“Who's the protagonist?”

When looking at storytelling and self-love, judgement and motivation go hand in hand. “Why do I do this? Why didn't I do the other thing?” “Not that I like it, but I made a promise...” “BUT WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBOURS SAY???”

And the spiral can go on and on. A few days ago, I had a dinner invitation coming up. It has been planned for a while (it's an annual event actually) and I was truly looking forward to it. Unfortunately though, I woke up in some kind of an energetic down state. A busy and draining week, a bad night's sleep... I guess we all know that.

“Then just stay home, I can go without you.” is what was offered after I opened up to a fellow invitee. To “just” do what I feel like doing. (The word “just” is a definite candidate for its own dissection here in the future. It's a fantastic example of a word being comforting in outside talk and pressuring in internal self-talk.)

“Then just stay home” is the kind of advice I happily – and honestly – give to others. I truly mean it. Take care of yourself, practice mental hygiene, there will be another occasion! After all, it's an (annual!) dinner event, not a funeral. And in general. This was one of the lessons I hoped to stay from Covid times. And my internal self-talk was equally as compassionate and understanding, right? No? Well of course not. I gave myself a hard time. I was defendant, attorney, and judge in personal union.

I am not going into detail now. There's no point to it. And THAT is exactly the point. I wouldn't dare to speak like this to a close friend. Is the correct – and cruel – implication then that I'm not a close friend to myself? ... ... ... [time for the penny to drop] ... ... ... And I forgave myself. I applauded myself for making the understandable and justified decision.

“It was a tough week. And although it would be a great event, you might be even more drained afterwards. Taking care of yourself is the foundation of everything else. If I were in your place (which I am and that's the point) I would. Do. The. Same. Have a good one!”

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