Why should you be kind to yourself?
If I had a quarter for every time I beat myself up after saying something I wished back, I’d be wealthy. For my first decade after college, there were many times I’d say something and then realize it was the wrong thing to say. I worried the words were hurtful, didn’t convey what I meant, or were unnecessary. Then, the mental/emotional pummeling commenced, and my identity bore the hits.
Here’s the thing: we’re human. We will make mistakes, say things we later regret, and do things that hurt others. We rarely intend to mess up, but that doesn’t change how our words and actions impact others. We won’t always live up to our—or others’—expectations of us.
When we mess up, we have a choice about how to respond.
We can use mental and emotional boxing gloves and leave bruises on our self-worth. Or we can show ourselves kindness.
When we tear ourselves down, we forget the intrinsic value God has placed on us. We dent our understanding of our identity as God’s child.7 Meaningful Ways and Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself—7 Meaningful Ways and Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself—When we tear ourselves down, we forget the intrinsic value God has placed on us. We dent our understanding of our identity as… Click To Tweet
When you show kindness to yourself, you live into the identity God has given you.
Why it’s important to be kind to yourself
The way we treat others shows the importance we place on them. God tells us to love others because He loves them. When we treat people well, the truth that we. are comfortable with our identities in God’s family shines through.7 Meaningful Ways and Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself—The way we treat others shows the importance we place on them. God tells us to love others because He loves them. #tellhisstory #selfworth #bekind Click To Tweet
According to the Harvard Business Review, showing kindness to ourselves alleviates anxiety, stress, and worry about our lives.
God has created us for specific purposes. When we don’t understand the value He’s placed on us, we can’t develop the confidence and the belief that we can fulfill that task with Him.
Being kind to ourselves doesn’t mean we ignore our mistakes and act as though we never did them. We need to be honest enough to acknowledge when we mess up.
God knows we won’t attain perfection on this side of heaven. Jesus’ death on the cross and our acceptance of His forgiveness and salvation opens up grace to us. Our Father makes His grace always available to help us. Will we receive what He offers?
Ways to be kind to yourself
Being gentle with ourselves is important.
Here are six helps and reminders to be kind to yourself:
- Spend daily time in God’s word to remember your value—who you are in Jesus
- Acknowledge when you make mistakes and do what you can to make things right
- Talk kindly to yourself—not berating but remembering the truth that you are God’s child. Remember what God’s word says about you.
- Take physical care of yourself. Sometimes, we punish ourselves due to something we did that hurt another.
- Don’t get caught up in the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s that come when we make a mistake
- Remember, God loves us, even when we mess up big.
Jeremiah 31:3 says God has loved us with an everlasting love. Romans 8:38-39 reminds us nothing can separate us from His love.
If this is true, why wouldn’t we allow God’s truth to guide us?
It’s taken a lifetime to grasp the truth that it’s not only okay to be kind to myself after I mess up, but it’s healing. I’m learning to let go of the self-expectation to speak and act perfectly all the time.
God’s grace and evaluating my words and actions through the filter of His love have helped me stop beating myself up over every possible imperfection.
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
And that’s enough.
What about you? What are your thoughts about how to be kind to yourself? Do you agree or disagree with the idea of showing yourself kindness (and why)?
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