Self Kindness and Survival

Its funny how you can ‘know’ something really well, and then in certain moments and certain situations, you realise how little you’ve really learnt it AND applied it.

Being kind to myself, caring for myself and giving myself what I needed in this week has literally been survival. The concerns, frustrations and heartache of lockdown was not as eased by the moving of Level 5 to Level 4 as I had hoped. In our house, we hit the wall. Hard!

Each day has been a huge effort. Tasks and routines that have come easily in the previous weeks have suddenly felt as hard as pushing treacle up a hill. Laundry baskets have sat full and dirty. Dishes have sat in the sink. Meals have become ‘picnic’ like. School work was ignored and business meetings were done without videos because brushing my hair was just too much. My goal for each day – get to the end of it. And the realisation of that has been uncomfortable. I am not a ‘scrape by’ kind of person. I am not a ‘just enough’ person. I am a ‘lets excel’ person. So it has been painful in many ways.

But letting go of standards I’ve had for myself, (some of which I didn’t even realise I had built up) for my home, my kids, my marriage, my friendships, my business, etc etc has been a necessity. Letting go of things I want to get done but just haven’t had the emotional capacity to do has been the kindest thing I could do to myself.

And, it turns out that it wasn’t weakness or failure as it had initially felt. Turns out it was my greatest strength. It was my Sword in the Stone moment of revelation of who I really am. I am a high capacity person and I like to get stuff done, but, even when I don’t get the things done, and even when my capacity is low – I am still a flipping awesome person. I am still skilled and talented, I am still kind and caring and I am still likeable and loveable.

Giving myself space to let go of the invisible standards of expectation I had placed on myself allowed me to rest and regroup and now here I am in this week, feeling stronger and clearer and also – more carefree. Seeing my world continue even with a sink of dirty dishes, seeing my kids laughing and smiling without me being 24/7 switched on, and seeing my friends love and support me when I had nothing to offer in return has been the most beautiful and freeing lesson, one I plan to hold on to and apply every day moving forwards.

So, if you have been concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, literally just focused on getting to the end of the day and your plans and lists are left gathering dust – it’s ok. It is more than ok. Rest a while. Give yourself the same kindness you would offer to a friend. Allow yourself to be human and imperfect, and instead of looking at the mountain ahead of you – look behind you and see how far you have come.

Well done my friend – you have tackled so many days of unknown and uncertainty and you are still here. You my friend are doing so so well. You are incredible.