Amazing M is sleeping on the couch, recovering from a tummy bug as I blog. Bless her heart, she was sick all of yesterday afternoon and her body is now trying to burn the bug out of her little body. The alliteration with “b” wasn’t intentional, but I kinda think it’s cute, being the English nerd I am. The past few weeks were tumultuous to say the least. I had a few little issues to work through which I don’t particularly want to go into detail but picture a sleep deprived and angry woman googling English speaking therapists in Germany. Deliciousmother was anything but.
Somehow I got myself out of that funk primarily practicing self compassion. As a recovering perfectionist, I do relapse and lose myself to the “be the bestest version of yourself” cycle which actually equates to trying to be perfect. The perfect woman, wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend and human being. It’s a recurring theme for me and a great source of stress and anxiety. Each time the big troll of perfectionism arrests my mind, I have to fight back with more self compassion. CBT techniques are great for this, for getting into the framework of being able to be kind to yourself. And before you start suggesting self-esteem work as well, I feel it’s different to self esteem which in the Western world is based on being unique/extraordinary/awesome/special and anything short of that is grounds to feel unworthy. Why is it so uncool to be normal? When did it become unacceptable and shameful to be average?
No, self compassion/being softer on ourselves is letting go of external circumstances [such as having this AMAZING job, or 100, 000 Facebook likes, or a wardrobe filled with DESIGNER clothes, or having a ROCKING SIZE 00 body ( yes, the 00 size does actually exist…)] and giving ourselves the slack to acknowledge any personal failings or things we don’t like about ourselves with kindness and understanding. It means giving ourselves permission to be imperfect and honouring our humanness.
So I suppose the theme for Deliciousmother in 2015 is to really zone in on the self compassion. It may sound like I’m approaching this in perfectionista Type A style, but I feel it’s something I need to develop as well as sitting comfortably with normalcy. Normal is ok, DM. You don’t have to win Nobel Prizes for literature or peace or science (though I would fancy a lit one, thanks) or get the mother of year prize. Amazing M lets you know you are the mother of someone’s lifetime each time she tells you she loves you. And that’s AWESOME.