“Accept Yourself, and Expect More From Yourself.”
Thank-you Gretchen Rubin for that one.
I am in a constant tension between these two things. Of wanting to show myself the highest level of self-compassion, after so many years of putting way too much pressure on myself…yet also being cognizant of the ways I could be more motivated, show more perseverance, more rigour. It’s a balancing act and one I am still figuring out. But I think it’s one of life’s most important lessons.
It’s brilliant, actually.
When I was in University I spent every waking minute studying. All this to maintain a near perfect GPA. I look back on this time in my life with a bit of sadness. Oh Andrea, I tell myself, where was the kindness towards yourself? Hard work is valuable but there needs to be balance. I was missing the other side of things, the time to relax, the experiences that could rejuvenate. I wasn’t very happy (though I thought I was, because my marks were perfect).
This week I went for two runs. Part of me celebrates this. I remember how good it felt to feel the wind on my face, to feel strong and powerful for those 30 minutes, to see the snow sparkle and hear the crunch of the frozen earth beneath my sneakers. Another part of me wishes I had accomplished that third run. I had let bad weather deter me (I will, in the future, remember the Tom Lehrer quote a local yoga studio posted on social media this week: “Bad weather always looks worse through a window.”)
This tug-of-war between acceptance and self-discipline is one I want to tune into more. Where can I reach higher, push myself harder. And how can I wrap myself in acceptance and compassion throughout it all. The successes and the failures.
Do you feel this struggle in your life? What are some ways you put Gretchen Rubin’s quote into action? I’d love to hear!