For this last week of Lent I want to take a slightly different tack and explore how to have a little more empathy with myself. I’m going to look with kindness at qualities I have that I’m not that comfortable with, or that get in the way of compassion and growth.
I’m always saying sorry. I am one of those people who, if you bump into me, will apologise profusely. Or at least, I used to be. Recently, I think because of the support of my very loving husband, I’ve started to stick up for myself a bit more. But constantly apologising is a rather English habit, and even more ingrained in those of us who grew up dreading being told off.
Sometimes it is easier to take the blame for something than to run the risk of causing any kind of conflict. It can be a placatory gesture too, and those of us who do it imagine that other people find us more agreeable and pleasant because of it, whereas in actual fact, they are more likely to think us foolish, or to gauge us as easy to take advantage of.
I used to think it was Christian to be like this, but now I think that there is a big difference between being conciliatory and being a doormat. We are all learning new things, and perhaps it is good to be patient with ourselves as well as with others, as we round those curves.
text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017 (photo from Amazon)