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Giving Yourself Grace

It’s a beautiful Sunday and I’m feeling extremely grateful. I know my last blog was pretty intense and heavy, but the past few months have been an incredibly dark time for me. Fortunately, recently things have dramatically shifted in a positive direction. The new medication that I’ve switched to has started working, and I finally feel the anxiety and depression lifting. The interesting thing is that while the biological changes in my body are helping me feel more like my normal self, the negative thinking patterns haven’t automatically left me. I still have days where I can spiral if I succumb to the ruminating thoughts or listen to my harsh inner critic.

It makes me wonder if people with perfectionism are more susceptible to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. I hate my inner critic… it often tells me that I’m not good enough which is completely paralyzing. I want to be creative, to be myself, to allow my spirit to express itself in any way it wants to; but, this inner critic often swoops in to stop me dead in my tracks. I know that the inner critic is what spiritual teachers call our ego. The ego enforces its presence within our personality to protect us. For example, my ego is trying to protect me from disappointment, from failure, from shame and embarrassment. It says things like “if you do that and don’t succeed, you will look like a fool” or, “you’re not good enough to do that”. Those kind of thoughts run through my head a lot. It prevents me from even trying, which in a sense, does erode any chance of failure, but it’s also a paralyzing way to live. It’s limiting me from doing anything that makes me happy.

I literally agonize about sharing a blog or an Instagram post because I’m so SCARED of what people will think of me. I’ll worry that people will think I’m attention-seeking or get annoyed that I post too much. Or I’ll worry that no one cares about my blogs, that no one reads my blogs so I shouldn’t bother. Or I’ll think about how every time I’ve taken a stab at writing endeavors I’ve failed in the past. But, then I am stopping myself from doing something that I LOVE. I love to express myself through clothing and fashion, I love to write about my life experiences because it’s what makes my soul happy. I’m tired of depriving myself of that happiness because of fear.

Giving ourselves grace is so important – it’s even more crucial for those struggling with anxiety or depression. When we don’t give ourselves any grace, we aren’t allowing room for us to heal. So I’m going to give myself grace, which for me, means allowing myself the freedom to be creative. Allowing myself the freedom to try, even if that means I might not get it right. Giving myself the space to be ME, which means pouring myself into my passions, even if those passions may seem silly to others. I’m allowing my heart to heal and my soul to thrive.