“Be your own best friend. Never ever, put yourself down.” – Paulo Coelho
What would I say to a good friend, if our roles were reversed? What if I were healthy, and she was frequently unwell? I know for certain that I wouldn’t mutter half the things I say to myself, because it just wouldn’t make any sense.
Would I tell anyone at all to push their body to beyond breaking point, because work was more important than health? Would I berate them for having to cancel dinner plans yet again? Would I blame them for something they did or didn’t do, due to an illness they didn’t ask for?
This quote by Paulo Coelho provokes me to ask myself questions that I already know the right answers to – responses that are all kinder, more tolerant and more sensible than what I actually do to myself.
I believe it bothered me more than the people involved, or they were aware of my limitations to begin with, yet I can’t help but feel apologetic whenever something like this happens:
- Missing important life events of good friends or family – all these milestones of memory marked by dark holes instead of collective colour.
- Having to trouble colleagues with my share of work – let’s face it, nobody likes working overtime and I hate being the cause of it.
- Slowing companions down while travelling – either due to my limited energy capacity which we have to ration amongst activities, or just moving along at a degraded pace.
The biggest ‘crime’ I have committed in any of these circumstances probably has nothing to do with what I am actually feeling sorry for, but rather, the fact that I have allowed external factors to define how I think or feel about myself.
I admire how some (or most?) people know what they’re worth; they are unafraid to apply the rules of fairness not just towards others, but also towards themselves, which is often the more difficult task.
Perhaps it is some kind of inverse ego or inferiority complex, but whatever the reason is, it is time to give it up and start treating ourselves well today – it’s the right thing to do.
For More Insight:
- 20 Tips for Living Well with Chronic Pain and Illness (psychologytoday.com): https://goo.gl/8YHoY8
- 11 Strategies to Combat Negative thoughts and Emotions (ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk): http://bit.ly/2JR96u1
- How Our Stories Make Us Miserable: 10 Types of Negative Self-Talk (and How to Correct Them) (nickwignall.com): http://bit.ly/2OohAw3