Saturday, November 17, 2012

Self love is hard to find

Brother Kevin McGuire's self-made motorcycle

To say that I tend to be a slow processor is an understatement.  In a crisis situation, I’ve learned that I can and do respond immediately to the needs and requirements of the event in progress—but when it comes to feelings, it may be days before I can notice, define, and be able to share what I have going on inside me.

All that is to say, that I clearly underestimated how the events of last week affected me.
flowers growing on the beach in Mexico

Within seven days, I experienced the birth of twin grandchildren; the mourning of spending three days with a beloved dying friend; the joy of a dear friend’s wedding; and the mixed bittersweet feelings of visiting with treasured long-standing friends, in the town where we used to live, the city where I met Michael and gave birth to three of our four children.

That’s a lot of emotions to process!

Like many of us, I also tend to be very hard on myself. I had a lot to do this week, and I just couldn’t figure out why I felt so tired, why I had such a hard time getting going with my work.
Old City, Jerusalem

Once I gave myself the space and patience to accept myself where I am, to be as I am—and not as I think I should be, it all began to make sense. It turns out that the mental, spiritual, and emotional exhaustion that I’ve been feeling is more than justified, it’s even natural!

In truth, if anyone else had been sharing with me the events of last week, I would have caught on quicker. And I would have encouraged that person to be patient, generous, and kind to herself as she sorted out the myriad of emotions that those events must have produced.

Perhaps I’ll do better with myself next time?

At Mother Mary's house in Ephesus, Turkey