Giving yourself grace is simply giving yourself permission to accept all the parts of who you are today and also the parts that you are yet to be. As a kid, I felt a constant need to be perfect, to be the best version of myself possible. Although that can be a healthy thing, this continual drive for excellence meant that I felt I was constantly falling short; and every time I fell, I felt so ashamed. I was doing it all wrong. It wasn’t until my 30th birthday that I realized I was changing some of these old habits and becoming someone new—different—than who I used to be. Most of my high school friends from back in the day wouldn’t even recognize who I am today, and that’s okay.
It’s taken me the past 3 years to fully realize, grasp, and be okay with these changes. I finally decided to start leaning into the changing and love myself through it.
You see, it’s possible to be 100% yourself today, and then five, ten, twenty years later be a totally different person, who is still 100% yourself.
Interesting paradox, huh? Deep down in your soul, there is the real you, the you that loves to read books, or the you that loves to stay up late watching movies, or maybe you love taking long road trips by yourself, or perhaps you feel most yourself out in nature. It’s one of the sweetest adventures, getting to know yourself. So who is the truest you this day? Not the one people tell you to be or the person you feel you should be, but simply the you that you are when no one is watching?
When we get to know that person and love who we are today, we allow ourselves the space to lean into the natural changing that will occur within us tomorrow and the next day and the years to follow.
And we know this person won’t always look exactly like this. Who you are can and will change. Seems obvious, right? As a child, you like certain things and as you become a teenager those tastes change. Then you finish high school and maybe go to college and graduate only to realize that being an adult is hard work! (How did your parents do it? And how did you not realize all the things they were responsible for? And Mom already had three kids by this age?! What.)
And then you take a deep breath and just pause.
It’s a natural process, the shedding of layers and growing of new things, and the only time it feels like chaos is when we are trying to keep everything the same. But life changes. Embrace the changes, instead of pushing against them. Embrace the knowledge that you will have times in life where you look back and cannot believe who you used to be! Life is ebb and flow, peaks and lulls, and all are shaping us into something better, if we let them. I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful that time continues to move forward, that a day only has 24 hours in it, and a new day will start in the morning.
There are new moments every day to fall in love with yourself right where you are and to dream about the amazing you that is to come.
So do it. Be the truest version of yourself today, and then on the days where you don’t quite know who you are because you are in the midst of that perpetual changing, take a deep breath and smile and give yourself some love. You are okay. You are amazing, actually. We all are, today and tomorrow.