Be kind to yourself

I will spare my lovely readers from any details but I had a turn for the worse this past week and was really.really.really. not feeling well.  The kind of not feeling well where you can’t even read (and folks, I always have a book going) to pass the time because you can’t concentrate.

You don’t expect 8 months into marriage that your husband would be picking you up, in and out of bed, but who knows what this life will throw at you. Totally not complaining…I understand it could be worse, for sure. But that line, “It could be worse,” got a little old this past week.

In the midst of a slightly dark week for me, I received many thoughtful and encouraging Facebook messages, texts, calls and e-mails.  For every one, I am truly grateful.

One message in particular ended in a line that felt as if it lifted a heavy load off of me.  It wasn’t a “I’m thinking of you,” “I’m praying for you,” or even a “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you” kind of note.  It was a little line urging me to do this:

“Be kind to yourself.”

I’m well acquainted with hard work and I don’t often shy away from a difficult task.  I am quite a strong gal and I long to be known as kind to those around me.  But something I’m not good at is this little, simple thing:

being kind to myself.

I can hold a grudge for a bit but it usually doesn’t last long as I’m quick to take people off the hook….but I so quickly hang myself back up on that very hook all the same.  Needless to say, I’m hard on myself.  Even when I’m sick, believe it or not!  I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking, “For the love of god, Brittany, give yourself a break…you have a broken ankle!”  But still, it’s not that easy for me.  These nagging feelings of–I should be able to do more, clean more, make dinner more, do laundry more, write more,…be more…than I am right now–berate me.

However, since receiving this precious, little message, I have been working on not working on myself.

The next few days I stayed in bed all day.  Because I needed to stop trying and just be.

I didn’t pray.  I just whispered to the One who knows every detail of me, “Help.” 

I stopped saying “It could be worse.”  And let myself say “this really, REALLY sucks.”

I let myself cry.  Because, well…it’s been a month with pain and a cast and crutches and it’s getting a bit old. 

I didn’t read my Bible.  I let what my heart has memorized repeat itself over and over in my mind: “You’re the lifter of my head…”  (Psalm 3:3)  “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)

I let myself be frustrated and mad.  Because He’s not turned off by my fickle emotions.

I didn’t try to do anything of “value.”  I just…was for the next few days.

I was simply, intentionally more kind to myself.

I let myself be human. Let myself be my broken self.

I let myself off the hook and was more gentle.

So if you, too, are goin’ through something, dear reader…

Be Kind to Yourself

What a valuable lesson to be learned.

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