At different times in our lives we all have huge challenges to face. At a recent talk I attended the counsellor described life as ‘riding a wild tiger’, sometimes so scary that all we can do is cling on and hope we get through ok.
The talk was aimed at providing the attendees with the toolkit to help get though our ‘tiger ride’ and change the way we looked at it. I’ll admit, I was sceptical. When the counsellor started talking about Reiki healing and auras, I may have done a mental eye roll.
But you want to know something? I learned a lot! So here’s something I came away with that I would like to share with you.
It’s OK to be Selfish
Now I know that this isn’t always true. Sometimes being selfish is a horrible thing to do. But when it comes to your mental well being, then there are times it’s perfectly ok to be selfish. Its ok to say ‘No’ when you don’t have the energy to go out, it’s ok to set boundaries with friends and family when you need space for you. There are going to be times when it’s ok not to be ok. In these circumstances, a little selfishness is perfectly fine.
If any of you are like me, the idea of being selfish gives rise to feelings of worry and guilt. What will others think if I don’t go to a particular event? Am I a bad parent for needing half an hour without my children?
Of course I’m not. If anything, a little space for me to recenter myself means I can be a better mother. If I’m in a depressive spiral I will sometimes need space and calm. Trying to push through it with a teenager and toddler making demands is just nonsensical. If anything doing that would just make me worse.
So in those moments, yes it would seem like I’ve just stopped. I’m not doing anything. Maybe I’m sitting staring into space. Sometimes I’m barely breathing.
What I’m doing is holding on.
Sometimes that’s all we CAN do.
I’d invite you to read Alex’s post Just Hold On if you’re struggling at the moment. I’d also recommend Something to Hold Onto, because if you’re finding it difficult to get through your ‘tiger ride’ it might just give you a little inspiration.
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