Kindness Isn't Just For Other People...
Quite a few of our most difficult moments are generally lived inside our own heads. That's not to say hard times don't happen in general, but it's difficult to not dwell on the what ifs, maybes, and could happens and end up making whatever is going on ten times worse than it actually is. On my dark days, I always remind myself that I've so far been 100% successful at surviving everything that's been thrown at me and statistically have an excellent chance of surviving again. Everywhere my life's choices have led me has now simply become a story I tell about how I got through it and survived. So, I can now look back now and be wholly grateful for the peace in my life and the lessons learned.
If you had met me during one of these difficult phases in my life, and only during one of those phases, you'd probably have a very different idea of who I am based on who I was when deep in survival mode. It's important to not judge people based solely on their weakest moments. We all have times where we let ourselves down, but these are the best learning moments, as well. The moments where we can see what we still need to work on and improve in ourselves. The moments when we see where we are weakest.
You see yourself most clearly when all the trappings and normative biases of society are swept away and you are forced to face who you are at your deepest level. Were you capable of being kind at those moments? Were you able to hold a hand out to someone else who was in need, too? Did you stand up and hold your ground or did you disappear into despair and wait for the world to fix your problems for you? More importantly, did your experiences help to make you a kinder, more empathetic person now?
It is also important not to judge yourself based solely on these clumsy moments. That little voice in the back of your mind, the one that reminds you of all the times you stumbled while you were in the middle of dancing beautifully, should be constantly reminded of all the moments you didn't fall down. Those graceful moments are not flukes, they are the result of you practicing and building up strength and skill. Stumbles will always happen, but in the balance are the moments you soar, as well.
We are a hodgepodge of experiences, light and shadow, and both equally important in defining who we become. Past mistakes don't make your successes any less of a triumph. Be kind to yourself when speaking of how you are doing. You are here, and you are trying, therefore you are succeeding. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will eventually have one more interesting story to tell about how you arrived where you are now. Have a blessed day.