Today, forgive yourself for all the little ways in which you feel you have failed yourself or others: the thoughtless repeated gossip, the forgotten obligation, the lack of patience or empathy. Imagine toddlers: guided and corrected, yes, but forgiven all because they are just learning. So are we learning, and need acceptance, patience, lack of judgment, and unconditional love to be able to grow into our fullest selves. Much more effective - and more difficult - than self-rebuke or self-punishment is self-forgiveness. Do the hard thing. Forgive yourself again and again.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.