There’s a Saki Santorelli quote that asks us to treat ourselves with kindness. If we can learn to treat ourselves with kindness, then we can learn how to treat others with kindness.
If there’s ever been a time to put this in practice, it’s now.
I’m exhausted. Exhausted to the point that it’s hard to speak. Exhausted to the point that if you mention Vice President Harris my eyes well up and I spill joyful tears. And yet I feel as though we’ve been subjected to a forty-eight months long mass psychic trauma and when the valve was opened on Wednesday the grieving for the past four years began.
That’s how it feels. A muddy puddle of joy and grief. I know the mud will eventually settle and I’ll be left with a pool of clear joy but for now this is what I’ve got. Mud. And it’s exhausting.
I don’t think it matters where on the philosophical continuum your beliefs rest. Those of us who ‘won’ mourn the past. Those of us who ‘lost’ are angry about the future. I think it’s important to hold space for the sadness of the previous four years and I think it’s wise to consider what we want for our future. But to dwell in either place for too long serves no one.
So. How do we treat ourselves with kindness? While I’m waiting for the mud to settle, for the grief to pass, how do I treat myself with kindness?
I’m going to stop fighting the exhaustion. I embrace with a full heart the shift in energy that arrived this week, but I need to rest. I need to stop talking about it. I need to spend some time letting go of the frustration and the fear of the last four years. But I need to let go in my own time and at my own pace. That is how I will treat myself with kindness.
I will polish my critical thinking skills and formulate opinions based on what I learn and not on what people tell me. That is how I will treat myself with kindness.
I will practice empathy toward those whose anger is fear-based. It will be difficult when the anger turns to violence, but that is how I will treat myself with kindness. I will not excuse the violence but will do my best to understand the circumstances that caused the violence.
I will treat you with kindness by giving you the space you need to process. When you need silence I will be quiet. When you need to be heard I will listen.
So for now, go treat yourself with kindness. You deserve it.
We all deserve it.