I am my harshest critic. I have compassion for other people but have to work at having compassion for myself. One thing I do that seems to help is to imagine that I am a character in a book. I view my life page by page and begin to see someone that deserves empathy and shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Perhaps you too are hard on yourself. Try this exercise and imagine you are a fictional character. We all could use a little less judgement and a little more self-compassion.
Patience I have, but hope remains elusive. This quote and post from The Seeds 4 life reminds me that it is important that I keep the lamp of hope lit within me.
Hope Is Patience with the Lamp Lit – Tertullian.
I think on most days I need to read this message from Pooh Bear. Having PTSD and agoraphobia among other things makes me feel cowardly, weak and stupid. Stupid, because I can’t think my way out of my fears. I know that they are by and large illogical. Part of me thinks if I was smarter I’d be able to reason my way out of the fearful mess that is my psyche. Weak, because I cannot push past the ridiculous fears that cripple my life much of the time. Cowardly, because instead of standing up to them, I allow them to rule over me.
But, I do stand up to my fears sometimes and do something that causes me anxiety anyway. I am not always cowardly. I am not always weak. And, the more I share with and learn from fellow bloggers and my therapist, I realize that my symptoms have nothing to do with my intelligence.
So, I will take to heart this wisdom from the bear who claimed to have “very little brain”. He is so much smarter than he thought.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m 55, and not a lot of wisdom to show for it! Perhaps, I need another twenty years on the planet. Although, I do talk less and listen more the older I get. But that could just be the result of many years in therapy. My therapist listens well to my words and even better to my silences. I had a neighbor once who would remain silent after you said something in a conversation. It was rather unhinging at first. Then, I realized that he was actually thinking before he spoke. This was a foreign concept to me. But I’ve adopted his style. Perhaps I unhinge others now. I remain silent but smile at times. Do I appear wise or idiotic? I am not sure! But, I am sure I am both these things at different times. Knowing this is surely the beginning of wisdom.
Please feel free to comment on how you feel wiser now.
I awake and am already overwhelmed and exhausted by early morning dreams. Like a traffic jam, images and thoughts and feelings crowd my head. Oh, its another day and I am less than thrilled. Quickly, I sit up so I won’t fall back asleep and into the dream. Shaking my head — trying to clear a path — doesn’t work. I’m relieved to realize that at least I don’t work today because its going to take hours to function. Gingerly, holding the railing, I walk down the stairs into the kitchen and press the button on the old coffee maker. No one else is at home, I realize with some relief. Wouldn’t want anyone seeing me like this. Grabbing the cup of coffee, I head to the computer to read blogs I regularly follow. The fog starts to roll away as I see what’s new with these people who I am getting to know. We visit each other’s worlds for a time. I push the like tab on a few and even comment on one. This fellow-blogger responds back and we are having a conversation — a meaningful one. Suddenly, I become aware of the breeze through the screened window and the sparrows chirping outside. It’s another day and I am okay with that.
So important to remember — especially when one is feeling defective because of the symptoms of post traumatic stress. PTSD is a normal human response to experiencing traumatic events. Today, try to accept that you are only human.