Talk to the Hand - Self-CompassionApr 03, 2021
I think he knows all along what we'll struggle with. He made arrangements to help each of us at every turn, even though He can't take away our agency or solve our problems for us because then we wouldn't grow.
I've observed myself doing un-smart things, and when I look back, I think I shoulda, woulda, coulda just like everyone does.
Like when I spend all of my energy trying to get my husband, Joe, to understand my logic.
But an ADOS (attention deficit ooh, shiny) person with depression reasoning with someone with PTSD induced schizophrenia is like trying to rescue a drowning person. They're usually panicking and climbing on top of their would-be rescuer, so they both go down.
When I try to reason with Joe, we typically end up fighting, and both of us lose.
Even so, here's the thing: when you are so focused on trying to change your loved one's opinion or behavior, you miss out on the opportunity to process your own emotions or notice your thoughts and behavior.
And when emotions are high - intelligence is low. Reactions are poor.
It's a lot harder to act from the ideal version of yourself when your emotions are running wild. It's tougher to listen and collaborate when you're feeling threatened or upset.
The good news is: you always have the option to process your sadness, your disappointment, your frustration, your fear.
Learn to feel your emotions with intention. Emotions are just chemical reactions in your brain that you can also detect in other areas of your body.
Talk to the hand. Your hand. Or your tummy, shoulders, chest, throat, anywhere.
Start by checking out if your emotion has a color, temperature, texture, or speed present when you feel a particular emotion.
Can you describe it like an animal? Is it a butterfly, a lion, or a shark?
What about the weather? Could you describe it as breezy, hot, or icy?
Maybe it resembles a land formation or body of water. Does it feel like a raging river, a rocky cliff, an ice flow, or a volcano?
Breathe into your body's sensations. Let them be. Welcome them to stay as long as they need to. Don't try to push the discomfort away or bury it.
Then feel it wash through you. It will if you let it. It might also stay awhile. That's okay. It’ll get bored if you don't resist it, and it’ll subside.
Once you've felt and soothed yourself in that way, you'll be in a more loving and calm position to discuss whatever it is with your loved one.
You've taken the time to see and hear yourself, so it feels easier to see and hear your loved one.
You've cared for you already. You can now be patient with someone else's brain.
Talk to yourself before you talk to him (or her).
Talk to the hand. Both of your hands. They work and love and serve and lift and help others. All day. What do YOU need?
Remember the "wrong" things you do or think or say that you wish later you hadn't? What if you really hadn't? How do you KNOW that things would have turned out any better?
You don't. And hindsight being 20/20 is baloney.
We say that because we think if we'd have done it differently, it would have turned out better. But we don't know that.
Hindsight is only able to see how things went. Not how they might have gone. There's no proof that anything would have FOR SURE gone ANY way when the variables were changed.
Life is unpredictable. That means we can't predict how things WILL turn out or how they WOULD HAVE turned out IF.
Planning is great. I plan. Plan all you want. But things will go differently than planned, and it's vital to give yourself love and praise for doing exactly as you did every time.
You always did your best. Even when you thought you were lazy or irresponsible. At those times, that WAS your best. That's all you could muster with what you knew and had at your fingertips.
Talk to the hand. Tell it thank you. Tell it you love it, and you're grateful that it always reaches, always cares, and holds onto other hands for companionship.
Even if your hand only has your other hand to hold, hold on tight. Talk to them both. Have compassion for all your hands go through and everything they do.
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