I once read that holding a grudge is a heavier burden on yourself than it is on the other person. What I didn’t know back then was that holding a grudge against yourself is actually twice as heavy of a burden to carry. Lighten your load! Here are some things you need to forgive yourself for:
1. That embarrassing thing you did years ago
Sometimes, I think back to 12-year-old me and my hands just start itching to slap myself for sharing the same neurons as that bundle of cringe. You’ve probably already heard that nobody else remembers these moments, and you probably feel little relief from that. After all, it did happen. So, laugh at it! Imagine you’re someone else and laugh at the poor, foolish little girl you were. You don’t hate little kids for saying dumb things, right?
2. Having a really bad day
You woke up this morning and just knew you couldn’t face other humans today. You skipped class. You stayed in bed and stared at your ceiling. You ate chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe you cried a little. Then you sit up and realize you have a whole day of work to catch up on. Also, midterms are next week. You feel the rage of I’ve-ruined-my-life self-hatred. You know what’s the most unproductive thing you could do right now? Sit there and beat yourself up. Accept you made a bad decision and take time to recognize the consequences of your lost day. Also recognize that bad days happen and you probably felt this way because you needed a break. Then get up, wash off the sucky feeling, and get cracking. You have work to do.
3. Getting that one question wrong
Oh, you know the one I’m talking about. That test question that was so obvious it was like the mark was handed to you on a silver platter. Except you dropped the platter, tripped over it, and fell down the stairs. Maybe you read the question wrong. Maybe you filled in the wrong bubble in your excitement. Maybe you were so nervous you blanked. Whatever the reason, you feel dumber for missing that question than you would have for failing the test. Now is a beautiful chance to learn from your mistake. This moment will guarantee that you get it right on the final, or remember it for the rest of your life. It sucks you messed up, but it was one measly question. Work on knowing all the material for next time, don’t fixate on just one thing.
4. Having casual sex
It’s 2016! No slut-shaming! Seriously, why would you hold this against yourself?
5. Eating until you’re going to burst
So you cheated on your diet. Or didn’t stick to your healthy lifestyle change. That sucks. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely strive to eat healthier and not make eating a whole pizza a daily occurrence, but feeling bad about eating is unhealthy as well. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll eat more while being ashamed about eating so much. Prepare a healthy breakfast for tomorrow and mark it down as a gym day. Don’t let one mistake knock you off the wagon.
I get it. It’s natural to be your own worst critic, but YOU have to live with YOU every minute of every day, for your entire life. If you were going to choose someone to spend all that time with, wouldn’t you choose someone nice and forgiving? Learning from your mistakes is necessary. Not letting yourself get away with YOLO-ing your future away is very necessary. Loving yourself is very, very necessary. Be nice. Forgive. Don’t forget.