My Mother’s Wisdom {Be Gentle With Myself}

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The best piece of wisdom my mother has ever given me is to be gentle with myself. She has reminded me of this throughout grade school, college, my first day at my real job, and when I was a new mother. On hard days, which come more often during another year of the COVID pandemic, I hear her tell me to “be gentle with myself”.  And often, I take a few deep breaths and try to follow her advice. To speak softer to myself, to be kinder to my body, and to go easy on my heart.

This morning, I loaded up my three under three into the car to go grocery shopping, no easy feat for one person. At the store, I chatted on and off with a stranger who was shopping alongside me. I’m an extrovert and staying home alone keeping three little ones happy and healthy during this COVID age has been very isolating. I’ll take any opportunity I can get to have a real conversation with another adult. Towards the end of my shopping experience, this woman made a self-deprecating joke about herself and her body. And I didn’t say anything to her, I just shrugged and moved on.

Later, as I loaded up my groceries and buckled my kids into their carseats I wished I had said to her “hey, be gentle with yourself”. Because like me, maybe she’s feeling isolated too, and maybe we all need to hear my Mom’s advice this year.  So, while I didn’t get the opportunity to tell this stranger in the check out line, I am telling you, be gentle with yourself. The last couple years have been harder than any of us expected them to be.

This Spring, if you see a Mom, a woman, or anyone having a hard day, be kind to them.  Maybe if you’re an extrovert like me, pay them a compliment, lend them a hand, or even just smile really big.

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