For the purpose of this post, we have to accept as truth the premise that nobody’s perfect. If in fact you ARE perfect, you are reading the wrong blog, bro.
I’d like to be a better person, to be kinder and less sarcastic, to be thinner and healthier and smarter about handling money. Some days I am all of the above. Every day, I get up with the intention of being all of those things, but usually by noon I’ve screwed up most of them.
So, here’s the advice I gave someone once who was bewailing the fact that they had, in fact, done some rather spectacularly rotten things over the course of life, and felt crappy about it and really couldn’t think of any reason to continue.
Start over fresh. Every single day. Forgive yourself every morning, and face the day determined to be as perfect as you can be. If you had a day like I had yesterday, in which you were rude and catty and drowned your sorrows in a bag of thick-cut, cheese flavour potato chips, well, that was yesterday. It’s over. Forgive yourself. Review it, learn from it, and file it away. Mostly importantly, though, forgive yourself. Separate the action from the actor. Yes, it was a mean and stupid thing to do. No, it does not mean you are mean and stupid. Let it go.
I don’t think this means that we can just run thoughtlessly through life doing and saying whatever we please and forgiving ourselves the next day. There’s a word for people like that. Assholes. Daily living does take some thought, we have to at least try to be nice. But sometimes, the best intentions go astray and we’re just not.
So, if you tried, and failed to be nice yesterday, try again today. Sorry about yesterday. I’m going to try harder today.