I am my own worst critic. Jocee you should have said this, you should have did this. Why did you look like that? Why didn’t you do this? I’m never satisfied with what I present to the world. Even with writing this blog, you have no idea how many times I reread each post, questioning if it’s good enough. However, I’m learning to handle myself with care. The same grace Jesus asks us to give to others (Luke 6:36), is the same grace we need to extend to ourselves.

We should set expectations for ourselves but if we don’t measure up to those expectations, it’s not the end of the world. A toddler who is potty training is going to have accidents. We don’t yell at them for not reaching the goal of staying dry all day (or rather we shouldn’t). The next day you encourage them to keep trying. We should take on this same attitude when we mess up and fail to reach our goals.

As a teacher, I have some of the best ideas and literally spend hours planning. Once it’s time to actually teach, some days it seems like everything is going wrong and it’s all my fault. Why didn’t I make the copies earlier? Why did I choose that story? Why didn’t I use a different example? Why didn’t I account for little Timmy being a jerk today? And if I get caught in that downward spiral, I ignore all the things that went well. I successfully talked Timmy out of running out of the building. They thought my joke was funny. When I asked for all eyes on me, all eyes were on me. I made a real world connection to the standard and they actually understood. Celebrate what went well and make notes of what you can do better and tomorrow, do better.

Galations 5:22-23, list the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance). This fruit is not just for others, it’s for you. If someone were to overhear you having a conversation with yourself about yourself, what would they hear? Would they feel bad for you? Or would they marvel at how kind you are even under the worst conditions?

Jonathan McReynolds once said the things we are most insecure about are the things we think everyone else is “hating” on. What if I told you, you were your biggest hater? You don’t give yourself permission to have a bad day or moment. You’re not allowed to mess up. And I get it, maybe you have too much at stake. Maybe others are depending on you to get it right all the time. But in helping everyone else, make sure you’re helping yourself by handling yourself with care.