Kindness Challenge: Week 2
Coping with Change & Sadness
From the time we’re young, we’re told:
“Don’t act like a baby!”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”
“Pull yourself up by your boot straps!”
“Keep a stiff upper lip!”
“Snap out of it!”
That’s why it’s easier (and more acceptable) to show sympathy to other people than it is to ourselves. Compassion is reserved for those who truly deserve it. Not us, right? We regard self-compassion as a sign of weakness. Somehow, we’ve failed to master our emotions…
Would you soldier on through a bout of flu, when you have a fever, chills, and body aches? Would you expect your body to keep going without any self-care?
Of course not. The same holds true for our emotional well-being. We can’t ignore how we feel or what we need to maintain good mental health.
This week, I made an effort not to underplay how I was feeling—to figure out why it’s so hard to say, “Linda, you don’t have to be strong all the time. You don’t have to hide your sorrow from the rest of the world. You have the right to grieve, just like everyone else.”
In May 2016, my dear friend Lyn died from brain cancer, after a courageous, ten-year battle. I helped take care of her the last few months of her life. Although I’m thankful I could be there for Lyn, the experience was heart-rending. Five months later, I found myself at my mother’s bedside while she was dying, the memories of losing my friend still fresh in my mind. My mom lived in Chicago, and when I left to return to Denver, I knew I would never see her again.
After Lyn died, my Denver family broke up. Her husband moved to California. I did get to see him this past Monday, when we gathered to inter Lyn’s ashes—another painful reminder. My best and closest friend—Lyn’s cousin—is retiring to Tennessee with her husband, brother, and mother. I’m having trouble adjusting to all of these changes in such a short time.
My positive affirmation is: “Don’t be sad it’s over; be glad it happened.”
With that in mind, I’ll try to show more compassion toward myself during this transition and move forward with my life. New opportunities will arise; I’ll grow closer to my other friends.
In the interim, I won’t shy away from sharing what I’m feeling or how I’m coping. Feel free to share your innermost thoughts, too. I’m always happy to lend a sympathetic ear…
And remember: Writing is cathartic.
For my post about my amazing friend Lyn, please click on the link: https://indielindy.blogspot.com/2016/06/remembering-lyn.html
Happy reading, happy writing, and happy thoughts!