What’s the big deal? Self-acceptance and daily stuff

August 12, 2009 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

We only get as much as we can handle. I read that somewhere in the Bible a few decades ago, and held on to it as a source of comfort. Yet there are times when I feel silly about the big deal I make over my “stuff”.

I only have to look around in my circle of acquaintances and friends, to see what I consider much more dramatic situations. Two people I know lost their children to cancer. One friend’s significant other died of cancer ten years ago, and she’s still mourning. The son of a woman I know had a serious car accident a couple of months ago and is slowly recuperating. And if that’s not enough, I just open the newspaper and review the headlines.

It is tempting to compare one’s self and then make light of one’s own little mini-crises. Or other people do it for me. Recently I complained of a nasty 24-hour headache. The response was: “What are you complaining about? I’ve had a headache for weeks and just keep popping aspirin!” Or who hasn’t heard: “Why are you making such a big deal over it? Other people have much worse to deal with!”

Part of self-respect and respect for others is to accept them and their various issues without judgment. Another part is to not feel guilty or compare myself with others. Even if my “issues” seem less dramatic, they kept me busy enough for quite some time. At the moment, I am relatively free of serious drama. This gives me the opportunity and energy to be there for others — to listen, share experience, and comfort.

The bottom line is respect. I respect my own experience and that of others. Perception, coping strategies and ability vary. If a dozen people experience the same crisis, each will react differently. One may get through it as if it were nothing. Another may have a breakdown. Still another will take refuge in alcohol or drugs. One may binge. Another may get seriously ill. Someone else will bury themself in work. Yet another might seek refuge in self-injury or suicide. Each person has their own special way of dealing with what life dishes out.

I respect my own approach and that of others. It is of immense value to share experience with others. Whether they have gone through something similar or something completely different, often there is something to be learned.

For today I accept that we each do the best we can: myself included. I refrain from judging someone, or comparing and coming to the conclusion that I would have done it differently and thus they are wrong. Sure, I would do things differently than others. And other people would have done many things completely different from me. That’s how it is. It doesn’t make any approach better, worse, or of more or less value. Sure, the results of various strategies are more or less pleasant, but that’s how it is.

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Entry filed under: Coping. Tags: , , , , , , .

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