Today we ask you to be gentle with yourself.

Most people are terribly hard on themselves.  

They continually push themselves, force themselves, criticize themselves.  Always they should be doing more.  Always they should be improving themselves.  They should be richer, thinner, smarter, and healthier.  They should do twice as much as they are doing now.  They should be more spiritual and evolved.  They should be more successful, and better known.  They should be getting ahead all the time.

This is an insane way to live.

Be gentle with yourself.

You can only do what you can do.  You can’t do twice what you can do.

There are times when it is necessary to push, yes.  But that cannot become a way of life.  You cannot always be pushing.  Human bodies and minds cannot sustain continual pushing.  Physical and mental illness is an inevitable outcome of such cruelty.

People often have a story that “taking it easy” equates with laziness and weakness.  This is simply not true.  Rest and relaxation are an essential part of any healthy existence.

Your physical bodies are no different from the physical bodies of animals.  Animals sleep.  If you observe animals, you will see that they sleep a great deal.  This is not because they are “lazy.”  They are simply attuned to their needs. Wild animals “work” — i.e. hunt, or forage.  They raise their young very diligently.  But they also play, and rest, and sleep.  

Be gentle with yourself.  Would you treat a child as harshly as you treat yourself?  Unfortunately, many of you do, usually unconsciously.  You would never consciously treat a child as harshly as you treat yourself, but unconsciously this behavior comes through.  So if you truly wish to raise a child with kindness and gentleness, you must be kind and gentle with yourself.

People who are gentle with themselves are gentle with others.  They are gentle with the world.

People who are hard on themselves are hard on others.  They are hard on the world.

Be gentle with yourself.