…And then I woke up…

Musings of a hostile therapist, writer, and teacher

Be Kind to Yourself — January 25, 2021

Be Kind to Yourself

Today is a tough day for me.

  • My 80 year old aunt who has always been a prayer warrior for me, is having a heart procedure tomorrow.  It’s minor, but it’s the heart.  I’m here; she’s in Savannah.  There’s nothing I can do.
  • My daughter is having trouble at work. Nothing huge.  Just the kind of manager/worker stress that we have when we work one of the pre-career jobs.  There’s nothing I can do.
  • It’s gray outside.  This time of year is rough because I deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I look outside my window, and everything looks like an old black and white photo.  There’s nothing I can do.
  • If I see one more political post, news article or social media rant, I’m going to punch one of the dolls I keep in my office for that purpose.  I’ve unsubscribed/unfollowed both influencers who agree with my political views and those that oppose them.  Other than that, there’s nothing I can do. 
  • I am sick of this stupid mask that I’m wearing.  It has a cute mental health phrase on it in an attempt to lighten the situation, but who am I fooling?  It stinks not being able to breathe and get the air my body needs to think clearly. There’s nothing I can do.
  • I miss the regularity of students being here.  I didn’t start teaching because I wanted to talk to kids over the internet.  We didn’t even have internet back then.  I recognize the need for safety, and I support it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  There’s nothing I can do.

Many of you reading this are nodding your head in agreement.  A few of you may feel a tear coming to your eye because of your own frustration.  You may have things which make my obstacles seem like so much whining. 

My point in telling you this is to let you know that all of this is normal.  It’s abnormal, but it’s normal.  The powerlessness we feel in a reaction to what this world is going through is a heart break that makes us long for eternity.  Viktor Frankl said that an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal.  I couldn’t agree with him more.

So what can we do? 

  • We can fall on the One who promises to give us rest.  We are told to cast our cares on Him, and few of us want to hear that when we’re anxious. Medicine that works seldom tastes good.
  • We can seek help when the burden gets too hard to bear alone.  Counselors, pastors, family, friends are all going through this too.  We can all empathize with each other.
  • We can be kind to ourselves. Recognize that we are going through a time like we have never seen in our lifetime.  The false gods we have made for ourselves have crumbled, and we are left standing in the rubble looking toward the sky.  The fact that we are often our biggest enemies is made clear in times when we may be isolated with our own thoughts. 

Please let me know of any ways I can help.  God is made famous in our weakness.

Jeff Peeples