Amidst this Bow-Wowza busy-ness and snowy sunshine, there persists the uncertainty of these strange times. And I know I’m not alone in finding myself frequently looking around and asking the question on everyone’s lips: ‘what’s going to happen, and when?!’. As ever, the Happynesshub tools are of great comfort to me – in particular, self-compassion and acceptance. The continuing lockdown is bringing a maelstrom of emotions, but it’s key to allow ourselves – and others – to experience our emotions without judgment or distress.
This week, my lovely friend Reena has sent in a poem on this very theme.
For Children’s Mental Health Week, a traditionally modern thought from me.
See me inside out.
That’s where the truth is.
I ask you again kindly…
Don’t force me to eat
My tummy has a stiff knot in it that I can’t explain to myself or you
Don’t ask me to look at the screen and pay attention
I miss my friends and my class magic and banter
Don’t tell me we will do this fun thing later
I am missing today your ability for my needs to cater
Don’t expect me to be happy with the one minute smile in the drive
When all I want is that snuggly, hot chocolate sleepover with my cousins
Don’t tell me the phrase when COVID is over
My heart is hurting of how much fun I could have had over and over
Don’t expect me to sleep on time today and tomorrow
My mind is thinking of how one day is all the same as another
I know you love me
And are struggling too
But let’s take time to look inside out together.
To understand the real reasons why behaviour could be better.
Let’s feel the feelings again and over.
Let’s cry together and cuddle each other.
The hugs and the laughter to keep us going, till this crazy time is over.
Thank you, Reena, for this wonderful contribution. I think it captures the turmoil that so many are feeling at the moment – especially children. Reading Reena’s poem brings my thoughts to an interesting piece of research I read recently. The article ‘Self-Compassion: Embracing Suffering with Kindness’, by Happynesshub favourite Kristin Neff, and Oliver Davidson, talking about how the very word ‘compassion’ is rooted in suffering; passio is the Latin for ‘I suffer’, and so ‘compassion’ literally means ‘suffering with.’ They write that:
‘self-compassion entails turning directly toward one’s suffering – whether that suffering stems from personal failures and mistakes or general life difficulties – and embracing it with feelings of kind, connected presence.’
When we practise self-compassion, we can find growth from difficult situations that might otherwise have damaged us. To find some tips on how to practise self-compassion, why not check out this article? And remember, you can always find wisdom over at the Happynesshub website and via our 21 Days to Happiness program.
‘If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.’