It’s a hard thing to do, be gentle with yourself. Today is a gentle sort of day for me. It’s the start of a major transition, my sinuses are telling me that they are way not happy with my falling off my care regimen (fear-based thoughts… I’ll talk about those later…), and my fibromyalgia is well aware of the transition. So I slept later than I’d planned, and although the sun is shining and the day looks positively gorgeous for late February, I shall sit down at the computer and start on the inevitable to do list. And yet, I’m being gentle with myself.
Sure, sitting down to work on a beautiful day might not sound like someone is being gentle with him or herself. When we think of “being gentle”, we think of relaxation, enjoying a good book, naps, comfort foods, and general “don’t have to do anything” type activities. But you can still take care of what you need to do and be gentle. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind.1. Don’t negative self-talk, criticize, or otherwise get negative on what you’ve done. Yes, I got up later than I’d planned. But, if I’d gone out and done the things I’d wanted to do, I’d be home to start my work about this time anyway. And it is the start of a big week. I probably needed that sleep. Accept what is–I can’t go back and change the clock–and move forward secure in the knowledge that it will all work out, and that at any given moment we’re doing exactly what we need to do, we just might not know the reasons for it yet.
2. Don’t push. Yeah, I could have rolled out of bed earlier, rushed around, and got things done. But then I would have made my fibromyalgia monster even more angry than he was. Instead, I accepted. Acceptance is a scary word. It implies passivity, even though it very much isn’t. Acceptance means that I am aware of my situation and I am adjusting to it by taking action to have things move smoothly. Acceptance means being aware and allowing. It means being so firmly in the moment that all the self-talk, fears, and worry in the world won’t pull you out.
3. Look forward. Don’t look back and ruminate over all the things you didn’t do. Look forward to the things that you CAN do. I awakened knowing that I have a huge swath of time (partially due to a meeting being moved a day) where I can sit down, and work at my own pace, and move forward. Keep your eye on the prize, as the biblical verse says. Know what you are striving towards and make sure you look forward to it. There is nothing behind you that you can change.
There are times when being gentle with ourselves does imply a comfy afternoon spent on the couch in snuggly pajamas and tea. Then again, there are other times when it means moving forward one slow step at a time and being perfectly happy with the fact that we’re awake, we’re alive, and we’re moving. May you have a blessed day.