Friday, May 19, 2017

Kindness Challenge: Week 2
Self-compassion
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!


14 comments:

  1. Thank you for this blog post, Linda. When someone passes away, your sadness over it is because you loved that person, and your life was richer because of him/her. That's something to be thankful for.

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    1. Very true, Carole. Too much change within the same year is mentally challenging, though. We need time to process everything and adjust--time we should give ourselves, without feeling guilty. Thanks for your positive comments!

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  2. We should definitely give ourselves a break sometimes. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be strong in the face of obstacles, but now and then those hurdles are enough to really drag us down. You know some of my current situation, and I appreciate you sending that card to let me knowing you're thinking of me. I'm sorry again about your friend Lyn, and your mom. Of course this would be a trying time for you, Linda! Life has a way of reminding us at times of what we've lost. But, as Carole said, I think we have the right to dwell on the positive experiences too.

    Hugs! Look me up when you need to chat, hon... :)

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I treasure my friends like I do my family. As the saying goes, "It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." Hugs!

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  3. This is a beautiful sharing of your being there for others and also learning to be there for yourself. When we have so many losses, one right after another, being strong becomes so difficult and letting go becomes our best friend. Thanks, Linda! :)
    www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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    1. The "Kindness Challenge" came at the exact right time for me. This is another period of growth in my life, where I learn something important and come to a new understanding with myself.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, you always have the right to grieve. Sometimes being strong just isn't an option, you can have some time to yourself and let your feelings out. I wish you all the best in getting through all this, thanks for sharing such a raw and beautiful post.

    thenashtray.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nash...and for showing that you "understand." All the best to you, as well. :)

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  5. Kind and gentle thoughts for you during this tender time. This is indeed a perfect opportunity to practice your self-compassion skills and I think your awareness will serve you well. Wishing you much ease and grace on your journey.

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  6. I like your affirmation and your text, so true- we are taught to be tough for ourselves and then spend years on learning how to treat ourselves with love. here is my post https://love-it-now.live/2017/05/21/self-compassion/

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    1. Glad you dropped by, Monika. Appreciate your comments. I'll stop byto read your post, as well.

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  7. It sounds like you have had so much to deal with and as you rightly say have shown compassion to others but now have need of it for yourself. Do not feel guilty. You have written a very honest and thoughtful post - remember to read it back to yourself to remind you of this hard won knowledge. Thank you for sharing and my thoughts are with you :)
    http://pempispalace.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/kindness-challenge-week-2-reflection.html

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    1. You're very welcome...and thanks for your kind words. :)

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