“be nice to yourself.”

I haven’t posted anything in a little while (or a long while, depending on how you choose to perceive time), but I have been thinking nonetheless. I’ve been contemplating everything from the meaning of life, to the decisions I need to make, to my purpose, to my relationships, to my self. 

From the time I went to bed last night until about five minutes ago, I experienced a large seemingly endless rush of anxiety, caused by a mistake I had made. A misunderstanding yesterday evening, combined with my occasional outspokenness, resulted in me accidentally hurting the feelings of someone I love and cherish.

I sauntered into school this morning with iced coffee and badminton racket in hand, sucked into my own anxious mind, the universe overlapping my own. I was doubtful that I would be able to crawl out of this abyss of emotional turmoil today, perpetuated by miscellaneous stresses and schedule conflicts, and deepened by the desire to relax and to feel relaxed (a feeling that has seemed far too difficult to achieve recently).

I was taking my normal morning walking route to my homeroom when I saw one of my teachers, one of a few individuals who understands how my brain works and helps me sort through my wide assortment of emotions and feelings. After explaining all of my inner tension, as well as yesterday’s misunderstanding, he simply said, “Be nice to yourself.” He repeated the phrase several times, and then it hit me.

My anxiety is being magnified by the fact that I am criticizing myself for my own imperfections. My outspokenness and my occasional strange sentence structure are characteristics that contribute to my individual humanity. These things are not signs of weakness, but rather signs of uniqueness.

Sometimes, we are our own worst critics. We will tear ourselves apart inside because of our own unrealistic expectations. We will inflict emotional distress on ourselves because of our unintentional mistakes and wrongdoings, which are unavoidable because as humans, we are inherently imperfect.

Be nice to yourself. You deserve it.