Lent is hard.
Giving up on fear and anxiety is harder.
I have come up with some ideas.
Somewhat based on my most favorite Anne Lamott quote ever:
"take yourself through the day as you would with your most beloved mental-patient relative, with great humor and lots of small treats."
Why, why WHY is it so hard to be kind to ourSELVES???
If I had a friend come to me and say what a hard day she was having, I would listen patiently. My heart would want to find a way to relieve her stress, to help bear her burdens.
Maybe, just maybe it would be good to treat my anxious, somewhat fearful, self like that.
wow, just looking at peaceful and serene photos are helping, too!
I'm not fearful and anxious every day.
Some days I'm brave, and put myself out to see what happens.
Other days, I don't care much what happens and I relish the day.
But the days when fear and anxiety knock, I always open the door. And it surprises me every time I do.
So here are some ideas on small treats and being kind to ourselves.
A freshly squeezed pomegranate juice popsicle.
Just looking at the color makes me happy.
Meeting God half way in trust and giving thanks.
That's always a good one.
Give thanks for everything.
I was sitting here, anxiously trying to put together this post (I have deleted two so far), and was interrupted (thank goodness) by a phone call from my eldest.
I looked up from my computer during this phone call and stared out the window.
It's not snowing here, and I'm so sorry for those of you where it is snowing.
But not here.
For that I'm thankful.
It smells like new these days.
You know, the new smell that comes with trees budding and grass growing and flowers coming out to say hello to spring.
This might sound silly, but at least for me, crying is a kindness I can give to myself.
I tend to put my big girl britches on too many times and not release stress.
Like Tuesday, when we drove 2 hours to an MRI appointment for Brenna to get the dimensions of her (enlarged) heart, only to find out it was the wrong day. All together it was the wrong test that was scheduled. The cardiac MRI's are two HOURS long and will need to be done under general anesthesia next week.
I can't say I boo-hooed, but I had a couple of tears. That's progress for me. Instead of thinking I had epically failed because of being there the wrong day, we all ended up thankful that it wasn't another month before we could get the right test done.
Yes, we were a little stunned after the day (except for Brenna, she was cool with it all).
But I'm thankful I can talk through things with my husband and that he has a way with questions and can get to the bottom of things we don't understand.
I think I will put up reminders to be kind to myself.
Maybe little notes that I choose out of a jar that suggest things like eating lunch outside in the sunshine. Or a take a bubble bath and think of ten things I'm grateful for. It could be a reminder to smell some flowers or take photos of them.
16x12 mixed media on old canvas from Goodwill
I especially like the thought of a reminder in the form tattoo, but I would want to change the word every week.
Instead, I write a word like hope, or trust in Sharpie on my hand or the inside of my finger or on the inside of my forearm. I have had strange comments on them, but it makes me feel like I'm cool and anyway, it's a good thing to share with people.
Naps are the ultimate kind treat I can give myself. Even if it's twenty minutes.
going back in time and remembering the good stuff that has happened. I was Brave at Brave Girl Camp, and I still am....
a beautiful sky in Idaho. Walks are good for the soul!
Hello, lightbulb thought...
scary=anxiety or fear.
working through it=growth, fun, new people, new experiences and maybe a failure but you learn anyway.
In doing these new things, It's important to leave time to let it sink in. To let it grow, percolate and become what it needs to be. Then, when the time is right, a call to action is heard and answered.
I have to remind myself of this every.single.day.
I can't answer the call to action every minute of every day. I may try, but I usually end up frustrated and anxious.
Huh. How 'bout that.
I'm going to go let this post percolate in my head now.