“Every day is so wonderful. Then suddenly, it’s hard to breathe. Now and then i get insecure. From all the pain, I’m so ashamed.”
I don’t look forward to these months, I have to say. This month’s topic for #1000Speak is “Self Compassion” and I find that one most difficult to write about. I could go all day long about any other topic under the “Compassion Umbrella” but when I must turn all my reflections inward, on me as a person, I struggle and even debate skipping May’s linkup altogether.
But here I am. I do like a challenge. Showing myself self compassion is just that.
So many of us wrestle with turning our writing in on ourselves. I know I am not alone. I have my reasons, for why I resist showing myself the kind of compassion I fancy myself so good at showing anyone else, just like everyone else who can’t show themselves that very same courtesy either.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of awful things. I’ve heard from so many with terrible stories of difficult childhoods, all setting them up for failure with self compassion, and I have none of that. I know I am lucky there.
I had supportive and loving parents and a close family growing up. All still true. Every one of them contributed to the best of who I am, not the worst thoughts and ideas I think about myself, during those darker moments.
It is not in spite of them, but because of them that I have the sort of love for myself as a person that I do. I do see my own worth. How could I not, with family like mine? They made me who I am.
We all have our own unique struggles. We are taught a lot about arrogance and narcissism in our world. It’s all around us. How to avoid taking on the worst of those qualities? If we love ourselves a little too much we are called out on it. If we constantly put ourselves down we make it too painful to be around. How to find a balance?
Well, without a stable childhood it is made one hundred times harder. I have the advantage there. I try to show myself compassion and then the negative thoughts creep in. It didn’t start from a need to be loved, not by family, to be perfect, but I got it anyway, in my own way.
Growing up with a disability makes you stronger. I can readily admit that. It teaches resilience and determination. That’s all well and good, but it also creates vast amounts of insecurities and guilt.
Am I worth being around?
Am I good enough?
Am I good at anything?
Am I or have I ever been a burden for someone?
Am I enough, in friendships and in romantic relationships? Do I deserve happiness? Will I ever find it or am I meant to end up alone?
Is that a bad thing in the end? Could I survive it and be okay anyway?
So, how to get okay with any of these?
Of course, I am familiar with the truth that “we must love ourselves before we can expect anyone else to love us” and I agree. My whole life, up until now and going forward, is focused on developing the skills and the belief in myself, to become stronger, for better or for worse.
I don’t know how anyone knows they love who they are enough that love from someone else will work out. Do I push people away? Is there something in me, a doubt and a faithlessness, that anyone I attempt to get close to can feel, of which inevitably ends up driving them away?
These are all questions that run through my head. I don’t know how to make it stop, how to finally answer for my own personal satisfaction.
So, then the challenge becomes finding meaning in what I love and what I know I am all about, a new internal fight begins. It’s more uncertainty that nags at me by this point.
So, I can repeat continuous statements of positivity in my head, out loud, or in my writing. I can then hope those thoughts take hold in my mind, as I desperately hope to believe I can be happy.
I try things like write down what I’m grateful for. I try to remind myself of the things I can do, instead of everything I cannot. That scale often feels unbalanced, but I steady myself whenever possible.
If I feel like I’ve got no friends, no hope for finding love, like I’m not meant to ever have children and a family of my own, like I will never find a job and support myself, like I can never look the way I want or be at the right weight then I would drown in a sea of hopelessness. I have somehow found a way not to lose hope, to keep the faith, even during the rougher moments.
Underneath it all I was raised to value myself. That is a foundation that will never let me down, one which I can always count on and look to for strength. It’s the building up from that initial base, since then that sometimes threatens to crumble. I must do whatever I can to stop that destruction.
I have no finality on this matter, no answers, nor conclusions. I am still figuring it all out.
And every month, or as it should be.
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion