When I became responsible for my dad’s care, I felt like I was instantly expected to know what to do. People kept looking to me for answers, but I didn’t even understand the questions half the time.
Recently, I was reading Self-Compassion in the Realness of Life, a blog about dealing with the ups and downs of life. It’s written by Kim Fredrickson, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. What she wrote was what I desperately needed to hear when I was drowning in the newness of my dad’s dementia.
Give Yourself Permission to…
~ Not know what you are doing
~ Learn how to navigate this new life change
~ Have mixed feelings, even about something positive
~ Be resentful, angry, hurt and sad about this life change
~ Take time to gather information, talk to others and seek help as you navigate through what is new and unexpected
Say Some Kind Words to Yourself…
~ I’m overwhelmed right now, and with good reason
~ I’ve never been through this before
~ I’ll figure out how to do this new ______ a piece at a time
~ I’m not supposed to know how to handle something I’ve never been through before…no one does
~ I’ll look for whatever little bits of encouragement and support I can see
~ I’ll ask God and others for help, and look for unexpected answers
On Fredrickson’s website, she writes: “Most of us are used to showing compassion to others. We often have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves. We often say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend.” That sure rings true to me! How about you?
Let’s make a deal, ok? Let’s be kind to ourselves.
Please share this with anyone who’s going through a rough time and needs encouragement. Thank you.
To find out more about Kim Fredrickson’s blog or her upcoming book Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend, visit her website: http://www.kimfredrickson.com (The excerpt above is from her March 27, 2015 post.)