Who any of us are at our core is often hidden, from ourselves as well as others. Experience often shapes what we are prepared to share in our friendships, our relationships and with those we spend a lot of time with, our work colleagues. We learn from an early age what part of ourselves can be appropriately shared, so we are playful and professional in the right contexts and in acceptable ways. We are socialised into the world, and through that our thoughts about who we are, are shaped….and we all know that our thoughts shape our reality so the process becomes an affirmation of who we are.

When we are loved, supported, respected and cared for, the thoughts we hold about ourselves affect us so deeply that our biology changes, and our behaviour changes. We can see then that if we are unloved, unsupported, disrespected and uncared for then our biology and behaviours also change. You and I need people, we are social animals, we need to feel as though we belong, that others like us, that others are glad that we are around, that the world we care about also cares about us. We all need the balm of kindness, whoever we are and whatever our circumstances.

Deep within yourself is what I call your ‘best self’, this space is you when you feel the love of the world wrap itself around you, it is you when you shine with happiness, it is you when you are your purpose. There are other spaces that you occupy, some of the tougher ones will take you to the ‘periphery’. You are still you in these spaces. Even though it seems dark here the light still shines on and through you, and your biggest challenge is to accept that you can find your way back to being your best self.

Having the help of others during these times is essential, asking for help is resourceful, and you know that being resourceful contributes towards your resilience. Sometimes when you are in the peripheral spaces you find that you are alone, this is not a judgement on others or on you it simply how it is. Perhaps this is because some parts of the journey back to being your best self are where you have to dig deep and find your way back. So that a critical factor in returning towards your best self, lies solely with you. During these times your greatest power is kindness. Your kindness is turned towards your self, loving your self, supporting your self, respecting your self and caring for your self. There are small things you can do every day that take moments, you can say ‘thank you’ to your self, you can say ‘well done’ to your self, you can say ‘ I am proud of you’ to your self, you can say ‘ I love you’ to your self.

Wherever you are today in terms of your best self, be kind to your self, you are a wonderful human being and I am glad to know you.