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If you have been following my written work, you’ll recall that it’s been a difficult year. Our family has experienced great loss, and many losses. I’ve had a health scare, and will have an unrelated surgery scheduled in the coming months. It’s by all suspicion a minor, routine procedure. Still, this latest turn of events merely adds another level of burdening weight to my shoulders.

I am tired. I don’t have the endurance to complete my ever growing list of  self given chores. I have been lax with so many areas of life. In each instance, I criticize myself with every incomplete task. Each run I don’t get in, each social engagement I don’t attend, each basket of laundry that doesn’t get put away, I grow increasingly resentful of myself.

If I were my friend, I would not be so critical. I would offer sweet words of understanding, empathy, and encouragement. I would tell my dear friend that we are all our worst critics, and the last year has brought more than its share of challenges and hurt. Healing takes time. Often much longer than what we first expect. I would go on by telling her, “You are doing well. You are still working, still a loving mom, and you are taking care of what is important. All of the other stuff is just stuff. You are taking care of your family and believe it or not, yourself. Be kind to yourself. It is long over due.”

And there is it is. As kind as I may be to everyone else, my kindness is incomplete. I truly can not deliver true kindness if I can not offer it to myself. I can not be considered a kind person, unless I offer compassion to everyone. I am an equal to everyone I encounter; no less deserving.

I’m cynical enough to believe that most people are more challenged to offer kindness to others than themselves. Sometimes it can be a challenge, especially when there is disagreement. As I stated in my previous post, it is in disagreement that we can profit in learning from one another and learn how to extend care for one another. I am learning how to care for myself.

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