Every single time I think I need to start working on myself, for myself, I have to ask myself, ‘Where do I even begin?’ There are several things that need to be changed, of course. I am just as flawed and human as anybody else, and I end up making mistakes that could have been avoided if only I had known better. There is a lot of unlearning and re-learning that needs to happen in this process because if I only ever took what my elders told me at face-value, I would be a lot worse off.
Not that my elders haven’t passed on some valuable lessons to me. But sometimes, the best lessons are taught by giving examples of things you shouldn’t do and the kind of people you shouldn’t turn out to be. Because, sometimes, the best lessons come to us in the form of ‘be and do better than the people who came before you did’. That’s what progress is all about, isn’t it?
But the first thing you need to know to make any kind of progress at all is where to begin your journey. There is no right answer to this question, and there is no single answer either. Every road we choose to walk is going to lead us someplace else. These roads might cross at some point in your journey, but that still doesn’t mean you’re making a mistake by choosing a certain path for yourself. As long as you’re on a path that allows you to make mistakes and learn from them along the way, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do something that calls out to you.
We ask ourselves where to begin when we have to work on ourselves and do better than yesterday. We ask ourselves what needs to be done and what could be done to make things better. The thing is, working on ourselves is often like cleaning up a really messy room. You wouldn’t know where to begin, so you just start working on things randomly and work it out in chunks until you’re done cleaning the entire room. There is no one answer to this.
I wish we were all told more often that it is okay to start working on ourselves at our own pace. But for some reason, we don’t allow ourselves the luxury of doing things in our own time, or the mercy of making mistakes. We idolize this perfect version of ourselves that is marred the instant we make a mistake.
Maybe we need to begin by being kinder to ourselves, even if it is just a little bit every day. Maybe if we understood that we were all capable of making mistakes and learning from them, we wouldn’t look at ourselves in such poor light.
There is no right or wrong, here. You’re allowed to deal with your mess the way you see fit, as long as it’s not hurting you.
Be kinder to yourself today than you were yesterday. Xx