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Go Easy on Yourself

In the ten years I've worked as a counselor I have noticed a few themes. There are some things that seem universal to the human experience. There are things you hear over and over from clients. There are things that, as a counselor, your clients teach you.

Field notes

One of those lessons is that there seems to be a direct, one to one, correlation between how we see other people and how we see ourselves. In other words, I've noticed that the individuals I meet who are easier on other people also tend to go easier on themselves. The individuals who are hard on others are hard on themselves.

It works the other direction too. The person who is hard on herself is also hard on others. The person who goes easy on herself tends to go easy on others.

Do you see what I mean about the connection?

I don't always know where it starts. Kind of like the whole "chicken and egg" thing. I'm not sure it matters. Maybe you were critical of someone else and that made you more critical of yourself. Or maybe you were really critical of yourself and that made you more critical of someone else. I guess it could go either way.

The point is, as one increases so does the other.

If you offer grace, you get grace. If you offer judgment, you get judgment. And it can probably start anywhere. Meaning, you could offer yourself grace and you'd probably find it easier to give others grace. Or, you could offer someone else grace and find it's a little easier to give yourself some.

Either way, it's a win for everybody. Or... a lose. Depending on which way you go.

Have you ever experienced this principle for yourself? Or, have you ever seen it play out in someone else's life?

Here's hoping you can go easy on yourself- and the people around you- today...

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