By Kristen Donia

Do you ever have a friend come to you down & out, discouraged with something that happened? You listen, maybe offer advice, lend a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold. Those moments are truly special. It’s absolutely essential to have those types of bonds in our lives. Ones that ground us, help us feel connected, and allow us to be vulnerable and seen in all the beauty and mess that is this life.

We need these types of bonds. And you know what else we need? A bond with ourselves. Trust in our own feelings, emotions, and intuition. I believe the most important element we can give ourselves is, well, grace. We tend to be our own harshest critic.

Often times, I criticize myself for something I’ve said, or how I looked, or a choice I made that wasn’t my brightest. And when I think back on it, I wonder, would a friend ever judge you in that way? Of course not. And if you flip it around again, I never would judge a friend so harshly. Why am I not extending that to someone I love, me?

Enter – grace. Just as much as we need love and connection, we need to give ourselves grace now, and always. Especially given the pervasive stress of this time, in the country and the whole world, we need more grace. We need more kindness. We need more openness.

Think of it this way, at the end of the day, you did what you could, with what you were given. Perhaps you made mistakes. Perhaps you behaved in a way you aren’t particularly proud of. Embrace these moments just as you would the successes in your life. You are a feelings human living a full life in a complicated world. You will mess up, you will fall down, we all do. Give yourself grace and move on. Move into a better frame of mind. Consider, eh I don’t like the way that went down last time, what can I do to get a better outcome next time? How can I extend kindness to myself as I would my best friend? What can I celebrate about myself, my body, and my life? Give yourself little bravos, leave yourself love notes, practice affirmations and remember we’re all just doing our best and that changes day-to-day. You’re a feelings human in a big world babe, and you’re doing great.


Kristen Donia is a freelance writer living in a tiny house she built in sunny Southern Oregon. She has a Bachelors Degree in Education and has dedicated her life to studying and writing about empathy, vulnerability and enriching the human experience.