Self-Care Tip #117 – Notice, you got diamonds out of stones! Be a friend to yourself.
Cindy replied to yesterday’s post (that had some discussion on functional mental illness,) “I understand Miranda’s feelings completely. Some days it’s all I can do not to down tools and scream ‘What about ME?’”
That is one of the lovelies that these illnesses bring to us. In our honest moments, we can, like Cindy did, perceive our own traits that resemble them. Perhaps, if we are lucky, that will lead to empathy, one of the great human experiences. To be able to put yourself in the hypothetical place of someone else. To imagine what they think and feel. “If I were in your shoes…” and so forth. If you’d like, read more on this at this post.
Illness is often considered a step in the dyeing process. Others see it as part of the living process. Of course, it is both. We are all on level ground when it comes to having been born, coming into life, and knowing we will equally die. Illness reminds us of our like-natured frailty and of course the opposite – resilience. Whether seeing our own illness or someone else’s, we have this privilege of being blessed this way.
My Dad used to tell me a story (author unknown) when I was little. It’s been a long time but I remember it this way.
Three travelers were walking when they heard a voice telling them to bend down, pick up pebbles and put them in their pockets. The voice told them further that in the morning they would be both happy and sad. The travelers did but not equally. Some pockets were more full than others. In the morning when they awoke, their stones had turned to diamonds. Whoever gathered many stones were happy even though all of them wished they picked up more stones. But whoever gathered few, well, they were not happy. They still had diamonds but the comparison soured them and they finished their journey full of “what if” thoughts and not thoughts about the obvious. They got diamonds out of stones!
We are all similar, with the opportunity to say thanks in seemingly off times, such as mental illness.
Question: What have your “stones” turned into? Please tell me your story.
- Mike Robbins: The Power of Empathy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Do Bullies Actually Lack Empathy? (psychologytoday.com)