Forgiveness: "the best gift you can give yourself" is an exercise in loving yourself. It's not easy, but you owe it to yourself to try. Why? Because if you're a woman in her 20's, self love doesn't exactly come easy. Here are three things you should quit torturing yourself needlessly for, and how to change your thinking about them.
Not knowing what you want
Our generation is overwhelmed by possibilities. We're constantly reminded how free we are to do whatever we want and how many options we have that we have no idea where to start. We're told we should be pretty but real, smart but not think too much, and make the most of our youth but not be immature or selfish, and have "something to say" by the age of 21. If that's not a recipe for confusion and anxiety, I have no idea what is. No one tells us how we can actually realize our true desires. Here's a tip. When you slow down, time slows down with you. When you do what you love, do it mindfully. Deeply engage with your work, your art, your writing. Whatever it is you love. That's where your answers are.
Not feeling good enough
This isn't just your issue – we don't live in a culture that's conducive to feeling good enough. We're immersed in reasons to question and doubt ourselves. The cosmetics and fashion industries simultaneously tear us down then tell us how we can build ourselves back up – that is, by striving for something that's impossible to achieve. Forgive yourself for seeing the messages all around you. Forgive yourself for being effected by them. It doesn't mean you're superficial or stupid. It means you're a perceptive, open-eyed human with thoughts. The more thoughts you have, the greater you will likely be bothered by feelings of inadequacy. The next time you feel a surge of self loathing at something that you know doesn't matter (your weight, your wardrobe, your hair), put a stop to your those active thoughts and ask yourself: which voice is doing the talking here? Them? or me? Your secret weapon against them is awareness.
What do you conceive of as wasting time? Kicking around with friends? Dicking around at home watching youtube videos? Anything that's not working toward your career goals? When you look back on a day that makes you feel crappy, don't wish it would just go away. Write down everything you did. You'll see that you weren't just sitting on your bed with your jaw hanging open. You were living. You were learning things, you were exchanging words with people, listening, feeling. You weren't staring into a laptop screen, wearing pumps and a blazer, stressing about something that doesn't exist yet. The only way to feel bad about wasting time is to believe it is wasting time and not accepting it. Living isn't wasting time. Not accepting your life for what it is is wasting time. When you write it down, you regain control over your thoughts and become the author of your day.