Yesterday I wrote about the inspiration and comfort that I find in the words of other bloggers.  Then it occurred to me that I offer also offer comfort to others.  In fact, I write to them with a far more compassionate voice than I use to talk to myself.  It’s not even hard to do.  I read their stories, hear their pain, and the caring words come easily.  And I’ve noticed the same among other bloggers writing about their depression, abuse history, or other emotional challenges: they berate themselves in their blogs, then offer tender, patient words to fellow bloggers.

Seems like we could all learn a little from ourselves.

Imagine if we were to apply those same calm, reassuring voices to our own pain.  Imagine if we could promise ourselves that “things will get better–just hang in there.”  Picture us rejecting judgment of how “bad” or “unfixable” we were because the pain is still there.  Instead we’d be telling ourselves, as we tell each other, that it is normal for it to take awhile.  It’s not surprising that there are ups and downs.  Trust the process.  Be gentle with yourself.

I burn myself sometimes to cope with the pain of the pit.  In fact, I did it again just the other day, on Friday.  But I would never, ever hold an iron to another person’s skin.  I would also never recommend it to anyone else as a coping strategy.  Instead, I would tell someone like me something like this:

Hang in there.  I know it feels really, really bad right now.  But I also know that it will get better.  It always has in the past; you know that yourself.  You don’t need to burn yourself.  You can ride this out.  Take a nice warm shower.  Go for a walk and see how many colors you can see in the blooms in your neighbors’ gardens.  Crawl in bed and sleep it off.  Tell a friend or family member that you need a little comfort.  Draw a picture.  Write a blog.  Read someone else’s blog, and hear their pain, and let yourself respond from a place of kindness and caring.  Then breathe in a little of that caring for yourself.  You deserve it.