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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Another Compassionate Letter

I'm going to try this again, because my therapist asked me to have a go and I see them tomorrow.  My last attempt ended up being... less than compassionate.  Then I got side-tracked by writing (which has had to halt as I reached the end of what I have scribbled down and haven't had chance to write more due to work, so there's nothing to type up - my first drafts aren't terribly coherent, I want to avoid ruining it by going off on a tangent, like with the dialogue).  So, now's the time to do this again and try to be compassionate.
I looked up the definition of compassion.  Suffering together with or sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortune of others.  Tilly explained that it would be how she reacted to our daughter if she was saying that she hated herself or something: hugging her and telling her everything would be alright.  The recognition of the common humanity when watching something like the Challenger disaster (it's just been on a documentary) or when reading about Jesus touching lepers.  Both Tilly and my therapist are working on the assumption that I must have felt this at some point because that is, to quote Tilly, what makes us human.  But I don't recognise it.  I can happily understand other people and forgive them of errors and realise that they must feel bad, but I don't feel anything about that.

My Blog: Happiness
The Internet
Dear Joanna,
You try to make things run smoothly, which is a laudable aim, by covering for a colleague who was off work.  Well done.  No one else knew that anything needed to be done and didn't care anyway.  You also take the children out for walks in the woods when Tilly needs to do things at home. Both of these are good things.  Well done you.
It would be helpful to remember these points when you are berating yourself.  Your choices are half-chance, so are everybody else's.  The race is long and, in the end, it's only to the bar.  Everybody makes mistakes but, in the end, it's okay because we all end up the same way.  We leave this world as we enter it: with nothing.  What matters is what we do in the time inbetween.
You do understand the importance of feeling compassion to yourself, of re-wiring your ability to feel it when you have not experienced it from your parents.  You know that they were 'but' people and not given to praise.  The trouble is that you will never gain that compassion and praise, that ship has sailed, but unless you give yourself that compassion you will not be able to feel that compassion and you will be less able to provide nurture for others.  Keep trying.
This has been like pulling teeth and has taken the active participation of Tilly to even get as far as I have.  Worse, I've sacked off some work stuff that needs to be done in order to have the time to do it.  It's now too late to get that work stuff done tonight and I've been sleeping in late every morning lately.  The colleague whose been off work is back: his father died earlier in the year, then he had a daughter (the third) and then, six days later, his brother died.  His other brother is still in a coma following a bike accident at the tail end of last year.  The brother that died has been in a coma since last November because of a disease/virus he picked up on holiday in the summer.  See, compared to that, (he came back to work today) my life is just peachy.  I don't feel I have the right to need compassion - his need is greater than mine, right?
My issues are mostly self-inflicted, in a sense.  Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed writing the story lately and it is the first time I have ever written anything that I haven't self-censored since Boy to Girl back in 1991!  I mean, I can't share that story anywhere but this blog, Rachel's Haven or fictionmania, but that's not a bad thing.  It may be the best thing I've written.  Certainly it's the least bad I've felt about anything I've written.  Do I embrace that aspect of myself more?  Won't that cause problems with Tilly and my children and my work?
I'll blog about an article I saw in the Mirror yesterday and the Sun today another time.

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