Be Kind to Yourself

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So, one of the blogs I missed publishing during this last year was the homecoming we had for our sophomore (now a Junior).

It was an incredible affair. We actually had a bunch of parents and many of the sophomores over to the house for pictures, refreshments and appetizers, and a most unbelievable picture-taking extravaganza.

Mind you: it wasn’t graduation; it wasn’t even a prom.

It was just a simple sophomore homecoming.

But parents are parents and apparently there is nothing more sacred to parents than their sophomore children who, in most of our cases, are the oldest of their crop.

I sached, of course, and had any number of conversations.  However, one conversation struck me which I thought I’d share with you in this post.

Since I had music being piped into the backyard with refreshments and photographs, a particular mother and the group around her commented on the hip contemporary pop music Janet and I had selected. 

We laughed and said it was a terribly recent discovery – in fact about 10 minutes earlier and right on the music stations of the cable provider — reflective of our desire to match the music to the audience.

I confessed that my preference was “Light Classical” or “Soundscapes (New Age).

It depended on the circumstances:  classical music on a Sunday morning as I’m reading newspapers; but Soundscapes when I’m sitting in a bath some nights with candles burning and a cognac in hand.

That apparently got a charge or at least hit a chord in the small group of us chatting: not the newspapers, but the bathtub.

The general impression was that they liked what I had to say a lot — male or female — and they should be doing that.

I asked (although silently), is there any other way?

And frankly, I wondered why they weren’t.

I thought to myself that in the midst of our lives, and also the challenges of the economy we have been confronting in real time these last several years, is there anything that could possibly be more sacred than being kind to ourselves as we reenergize and rehabilitate our ability to meet the challenges of the moment and the tasks of the day?

As I sat in a bathtub in the fetal position — with those candles burning, music overhead and cognac glass filled — for some six months after the Dynetech disaster, wondering where to go next, I had to process where I was and whether there was a future. 

Of course there was.  But I had to get there on my own.  And the process couldn’t be short-circuited.

The question was if . . . and how!

This morning, I came across a friend whose husband has been experiencing the same thing for the past two and half years — two and a half years?

She told me he doesn’t sleep, he suffers diabetes, and she’s incessantly worried about his anxiety and stress.  I told her that he’s got to find a safe place (as I had) . . . not just for his family, but for himself.   Because without it, he’s no good to anyone, especially to himself.

You know, I was trained in “personal responsibility,”  est style!

I was grilled in “personal responsibility,”  Werner Erhard style!

And to this day, I buy into “personal responsibility,” without doubt or question.

But on the other side of the process of maintaining personal responsibility for anything and everything that happens in your life is the opportunity for pain management, forgiveness, and resolution.

Accept that you are the cause of everything that happens in your life (even when a tsunami hits you, your business, your investments, and your family). 

Don’t relinquish responsibility for not having seen it coming. 

And, most of all, don’t ever relinquish responsibility for being able to change the circumstances in the future, because, if you do, you’re done and you’re toast!

I continue to buy into all of that, even now.

But, in the process, don’t forget to forgive yourself in the process.  It’s OK.

Don’t forget to treat yourself to hot baths, soft candles, New Age music, and aromatics. 

And, above all, don’t forget to be kind to yourself . . . to yourself:  because you deserve it . . . and, after all, if not you, then who, for God’s sake?


One Response to “Be Kind to Yourself”

1. steven puglisi Says: 

September 22nd, 2011 at 6:31 am

Hi Larry,

I have to tell you of all your blogs this one one brought me to tears. The hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself it seems

we can forgive others easier but we tend to be much harder on ourselves. It has taken me most of my adult life to forgive

myself for the chaos I had created in my life even though I always took responsibility for creating the chaos I could

not forgive myself for all the wasted years. There is so much more I can say but I will end by saying thank you for

writing this blog .



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