I Gave Myself a Gift This Year

As you’re lying in bed at night ready to call it a day, you stare at the walls of your dim room and you blink yourself to sleep. No more cars on the driveway, no more dogs barking, and your neighbors are asleep. Just as you are about to doze off, it dawned on you that you forgot to cross one thing off your 2 paged to-do list. Then, you suddenly hear it. It’s your inner voice saying, “That was something important! How could I even forget? What’s wrong with me?! Am I that stupid?”

You’re with your friends having a good time. You laugh at each other, you laugh with each other, and you pass each other drinks and chips. Beneath the noise coming from the music playing on the background, you exchange stories and jokes. You remembered something funny and you started to tell them what it was. They don’t laugh. In fact, they didn’t even listen to you at all. Deep inside there’s a tinge of embarrassment. You hear yourself again, “I don’t seem to be good enough for my friends. They always ignore me, they probably don’t like me.” 

Are we our own mentors or our own enemies?

Whenever we get the chance to criticize ourselves, we do it without even hesitating. We long to reach certain standards that we have set for ourselves and there is always sense of fulfillment felt once we get to achieve them, but why does our mind end up walking back to every detailed memory we have on where we went wrong? Most of the time, that kind of thinking gets us busy. If you are a perfectionist like me, then this is perhaps a problem that you encounter most of the time. We beat ourselves up when our quirks and imperfections float on the surface of our minds, and there is always that voice, thatmad voice, that keeps telling us to stop because we’re always not good enough.

So for this year, I am treating myself with a year-starter gift this 2018. I am welcoming not just a calmer voice, but a more understanding self.

Obviously, the past years have been very different from when I was a child. Back then, I knew there was such a thing as making a mistake, but the thought never bothered me from making more of it. I was guided by the calmer voices of parents, teachers, even in the form of worship songs and Chicken Soup.

As I outgrew my teen years, I learned to rely on myself, to rely on my inner voice. It was unfamiliar and hostile, as if it was the biggest bully I have ever met. Although don’t get me wrong, it didn’t always scare me. For the duration of my college years, I embraced it because I knew it was the only way I could get things done. It pushed me to finish my work, to perform better, and to always be part of something that is moving. It also gave me good results, but guess what, I always end up discontented and disappointed.

With a calmer voice, I wish to better understand myself and to be better in accepting my flaws as a person. I will no longer strive for only perfection, but also self love. I will pick up the calmer voices I heard from those who love, support, and truly care for me, and I will no longer carry the voices from those who only wish harm. I will no longer be afraid to take risks and to take criticisms from those who mentor me into becoming a much happier person. I will take the voices from my prayers, from sweet whispers from a loved one, from genuinely concerned friends.

I will no longer fight myself, but I will learn to strive for myself this time hopefully not in a selfish way. I will learn to be my own hero. Only then can I be a better friend, daughter, lover, and mentor to other people as well.

May this timely gift be used until the next years to come. May it always be stored properly in my pocket, and may it always be with me in all my adventures in life. May it not be left or misplaced anywhere, and may it be generously shared to the world.

And with that, here’s how I started to realize that I, indeed, can change how I mentor myself. This video by The School of Life was really helpful in calming my bad inner voices.

I hope you also give yourself this gift as a sign of self love. If you wish to add this to your New Year’s Resolution, then it’s best to take it all one step at a time.

Keep Going, You!

– Kam

7 thoughts on “I Gave Myself a Gift This Year

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