Years ago, in my own therapy, my therapist would end my sessions with: “Victoria, be kind to yourself.” That’s it. Week after week she said this to me.

One day, I was driving down the street berating myself for something or other and I heard her voice like an echo in my head. “Okay”, I thought. “What does this mean? What would being kind to myself mean?”

Before that moment, It had never occurred to me to really take in her words and think about it! For probably three years, I had been shaking my head at the end of my session thinking, “That’s it? I pour my heart out to you, and you tell me to be kind to myself?”

Finally, I got it! It didn’t matter what I was going through – I had to learn to treat myself like a friend. Up until that very moment in the car, I couldn’t understand this very simple concept. I’m sure if you asked me if I understood it I would have said, “Of course. Be kind to myself. Yeah, now tell me how to fix my problems.” But in that moment, something in me shifted, and on a gut level I got it.

These “aha moments” are really common in the therapeutic process. Your therapist may say something to you and two sessions later you come back and say, hey remember what you said? Or, years later you connect the dots to something your therapist said.

We all grow at our own pace and there is no rulebook on how to make your therapy work for you. In the meantime, the most loving and kind thing you can do for yourself is accept where you are and keep looking toward where you want to go.