We can tell the world to be kind to others, tell them that there is good and kind in all of us. We can tell our kids to be the ones to stand up and shine kind. We can tell the neighbor kids to play kindly and share. I think, for the most part, we can all be very kind to others if we choose to. I know we don’t always choose to…
What about being kind to ourselves? Why is it sooooo much harder to be kind to ourselves? What is in us that makes us so much harder on the person we see in the mirror? I know some of it lies in self-worth and confidence and potentially so much more. I am sure there are deep seated reasons in why we are so stinking terrible to ourselves. I don’t mean this only in the person we see in the mirror, we are hard on her/him. I am talking about being mean to all parts of us. We overthink our parenting, our friendships, our looks, our weight, our choices, our words- ALL.OF.IT. We quickly put ourselves down and beat ourselves up for everything. Why must we do this to the person we were made to be?
I am super guilty of this. I am the first to see myself as a failure, as a mom who missed signing my kiddos up for things on time. I miss the bus- I really am the reason we miss the bus. I yell when we are late or stressed- hence making it all worse. I try as.hard.as.I.can to get homework and reading into the night… but we fail. We show up for dance, on a Monday, 2 weeks before the real Monday it starts (we know we can do it on time now). I mix up a lot of things.
Maybe… just maybe I am only listing all that I failed at. What about… all that I did right, right down to the little things. Why must I see the crap and forget the good? What is it in us that does this? It could be human nature, but I think it is human nurture. We are told and taught and shown that we are not enough. We are not enough in so many areas of our lives; though it is what we think, hear, grow up knowing. We are so extraordinary and regular and broken- built to be humans. Humans created to be what we are- broken and extraordinary and real and honest and regular and whole.
What about the part of us that keeps us from seeing us as a success in human hood? I am tired. I am mad at me for being tired. I am a Mom to 2 awesome and growing girls and one that happens to be an angel. I am a President to a Foundation that works hard to create best day ever’s, awareness and support. I am an advocate for families. I work in Special Ed with awesome little friends who need a little more. I write and I speak. I try to eat well, to work out, to run and enjoy that time. I fall asleep making a to-do list, trying to fit in time for me… to enjoy time with my Mr. Rick, to get a pedicure… heck to get a haircut. I try. I end many days seeing me failing at something… never letting myself see the lighter side (I woke up, I worked, I smiled, I ran, I chased, I made it… albeit with grown out hair and rough feet).
I work with families who are going through crazy. I have friends who have seen the worst. Our piles of crazy and our ‘the worsts’ are not to be compared- only survived. I say this because so many look at me as worst-case-scenario, and I honestly like life very much. I love it even in my big pile of loss and heartbreak. We all are dealt a different pile, at any one time we could be on a high or hanging with a hard time. We don’t get to pick. We do get to pick how we handle…
One mom I love is entering the world of Pediatric Palliative Care. Imagine. That lovely momma beats herself up for so much. I talk to her and she is struggling with bills and stress and the house. I see her and I see her doing the best with what she has. She wonders if she’s made mistakes and what she should be taking care of- I assure her that her lovely teen daughter who is preparing her for her death is the.most.important.person.to.care.for. I told her that the time she has with her daughters, the time her daughters have together will be the most important thing she can do for this piece of her life. There will be another time the she will be in a place that she doesn’t need to ask for support. Someday she will be gifting another support in a way she knows how…
I heard from a friend today about her momma, who was injured and her recovery will be long. We talked about maintaining life next to this hard… kids, sports, work, recovery and care for parents. The first thing I said was “Be kind to yourself”… let yourself just get by. This is the time to just move forward… to accept meals from friends and not count calories, to just do what you need and crash, to maybe miss a few things as a parent. We are only human and God uses our hard to create beautiful things, He never wastes pain. So just live and know that there will be a time that the craziness fits in. He works that way.
I have friends going through financial hardship, trying to be okay with their kids getting less. I have friends going through divorces trying to even it out and be the best parent they can even in the turmoil. I have friends who have VERY sick children and their marriages are suffering or their jobs. I have people in my life who just found out that their child is sick… all on different parts of this journey we call life. Sometimes it is high, sometimes it is low. Do the best with the tools you have.
Be kind to yourself. I know, I sound all bossy. I mean it though. I mean to love yourself always and anyway… because life is really freakin’ hard. Life is hard on we humans, hard on our hearts and bodies, our spirits. I don’t wish you to have an easy life, or less piles… I wish for you to prepare for those piles, the good and the bad… and do the best with the tools you have. I think in these moments of Forrest Gump… when I was tired I slept, when I was hungry I ate. Do what you can with what you have in those moments, sometimes it means we nap or eat a quick dinner or miss an open house or forget a dance class. You are human. I am human. We are doing the best we can, love yourself anyway. Remind me, I will remind you.
Life is kind, hard, lovely, terrible, messy, perfect, broken and awesome all in one day, heck all in one moment. Try to love the you that you are right now, with the pile you have in this moment. So when you are busy caring for your momma after a few strokes, or stressing about finances… or entering your lovely into Hospice care- be kind. Let yourself be a human who is just using what they have… getting by, just surviving this part.