Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Would You Treat Your Friend This Way?
Last week, and indeed, over the weekend, when I was recovering from this pretty-freaking-intense operation I had in my upper jaw/sinus (I still can't eat "normal" food quite yet), I found myself feeling guilty for napping outside in our garden; for watching back-to-back episodes of Gilmore Girls on loop until I passed out in front of the TV; for eating ice cream followed by jello followed by more ice cream.
Still tired from the after-effects of general anaesthesia, I pushed myself to do laundry; to iron; to tidy; to clean. On more than one occasion, I felt guilty for not writing and publishing blog posts, of all things. I tried to sit down and write, but my brain was too fuzzy from painkillers to formulate a sentence that I was happy with.
And then I thought: what the actual f*ck? I'm recovering from an operation - not skipping work to chill out at home. Where my left cheek joins my gumline, I have stitches that run from behind my last molar to just under my nose. I do not need to feel guilty for resting and relaxing.
A couple years ago, I suffered a terrible, devastating loss. I remember grieving this loss nearly eight months later and crying to my friend on the phone, "Why can't I just get over it?" Her answer was quiet, but measured: "If this happened to me, would you tell me to get over it?"
Folks, it was a lightbulb moment - no, more like a lightning-strike moment.
Of course I wouldn't tell my best friend to "get over it". I'd tell her to take all the time she needed; that she should be kind to herself; that she could call and we could talk and laugh and cry whenever she wanted to.
So why couldn't I extend the same compassion to myself? Likewise, if my friend had just had an operation, would my first thoughts be, "She should really be using her time off to catch up on blog posts" or "She should really stop wasting her time napping and get her second bedroom in order - yikes, it's a disaster in there"?
So, next time you put yourself down or critize how you're handling a situation, ask yourself: would you treat your friend this way? Chances are, the answer would be a resounding "no".