[Here is my first blog post. If you want to hear me read this, play the track below. Hope you enjoy! And if there's someone in your life who could use this reminder, feel free to pass it along!]
I hope your day is going well.
I wanted to share a little reminder with you.
Here it is:
You are doing the best you can.
I have a feeling that, like me, you can probably find plenty of reasons why that’s not true.
- You’re not being productive enough. (Everybody’s favorite.)
- It’s already X o’clock and you’ve barely made a dent in your to-do list.
- If you were really doing your best, you’d already have X by now, and things wouldn’t be so hard.
- It’s been this long, and you still don’t know what you’re doing.
- There are so many other people who are doing way better than you.
- You’re not perfect yet. Why not?
And so on…
(These are some of my favorites, what are yours?)
But - consider for a moment, that while all those reasons seem really convincing, they’re actually missing the truth:
You are doing the best you can.
I know it’s painful to still be so imperfect, but imagine if you knew without a doubt that right now, you are as “good” (whatever that means) as you can be, given the circumstances you’re in, and all the stresses and challenges that are thrown at you.
Let’s not forget - being a human being is actually really hard.
I recently spent a few days around a group of toddlers, and it’s thanks to them that I was reminded of this reality. It seemed like every half hour, one of them was crying and utterly heartbroken about something - an injured ankle, a precious toy that got stolen, a betrayal by someone you thought was your friend, not getting the thing that you want, and how unfair the world is, to name a few. It was both adorable and ridiculous (and probably exhausting for the parents).
But if you think about it, these things aren’t just toddler problems; they still happen to us on a daily basis. We still feel physical pain, have things taken from us for no apparent reason, feel hurt by our relationships, and have to grapple with a seemingly senseless world. And while we once were free to cry as hard as we wanted to about it, we now barely have time to notice the feelings before needing to move onto other, more pressing, more “adult” matters. Of course we’ve gotten better at handling these obstacles, but that doesn’t mean that life has gotten much easier.
Considering how hard things can be, it’s actually kind of amazing that you are here right now, and that you have done all of the things that you have, and lived all of your life up until now, don’t you think? And in many ways, it’s actually impossible to be any better than you are.
So for now, even if it’s just a moment, give yourself this gift:
You are not perfect. You will never be.
You’ll continue to make mistakes day after day, and you’ll probably never reach the standards you have set for yourself.
Despite your best intentions, you are still far from where you wish you were.
But you’re trying really hard, and you’re doing the best that you can.
If you want to, you can forgive yourself for not being perfect.
In all of your imperfections and shortcomings, all of your unreached goals and unfulfilled potential, you can choose to know this:
You are a human being who is doing the best you can,
and it’s totally enough.
P.S. If you have feedback, comments, or ideas for what you want to see here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'm excited to hear from you!