“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
~ Pema Chodron
Today’s post will be short. I’m grateful to have seven sessions scheduled back to back today from noon to seven. Thanks to all who’ve commented and sent suggestions. I hope to make personal replies to each tonight after work.
Today, I want to talk about the importance of practicing extreme self-compassion. I’ve been giving suggestions of how to stay (relatively) sane during our time of isolation. I hope you find them helpful. What I don’t want is for you to feel like I’m some kind of a drill sergeant, or feel like a failure if you can’t do everything you set out to do. More than ever, we need kindness—to others and to ourselves. Take it all one day at a time. If something helps, add it to your list. If it doesn’t, scratch it off.
A question I’m constantly asking myself, especially now, is, “What is the healthiest choice right now?” That question brings our actions into mindful behavior.
I am not, by nature, a morning person! Never have been and I doubt I’ll ever be. Last night was rough. Anxiety dreams. Waking up wide-awake around 3:00 am then tossing and turning while my mind took me on a wild, bad ride. I’d set my clock for earlier than usual so I’d be ready for a 9:00 am Zumba class. When the alarm went off, all I wanted was to stay in bed. I asked myself the question, and I dragged myself out of bed to Zumba. Mostly because I feel better when I do, and because today I’m going to be sitting for seven hours straight!
But, there have been and will be days when I will choose to stay in bed even when it’s NOT the healthy choice. And I will try not to beat myself up about it. And I will try to make a different decision the NEXT morning.
We are all in this together and none of us knows this territory. As long as we keep TRYING to do the best we can, we’re okay. None of us is going to be fabulous while this continues, but we can strive to be OKAY. The last thing any of us needs right now is to be beating ourselves up because we can’t be perfect!
Allow the thoughts and feelings to come. Even fear and anxiety. Because they’re real and true and totally appropriate affect for what we’re going through. Don’t push them away, but don’t indulge them to your detriment. Remember, thoughts and feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are. It’s what we CHOOSE to do with them that matters. Make healthy choices whenever possible.
I do urge everyone to take all the safety measures possible. I’ve found a good and reliable source for information to be www.surgeongeneral.com. Please, stay home if at all possible!
I also urge you to keep reaching out to whomever you can. Isolation is the greatest enemy to good mental health. I was delightfully surprised yesterday and today to receive beautiful Jacquie Lawson cards sent through email by a friend from high school. (Thank you, Martha!) It feels good for you AND the recipient when you reach out. Win, win!
And I’m finding humor to be helpful, wherever I can find it. Watch funny videos and favorite funny movies. Let them be pointlessly dumb, but amusing. Let your humor be stupid or dark. Don’t judge, just laugh.
Thanks, again, so much, to all of you who are reading my posts. I’m honored that you’re following me, and grateful my words are helping. Reach out to me if you want Suzy’s information for finding free Zumba classes, and I’ll give you the information directly.
A reminder that I’m also offering free mini-consultations. If you are in immediate danger of self-harm, feel in danger from someone in your household, of feel in danger of harming someone else, please call 911. But if you just want a quick question answered or feel you need guidance in a particular situation, or want to share what is or is not working for you, please feel free to email me at SheilaFlaherty2012@gmail.com. I will respond as quickly as possible. If it’s urgent, please put URGENT in the subject line.
Please stay safe and stay in touch. Reach out if you need me. And please let me know if you think an online meet-up on Zoom is something you might be interested in and I’ll figure out how to make it work.
Blessings, gratitude, and much love to all of you.
March 23, 2020 @ 4:11 PM
Hi Sheila…hope you don’t request I see myself out because I am the first (and only, so far) guy to say thank you for your insights, empathy, largesse and willingness to explore this strange new world. Admittedly, it is not scary strange for serial introverts like myself, but other, outside influences have definitely come into play over the course of the past few days.
Also wanted to give you a shout out for the inspiration to write something every day, to keep the blades sharpened, if nothing else. BUT, beyond that I decided to try to write something funny…and I know funny is in the eye of the beholder…and then share it on the Facebook page my local community has. I figure maybe if I can bring a smile to someone else every day, then it has been a good day.
Keep up your healing and hopeful messages!
March 24, 2020 @ 6:49 PM
Oh, Phil…I’m happy to have you represent my male readers. Thank you so much for your lovely words. And, knowing what an excellent writer you are, I’m thrilled that I’ve inspired you to write more. Can’t wait to read your posts!
March 24, 2020 @ 3:51 PM
Another great article! I especially love what you said about thoughts and feelings not being right or wrong. They just are, and it’s our response to them that matters. A great reminder for us all. Thanks!
March 24, 2020 @ 6:50 PM
Thank you, RoseMary. Your words inspire and encourage me to keep writing.