We humans can be very judgmental and critical. We can easily get caught up in what we think is right and wrong. We constantly analyze our lives and think about what we “should” have done differently. Along with this, we have a natural tendency to judge others’ decisions and talk about what poor choices they made. This gives us further fuel to try to be perfect so we don’t end up “like them.”
It is no wonder that we lose self-compassion with all this judgment swimming in our brains. It is part of how we have learned to view the world, part of what we feel we should do and ultimately part of human nature. The trick is to understand that everyone, right now, is doing the very best they can. Does that mean we couldn’t make better choices? No. Does it mean we are flawless? No. Does it mean we don’t try to grow and improve our lives? Absolutely not. It does mean that we need to step back and treat ourselves a little more gently and with a little more understanding.
This life is a journey. We grow, evolve, change and learn. Every choice you are making right now is what you think is best based on what you have learned and where you are in your life. Sometimes we do things out of habit. Often we do things out of fear. But ultimately we do what we think is best for us in the moment. Our current circumstances are a combination of every choice we have made, which means we can learn from them and change them just as easily as we created them. We don’t need to berate ourselves into these changes. Loving ourselves and accepting the choices we have made for what they are is the best way to learn from them and start making new ones.
Of course after the fact it is easy to see what we could have done different to make things easier. It is natural to assess our past, and the actions of others, to determine what would have worked better. This is part of the learning process, but that is all it is. We shouldn’t utilize these tendencies to break down our self-esteem and feel bad about what we have done. We should utilize these experiences to grow and learn what we will do different in the future.
Our flaws are what make us human and what makes us beautiful. Learning to accept these, whether it be poor choices or parts of ourselves we don’t like, will ultimately give us the power to love ourselves completely. This is where true compassion will rise up. Whenever those thoughts of judgment creep in, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, give yourself some love and then take the next step forward.