Monthly Peace Challenge – November: Love Thy Enemy
You are your own worst enemy. You, not your ex-husband, though he certainly ranks, not the girl who gave you dog poop as a Secret Santa gift in seventh grade, though she probably qualifies, and not the moron who made your sister cry, though he earned a kick to the nuts, but you. Inside and out, you would do well to work to focus a little more on your good qualities rather than what you perceive as bad, as a flaw, as a failure. Perceive being the key word there.
Taking time to relax and watch a movie, and perhaps take a nap, on the odd weekend here and there does not make you a lazy, useless bum. So what if you wait a week before vacuuming again, or a day before doing dishes, or a few hours before starting laundry. The dirt will wait. There is nothing filthy or unhealthy about your house.
Eating dessert first every once in a while is fine, even if you don’t finish your whole dinner. In fact, if you wanted to, I bet you could do it every time (but you probably should serve yourself a slightly smaller portion so you can finish your dinner if you do decide to do it regularly).
No one will fault you if you don’t answer their email, text, IM, PM, DM, post, comment, or phone call immediately. You do things, like shower and drive and sleep, so until you win the lottery and hire a personal assistant to read you your messages as you shower, drive, and sleep, it’s never going to be possible. And you like to think. You know that. That’s respectable. You consider your words before you send them. There is no reason to feel guilty if an hour or two or twelve passes as long as you continue to answer and not ignore people.
You are kind, generous, and selfless. Even though you worry when you do kindness upon another that your real, underlying motivation is attention, you know full well you are as likely to extend yourself for another when surrounded by witnesses as you are when you are the only one who will see it. You also don’t generally brag about sharing yourself with others either, but when you do, it’s not to say look at me, but to share an experience of how kindness is returned when kindness is shared.
You don’t throw away clothes, toys, or even household goods from pots and pans to lamps and curtains because you know the relief of donated goods and you pay that forward. You always have, before it even was a forward. You say HI to the custodians in rest areas and have your kids say thank you for the work they do to provide a place that is fresh, clean, and bright. These are good things. These are the things that make the world go ’round and you are a part of that.
Are you perfect? No. Would you gladly list the myriad of flaws and fails? Yes. Are you the best You you know how to be with what you know and where you are in life? Absolutely. You are where you are, you know what you know, and you aren’t stopping there. No one can do You like you can do You (as well, you can’t do anyone else like anyone else can either).
It’s hard having your children live with their father. You’re not the only one. Half of all divorced parents live without their children. Unlike so many though, you talk to your kids on the phone and on Skype. You pick them up every weekend you can and give them the time and love they need. You haven’t failed them, not as completely as you imagine. You rescued them from an abuser once, and you will again. You will prevail, and in the mean time, you will continue to show and share your love in every possible way. They know this. You should too. They have confidence in you. You should too. They’re good kids, and you did that. You also did Deliberate Donkey, so something good is already emerging from the ashes.
Stop beating yourself up. Quit think you aren’t good enough or smart enough, strong enough or brave enough. No one is. Stand up straight and step away from the wall. You’re bright and interesting, funny and compassionate. You have a lot to offer the world. Keep offering it. Above all, love yourself.
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