Friday, January 06, 2017

Being kind

Hi,

Well, that's the first week of work in the bag. Well, I say work, it was mostly as case of turning up, replying to a few emails and going to one meeting per day. Still, provided you can find creative ways to pass the time, there are worse ways to make a living. ;-) Plus, in the sales I found a new groovy shirt and a rather pretty spring/summer dress. Yay!

With Christmas now over and the long haul through the winter to the spring, I was reminded of something a friend, W, said to me. She said she found it fairly easy to be there for others, but when it came to her own well-being, she found it very hard to be kind to herself.

Although very much less these days, I'm familiar with that. The usual voice of negativity: you're not good enough, you can't do it, etc; and then the chaser of you're fat, you look like a bloke, proper men don't do thisthat's not for your age, etc. Yeah, that spin of negativity that can, if you let it, plague your thoughts.

A few weeks early, I happened to have the good luck to attend a Mindfulness course. I keep bumping into these and this one was about compassion. Not just for other people, but, perhaps oddly, for ourselves. Given the prevalence of everyone's pet b*stard to put the psychological abusive boot in, it seems worth repeating. Now, I'll say I'm not an expert in any of this by a long way and if you're interested in mindfulness, there are plenty of instructors, exercises and books out there on the subject.

With that brief disclaimer out of the way, here's one for us T folk who may be struggling. 

Close your eyes and think of a friend.
Imagine their feelings and what they mean to them.
What would you say to this dear friend?
Would you hold them?
What comforting words would you use?
Where would you go? A quiet or a busy place? Indoors or outside?
Think on this for a few minutes.
Now, imagine the situation as you comforting another copy of you.
Can you be as kind to this copy as you can your friend?
Imagine telling yourself things will be better.
Know that pain is a feeling and feelings are of the moment:  they are not forever.
Worries are just that, worries, not truths or facts.
There's no fixed story or rules.
Remember: you're doing the best you can.
Take a moment to advise yourself that you're okay.
Don't worry about the future. It's unwritten and unknowable.
Just, keep on trying and be kind. To others and, certainly, to yourself.

Take care,
Lynn


4 comments:

  1. Great post with a fantastic closing line. "Just, keep on trying and be kind. To others and, certainly, to yourself."

    We certainly can be hard on ourselves, can't we . . .

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    1. Thank you, Tess.

      Yes, sadly, we can all be far too harsh to ourselves. Probably far more than we'd say to others. Well, there are some exceptions, but lets exclude certain celebs :-)

      I'm beginning to wonder what harm it would do, if we didn't say things to ourselves, that we wouldn't say to family and friends. No doubt there's a logic trap in there somewhere. :-) Still, the spirit, if not the letter of the law.

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  2. "Can you be as kind to this copy [of you] as you can to your friend?"
    That's really the nub of it, isn't it? Some of us - too many of us - can't. Either through a feeling of worthlessness or shame or self-hatred that goes hand in hand with the dysphoria.
    Love yourself as you would your friend.
    I need to re-learn how, to accept I *am* allowed to be happy rather than just go along with other people's wishes.
    Thanks for this, Lyn.

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    1. Hi Susie,

      Yes, that's certainly the nub or it. But then, it's been said I can't use one word when I've got a dozen queued up ;-) Then again, the blog posts wood be shorter. :-)

      Flippancy aside: yes, completely. This idea came both from the mindfulness course and a long conversation with my friend, W. She's in a caring role, shall we say, and while she's there for others. She really struggles with - if you please excuse the clumsy word play - to be there for herself, bless her.

      Like W's black dog, and your dysphoria, although the start may be different, does the cause stay the same? Pushing you into feelings of shame and worthlessness?

      I think it's easy to hear the darkness and easy to write what you think is an answer. But, it's another thing to walk the walk. Self acceptance is so very hard, as it's not so easy when you're carrying a lot of emotional baggage. :-)

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