Compassion – It’s not just for others. Prior to developing a chronic illness, I refused to let a “bad” version of myself appear. I always wanted to be at my best, at the risk of being too hard with myself. I’m still this way if I’m truly honest with myself.
“The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” – Fred Rogers
I personally find that the problem is not comparing myself to other people, but comparing what I can achieve now against what I used to be able to achieve. I’m not ready to accept my new limitations. I always want to fight against them. There is still a little voice at the back of my mind that tells me if I tried a little harder I could be that person again.
I try not to beat myself up for being “useless” or “lazy.” I understand that having a chronic illness does not mean I am any of those things. I am also quite aware that when I beat myself up for things outside my control I feel paralyzed.
Being understanding and compassionate of other’s limits has never been a problem. Compassion for others comes as naturally as breathing. I find it a lot harder when turned inward.
Shame has never motivated anyone to do anything, but compassion does. So this is my current goal. Learn to be as compassionate to myself as I am to others.