Some of you may know that I've been seeing a counselor for nearly a year now. Some of you reading this now may even be the ones who encouraged me to take this step. I can't say it's made everything 100% better, but it certainly has helped. Last year was a rough one. Nothing particularly catastrophic happened. I was just sad and lonely and frustrated. Sad when I wanted to be happy. Lonely even when I was surrounded by people I loved. And, frustrated because I didn't know what was "wrong" with me or how to "fix" it. It wasn't a great place to be. Sometimes, I find myself in that place again, but the stints there are much shorter, more manageable and not nearly as emotionally exhausting as they were. It's progress.
In my first session, I was asked what I wanted to get out of my therapy. I replied without hesitation, "I want to love myself." Because that's what I want. I've wanted it for a long time. I want to love myself every day. Not because of anything I've done or what I look like or any great challenges I've managed to overcome. I want to love myself for the simple fact that I deserve to love myself unconditionally. Just because.
This isn't to say I hate myself now. I don't. But I don't love myself either. On a regular day, I'm more indifferent than anything else. On a good day, I don't think I'm half bad. On a really good day, I like myself. On a bad day, well, let's just say, I'm not in a happy place with me on a bad day. I'm a perfectionist. And, my own worst critic. It's a volatile combination. A friend once told me I have a bad coach (The "coach" being that inner voice inside your head.) because I confessed that my own inner voice is usually pretty negative. I'm working on being more positive with my thoughts. On being more gentle with myself. On loving myself unconditionally.
And as I was waiting for the train home in Penn Station a few nights ago, I read this quote and I thought it would make a great new motto for me. A new mantra. And because I think it's so true. And because I know we all need to be reminded of this truth from time to time, I am sharing it here with you.
Be Gentle With Yourself.
You Are A Child Of The Universe,
No Less Than The Trees And The Stars.
In The Noisy Confusion Of Life,
Keep Peace In Your Soul.
It's great advice. One I really need to remember.