Those negative feelings come so easily when directed at oneself. A lorry load of judgement washed over us without a seconds thought. How do we stop these awful thoughts and feelings? How do we become the person we want to be, who doesn't have to feel angry, disappointed or feel let down with herself? How do we become the person we know we can be?
We have to realise we already are her. Under the layers of judgement, the outer shell of society's influence, the stories we have safety pinned to our shoulders, the comments and harsh words thrown at us by loved ones in fits of rage which have stuck to our thighs, our tummy, our skin, our hair. Underneath all of that, at our very core, we are perfectly imperfect.
We are a person full of love, who tries their best - their best constantly changing depending on the day and time. We can only ever do our best, we're only ever doing our best, deep down, we know we wouldn't intentionally do anything other than our best. Today my best may be writing this letter to you, cleaning my flat, going to work and teaching children and teens English. It's making sure the cats have fresh water and clean litter trays, checking in with friends and family, cooking a nourishing lunch and looking after myself and those I love. Yesterday I was feeling very unwell, my best was snuggling under a blanket watching Atypical on Netflix for the whole afternoon followed by Bridget Jones's Baby. That was all I could muster up, that was my best.
Our expectations for ourselves vastly exceed the expectations we have of others, it's not ourselves we need to question but the expectations we have for ourselves, even the little ones. Think about all of the things you wish to achieve today, are you expecting too much of yourself? What about how you want your body to look? Are you comparing it to a digitally altered image you've seen countless times in the media? Is that body you long for even possible? What about the food you feed yourself? Do you feel disappointed in yourself because you haven't cooked all of those meals and snacks you promised you would this week? Did you have enough time? Did you have enough energy? Were you expecting too much of yourself?
Let's take meal and snack guilt as an example, it's one I often speak about with some of the lovely friends this letter goes out to, the very basic end goal of meal and snack making is to feed yourself. To nourish yourself. That's it. If you managed to fuel your body with something, even if you didn't spend hours slaving over a hot stove, you met that basic need. Sometimes we don't have time. Sometimes circumstances change. Sometimes things pop up, our mood alters, we suddenly feel exhausted, we're too tired, we're too excited, sometimes it's just not possible and we need to change our expectations.
If you set out on a road trip and along the journey came to some road works. You're met with a re-direction sign and follow the new route. You reach your destination, just going about it in a different way. Do you beat yourself up about that? Are you dissapointed in yourself? Do you feel angry and let down with yourself? Probably not, if you're anything like me, in those circumstances I'd feel bloody proud of myself for making it to my destination - I'm directionally challenged ;).
Take a look at the very basic aim of what you wanted to do, did you achieve it? If so, shed the judgement, shake it off and know you're doing your best. Always.