Self Compassion

This time of year always presents me with some challenges. Why? Well it’s my birthday as well as an annual rally back home on Mull that I used to compete in – in fact I started navigating when I was 16.

Why should these two events bother me? Well annual events tend to smack me in the face a bit. They make me realise that another year has been added on to my ME Years, that another year has passed within these four walls, that year 28 of my life has been a write-off just like 27, 26 and 25.

This year though I don’t feel quite so bad about it all. Why? Well a few reasons. First of all my husband made my birthday really special. He knows how hard I can find it, he knows how low it can make me and so he treated me like a princess. Honestly I’m so lucky to have such an amazing husband, someone who understands and supports me completely.

Then there’s the fact that I decided to actually voice these feelings to my CP. It wasn’t easy to do, I almost felt like I was being shallow about growing older, but as with everything  I’ve taken to her so far she understood. She quite rightly pointed out that I’m focussing on the negatives (something hubby tells me a lot). Instead I should be thinking about where I am now compared to last year, the things that I have achieved, the things that have changed in our lives. She has a friend who every year writes down the things she has achieved in that year, so as to highlight the good and perhaps the stuff that needs worked on.

So I thought about it. Well now we have a support network. I have my CP, a new wheelchair, a stairlift and I can have a shower thanks to my new stool.  I understand myself better. I am working on my OCD, on understanding my limits, on achieving small things and taking the good from them rather than being “gutted I couldn’t do more”. I am learning to be more self compassionate. Yes physically I might have gone back from where I was last year but mentally I’m in a much better place.

So this year I turned 29 and although I know I’ve not achieved all those things I thought I would have done by this age, I now know that I have to put that behind me. I have to focus on what I have achieved and what I’d like to achieve next. They are small aims but they feel just as amazing as achieving my old aims did. Does that make sense? For example I am already feeling mastery and achievement at having written this blog post. I feel great mentally. I feel the same achievement from this as I would have felt from cleaning the entire house back in my well days.

The rally is on tonight and all weekend. I am gutted I can’t be there to watch but I have my phone so I’ll be able to text friends and keep up online. It might not be quite the same but I can still be a part it, just in a different way.

So I guess what I am saying is this. Be more self-compassionate. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Reassess your situation. Stop and smell the roses rather than focussing upon the thorns.

If you are interested in finding out more about self-compassion then I recommend this website. There’s also a quiz on there so you can see how self-compassionate you are. I didn’t do well but it has opened my eyes and so I aim to do better!

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16 thoughts on “Self Compassion

  1. What a wonderful post. I have the same issues because of spinal problems that have left me housebound and exhausted from pain. I’m too trying to work on not being too hard on myself and celebrating small successes with my CPN and psycholgist but it is so hard, so I really admire the progress you are making. So pleased to hear you are getting support, I will look forward to reading your blog in future.

  2. A beautifully written blog Rhoda; I particularly note a lack of self pity, something that people who are well can be guilty of! As someone without any physical disabilities, I take my hat off to you and will also be reassessing my own negative thoughts. Thank you!

  3. Hey, wonderful post and so interesting. I write a blog about self healing….and being able to read this from your point of view, really helps me with my work and writing. Keep going….loving yourself can create miracles…for everyone..all it takes is a change in thought. xxx

  4. Oh another admirer here, the trouble is sometimes we cannot get away from ourselves and its our own self that is responsible for bringing us down. I always try to live in the ‘here and now’ looking back on things missed or planning a future is not possible for all of us, but this day, this hour, this minute is here and some things can be achieved. i scored low on the self compassion, way too hard on myself.

  5. I too had M.E. but luckily for me I am no longer bed bound,I went to special classes at the hospital in Bangor and they taught us how to try and do something each day. Take one step, then gradually build it up. Still have problems but trying just like you to carry on. Whilst I was in bed took up writing poetry about my life and family.Looking back now some are quite amusing.Keep your chin up my love, I praise you for your courage. Lots of love Pam

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Pam. I’m so pleased to hear that you are making progress. I love that you took up poetry, what a great idea. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and take care. Love Rhoda x

  6. Rhoda, as always, I take my hat off to you. Thank you for writing that post. It has certainly helped me put any little problems I have in my life into perspective. Best of luck for the future………and please pat yourself on the back!

    • Thank you for the lovely comment Glenda and for taking the time to read my post. I didn’t realise last year when I wrote this that it will actually be useful every year, every time I feel like I’ve been smacked in the face by an event. Thank you again for the comment and for all of your support. xx

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