This month I’m branching out.
This month I would like to share with you a Facebook post taken from another blog called, Elephant Journal. The name of the piece is, “TheFacebook Confession every person should read” and it is by Vironika Tugaleva.
The reason I would like to share this with you all is because for me this “confession” aptly and so honestly puts into words what I seem to struggle with more and more the older I get and something that I see my patients also struggling with on a daily basis.
"Confession: Every Saturday, after I have a session with a beloved client, I call my grandfather. He lives alone. My family is very broken apart and, through a series of terrible events, he’s wound up alone, not only physically, but emotionally. He does get food and all provided for him, but everyone dislikes him, and he only perpetuates that cycle by putting up this jagged personality to them. They say he started it. He says something different.
To me, he’s a different person. No one sees him like this. Have you ever had a kid or a dog that just lights up when they see your face? Well, that’s how he is to me. His voice just changes when he hears mine. He sounds like a man who’s just won the lottery. His joy when he hears it’s me on the other end is like the joy of a child.
Then, he tells me the same stories over. I think he’s got some brain damage from a previous stroke, because he retells things and he lies a lot.
I guess my confession is—I don’t always want to call. And, when I don’t, I feel guilty. I feel like I should want to call, want to be there for him, want to be, as he says, “his only joy in the world.” I’m trying to get everyone else in the family to see him in a different light, to invite him over, to be kinder, but it’s slow—grueling. Seems like everyone’s got something else to worry about.
But, right now, I’m going to call. And I’m going to spend that hour. Because, sometimes, love is hard. Sometimes, love isn’t exciting. With my client, I get so excited, because she grows every time, and then I take that excitement to my grandfather, and it withers as we speak, because it’s all the same. And then, I have to forgive myself for this loss of enthusiasm and release my guilt over it. I’m just a human being. I am not a martyr. I am just a human being trying to do the right thing.
Not just with my grandfather, but this work in general, sometimes supporting people is really hard. Sometimes, I’m going through my own things and I don’t share them and it builds up and I feel guilty for it building up. Other times, I’m a self-care superstar. Sometimes, I am not.
At the end of the day, I’m just learning this as I go, just like you are. And I hope that, if my confession has any value to you, it’s to say that it’s okay—it’s okay to be where you are.
I’ve learned that, no matter how far you get, new challenges arise. New ways of being thrown into self-judgment and guilt and shame will always be around.
What matters is how we respond. What matters is our choice to love. And, honestly, I’m starting to think that doing it when it’s hard is what makes us into better people. Because anyone can love when it’s easy. But it takes work to love others when it’s hard and love ourselves through not being the perfect caretaker.
It’s not easy, but it is worth it. And so is being honest about how human I really am.
I hope you will do the same ♥"
We have all been brought up in a world where being rewarded for being good is nestled deep within the backbone of our natures. We are always striving to be better people and to be recognized for these efforts. And this is all for good reason, for time does not stand still and progress is inevitable, so why should it not be in a positive direction?
The big question that still stands though, is what happens when we don’t make the cut on a few occasions? What happens when we are tired and we give up? What happens when we disappoint ourselves and fall back into bad habits? What happens when you just feel like going back to bed and crawling up into a ball - and so you do it?
I must confess, I think there is some unlearning to be done! Forgiving ourselves when we don’t meet our own idealistic expectations is possibly the first step, but that is only a bandaid solution for a much deeper problem. Why are we taking ourselves, and our lives, oh, so seriously?
I think somewhere between being a child and now, we have picked up the notion that the world rests on our shoulders. Lets rejoice in that fact that we are not only human, we are wholly human and we have a tremendous power to achieve… just one step at a time.