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.

  7 comments for “Be kind to yourself

  1. Mary Brink
    October 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I sure hate that you’ve been suffering so much! But so glad you are just letting yourself BE, resting in God, not pushing yourself. Good lesson for us all, to be kinder to ourselves, when usually we are the hardest on self. Thanks for sharing!

    • October 18, 2014 at 10:54 am

      And thank you again for reading and always deeply caring about me/us. :)

  2. Jocelyne Legault
    October 18, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Thank you for reminding us that we can let go and be ourselves in any manner, God you are right is not moved and wants to hear how we feel He knows anyway… God is the great healer and I pray His mighty hand of healing on your ankle right now in the name of Jesus. Take care of YOURSELF, rest and heal…Gods Blessings..

    • October 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

      “Let go and be ourselves..” – so good. God, help us with this! It’s so freeing. Thank you for reading!!

  3. October 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Dear Brittany,
    So sorry to hear of your new normal for the present time. Just happened to run across your blog, a “Godincidence” I believe. In reading your blog, it could have been me blogging the words, each and every one. But I wouldn’t have let people know as you did because as Christians we’re supposed to be strong and able to go through the “stuff” with a smile, or so I thought. Hunh! No smile, then you are a Christian failure not living the faith, or so I thought. Prayer so vital a part of my life, yet times I could only utter, “Help me,” and ashamed for people to know that part of me. Times, many, many times, that have sucked but, again put on the smile and pretend, because isn’t that what people want to see? Nor do we have to give in and fall on the ground in total submission to the misery, yet “be kind to yourself” are words that seem alien to me. Me? Kind to Myself? Never entered my mind. How could it, with the guilt and shame that filled me because I felt I did not live up to “whatever!” Brittany, thank you aqain (we have spoken before) for your vulnerability, your straigforwardnessw, your honesty

    • October 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Hi Helen! I’m still trying to remember names and faces of people at HCF but yes, I know who you are and remember speaking before. :) Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I think it so pleases God to have us be…well, RAW and painfully honest…about where we’re at. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!!

  4. Katariina Virtanen
    October 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    This was a refeshing piece to read reminding me that performing to God is not needed, He sees through it anyway…and really, other people are helped more when we let them see that we struggle and don’t have it together at all times…
    Also true healing will never take place if realities are not faced bang-on! How can God send us his comfort or help if we are not admitting to hurting or struggling??
    Thank you for posting this! In Jesus name all pain, any sign of infection be gone! Be healed in Jesus name.
    I am standing in faith waiting to see your healing manifest itself. You just keep resting in Him…

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