.

Because, really:

How can we walk the nonviolent path if we're battering our own hearts and souls with fierce, heavy weapons each day?

The truth is, we can't.


There are long lists in my notebook of ideas worth writing about here.

There are so many things I want to say and ask and explore about the nonviolent journey with you.

And we will get to those things, I promise.


But today, what I most need to say is this:

Nonviolence is as much a disposition toward ourselves as it is toward others.

And right now, I'm relearning that truth.

It's humbling to be relearning, to be a beginner on a path of grace I had once come to know so well.

But there you go.

That's my truth today.


What about you?

Do you struggle with self-kindness?

What helps you find room for self-kindness these days?