We don’t even notice anymore how harsh we can be with ourselves. We can be compassionate to friends and listen patiently to their problems, but we talk to ourselves condescendingly and with disrespect. When we’re struggling, we think, “I’m such an idiot!” with reflex-like quickness, yet telling a hurting friend that they are such an idiot feels forbidden.
How did it happen that I can be accepting and patient with others whilst insensitive and cold with myself? I don’t remember anyone telling me as a kid that I was an idiot. But I don’t remember anyone telling me the opposite either, which would probably be something like: “You’re struggling, and I’m here”