As a therapist, I work in the field of self-improvement. My job, in essence, is to help the individuals I work with increase their satisfaction in life by obtaining goals, working through difficult problems, and attaining personal growth. And through my work, and my own life experiences, I am reminded each and every day that we as humans, are in fact, human. …And while I realize that statement does not exactly sound all that profound, it is true. We humans are, well, human. We are imperfect. Idiosynchratic. Flawed, even. We make mistakes. We have regrets. We learn things the hard way. We think silly thoughts, experience confusing emotions, and behave in ways that does not always make sense. As humans, we live our lives as best we can, yet even so, our lives can get incredibly messy. And when this happens, when we fall short of the rather high expectations

we have set for ourselves, we become disappointed and seem to unforgivingly forget the fact that we are human. It is during these times that we would be best served to forgive ourselves for our own humanness and instead practice radical acceptance. In doing so, we might begin by acknowledging and embracing the following hard, yet liberating, truths:

1. You are talented at some things. But not all things. Acknowledge that you are skilled and talented in many ways. Honor and celebrate your strengths, use them to your advantage at all times, and be proud of yourself. Yet also remind yourself that it is okay that you are not good at everything. That would be impossible.

2. You will make mistakes. You may fail. Sometimes even more than you succeed. But this does not mean that your failures outweigh your successes and triumphs, nor is it an excuse for you to give up. Remember that doing your best is what is most important in these instances. It is the process that matters. Even failures have value, honor, and beauty.

3. You are special. Not always in the way you would like to think you are, but also in ways that you do not realize. It is important to know that you are important, loved, and unique. And it is even more important to remember that every human life is important, loved, and unique in equal ways. None more so than any other. Ever.

4. Much of what happens in life is beyond our control. Try as we might to plan out our lives, life often has its own plans for us. So rather than resisting the flow of life and attempting to control that which we cannot, practice acceptance and surrender, and find the value of what life has in store for you.

5. Everything is temporary. The only constant is change. Nothing stays the same forever. Find comfort in this, and know that this is what makes life precious.

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