I’ve pretty much dedicated my life to making a difference in people’s lives, being inspiring, and being kind. Every moment I can, I preach self-respect and self-acceptance. I always tell people to embrace failure, to forgive their mistakes in order to start fresh again. You’d think that the person who preaches these truths would practice them herself, but that is not always the case.
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. There is a marked split between what I tell others to do and what I do on my own. I could be ripping myself to shreds, emotionally, while smiling and telling somebody else to go easy on themselves. I don’t even think of it. My inner life and outer life are so separate that often, I don’t even connect them. When I’m on break from my activist duties (if one could even call me an activist), and I make a social faux pas, I will not just “go easy” on myself. When I’m alone at home, viewing my grades, I will become very angry if I see something I deem unsatisfactory.
I’ve always been aware of this–it’s rare that I’m not aware of an emotional state of mine-but I realized it once more the other day, when I saw something I’d written. On my bedroom wall, I have “take a deep breath” written in blue sharpie underneath my bunk bed. Originally, I wrote the phrase so I could post a picture on Instagram with an inspiring caption. But seeing it the other day, upset and panicky, I realized that I could take my own advice. The fact that I could do that hadn’t even dawned upon me. The split between what I do for others and what I do for myself is so prominent that I hadn’t thought to bridge the two.
I’m trying to build that bridge, because as of late, I have not been treating myself with the respect I deserve. Maybe I’ll read through my Instagram captions and, instead of thinking of them for solely for others, apply them to my own situation. I must remember that I can indeed take my own advice.