Self-Care #186 – Forget about fairness.
It’s raining here; herding us. I don’t like driving at night, but driving in the rain at night is worse. Driving in the rain at night, with a rabid sheepdog tailgating me is still worse. However, I do love slowing way down when I’m tailgated. That was nice. And seeing some family, including my folks, made it all worth it.
My kids were in on it too. They were doling out banana smoothie and repeating a favorite theme called, “Make it fair!” In Parenting, the frequent reminder that life will never be fair for my kids, and wondering if they’ll ever get it, gives me almost as much pleasure as being tailgated at night in the rain.
“Make it fair,” isn’t far from any of our hearts desires. It’s easy for me to forget humility and judge my kids, but when people aren’t looking, I’m also checking to see how much I got.
I met a girl in clinic, Britt, who was also working this out for herself. She was holding it in her hands and turning it over; a foreign object. Britt said,
It doesn’t matter what has happened to me, I’m still responsible for taking care of myself…
She said it many ways, and the tail of her pauses kept flipping up into question marks without actually asking,
With my abuse…? No one else will…?
I could see her with all the rest of us suffering folk, checking the fluid line in our glasses, saying
With all the hurt I’ve received…
I was poor my whole life…
I just can’t seem to get a break!
For Britt, coming to a point of owning her self-care felt like losing social support. She had for so long sipped on her succor as a victim in the company of her received wrongs, that she felt awkward. Britt needed to find a new group of friends. She stood there toeing the floor,
I have to take care of myself.
Britt will be alright. She will be emotionally healthier and in better company very soon. She will move past where so many of us are still gripping our goblets asking about why we didn’t get more. She will say, without that question, self-care begins and ends with “Me.”
Britt hasn’t been able to do this without medical help. For her, part of seeing herself as a victim to what life gave her was symptomatic of her major depressive disorder. She was personalizing what wasn’t personal. Not everyone will need medication. Some of us will do well just recognizing that, “Life is not fair,” and will be able to move on.
Question: How have you gotten out of the company of comparisons? How has putting fairness aside been a form of self-care for you? Please tell me your story.
Okay. I’ve thought about this and come back to it all day off and on. The most concise answer I can come up with is that verses 13-18 of Psalm 139 in my Bible are so covered the exclamation points, question marks, underlines and tears that they are almost unreadable. I did that when I was really sick. Now, if I read that Psalm at all, I just wonder…and then I read something else…because, if I give myself time to think about it, it will never be fair. Self care, for me, is not dwelling on the fairness.
There is good truth here. I have heard it explained to me that fairness is a one-way street. I can expect myself to be as fair as possible when dealing with the world, but I cannot expect fairness in return. That is how it is, so I should be okay with that.
thx carl. fairness weighs on us don’t it?! i feel it and want to say but also own w u, enough already. keep on.
Plumbing the depths here of that essential skill we all aspire to learn of changing perspective on the things we feel get in our way. This speaks to me, my own struggle. I find myself driving in the rain sometimes and wonder what I will get out of it… and I have to walk away from that indignant feeling of it not being fair… thank you for this eloquent reminder.
Hello Dr. Klokeid. u r not “driving” alone as we all find ourselves wondering when the return arrives. thank u so so much for reading and commenting. keep talking. made me smile.
fairness i dont think there is any fairness in the world i think you have to make it fair yourself ive allwyas found that
probably right kevin. keep on taking care.