What I Know Now
December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)
I learned a lot about myself this year, mostly thanks to that whole single parent thing I had going on and thanks to starting therapy. The things I learned were mostly good – at least I have chosen to see them that way. The things I have learned have made me stronger, made me see things more clearly, made me more greatful and more loving.
But the biggest thing I learned about myself? I had to ponder on this a bit, and I finally decided. The biggest thing I learned about myself is something my therapist (saint that he is) told me. He listened to me rail on myself for the better part of an hour, all the things I had done wrong and all the things I should have done and all the things I missed and all the things I wished I could do over and when I finally stopped, breathless and crying and completely deflated, and finally he looked at me kindly and said, “I have one question for you to think about. Think about all the people in your life – your kids, your husband, your employees, your parents. Would you ever, under any circumstances, speak to them the way you just spoke to yourself?”
I stopped, and looked up from the floor.
“No,” I whispered.
“Then why is it ok to do it to yourself?”
I had no answer, but the answer is that it’s not ok to do it to myself. “Shannon, you are extraordinarily kind to other people. What I would like to do is help you learn to be that kind to yourself.” I nodded.
I cried some more. Then the bell went off and it was time to exit that warm, safe space and head back into the world. But I carried with me this new knowledge that I deserved my own kindness. And from time to time I will take that knowledge out, hold it in my hands, look at in wonder (as one might look at a foreign newspaper or new baby, fresh from God), and try to absorb a bit of its truth.