I had a minor medical procedure recently. Very very very minor, but the aftermath wasn’t what I expected and, in recovery, I cancelled an appointment with a client with only 24-hours notice to her. That was discouragingly hard! Not because of the client – the client was so gracious, so enrichingly compassionate, she’s going to get a gratefully, joyfully-offered hour of my time free (don’t tell her, it’s a surprise) because her response did so much to relieve my guilt. That was the hard part – GUILT. Slinking, ugly, swamping guilt. Didn’t matter that I made a fantastic case to myself that I felt so awful the quality of my service to her would have suffered. Didn’t matter that I knew, no hesitation, that I hadn’t understood the consequences of the procedure, was completely caught by surprise and was giving her as much notice as I could. I’m proud of myself that I didn’t let myself feel shame for cancelling, or, by implication, being “weak” enough that I couldn’t work. That’s an even more devastating burden to put on yourself, one which Brene Brown speaks to in her Sounds True CDs The Power of Vulnerability.
But guilt nonetheless. Wow. I teach other people to take care of themselves, and I still fell into the trap. We’re all human. That’s the point. We are allowed to care about ourselves. Consciously, habitually and carefully. PLEASE.
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