by Lynn Kim Do

Be Kind To Yourself

Who else do we spend more time with than ourselves? Conversations in our heads with ourselves. Long stares and quick glances from ourselves to ourselves. Sing to ourselves. Curse at ourselves. Pinch ourselves. Wear 6 inch stilettos to torture ourselves. Harsh judgement to ourselves come too easy. Kind supportive words less frequent. Instagram feels suffocated with fake all-day-every-day curation of happiness and success. New York moves too fast to acknowledge “feelings.” There are millions of people out here hustling, maybe even harder than I am. Sleeping less than I am. Talking to more people than I do. Putting in more energy than I have to give.

But be kind. Be kind to myself.

Dear self, 
I will softly pick your head up from your shoulder and whisper “Baby, you are doing so well.” I will tuck the strands of hair one by one off your face, kiss your forehead, and say “I believe in you.” I will wrap my hands around your waist and squeeze until your organs squish out of place, until it’s hard to catch your breath and say, “I will be here to pick you up.” Or “If you want to stay here a while longer, I can stay here with you, too.” I will seep a tea bag in a cup of warm water, drizzle some honey, hand you the mug with both hands, and watch the steam encompass your face while you take your first sip. I will remind you of every little accomplishment you made, write them in a list that will fill two king size bedrooms. I will say “Look how long you’ve come. You’re on the journey of joy that no one before you have ever dared to tread.” I will wipe your tears with my own fingers. Press my DNA onto your cheeks. And say “You will do great things.”

Images by Vinh Luong