We Are Unique

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We are unique, but it is not our suffering that makes us unique.

Think About What You Have. The Season of Epiphany.

the Epiphany

Self-Care Tip #145 – Think about what you’re wanting and waiting for, and then think about what you have.  Be a friend to yourself.

Today my husband told me that it is the season of Epiphany – the climax to our waiting and wanting (or Advent) is celebrating when we find out that God became a human.

I like epiphany’s.  Who doesn’t?  At dinner we talked it over with the kids.  We asked them questions like, “What do you remember from last year that you’re glad about?”  “Did you learn anything that you want to remember in this new year?”  My three-year-old was glad our house isn’t destroyed yet by the rain.  (Yes.  It is raining again.  Blah.  The basement should be filled in with dirt!)

Then, my epiphany came.  Self-care includes being grateful for what and whom we already have in our lives.  Ta-da!  May not seem like much but it hit me strong and soulful.  I have names, including yours on my list.

Self-care for me today was stopping on the bits of life I already have, the people I already know, the gratefuls I don’t habitually spend enough spirit on (generally all of them.)  I get poetic and lumpy thinking about it.  My epiphanies feel like soppy insides, doe-y eyes, choking up over the smell of my husband’s neck, the mysteries of time and such.  Epiphanies generally don’t come without a waiting and a wanting.  It can all be deliberate, which is good news too, because those of us who don’t do that unconsciously have a chance.

As said by Fred Clark, Author of blog “Slacktivist,”

Epiphanies don’t seem like the sort of thing one can schedule ahead of time and plan for.

It isn’t as romantic as I hear it was for Edison, but we can plan.  Waiting, wanting, and the ah-ha’s can be deliberate and are part of self-care.

Question:  In this season, what are your epiphanies?

Forgive to Get Friendly With Yourself

 

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Self-Care Tip #80 – Forgive.  Be a friend to yourself.

A reader wrote yesterday

Always intrigued by the possible connection between empathy and forgiveness….

Great progression of thought.  From both an anecdotal perspective and some biological considerations, David Mullen PhD and Everett L. Worthington Jr. PhD, are two of my favorites.  Other than Jesus, they have and do say it better than just about anyone.  I heard Dr. Worthington speak when still a resident-physician in psychiatry.  The story he told of his mother’s murder and how he came to forgive her murderers seared into my memory and has ever since been a reference for me in my personal life and medical practice.

The call came on New Years Day, 1996. His brother’s voice was shaky. “I have some bad news,” he said. “Mama has been murdered.”  …Their mother had been beaten to death. Rage bubbled up in him like lava. He heard himself saying, “I’d like to have that murderer alone in a room with just a baseball bat. I’d beat his brains out.”

Here’s where the empathy came in

…He tried to picture the crime scene. He imagined how a pair of youths might feel as they stood in the dark street preparing to rob the house. Perhaps they had been caught at robbery previously. They would have been keyed up. The house was dark; no car was in the driveway. No one’s home, they must have thought. Perhaps one said, “They’re at a New Year’s Eve party.“ They did not know that Worthington’s mother did not drive.  …Worthington imagined their shock when her voice came from behind. “What are you doing in here?”

“Oh, no!” one must have thought, “I’ll go to jail. She is ruining my life.” He lashed out with his crowbar, slamming his mother three times. Panicked, the youths went crazy, trashing the house, both for having their plans ruined and for the shame of having murdered.

This is part of the process that led Dr. Worthington to forgive the murder.  You can read more in his book, The Power of Forgiving.

There is an interplay, between choice and biology/non-choice.  It’s uncomfortable to think and talk about.  I can feel the hackles on the necks of my readers start to stand up just writing it and I humbly acknowledge my limitations in sharing this concept.  It is what I have tried to describe through many of my earlier blog posts.  This unlikely union between such polar concepts.

Being a Christian, I have awareness of the culture that frowns on taking bad behavior out of the church and into the laboratory.  When I think of empathy and forgiveness, I see party-hoppers moving in and out of those very places irreverently perhaps in some people’s minds.

Some other time we will broach further the idea of self-care being Christian v. scientific.

Self-Care Tip #80 – Forgive.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Does any of this resonate with you?  Please tell me your story.