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Don't Punish Yourself for Not Being "There" Yet

One of the first clients I ever had told me in a session about a self care practice that she really loved to do. She loved lighting & enjoying scented candles. She talked excitedly about a huge box of them that she had in storage, and how she couldn’t wait until she was in a more permanent living situation so that she could be in her own space, light one, and feel good. I asked her why she was punishing herself for not already have achieved her goal of living in this new place. I asked her why she didn’t think she deserved to let herself enjoy a simple candle because she didn’t yet have her own place. Why do we make our worth dependent on external circumstances and arbitrary metrics? Why can’t we just let ourselves (regardless of outside fluff) be enough, be worthy, be deserving? This client and I spent the rest of the session talking about worthiness, about deserving, & about allowing our desires. We talked about about the extra pain we cause ourselves when we judge ourselves for the fact that we’re still in the middle of the journey. We compare the middle of our journeys to the ideal picture we have of our ultimate end goal and this gets us are we ever going to be able to reach that goal if we’re judging the fuck out of ourselves for being on the path? How are we supposed to feel the necessary motivation to take forward-moving action when we’re hating ourselves every step of the way, simply because we’re learning to walk? This really is what it’s like…if a baby who was learning to take her first steps beat herself up every time she tried to get up and fell down, she would never learn to walk—but what she doesn’t realize is that in the process of falling down she is learning how to walk. This is so hard for us to see when we’re *in it*. Take a minute to thank yourself for whatever journey you’re on right now. Tell yourself how grateful you are that you’re believing in yourself, that you’re not giving up on what you want to create in your life. Give yourself some compliments, some verbal validation, and affirm your worthiness—your worthiness of achieving your goals, your worthiness of compassion while you get there, and your worthiness of enjoyment of the process, even before it is "complete".

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